CHAPTER ONE/part seven – THE BROADENING
“Jess, Jess is that you?… “Yep” he answered, thinking to himself, you’ve just rung me so it is most likely that it is me on my phone.
However this is his sister all over, and actually quite sobering to hear her dulcet tones. She was real, he knew that okay but at the same time he didn’t feel like telling her what was going on in his head. She never had really understood him.
“So you got the train? Even though the whole country is under amber alert; you could have put it off until the storm was over.” Gabby said. Jess was kind of really grateful at that moment; also a bit baffled Gabby didn’t usually give a shit. In fact she didn’t really ever give a shit and that was in one way cool but in another really negative. That is why he hadn’t been jumping with enthusiasm when he realised who was ringing him. He guessed that she would be telling him he was an idiot and that he should sort his life out where he is, rather than running away to bonnie Scotland.
“Jess just be careful, look I don’t usually give a shit but I have got a really bad feeling about you on that train.” she said almost worried, “Why?” Jess wanted to keep this short. “I don’t know I just have.”Gabby sounded distant; it was unusual for her to have any feelings.
Some really weird stuff went on when they were kids. He confided in her over some spooky encounters that he had or thought he had. She blew the whistle on it straight away and simply thought he was making it up. He hadn’t trusted her since. This was not a time to deal with that; he felt certain that she would go bonkers at him if he started to say that he seemed to also be a young teenager in California in between train stops. It probably wouldn’t help her already uncharacteristic caring state.
“Look I appreciate the call.” he said, “I am on the train, yes there is a storm but on the other hand I paid, for me, a stack of dosh to do this trip so do or die as they say.” “OK well don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Gabby added picking up that her kid brother wouldn’t listen to her; surprise! as he never had. It was strange timing Jess had to admit as the call ended. Gabs was six years older than him, so once he reached eight years old she was off with the guys, he didn’t come into the equation after that. That’s what happens with sisters; it must be a natural thing he guessed. It seemed like there was a societal imperative for young women to get hitched and breed. So from then on he was on his own, even more so because of the things that went on his head.
A voice came over the speaker in the railway carriage, “This is the driver.” a broad London accent with characteristic rubbish sound quality. “I’d like to apologise but we are losing time, we are doing our best to continue the journey, thank you, please listen for further announcements.”
Already the thoughts he’d been overwhelmed with earlier had strangely faded. What Jess felt was that although he had been connected strongly to a story and was beginning to remember new memories they didn’t hold, stick, the glue was weak, so his certainty of reality was only in the train and the storm. He also was bothered by the call from his sister and whether he would reach his destination or not.
The thing is, invariably this storm would definitely be headline news by now he thought to himself. There would be bulletins, flights cancelled, lovers trapped on boats, fishermen hanging onto dreams of dry land jobs, hang-gliders grounded for coffee, Poppins brolley metal side up and up and up and……….
“Jess wake up, please wake up”
To be continued
Copyright Patrick Turner-Lee 2014