Short Stories

Polo United

Crazy laughter emanates from the carriage. We have boarded nearest to the engine, at the back of the train. It seems the potentiality of this summer’s day has lifted the spirits of commuters. We take our seats in the middle of the carriage , back facing our destination.

The train is full and a pack of middle aged men in long sleeved shirts and suit trousers are separated, instead sitting in file, next to other not known, smiling city types. Sunglasses decorate their faces hiding eyes as they arch their necks round to continue conversations already established.

A quartet of early twenties hopefuls, making the early commute sit on the opposite side of the carriage to them facing backwards. The omnipotent emotions generated by this, one of their first journeys as  commuters still holds enough novelty to generate an air of self- importance. It sends shockwaves through the personality. I cannot see the girls but I can hear them , piercing voices of little intonation giving opinion on news items it appears to the whole carriage. Their volume increases as the old timers take up the ingroup offer of a polo which gets entwined in a discussion of ebola. This makes an Ebolo. Titters amongst the group and a raucous response from the males who take up the offer

“Yeh I’ll have an Ebolo Polo”, a clean shaven smiling sun-glassed man jokes.

Laughter circles, racing up the carriage

Encouraged by full smiles, framed with lipstick, compliments are flung towards the females

“Intelligent and beautiful,” remarks the man sitting furthest from the group, he drops his glasses and smiles holding his stare confidently before sliding the glasses back and returning his head back to rest on the rose red head support.

His friend sitting directly twists round in front – “you flatterer”  he smirks.

“Anything for an Ebolo Polo!” the man replies , smiling.

The females laugh and a kind of parabolic inflation of ego exchanges occurs – “you are so kind thankyou!” the female repies.

“No thankyou – thanks for sharing”, it continues

“Oh not at all- we like to share the Ebolo”.

Laughter rises once more

Rosie whispers in my ear

“Would you like a polo?”

“Are you offering?”- I return my face to hers. We laugh.



We meet momentarily.


The transparency of the moment is framed with laughter infecting faces up the carriage, mouths stretching and eyes dancing to and fro. The lighter side of humanity takes hold and dispels myths of a future of fractious dystopia and just for a moment,

One moment,

We are

United by a polo.