Beneath pastel skies scents evocative of a lamenting nostalgia, smoke and geraniums, graced the air on the hillside walk between the train station and bus stop. Trails of breath were pulled into the distance by departing trains; vapour shifting along the platform into momentary extraordinary shapes, quickly lost like the depleting passengers.

The girl walked slowly to escape the crowd before the path’s descent to bear witness singularly to the beautiful horizon of Trent Valley, and the small boats which collected within the distant sailing club. Above the landscape opened the grand sky, and the girl regarded clouds which could have been mountains; expansive and grey, they collected in textured pillars to intersperse swathes of pale yellow both above and below, creating what might have been the sea reflecting the turbulence of the sun. It was charmingly ordinary.

The quiet unease for the internal numbness in her legs was momentarily replaced by displeasure at having pressed V rather than the space bar on her phone, struggling as she was to balance imaginary mountains and physical burden- a bus pass and phone in her hands, and The Wasp Factory tucked beneath her arm. She couldn’t read modern novels, she had once told a man at the station, for she did not want to know that there was misery but to know that misery had always existed.

Approaching the bus stop she held her bus pass between her teeth so as to use both hands to more comfortably rectify any erroneous digital communication. Glancing at the electronic bus display, she considered that the buses typically were never early when she was early. Glancing at the electronic bus display, she did not see a man pull up in his car.


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