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The Old Station

Memories live forever

By Joshua MaggsPublished 5 months ago 4 min read

The old station was as empty as the day it closed. The old asphalt platform with weeds and thorns growing out of the ever-opening cracks made known its age. The railway tracks still laid with perfect precision on their rotting wooden sleepers. The wind blew through the station, creating small waves throughout the overgrown grass. A lone timber seat sat against the brick wall of the station underneath a rusted sign – ‘Platform 1’.

Through his glasses and wearing an oversized suit jacket, stood an old man. The man slowly began to walk along the platform with the aide of his walking stick before stopping a few steps in. He turned and looked toward the old building, noticing the old worn-out wooden seat. His eyes made it before his body did. A few minutes later he finally sat down, placing his walking aide onto the seat next to him. He adjusted his glasses and sniffled. He looked toward his left, and then to his right. The sun was shining directly above, with only a few clouds scattered across the sky. The man just sat there. Not speaking nor moving. Just simply looking forward towards the other platform – ‘Platform 2’.

His eyes were fixated as he slowly smiled as he saw a young boy run along Platform 2. The boy was laughing and yelling back at his father. They were both dressed in suits and dressed for what seemed to be a special occasion. The old man smiled. He felt like he knew who he was watching. He stopped and looked down at the ground with a sense of confusion before realising who it was. It was his younger self as a young boy with his father. He remembered that day. His father was chasing him along the platform just before the train arrived to go towards the city. He remembered laughing and being picked up by his father as they both laughed and smiled.

Echoes of laughter could be heard from across the station. The old man closed his eyes briefly as a lone tear rolled down his cheek. He opened them again, hoping to see the young boy and father – but they were gone. The sounds of laughter fading away as quickly as they begun. He was alone again – sitting at the station on Platform 1.

The old man sat there. Looking straight ahead to where the young boy and man were just moments earlier. He looked down at the cracked bitumen, with a sense of sorrow. The emotions of the past came flooding back as he looked back up, but this time to his right. He looked down along the long-forgotten platform until he saw a man suddenly appear from the building. The man had a whistle in his hand and wore a black top hat. He was dressed in a black suit with a jacket vest with a pocket watch with a long chain clipped onto the vest. The ground began to rumble as small stones started to bounce atop the platform as the vibrations of a locomotive hauled into the station. It’s steam puffing from above and flowing out from underneath. The bright illuminated light on the top of the front of the train shone through the clouds of steam. The wheels slowly stopped turning as the beast came to a standstill. Through the dissipating steam appeared dozens of people getting off. The platform was a hive of activity as people went about their day. The conductor who had come out of the building earlier walked toward the front of the train and looked down the platform – making sure all was clear.

The old man smiled with glistening eyes as the whistle blew and the engine began growling. Steam puffing up as high as the trees as the wheels began to move forward. The train was now departing. The old man slowly stood up from the seat he was sitting on, trying to quickly find his balance to watch the train leave. The station was in pristine condition with people still finding their way out with bags in hand. The man watched as carriage after carriage rolled past – providing a lasting gush of wind that made him close his eyes.

“Henry!”, a voice yelled from somewhere. The old man opened his eyes suddenly, in fright of the sudden shout. He slowly turned and saw a middle-aged woman standing on the long-forgotten platform. “Henry! It’s time to go!” shouted the woman. The old man – Henry, rolled his eyes. He didn’t want to go. He was waiting for the next train. The woman walked up to him and reached out for his hand. “C’mon Dad, it’s time to go.” Henry turned and looked at her. “The next train won’t be long. I will be getting on it, thank you!”. Henry’s daughter – the middle-aged woman, looked across at the forgotten tracks and overgrown weeds. She knew there was no trains coming. There hadn’t been for over fifty years. She looked at him, and to his hand she was now holding in hers. She knew he didn’t have much time left – that’s why she brought him here. To relive the memories of his childhood, and where he worked as a conductor for many years.

Henry took a few small steps back to sit back down. His daughter followed suite and sat next to him. She looked at his tear-filled eyes and knew what she needed to do.

“It’s okay Dad. I’ll wait with you.”

Short Story

About the Creator

Joshua Maggs

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Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (2)

  • Flamance @ lit.2 months ago

    Congratulations 🥳 top story

  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    A touching tale, Joshua. I am assuming that the old man has dementia? I think that you describe the scene really well, giving it a dream-like quality with reality kicking in at the end.

Joshua MaggsWritten by Joshua Maggs

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