Seventh Train
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81 pages

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What if you can't stand where you are because there's nothing there? What if you don't want to end up anywhere else in case that's empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.The Seventh Train is a ride - a 'road movie' on the railways. It's a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had inher previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she'd pretended that the spare seat was taken.With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters,The Seventh Traintakes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arrivingfinally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the Britishrailway timetable!"e;Ingenious, great fun, and wholly original"e;- Fay Weldon CBE, onThe Seventh Train



Publié par
Date de parution 02 avril 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781838599096
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0100€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


JACKIE CARREIRA is a writer, musician, designer, co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre Company, and award-winning playwright. Born in Leicester, she moved to London as a baby and went to school in Hackney, but also spent part of her early childhood in Lisbon’s Old Quarter. Destiny thereby dictated that her formative years were heavily influenced by her working-class upbringing and cities beginning with the letter ‘L’, for some cosmic reason that she has not yet figured out.
Jackie now lives in the English county of Suffolk with her actor husband AJ Deane, two cats and too many books. One of her favourite places to write is in railway cafés. The Seventh Train was originally born over several cappuccinos at Paddington station.
Suffolk contains no cities at all – not even one that begins with the letter ‘L’. Your move, Destiny.

by the same author

Sleeping Through War (Matador)

Stage Plays
Talking In The Library*
The Seventh Train
Winter Tails I, II and III
Regret Rien*
Changing Rooms*
Unspoken Word
Invisible Irene

(*text and performance rights available from )

More information on the author can be found at

Copyright © 2019 Jackie Carreira

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.

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ISBN 9781838599096

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Matador® is an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd

“It’s a great huge game of chess that’s being played – all over the world – if this is the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is! How I wish I was one of them! I wouldn’t mind being a Pawn, if only I might join.”
(From Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll)
Chapter One:
Chapter Two:
Chapter Three:
Chapter Four:
Chapter Five:
Chapter Six:
Chapter Seven:
Chapter Eight:
Chapter Nine:
Chapter Ten:
Chapter Eleven:
Chapter Twelve:
Writing The Seventh Train has been a journey in itself. The story began several years ago as a short, fifteen-minute play for theatre with two characters – the first play to be accepted for production at the start of my own journey as a playwright. It had its debut at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay, produced by the Eyes Write company in Norfolk, and it was a huge thrill to see characters come to life on stage that had once existed only in my mind. A year later, the same company performed it on local Norfolk radio, and another company for Suffolk radio. But the story hadn’t finished with the writer.
From East Anglia, The Seventh Train took on another passenger and travelled to Berkshire. A third character had arrived, and the story had progressed to a half-hour, one act play. It was selected to be performed at the Windsor Fringe Festival, and was one of the winners of the Kenneth Branagh 10th Anniversary Drama Award . But the story still hadn’t finished with the writer.
A fourth character got on board and The Seventh Train journeyed on to become a full-length stage play. It travelled back to East Anglia and had its debut in a small room above a bar in Bury St Edmunds, then departed for a tour around the county with QuirkHouse Theatre Company . But still, the story hadn’t finished with the writer.
Finally, the characters moved from the stage to the page, picking up new passengers along the way. Today, The Seventh Train has arrived in your town, in your hands, so that you may be part of the journey for a while, if it is your pleasure to jump aboard. Has the story finally finished with the writer?... We’ll see.
Bon Voyage!
Suffolk, 2019
DISCLAIMER: The train timetables in this novel are a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual train timetables that might be considered by passengers to be works of fiction is entirely coincidental.
Chapter One:
The First Train from Harlow Town Station
This is a passenger announcement: Greater Anglia trains would like to apologise for the delay in the arrival of the ten-o-five service from London, Liverpool Street. This is due to a passenger on the line at Harlow Town. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience.
The announcement that crackled over the tannoy at Cambridge station was not a recording. Those kinds of announcements never are, despite their increasing regularity. It was read out by a man, perhaps in his fifties or sixties. However old he was, he sounded neither young nor inexperienced. His voice carried no extraneous emotion because it wasn’t the first time he’d said the words ‘passenger on the line’ into the station office microphone. It was, in fact, the fifth time this year – and it was only February. Elizabeth could have been on her way to Cambridge by now, but she wasn’t. She was stuck at Harlow Town.
The announcement could mean that some fool had been messing around on the train lines with no thought or care for the inconvenience of others. It could mean that some hero had jumped down onto the tracks, to rescue a puppy or perhaps an injured pigeon, with no thought or care for their own safety. It could mean that some clumsy commuter had slipped between the train and the platform – not minding the gap at all – when impatient travellers pushed forward to claim a precious seat. Or it could mean that somebody had deliberately thrown themselves in front of a moving train, hoping to end their troubled life quickly and with minimal pain. This morning, it was the last scenario.
At this rate, Elizabeth wouldn’t be at Cambridge for ages yet. She’d travelled through a lot of railway stations, so the risk of coming across this kind of thing was pretty high. She was at the opposite end of the platform when it happened, which meant that she didn’t see it, but she did hear it. Everybody at the station did. Fortunately for her, and all the other passengers waiting on the platform, what Elizabeth heard was the wailing screech of emergency brakes rather than the gruesome thud of metal hitting flesh and bone. What she smelled was the burning of brakes and the discharge of diesel fumes rather than blood. What she saw was mercifully very little.
A crowd had gathered at the far end of the platform as high-vis station staff tried in vain to push them back. Within moments Elizabeth could see mobile phones raised in the air all around, frantically pointing and clicking at anything that could be shared later on Facebook pages or tweeted out into the virtual world. It made Elizabeth feel sick. The phones continued to buzz and flash around the unfolding tragedy like hungry flies as she turned and walked to the station café.
A bare-armed, busty woman was behind the counter, wiping down the surfaces with a pine-stinking cloth. She was the only other person in the café. Anyone else who had been in there was now outside with the rest of the flies. “Morning,” said the woman.
‘”Good morning,” said Elizabeth. “Could I have a black coffee, please?”
“Regular or large?”
“Regular is fine, thanks.”
The woman put down the cloth and set about preparing the coffee. She scanned Elizabeth up and down as she worked, analysing her over her shoulder as she liked to do with all her customers: ‘He’s a wrong ‘un; She’s all fur coat and no knickers; He’s a con man’s dream…’ that kind of thing; trapping strangers in clichés like butterflies under glass. Elizabeth didn’t realise she was being scrutinised. She was conveniently avoiding eye contact by fishing in her bag for her purse. “It’s all going on out there.” The woman threw the remark away like a used tissue.
“Yes, I suppose it is.” Elizabeth didn’t really want to talk but convention dictated she should interact, at least until her coffee was ready.
“You’re lucky, love. We had a queue six deep in here just now. You’d have been waiting ten minutes for me to serve you, if all that wasn’t going on.”
“I guess you could call it lucky,” said Elizabeth. “I’m not sure I would.”
The woman finished pouring the coffee and looked at her customer more squarely. There was something about her that she hadn’t quite managed to pin down. Not yet. She tested her a little. “You’re not one of those rubber-neckers, then?”
“Like that mob out there.” She stabbed her fat thumb in the direction of the platform. “Taking pictures now, are they?”
“Yes, they are. And no, I’m definitely not one of them.” Elizabeth looked directly into the woman’s eyes for the first time. They were pale blue and too piercing for Elizabeth to be able to penetrate behind them comfortably with her own, dark brown eyes. Her gaze turned downwards again as she pretended to count the coins in her purse.
The woman continued regardless. “It’s disgusting. I’ve seen too many of them, poor sods. Your last desperate act on God’s Earth and you’re surrounded by tossers taking selfies.” She punctuated the last word by putting the coffee down a little

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