Doorway Writing Group April 2018
This month’s word searches on wild birds and wild flowers proved quite popular and opened up a few interesting conversations: had anyone ever seen a guillemot and what did one even look like? A number of guests helped with the crossword clues shared around the tables. We also experimented with sharing a poem – this month in the form of a fun, thought-provoking one by the inimitable Steve Turner called quite simply ‘I like words’; guests and volunteers were encouraged to think about whether they had a favourite word (which they could, if they liked, share on a post-it as material for a story or poem).
At the writing table, we discussed ways of capturing those mad, creative ideas as they occur to us: scraps of paper, post-its, a notebook (and of course a pencil) in your pocket etc. J had been experimenting with jotting things down on his phone and had even tried putting a whole story on there recently which he managed to transfer to mine. Here then for your enjoyment is another lovely little gem from J. Happy reading and till next month!
A short story by J
Abie sat on the platform bench at Valeford railway
station and looked up at the electronic timetables
hanging overhead. The train she was waiting for was
expected in 20 minutes.
On time. She resumed casually flicking through the
pages of her magazine before folding it and putting
it back in her shoulder bag. She looked around at
the passengers around her, casual strangers. Safe
and anonymous, her thoughts untethered like an old horse
in a lonely field.
A few miles away the train rolled through the
familiar countryside: Hedges and livestock, houses
and cars on the forecourt. Ernie watched the passing
vista with a resigned expression watching the blur of
the rail bed upon which the rails seemed to float
searching for that distant elusive vanishing point.
Thinking made Ernest tired, and eyelids drooping he
rested his head on his forearm.
The anxious youth with curly dishevelled hair
looked over his shoulder at the old man nodding off
across the aisle and resumed rummaging through
the contents of the rucksack upright on the floor by
his side. He worried about meeting his folks at
Valeford; the term at university had been a disaster
he could no longer keep secret, so many problems
he couldn’t even begin to deal with. He sighed then
he too closed his eyes.
Twenty minutes passed. The groups of people waiting
on the platform thinned. Abie looked up again and
blinked. The train due to arrive, her train, had
vanished! No record of it was on the board. What
could she do?
The train kept on travelling while Ernie dreamed
of all the train journeys he’d taken in his youth on
weekends laughing with friends, short journeys, long
journeys, journeys to places he knew he would
never return to, places he refrequented again and
again all became one dizzying blur. The young man
dreamt of an old man staring out of the window,
troubles vanished with the passage of years the
vanishing point still ahead, always ahead …….
Ernie woke with a start as the mystery train
pulled into the station. He reached down for his
rucksack and observed from his sleeve HE WAS
WEARlNG A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT JACKET! He
raced towards the doors and they slid open.
Abie waved and hugged the figure descending
onto the platform. “You’re very late,” she beamed.
“I’m very….” Ernie stuttered.
The train pulled out of the station while the
confused guard stared at the abandoned rucksack
and the two empty seats.