Prompt for September 8, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

“I read this fascinating article the other day,” he said, leaning back into the cracked plastic seat on the subway car. The car was full with the tail end of the rush hour crowd just now heading home to the family and dinner. The press of the crowd kept him and his companion in their seats and looking warily at the backpacks and shopping bags that were swinging by their faces.

“Another psychology paper?” His companion, a rather short brunette with a large coat that looked too hot for the mild fall day, looked at him with a small quirky smile.

“Yes, indeed. It was a study of the prevalence of psychotic and sociopathic tendencies within an urban setting. A random sampling of individuals, on a subway train no less, was given a standard survey in an attempt to determine their mental stability. The survey was a work of art, allowing the researchers to accurately determine the current mental state of the respondent.”

He paused, and when the pause went on too long she prompted him. “And what was so fascinating?”

“The mere fact that those two disorders accounted for approximately 3% of subway riders was fascinating, but even more fascinating was the fact that during busy periods, like now, the proportion of psychotic personalities drops. They seem to dislike crowded situations and only use the subway when it is less crowded.”

“Now that is interesting. So the odds of a psychopath in this particular car or even the subway train as a whole?”

“Considering the number of people and the number of cars, if the article is to be believed there should be approximately three or four psychopaths on the train.”

She smiled at him. “I wonder who the other two are?”

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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