Train to Nowhere
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In 1967, while millions in China are unfairly persecuted because of their livelihood or heritage, others join the Cultural Revolution to pledge allegiance to a leader who is considered a legend to some and a tyrant to others. Mao’s revolution is sweeping across the country, leaving many competing to show their loyalty with actions that will leave scars for decades. Even more traumatic than the destruction of art, books, and historic architecture, families are torn apart as they struggle to find a way to survive the upheaval.
Ling, a sheltered and devoted daughter, is forced to join the feared Red Guards, a strategy concocted by her mother to ensure her protection. But for this scheme to work, Ling must hold her secrets close and trust no one. Her journey has only just begun when she is faced with a moment of truth that will impact the future she has unwillingly chosen on the Train to Nowhere.
Train to Nowhere is a novella (short story) of 17,000 words, approximately 50 pages.
that almost everyone was asleep. Even piled together like bags of rice, the other Red Guards had somehow adjusted to the lack of space and fresh air. Ling was jealous of their ability to deal with the confined conditions, and she hoped she’d be able to do the same after a few days on the train. She reached down and rubbed her legs, willing them to stop aching. Even if she could get up, there wasn’t anywhere to go. Finally, knowing she couldn’t sit another minute, Ling eased out of the seat and
we’ve got a long night ahead of us, so start talking.” Chapter Five Ling stretched her arms over her head and yawned. She’d probably made the biggest mistake of her life, and though part of her was terrified, she also felt good that she’d spent the last several hours listening to their stories and sharing her own with the people in the car. She hadn’t given her real name or told exactly what her parents did for their livelihood, but she’d told enough for them to know her becoming a Red
man’s face crumple, as he realized he was about to lose a day’s wages. She felt sickened, but relieved she no longer wore the same colors as those who clustered around him. Ling tucked the photo back in her pocket and climbed into the taxi. “I’m going,” she whispered, hoping that somehow her message would travel on the wings of the breeze and Sky could feel her keeping her promise. “I’m going home.” Acknowledgements Thank you to my friend and fellow author, Brian Spangler, for his
mother to ensure her protection. But for this scheme to work, Ling must hold her secrets close and trust no one. Her journey has only just begun when she is faced with a moment of truth that will impact the future she has unwillingly chosen on the Train to Nowhere. “An army that cannot yield will be defeated. A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The hard and stiff will be broken; the soft and supple will prevail.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching Chapter One Shanghai, 1967.
treated us with root vegetables and bread rolls.” Ling grimaced. The last meal didn’t sound too enticing to her. Sky saw her expression and chuckled. “They called the dish The Peasant Family is Happy. It’s another way for us to share the suffering of the people.” Ling supposed the stories she had been hearing at the dinner table were true. Next, they’d be getting rice with sand to recall past suffering, as her father said the professors were forced to eat in the school lunchrooms. All around