The Trip
[ Issue 41 ]

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Bikwil is proud to feature The Trip

The Trip

Lavinia Godfrey here describes a night journey by train.

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The Trip — Lavinia Godfrey


Energy! Vital! A Purpose! Icy winds gust along the platform. The train pulls in. Whoosh! Inside. Quick! Pull the windows down — clip, clack, crash, move, and repeat, repeat. Close the carriage against the biting gusts of wind ripping into the metal and wood rattling the ancient carriage and glass. The carriage is nearly empty, in forlorn half-light, and the wind gusts through the passages of the stationary train.

Soon — it is warm, the doors and windows shut: a creak and grind and the train chugs off to the place where I will get off. The lights of the outer city are intermittent — flashing by as echoes of reality. Detached from me inside the carriage.

Too soon the creak of slow braking and the station’s here. The carriage stops abruptly as I rise and brace myself for the stop. Outside — the wind is howling now, gusts of currents seeming to rip at my clothes in a frenzy of finding somewhere to land. The street light is yellow — odd against the black sky as I see the patterns the wind is making, creating, as dust flies past the lamp post, into, then out of, the light, flying to the heavens, as if home were there tonight.

I shiver, clutch my clothes against me. The dust flies. Looking up, the paddock across the way seems to have mist over it — yet the wind denies that thought quickly as the storm increases. The mist is dust, rising from the earth as a sheath of the earth’s cover splits. Plastic bunting from the car yard picks up the crescendo of the storm and I close my eyes down against the dust and run faster as the heavens seem to fly. No rain, Just dust. Today’s dropped garbage zings along the gutter as the world hides inside away from the storm.

It feels exhilarating — free — my hair flies around me — then the parked truck protects me. I look up and see the heavens fly in particles of dust too small for the eye to contour — yet it is there — all round me — even in my breath. Yet, it’s free and so am I. Feet lift under me as I race the wind to the car, head down, heart out. Life! Begin? I am in!

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