a taste of ‘Toy Train’

from the flash novella Toy Train by Nod Ghosh, published September / October 2021


ISBN (paperback)  978-1-922427-49-6

ISBN (eBook)  978-1-922427-56-4

to purchase the paperback, click here

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A boy named Peter arrived on the three-forty-five from London Saint Pancras. Sally didn’t know him then, knew nothing of what he would become. from Toy Train

His father took him to school near the big park and then drove to a point far into the future, somewhere he wouldn’t return from until after Peter had the tongue torn out of his mouth for the shape of his accent. from War Comics

Tick-tock telling-off, the scuffle of angry heels on stone floors, backslap rulers and blame-ridden fingers. from The Wasp

Peter learned to light a match before he could cut his own sandwiches. from Red Fire

She collapsed into the ground and closed her eyes. Peter touched her flesh, and wondered where Sally really was. from Making Bombs

Faced with contradictions that would have floored a lesser man, Peter made his own rules . . . from Universe

… it wasn’t his fault. Not really. No man deserved to be punished for acts committed half a lifetime ago. from Escalation

It wasn’t that Sally felt dirty. It was more that the invaded parts of her body weren’t as clean as they used to be. from The Finger and the Knife

… he found tumours with names that held terror in their syllables from Tumours

But it isn’t her I want, just someone who won’t cry out or fight me off.
 I want someone I can have. from Asking Why

She didn’t need apologies anymore; he didn’t have that over her. from A Chance to Move On

Peter’s accidental touches had met with no response, because at first, just a kid, Sally wasn’t sure what they meant. from Reclaiming

The unborn child’s father was rather fond of little girls, but not in a good way. from Seventeen Weeks

I can change anything … I once changed a girl who wore a blue cotton dress into something she didn’t want to be. from Petrification

She was unlucky because she didn’t realise until much later that she could have said no. from Chance and Temptation

Peter always chose the colour red. Sally was blue. Blue was a much slower colour than red.
 from Toys for Boys

… a boy called Peter had asked to see what was inside her, and she’d let him. from How the Finger Made the First Cut

Sally hadn’t known what Peter had done was wrong, because she couldn’t find the words to define the rightness or wrongness of his actions. from Tortoise

He remembered how Sally would run away from him, her blue dress blowing around her legs, her little-girl screams piercing the air. from Poppa

… she remembered Peter, a boy in a red sweater. How his hands were always damp, how he had touched her where he shouldn’t. from Operation

Had that woman really accused him by name? Why had Sally chosen to speak after so many years? from The Playground Near the Railway

“Does it hurt?” Hank asked.
 “Not how you might think,” Sally said. “It hurts, but it’s not physical pain.”
 from Her Story

“Neither of us believes in gods and ghosts or pacts with the devil,” Sally said. “And?” “This is in lieu of haunting you.”
 from Imprinting

… she couldn’t blame anyone else. It was her fault. She’d hidden what Peter had done for fear of being found guilty herself. from White Noise

… no one could know what happened between him and Sally apart from Peter himself. And Sally. from Exoneration

But then sense got the better of her, and she shook Peter off, as if she was shaking away a moth that had settled on the flame of her body. from Silent Laughter

He remembered his mother, his father, those of his patients who had become ash and dust, despite his efforts to save them. from Nine Butterflies

Peter can’t eat a thing. If he does, it will coagulate against the lining of his throat, and he’ll never be able to breathe again. from Cold Sausages at a Funeral

They like to put their fingers in forbidden places. from Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

What was it Sally had said? 
It’s possible to become a good person, even if someone has done things they shouldn’t have.
 from Train of Thought



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