Adelaide

Adelaide

A Story by not me
"

A snippet from a book which i'm trying to write, could be first chapter? Let me know your thoughts.

"

 I caught the Bangor West train to Adelaide. On the change over I sat on the platform and the rain began. Not normal rain, oh no, far from it. This was rain enough for three months slapping down into the gutters of the new "improved" aluminium bus shelter. Rain, ah yes, rain. The unforgettable sound of torrential rain like coarse soil being tossed over a coffin, making flesh tingle and the hem of my jeans soggy. Rain that made my hair turn to fuzz and my hands turn red and rigid, rain that I had to run through to get to the metal streamlined monstrosity of a train.

 

The bright lights of this spaceship startled me, making my eyes strain to stay open, and my cold hands struggle to acclimatise to the stuffy warmth. I grabbed a seat in an empty booth at one end of the carriage, putting my feet up on the seat opposite me, and my tattered carpet bag beside me. I passed death looks to anyone who so dared to try to sit in my booth. This irritates me to no end. The elderly are a classic example. An empty train and they take it upon themselves to take a seat next to you in the off chance that you'll be shy enough to smile, nod, and listen to their terrible ordeal with the foreign lad at the dry cleaners.

 

I can understand though...of course I can understand. These elderly people are lost souls in this world like you and I. They are unintentionally rid of their long term lovers and desperate for conversation. The world flashes before their eyes, faster than it did for their own parents. They watch the children who live on their street growing up to become defiant criminals, who shout abuse and break into their homes, taking whatever is left of their forgotten, insignificant lives.

 

I could see a frail, slightly hunch-backed woman reflected in the window of the carriage. I imagined her curled up in bed, under an ancient, quilted, tattered electric blanket, hugging a cricket bat like she used to hug her late husband, shivering, shivering, shivering with the cold? The clearness of the night was no longer something of beauty and a holder of many a tender memory...oh no, a bringer of pain, stabbing her in the ribs with its icy breath and merciless temper.

 

This woman's life has no purpose. Her purpose has been fulfilled and has escaped to France with the grandchildren and her grumpy Berk of a husband. No this woman is waiting, waiting to die. No longer caring that she's running out of time. The slow hour glass, although its bottom is heavy, tortures her in both wakening and in sleep.

 

As I sat there, mapping out the rest of this woman's life, imagining her slumped in her doily clad armchair, becoming more and more irresistible to her once loyal cats, in her favourite moth eaten cardigan, I felt guilt for not acknowledging her. For not sitting beside her and gently embracing her to give her company, warmth and the hope, the hope that she still has a card left to play in this game.

 

But, being the selfish, typical youth of my time, I ignored her. I had bigger things on my mind, huge, persistent, beating weight on my shoulders, crushing my lungs to make me breathless and dizzy. My knees under the table shivering...THUMPING. The caps moving up and down, trying to take the strain from my terrified heart. Sweating there, on a freezing December evening, Hunched in my black coat (complete with missing buttons) feeling like I was going to faint in this over-heated carriage. My face, hot under my makeup. My slightly damp, wind-beaten hair refusing to look good and I started to think about the pros and cons of letting this monster take me wherever it wants to go. To leave him standing on the platform, hands in pockets, nose buried in his matted burgundy scarf, waiting for me? "She'll come, she wouldn't let me down...not, not Sarah? She has a good heart, she is loving, compassionate. She wouldn't leave me all alone - "

 

Wouldn't I?

 

" The next stop is Adelaide, please alight here for..." Oh god this is it, this is it. He's roughly 500 metres away, he's there!  Oh God, oh God." I look at my reflection in the translucent windows. "Oh my hair, my face, my stomach, my coat, my knees, oh Jesus my knees! "

 

Time has a funny way of confusing you. It can go past like the drip of an old tap, slow-ly-mak-ing-us-im-pat-ient. Other times it passes us like Angel Falls before we even realise it's there, coming. In an instant five minutes left me. I stood at the doors of the carriage (How did I even get here?) hypnotised by the passing spotlights along the tracks making dripping patterns on my coat and hands. They began to slow down as we reached the stop, as if to want to get a better look at this peculiar sight. 

 

Slower and slower, studying me, and my every move until suddenly they stopped. They have seen something. A single blast of yellow light gazed in at me. I could feel it read my mind. It could see my uncontrollable knees trying to rip free from my pathetic body. It could see my pale pink lace underwear under my baggy clothing, and how terrible I looked in it. In a second it knows me, it knows what I’m going to do.

 

I felt like a 6 year old child in a school amphitheatre, about to partake in my debut rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle." The spotlight blinding me, and as a result, my eyes start to water. Partly due to the burning heat, but mostly, because I want my mummy.  But I can't see her. I hear her, but I can't see her. I felt like doing what I did then. I felt like breaking down in tears of sheer horror. I wanted to run into the audience, searching through them, every one of them until I found her, and curl up on her cushioned knee, taking in the intoxicatingly sweet scent of her perfume and stroking the silky lining of her coat.

 

But alas, doors open, doors slowly and painfully open to a dark platform backed by a silhouette of black, long leafed shrubs. I stood for a moment, completely dazed. The old woman's trolley bag ran over my foot as she tried to get off the train. 

 

As if in slow motion I left the space shuttle behind to take my first steps onto this new planet. Instead of floating around in ecstasy, my head, my bones, my feet, my hands, my burdened shoulders felt as light as an Iron anvil.

 

"I can see him. I can see him."

 

He walked over, smiling. "I'm going to faint." He wore the jacket, oh that leather jacket, his thick, woolen scarf matching the mop of curls resting upon it. Instead of hands in pockets, his arms were outstretched. "Oh catch me." My iron head lay upon his broad shoulders, his arms surrounding me, squeezing me tightly. "Oh Love don't let me go." Oh David why? Why did I contemplate leaving you here, steamy breathed on this chilling night waiting to enfold me? David my love I can smell you. I can feel your stubbled neck brushing against my forehead as you hold me up.

 

Time...there are no words to describe how much I hate you. You take the beauty of a worshipped woman, you let the forces of gravity tug her skin and make it fall. You let her mind become corrupted and her eyes lose their burning passion. You let the world die and you let children loose innocence. You erode sanity and replace it with fear. You run out, Time runs out. You let this moment, this moment end so fast that I wasn't even aware that it had begun. Time is against us, Time is in a constant winning battle against everyone. Time is the work of Lucifer himself.

 

He put his arm around my shoulders and he held firmly as we walked to his house. The rain had stopped and colossal lakes had formed on the uneven, cracked concrete pavements. The fear within me was still very much alive. The light of the beaming street lamps reflected in the murky water of the puddles, still reminding me that this life, this life I was leading was a complete fabrication. This man beside me, despite the collective thoughts of other train passengers and passers by, this man was not mine to touch, to kiss, to hold, to... to... well that. God was watching me that night, God Knew the truth.

 

We quickly walked the streets of old, creaking terraced housing to his flat, nervously jabbering and complaining about the temperature. His kind heart offered me his scarf, my guilty conscience refused it. Little did he know that I wasn't shivering in the cold. Oh no, my love, I was shivering in fear.

 

We reached the door and he nervously turned the key to a reveal a narrow, cramped hallway. The un-matching carpets and wood chip wallpaper gave it an unpretentious charm which I warmed to. I had been here before, I knew this place. I knew to climb the stairs to the top floor, past sign clad doorways and old, frail, creaking floorboards. As I did this, he stayed downstairs in the kitchen. We had ordered a Chinese, the compulsory element of normality there to comfort both of us in this surreal situation.

 

Our plan was a night of eating and watching movies, Ha! Who were we kidding? He was downstairs, placing plates on a tray and washing wine glasses, Lying to himself. It was a way for both of us to delay, and muffle the fear of the inevitable.

 

I waited in his bedroom, finding it fascinating how a room can represent a person so completely. These four walls splattered with memories of every past lover, every bad dream, every moment of complete and utter despair. These walls have seen it all. They have stood, silently, watching over him, as he pleasured himself to delirium, as he lay in a cocoon of blankets, love letters and photographs, crying until the sky outside became unbearably bright and cheerful. The guitar in the corner has witnessed every note played by his calloused fingertips, the DVDs on the shelf have provided him with hours of distraction from reality. His collection of action figures beside his bed remind him of better days.

 

I sat on the bottom corner of his bed, and immediately felt like an intruder. Those plastic aliens and model planes, which held happy memories for him, intimidated me. They had collected a thin mist of dust upon their oversized heads and mutated arms. We know what you're going to do.

 

It was cold, that night. Skin thinning, teeth chipping, lovers grasping each other in sheer desperation for heat coldness. My love, being the ever practical one had of course noticed this. Therefore new items had been placed in the room for my own comfort. A heater sat beside his bed pumping out hot bursts of burnt air. Its red strips of eyes focused on me, rattling and humming, I know what you're going to do!  I sat, transfixed on this terrifying machine. I must have been drunk on fear, it sent me into a sweaty hallucination. I wanted to crawl away from it, to the furthest corners of this city to escape its bite and burning eyes, to run until I no longer heard it's groans and grumbles. I know, I KNOW what you're going to...

 

Slowly, the creaking whitewashed wooden door swung open to reveal his tall protective frame, ducking under the arch carrying a tray full of food and drink. It made my heart melt and fold in on itself. I didn't deserve this...

© 2008 not me


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Very descriptive and emotionally charged.
I felt just as lost as the character as she awaited her arrival.
I'd be interested to know how the story pans out if ever made into a full length book.
Great start.

Posted 13 Years Ago


you have a very distinctive writing style that i thinks pretty fantastic!

Posted 14 Years Ago


wow. this could definately be the first chapter in a book. you introduce the characters and plot perfectly so as to keep the reader interested.
my favorite line: "It can go past like the drip of an old tap, slow-ly-mak-ing-us-im-pat-ient. "

good work.

Posted 14 Years Ago



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Added on February 18, 2008
Last Updated on March 9, 2008

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not me
not me

Bangor



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