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Paul Williams

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  Southbound
by Paul Williams
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.

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The first part of a prose work in progress...I have a plan but it could go anywhere...


Southbound


 


The rain, relentless in its expression drove him from the deserted platform to the warmth of the overpriced coffee shop. Tired and fractious, a hot cup of sludge, just the thing to loosen nights shrivelling grip and ease the train delay


depression. Inside, he noted the fictitious art-deco style, as he fought his way past plastic fronded palms to the counter, ordered a latté and sat by the door. Stirring the easy to open packets of sugar half into his coffee, half on to the floor.


‘So Twenty-first-century, so superficial, so immature’…a critical mind venting its fury upon the second rate art adorning the opposite wall. Next to the post-cubist splat, cold devices looking strangely out of place, informed in depressing digitised discourse, of unprecedented delays due to unprecedented weather.  Inside he wanted to scream, he was stuck in a meteorologically induced nightmare. Reason told him to think of happier things to escape this sodden scheme. So sitting back in his chair, began to reminisce about the journey south, about the crowded compartment; lap-top techno commuters, the dysfunctional family, and that woman with the really loud mouth. Smiling to himself, he wondered if they’d noticed him as he had they, or even, if they cared that he existed, wrapped up in selfish worlds, it doesn’t always work the other way...


 


‘I wonder where they are now’.  He thought. ‘Yes, where?... A good question…How come, I was the only person on the platform? Did no one else get off the train?…surely they must have?...got to have…that woman with the loud mouth was going to her mothers' someplace south. She broadcast it to the whole carriage…was it her mothers?  Yeah! Something to do with her failed marriage?...so she’d have to change here…hmm…not sure though…hmm... perhaps not? …


 


His thoughts drifted back to the rolling monotony of the train, its silent thunder interrupted by the buffeting wind and ferocious rain. The cold glass upon his cheek, haze ridden reflections ghosted with distant flashes. Swirling lights, going past so fast, so fast, in the darkness, the darkness, darkness…


 


 …Hang on! …What?... Wait!... No!... Wait!...What? No!... that’s impossible! … I must be losing my mind…NO!...it can’t be…


 


…I don’t remember getting off the train.


 


An anguished realisation crossed his face; he couldn’t remember how he came to be here in this place. Vague reminisces of a journey south, the woman with the mouth, her ear-piercing voice grinding like metal, the lights, the lights, the darkness, the darkness, screaming and pain; standing on the platform alone in the rain. Outside, the night grew darker and it rained even harder as the wind rattled at the door but nothing seemed real to him anymore, except for the coffee and the sugar spilt on the floor.


 


He woke with a start! As the girl behind the counter brought the shutters down with a bang on the bar; clicking of bolts, clacking of keys, rattling locks and footsteps in a hurry to be at ease. A door slammed, and then nothing but cold devices, wind and rain, he felt so alone, alone in a moribund vision, he told himself it was a dream, just a dream again.


 


P. Williams©2008


 




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Reviewed by Lois Christensen 5/12/2008
Quite a train strip and interesting peoples on it. Even though he told himself it was a dream, it could of been true. Often you can hear other people talking on planes, trains buses etc and even in bars where you don't want to listen, but do. In restaurants too I experienced this in the next booth.
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 1/21/2008
Very nice indeed,keep it comin sweetie...HUgsss
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 1/21/2008
You tell a most captivating story, my friend. Looking forward to more.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 1/20/2008
i love a mystery,your talent is well suited to tho this kind of write Paul! Is there a sequel?;-)Hope so!

Love,
ET
Reviewed by J. Allen Wilson 1/20/2008
I liked this a lot...felt the coffee shop...lived the train. well done sir.

Allen
Reviewed by Felix Perry 1/20/2008
Wow striking write with images as crisp as a HD Television set, it also reminded me of my poem I posted today "Last Train To Boston" our minds must be running on paralell tracks. Well writien old buddy.

Fee
Reviewed by Rafiriio Daniels 1/20/2008
I enjoyed your poem today! Help keep poetry alive!!!
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 1/20/2008
OOOOoooo yes... Sounds like Salisbury Station to me... And you're on your way to London to meet me and Turner but you got derailed at Swindon... Either that or you're a stowaway to Hogwarts, Harry... Hermione on your mind... Great descriptive passages here, Pal. Every National Rail coffee shop a mirror-image of the rest. I could lose myself in this Hall of Mirrors no trouble... All the fun of the fair... To be back in Covent Garden on a warm summer's day with the prancing ponies would be a nice outcome! :)) Bondmobiles at Beaulieu on the cards for later on in the spring... Watch this space! Love MP for Dorset South xx
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