Flash fiction 7X7 Story 3 Ōne in the zone

Word list (yes, it is more than 7 words):

  1. Ella Sprung ONE / zone
  2. Karen Pierce Cartography
  3. Trevor Sewell Intertwined
  4. Joanne Frances Maddern Decision
  5. Allen Foster Honeycomb
  6. Trish Barres Ludicrous
  7. Mary Scott cantankerous
  8. Joanna Bond train

Ōne in the zone

by Mary Jacob, first draft 19 January 2013


Two teenaged girls sat in the back of the train, with one iPod between them.

“You’ve got to hear this new band. Their name is spelled like ‘one’ but pronounced like ‘own’.”

“Oh weird. What do they sound like?”

“Wait, here’s the title song from their new album, ‘In the Zone’”. Judy slipped one earbud into Kayleigh’s ear.

“Oh my god! What are they playing? I hear the trombone, but is that a comb? That other bit just sounds like a phone, and what is this clacking sound?”

“Bones. They play trombone, comb, bones, phone and kazoo. Cool, huh?”


As the volume of the earbuds increased, so did the volume of their voices. Judy squealed, “Oh, Kayleigh, they’re fun, and you should see their shoes!”

“I can’t listen to shoes. And I can’t listen to this, either. I’m making a decision, now, to move to another seat.” With that, she stood up and moved to the front of the carriage. They still had three stops to go before arriving in Aber. Their sudden silence was like a honeycomb, just plain hollow and unsatisfying.

A gentleman seated two rows ahead of Judy turned around – he must have been nearly 50, just ancient – and said, “Why is your friend being so cantankerous? May I have a listen to this music?”

“Erm, sure, I guess.” She leaned forward and passed the earbud to him, while keeping a tight hold on the iPod itself, because you never know, do you?

It wasn’t clear at first what he thought. His eyebrows went up, then they went down into a V shape, then they seemed to get longer as his whole face opened up really wide – big grin, those eyes that narrow but are crinkly right up to the edge of a person’s face, even his ears seemed to move back to make more room for his smile.

“Like it?”

His head bobbed up and down as Judy put the other earbud in her own ear. When they got to the chorus, each of them sang different parts of the harmony, so that their voices intertwined as they leaned over the empty row of seats between them. A couple who looked like students from the Uni came back and joined in the singing, so Judy passed the earbuds to them. The volume was cranked up so loud that you could hear it even without earbuds, to be honest. Soon there was a little party going on in the back of the carriage, people dancing in the aisle and making those little poky motions with their hands, in unison.

“Hey, we’ve got choreography!”

“What? We make maps?”

“No, that’s cartography. Choreography is dancing, like, together and stuff.”

By the time they passed through Borth, everyone in the carriage was dancing except for Kayleigh. She walked to the back, with her head hanging down.

“I guess you were right. Ōne is in the zone. It’s pretty cool. Can you burn me a copy?”

“Oh no. You’ve got to buy it yourself. From the artist!”

At that, Judy flipped a business card in the direction of her friend.

“What’s this? ‘JudyTwoShoes, the Unknowns.’ Don’t the Unknowns do the backing vocals for Ōne?”

“Yup. We do!”

Then she flipped her two pigtails and turned to get off the train. They’d arrived at their destination.


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