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Golden Train

by Jellotin


One night I had a dream. It was the sort of dream where you know it’s probably a dream, but you don’t ruin it by pinching yourself or anything. You just sort of go with it.

I was in my pajamas with no shoes in the middle of this endless meadow of white flowers on a beautiful clear day at a train station. Not a modern one, but an old western-like train station where you wait outside underneath an awning.

It looked liked it had been used a lot. The wooden platform had been worn down by the scuffing of shoes and the red and white paint of the awning grew dull with fading. However, I knew no one had been there in years. I don’t know how I knew this, but I did.

I don’t remember wanting to go into the field. I stood at the edge of the train station’s platform craning my head in effort to see how far the tracks went. Like the field, the tracks went on forever in a straight line. I wasn’t scared. It was a very comforting place, like a childhood hide-and-seek hotspot. Any time I questioned why I was there, I felt an invisible hand on my shoulder reassuring me that this was important. I don’t remember seeing it before it came to a screeching halt, but the train showed up.

The steam engine train was made of pure gold with black wheels and large iridescent windows. It looked sterling and perfect, as if it came straight from heaven. The doors pulled open and I walked in. Like the exterior, the interior was pristine, with gold railing and walls, and deep red velvet seats and carpet with gold threaded patterns. As I admired the train, I failed to notice the conductor until he pretended to cough, “Are you going to take your seat? Or are you just going to make us all wait, hmm?”

I spun around in surprise, “I’m so sorry, I’ve just never been on a train before and I was looking at how beautiful it all was and... There are no other people on the train.”

He looked at me with experienced eyes and considered my statement. He was a black man with strong arms and just a little on the husky side. He wore a blue uniform that clashed with the red interior. He seemed awfully out of place, but his face bore wisdom making him look like he was supposed to be here.

“Well,” he replied, “people don’t have to be on the train for you to make them wait.”

I was a little confused. “Is anyone at the next stop?”

“Nope. This is the only station.”

Now I was very confused. “But.. If no one’s waiting for the train are they waiting for me?”

“The world doesn’t revolve around you.”

I furrowed my brow. “This is a dream isn’t it?”

He stroked his beard. “In a sense.”

“Well, then I’m the most important person here because this is my dream!”

He gave a slight smile, like when a child answers a tough question with cute reasoning. “What makes you think this is your dream?”

“If it wasn’t my dream then how could I be here? How could I be having this conversation with you?”

“Perhaps someone else dreamt you up. Maybe that person’s mind shaped you from their experience? What if everything you think, know, feel, and are is all made up by someone’s subconscious imagination? And when the person wakes, would you cease to exist in just this form or completely vanish from ever existing?” I must have looked like a deer in headlights because he continued, “But that existence is not a melancholy one. You’re a thread in the fabric of that person’s mind, part of the whole. You make that person who he or she is, even if you’re just a small contribution. Without you, the fabric is not as it was created to be.” With that he patted my head and pointed to a seat as he left to take his own. “Now look what you’ve done, gone and made us all late.” Then he closed the golden door separating the box cars and the train started moving down the tracks.


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Tue May 21, 2013 4:38 am
DannieInkblotHanson wrote a review...



Oh sweet lord, it's like Inception and Polar Express had a baby. And I love it. Okay, here goes Dannie's epic rant.
Your imagery is stupendous. The way you described the station and the train was magnificent and gripping, your metaphors especially. Fantastic word choice on your part.
I do love where you are going with the weird surreal dream-sequence thing. It leaves you a ton of space to move when or if your character wakes up from this dream. Way smart.
Your POV character is also likable and even after this short bit I can already start to tell what kind of person you're creating.
I also like the conductor guy. Life points for adding a super-wise train-driving husky black man. Super awesome.
If you weren't thinking of continuing this, I implore you to change your mind. Your style of writing is unique and gorgeous, and I want to read more about this cooooooool train.




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Tue May 21, 2013 3:02 am
megsug wrote a review...



I leave for ten minutes, and you already have three reviews.
>.>
This must be amazing. Of course, you wrote it, so I should have already known that.

Hi Jelly,
You asked me to review your little story here... a long, long time ago.

So, I read your last paragraph and was about to go, "Ew. Why are you doing this? Everyone does this. You can do so much better," but then you made it awesome by actually answering the question he asked affirmatively which is cool and awesome and new to me.

But, the beginning where you're talking to the audience kinda irks me. It takes too many words to describe something in a way that's not effective. For me, the beginning is the first four paragraphs.

Not a modern one, but an old western-like train station where you wait outside underneath an awning.

The second person and the you is what bothers me the most, I think. Speaking to the reader isn't often effective, I don't think. It's often the easy way out. Rather, describe the awning and how it wasn't modern.

Any time I questioned why I was there, I felt an invisible hand on my shoulder reassuring me that this was important. I don’t remember seeing it before it came to a screeching halt, but the train showed up.

To me, these two sentences are far too passive for what they are. I think it's because they're so brief. I would love some description. Especially of the hand.

I'm going to be interrupted. I hope this helps. I will finish this tomorrow.
Megsug




megsug says...


So...
I know I told you I would give you the rest of the review, but I realized that I really didn't have much more help to offer. The rest is just compliments.



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Tue May 21, 2013 12:33 am
lovelysayshi wrote a review...



In your second paragraph However needs to be capitalized, and a comma needs to go after it because it is a conjunction. When you explained in two sentences how you knew nobody had been there in years the audience understood, you could have left off the last sentence, "I could just tell," that is merely extra information that is not needed.

"It was a very comforting place, like a childhood hide-and-seek hotspot." A simile! Yay! I love similes.

Ah, my three favorite words in a writing: "as if it," great use of those words in the fourth paragraph, they work wonders.

"It looked sterling and perfect, as if it came straight from heaven, but I doubt it did." oohh...you didn't need to add on "but I doubt it did." Yet again, extra information.

I love your use of imagery in the fourth paragraph...superb!

Okay, when another character begins to speak you have to start a new paragraph. For example:
"Hey, my name is Bob." (then another character speaks)
"Hey, I am Sarah."
Two different paragraphs for two different characters.

"He looked at me with experienced eyes and considered my statement. He was a black man with strong arms and just a little on the husky side. He wore a blue uniform that clashed with the red interior. He seemed awfully out of place, but his face bore wisdom making him look like he was supposed to be here." FANTASTIC PARAGRAPH. So much imagery and great vocabulary. Great job.

“Well” 'he replied,' After well there should have been a comma.

“Well if no one’s waiting for the train are they waiting for me?” another comma after well.

“The world doesn’t revolve around you.” HAHA. Great line, comedic relief is always great.

“Well then I’m the most important person here because this is my dream!” Comma after well. You sure do use well a lot, maybe you should use another word every now and then.

Okay, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this: He gave a slight smile, like when a child answers a tough question with cute reasoning. “What makes you think this is your dream?”

Wow. Fantastic last paragraph, a few grammar mistakes, but other than that it was fantastic.
Toodles. :)




Jellotin says...


This review was extremely helpful. c: Thank you.
I believe I've fixed the majority of the mistakes, but if there's anything I've forgotten please let me know.



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Mon May 20, 2013 11:11 pm
DragonGirl11 wrote a review...



Oh wow! I'm going to follow you now. This is one of my favourite short stories on YWS, maybe even ever. It's well thought out and original. Did it actually come to you in a dream? I loved the descriptions - I felt like I was there! The last paragraph, too. I don't know what you'd call it. Philosophical? Existential? Sure. Let's go with that. I love that kind of mind-wrenching stuff.

Now, this is a review, so I am obligated to point out that in the second paragraph you forgot to capitalize "However" at the beginning of a sentence.

Also, I have a suggestion about the first paragraph. It's just my opinion, and you don't have to change anything if you don't want to. It's your artwork. But, if it were up to me, I would delete the first sentence entirely, or at least the first part, so it starts with "The night before..." Then, I would put a paragraph break before "I was in my pajamas..." This would remove most of the link to the real world, so the whole story occurs within a dream. It would then leave the question at the end - does the character exist at all outside of the dream? Not knowing about this character outside of the dream, where (s)he knows it's a dream, then opens the question wider - what if our whole world is a dream? It's all that good kind of twisted thinking stuff.

Write on and God bless,
~DragonGirl11




Jellotin says...


Thank you so much! :D
I wish I could say I really had this dream. P:
That... is a wonderful point. 0-0 I will defiantly be making it more vague in the beginning. Thank you for that delightful suggestion.



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Mon May 20, 2013 11:06 pm
Dachmusen wrote a review...



Hello, I'm Dach and I'll be reviewing your work.

I'll get right to it then: good job overall, I enjoyed it. Oneirology is an interest of mine and seeing as this is a story about the nature of dreams, reality and the connection between the two I must say you present your message somewhat well. As a criticism though I feel it's to short and the story could've been stretched just a little more.

You never really convince me that it's a dream. The scene is quite idyllic and blissful, and I enjoyed the simple yet vivid language used to describe the scenario, but dreams are more than that. I don't claim to be an expert on the nature of dreams, but I feel you could've pushed for something more and told a really interesting short piece overall. What you have now, while simple and good in it's own way, lacks some sort of..."hook" or "captivating factor".

But besides that and a few minor grammatical errors, I enjoyed your work and look forward to reading more from you. Thank you for writing, friend.




Jellotin says...


Thank you so much for reviewing. It really means a lot to hear what the more experienced have to say. I do believe I will be expanding on this story, I'm glad to see it has potential.
Thank you. c:



izzyriffic says...


Its really good!n:




If you want something badly, you just gotta believe it's gonna work out.
— Andy, Parks & Rec