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Short Stories 365/294 | N.S. Beranek

“Single Rider” by Raydon L. Reyes from from Chelsea Station Issue 4. Edited by Jameson Currier.

This sweet, lighthearted tale is perfectly placed in the issue. It’s just what’s needed after the previous, more serious, entry.

Jet is waiting in line to ride a roller coaster. He’s by himself, and therefore standing in the “single rider” lane. What makes him interesting is the fact that he’s Filipino. He’s not some guy wasting time in, say, California. He’s a yuppie from the Philippines, on a vacation to Universal Studies, Singapore.

Heavy rains temporarily shut down the coaster, which creates an opportunity for conversation to flourish between Jet and a guy standing alone in the “groups” line. The stranger introduces himself as Noah and explains to Jet that he’s holding a place for two friends. They get acquainted and, again, it’s Jet’s perspective as someone outside the First World that keeps this from being just another story about a lonely guy. His assessment of his situation, and the assumptions he makes about Noah, make him an intriguing character.