Day 191 – On The Way Home – Part 1

Word count: 987

14th June 1935, French Alps

I remember waking to warm feeling, as if I was in bed on a summer’s day and the sun was shining through my window. Indeed the sun was shining, blindingly bright; however I was not in my own bed and I knew that before opening my eyes for the constant chug beneath my body.
The last thing I remember before falling asleep was my brother running off into the woods. He was going to find his friend from the farm – we were all going to climb the mountain and pretend to be hunters. It was a Saturday afternoon and we were allowed to roam free with no thought of school or chores – on weekends mother always let us off them. I had been looking forward to it, but I was also tired from the night before. Father had come home from work after a few weeks away and made us stay up all night and taught us the stars. I now knew the Plough, Orion and could recognise some of the planets. But we stayed up so late, I was still tired the next day. Mother never let us stay up past ten, I wasn’t used to it. So, while my brother headed out to get his friend, I took a nap at the station. There was an old train that had been left there for a few days now and I thought it would be a safe place to take a short nap.

The regular movement underneath my body could tell no other tale. I opened my eyes and found myself lying against the wall I had fallen asleep against. The train door was partially open and I could see the countryside flying by at a million miles an hour. My first thoughts were to panic. I had no idea where this train was going or for how much father it would be travelling. How long had I been asleep for as well?
I edged towards the open door and poked my head through. A violent wind threw my head back and I was almost blown out, but I grabbed on to the sides and forced myself back in. My hands were covered in splinters, but I cared not. I needed to get off the train, I needed to go home. Rene, my brother, would not know where I had gone – no one would have worked out! I was … I was lost!

For hours and hours I was trapped on that train without a stop. We climbed high in the mountains and I saw many beautiful places. The sun was setting quite fast now and a navy blue tint was cast into the valleys and forests that we passed. This train might travel into the night and I was cold, tired and hungry now. But I was frightened to close my eyes. Where might I end up? What would happen to me if I slept more – would this train ever stop?
But no sooner as my heart began to throb in my chest than the train finally began to slow. I leaned my head out the door and watched the train approach into the station. We were still somewhere in the forests. Snow capped mountains loomed overhead like the teachers at my school. For the time that train slowed, I enjoyed the wind through my hair, it wakened me up and by the time the train stopped in the small wooden station, I was feeling as bright as if I had just woken from a long sleep.
With the train stopped I leapt on to the platform and looked around immediately. There was no one there to greet the train. From what I could see it was a goods train only. There were no passengers hoping to travel. I looked frantically around for the driver, who would surely be getting off soon. But there was no sign that he was going to do so. I ran up to the driver’s side but there was no on there. Then, from behind me, I heard a noise and I turned to see a little gate locking back into place. The driver must have just gone through there. I followed.
Through a dark forest path I walked along. It was perhaps only for a few hundred metres, but it was long enough. Eyes were beginning to follow me. I did not like it and nowhere in front of me could I see the driver – or anyone else. Further and further I went until eventually the trees thinned and a small river curved a gorge below. A single bridge was the only method of getting the other side. I leaned over the edge, hesitantly. The bridge did not appear to be too strong. But it took my weight and I ran across it in fear.
On the other side my vision was met with a sight it had been desperate to see for hours. A small village of wooden cabins was nestled in a meadow just at the bottom of the hill. Smoke was billowing from their chimneys and a warm glow came from all the windows. I ran and ran to the nearest house and knocked loudly on the door.
The door opened and a heavily bearded man appeared in the frame. He wore a black hat and his face seemed blackened with soot.
“Help me, help me I am far from home – can you tell me where I am so I can get back?” I said to the man, panicky and out of breath.
The man grunted and spoke in words I could not understand.
“Mister, please I am lost!” I pleaded.
A woman appeared from behind him and put her hand on his shoulder. The words she spoke to him were also not words that I knew. I was starting to feel scared….. I was not in France anymore, was I?

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~ by S.G. Mark on April 15, 2012.

One Response to “Day 191 – On The Way Home – Part 1”

  1. I’m immediately one with this character from the beginning of the tale. Wow… this has legs!
    (Is there something we can all identify with as being a lost child?)

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