by Elise Van Lil
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY - 2019, 06:07
A foggy morning. Chapel’s Wood is a small village, the kind
where everyone knows one another. The station can hardly be
called one. It consists of a vandalized sign hanging loosely
from a rusty pole and two metal benches on either side of
the railroad tracks. Two flights of slippery stairs lead up
to the platforms. They’re a hazard in winter, which it is
ANYA, a young woman with the world in her eyes, struggles up
the stairs. Her suitcase is heavy, much like her demeanor.
She takes off one of her gloves to get a better grip on the
suitcase. Once at the top, she lights a cigarette and looks
out at the tracks. She’s early, but impatient.
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY - 2000, 16:03
A train pulls in. ANYA, a 10-year old girl jumps off. She is
holding a tiny suitcase.
MOLLY, a woman in her thirties, runs after ANYA. Her gait is
slower than what you’d expect of a woman her age. ANYA stops
in her tracks and points at a dead swallow on the platform.
MOLLY catches up with her daughter. She bends down to ANYA’s
Are you scared?
ANYA shakes her head.
It’s okay if you are.
ANYA shakes her head again, trying to convince her mother.
Would you like us to bury the bird,
We’ll bury the bird.
MOLLY grabs a plastic bag from her handbag. She carefully
lifts the bird into the bag and ties it up.
Let’s go home.
The woman, the girl and the bird disappear down the stairs.
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY - 2019, 06:11
A woman in her sixties makes her way up the stairs. She is
wearing a thick, black coat. Her cheeks are round and red.
Bum a smoke?
ANYA hands her a cigarette and a lighter.
I shouldn’t really.
SAM lights up.
Neither should you.
SAM hands the lighter back. ANYA attempts a smile.
You from here?
Used to be.
EXT. GARDEN - DAY - 2000, 16:43
MOLLY and ANYA are standing in front of the bird’s grave.
It’s a humble mount of earth, decorated by a haphazard bunch
What happens now?
What do you mean? What will happen
I already answered that question.
MOLLY rubs ANYA’s hair and walks back inside. ANYA looks at
the grave. Then, the sky. It seems emptier now, somehow.
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY - 2019, 06:13
You back to visit then?
Something like that.
My parents live by the sea. I don’t
visit them often enough. Should
take advantage of it, really.
Of them still being with us, I
mean. Not the beach. Although, I do
like the seaside. Not as quiet as
it is here, you know?
Yeah. I know.
EXT. BEACH - DAY - 2015, 12:04
ANYA is walking along the pier with her girlfriend MAE. She
suddenly stops walking. A familiar face is staring at her
through the crowds. She looks at her own hand, holding
Nothing. Just thought I recognised
She fakes a smile and kisses MAE’s hand.
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY - 2019, 06:15
ANYA checks her phone. A message pops up.
How did it go?
At the station.
She puts her phone away.
EXT. BEACH - EVENING - 2015, 20:07
ANYA is smoking. Her phone goes off. She looks at the screen
It’s quiet on both sides. They know what’s coming next.
Your cousin called.
Don’t play dumb.
What do you want, mum?
Is it true?
Is what true?
He says he saw you.
If you’re asking me if I’m happy,
mum, then yes. It is true. I am.
It stays quiet for a long time. A seagull walks up to ANYA.
I hope you feel at home there.
Well. That’s settled then.
The line goes dead.
The seagull walks past. It looks angry, as seagulls often
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY - 2019, 06:17
Sorry if that seemed a bit -
morose. We had a funeral here
yesterday. You might have seen?
Lovely woman, school teacher.
Barely my age. Really makes you
think, you know.
ANYA stares at the tracks.
Mind you, lovely service. The whole
school turned up. Kids sang hymns.
Principal gave a speech.
ANYA puts her glove back on.
No family though. Lost her husband
ages ago. Real tragedy. Daughter
didn’t even show up. You’d think
they’d be close. You know, without
SAM finishes her cigarette. Throws the butt on the floor.
I know I shouldn’t, really.
Neither should I.
ANYA squashes it with her foot, then picks both cigarette
butts up and puts them in a small plastic bag.
You should visit again soon. Not
many people come back here. Place
is too small. We all start looking
forwards to the next funeral. Gives
us something to talk about, you
know? Not that we’d wish anything
bad on anyone. It’s just-
Nothing ever happens here.
Right. You understand.
A swallow lands on her suitcase. A wildflower in its beak.
ANYA looks at it in disbelief. The train screeches in. ANYA
looks back at her suitcase. The bird is gone, the wildflower
Have a safe journey. Come back
ANYA puts the flower in her jacket, close to her heart.
ANYA looks at the sky. A swallow flies by. She boards the train.