29 December 2010


Trains had always been the child's secret fetish, ever since his father had given him a miniature train set for his 5th birthday.
He liked the way the trains had a purpose and a sense of direction. The way they knew exactly where they were headed.
Sometimes he wished he was a train painted blue and shining in the sun. He could sound his whistle loudly and chug away on the creaking tracks, the smoke leaving a foggy trail behind him. He would take off into the distance away from his pitiful life and away from his father.
In the nights after taking a sorry drunken beating he would take out his train set and watch as the trains circled the stations and rounded the tracks rolling deep into the night. Around and around again. They could take him away on their journey and leave the pain far away in his bedroom along with the coughed up blood and bruises.
When the boy started at school he took his little blue train with him, worn from love. So when times got tough he could feel the cool metal pressed tightly in his chest pocket.
The other children at school teased him for he didn't know any better than the trains. He couldn't understand why anyone would want to talk about anything else. The pushed him so they could try and take the miniature trains from him, to see the tears well up in his bold green eyes, so they could laugh.
When he was almost 16 he got a job at the town station selling tickets. It meant that every hour he could see the real trains, shining metal and smoke, pulling into the small one platform station.
He had posters of train times hung up in the glass covered pin boards that glowed with polish like the station had never seen before. Suddenly Wentworth station became the place to be and the boy's heart swelled with pride and love like never before. His wounds where his fathers beating had left him sore, began to turn to fading scars.
Sometimes commuters in the early morning would wink at the boy and make small talk with him as he sat behind his bullet proof glass. "So," they'd start "how about them trains?"

When his time came and the boy was old and crippled, a life dedicated to his passion he felt it was only right for his love to take his life. Years after his father had let a bullet to his skull and his son had shook his head with disappointment the boy himself stood out on the platform and waited as his pocket watch told him, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes more. Years of dedications shining proof on his badges strung across his chest.
His stepped down onto the tracks and lay in the midday light waiting for the whistle to announce his departure. Away with the trains.


viv said...

so liza, how bout them trains???
im so glad the article inspired you, i love it when after a book is published the author goes back and writes from another characters perspective, and its so weird how different the world can look for them
from viv

Anonymous said...

Haha ever since you showed me that article that line plays on my mind constantly, I had to do something with it :) Thank you for showing it to me!
I'm exactly the same, being able to see the world through different people's eyes is so strange and thrilling...