The Next Train

Next Train clock

Marvin sank onto the rickety bench and pulled his great coat tighter around his thin frame. He glanced at his leather bag beside him, then looked both ways along the one line track. He pushed his spectacles further up his nose and sat back. Crossing his legs, he placed his finger linked hands into his lap. The quietness of the semi-abandoned train station was unnerving.

Cocking his head, he checked the large station clock hanging close above him. It was quarter to six. Pushing his sleeve up, he saw that his watch was displaying the same time. The next train was due on the hour, but the station master had warned that it might be late.

Marvin sucked in his cheeks and let his eyes drifted around. There was a short wooden wall running behind him ending at the ticket booth, which was marked only by a door and a small sign above it. He’d come out of there a few moments ago, not realising how the sparse boxy room reflected the platform he was now on.

He rubbed his thumbs together, made a tasking sound with his tongue and peered down the train line. He couldn’t see any smoke, or wisps that could have been steam. The last thing he could clearly see was the signal which was down and in shadow of a little tunnel. The train could becoming the other way though, so he turned his head.

Things looked just the same, only instead of the tunnel where some medium sizes trees. However, he thought he could make out the side of a small cottage peeking through. It probably belonged to the station master. He had seemed to be a grim old man, wearing a dusty timeworn suit. Marvin recalled the conversation they had had minutes ago. He had asked for a single ticket for the next train and upon giving him the ticket, the station master had told him how lucky he was. The station was in operation for half the week only with just four trains stopping each of those days. So, Marvin was catching the last train of the week, if it actually showed.

Bored and tried, Marvin tugged open the bag and pulled out the first file. Turning to the initial page of many loose sheets, he re-read the handwritten words for the hundredth time. It was the standard letter of enquiry from a relative of the deceased, stating the death and requesting the firm for the will and the organising of the inheritance.

It had been a simple case to close, Marvin thought. The will was up to date and the family aware of everything. The only problem had been the fact that he’d had to come to the middle of nowhere to sort it out. His stay over the last few days had been very trying to say the least. He put the file away and felt glad to be getting out. He looked at his watch and saw that it was almost six.

The door opened and the station master walked out with a large lantern and a small flag. Marvin turned his head away from the sudden glowing light and saw a grey puff of smoke. He collected his bag and stood up as the massive black steam train appeared.