Trains and democracy

Last week was very quiet and the customers were disappointingly ordinary – aside from the man who got on the train with two shopping trolleys full of used bricks. (Trains are so useful when you don’t have a car) A teacher trailing a class of 40 or so students arrived during my barrier shift at the Junction.
“We’ve come down from the country for a tour of State Parliament and our bus has broken down,” he explained waving behind him. Sure enough there was a bus up the road with two men peering into it’s innards.
Being too humble a functionary to make any decision in this case I referred to the Station Master, who (most graciously) allowed them to finish their journey on the train without tickets. Thus did Metro facilitate these children’s political education and no doubt make the world safer for democracy (loud huzzahs all round)

The Ballad of C and M

I’ve mentioned my regular homeless couple C and M before. They were very happy together even though they lived in a derelict shed and supplimented their incomes by begging.  Last year they told me they’d moved into a friend’s house for the winter and I didn’t see them for a long time.  Then just before Christmas, I was on the train and who should come along but M.  He looked better dressed than usual.

“We’ve got into a house,” he said.  “We’re getting clean.  We’re trying to get the kids back.”

Wonderful Christmas news.

Alas it did not last.   A couple of weeks later, I saw M at the junction.

“She’s left me,” he said.  “I tried to stop her drinking so she left me and went off with some wino.  If you see her round tell her to come home.  Tell her I miss her.”

I haven’t seen C again.  From the things she shared with me when she’d had a few, stories of domestic violence with a previous partner and the removal of children by authorities, I suspect she has a lot of things to blot out. Sobriety wouldn’t come easily.

I’ve seen a lot of M though.  He travels down my line most days.  The new house is out the other side of town, but he assures me he’s still there.

“But my friends are all out here,” he says.

These days he mostly has a tin of Wild Turkey and Coke in his hand.

 

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Historical Fantasy with feisty female Characters

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Three sisters, estranged from the Society they are destined to save. Elena, more beautiful than any man can resist, is kidnapped, her destiny controlled by the men who desire her. Yani, warrior woman, brave, strong, able to pass as a man, who will do anything to find Elena. Marigoth, powerful female mage, determined never to grow up, equally committed to finding their missing sister. In a country oppressed and cruelly ruled, the fate of many people lies in the unsuspecting hands of these three women.

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The injured bird

Slight stress at my station.  A little adolescent bird hangs round eating the bits of lolly and chip that have been dropped and using his “feed me” call in a very entitled manner at all and sundry. Earlier this week he seemed to have something wrapped around his legs.  His flying’s not too good either. All day I rang the Zoo but their phones were busy. I rang the Wildlife rescue who told me that since he could still fly, I’d need to catch him myself.  They suggested a box, some food and a stick.  A couple of the customers tried to help me with picnic blankets but no joy.  The bird was convinced our intentions were nefarious and were too fast. Finally at the end of my shift I walked down to the Zoo.  They were delighted to help and shortly two highly train vets were hunting my bird through the trees with huge professional looking nets. He was still too fast. I had to go home to a child’s birthday so I decided to try again the next day. Glory be! I’m not much good with animals so I was so relieved the next day when his legs seemed to be free again.  The vets may have caught him after I went home. They seemed devoted to their calling. Or maybe it all just came off by itself.