Your personal Christmas challenge from Lyon!!!

19 December 2010

Hello my dears

I have been away for five days to Germany and the Netherlands in my quest to find a new professional task. I am pleased to say I have been successful! I have been to Maastricht University who run a joint European PhD programme for nurses in co-operation with the University of Graz and the Charite in Berlin. After meeting me in person, the people in charge are still happy to accept me (hoorah) and now I just have to make the final decision. I think I am going ahead with this, but I still have to let everything that I have heard and learned over the past five days sink in to make sure that I am really, really ready to commit to such a big thing. I am very tempted though. I was lucky to be able to stay with our friends in Aachen, so no lonely nights in a hotel room for me. Instead, my lovely friend spoiled me rotten, especially in the evenings, when she would revive my weary mind with Glühwein and chocolates. These things can be so therapeutic 🙂
I took the train home today. The journey should have taken 5 1/2 hours, but I was eventually home after 7 1/2. This was due to the train breaking down once and then having to stop another two times due to the weather conditions. There were shiploads of snow in Germany: proper winter with slippery roads and snow drifts. Beautiful to look at but nasty for travelling. Anyway, just to get to the point of this post — you will by now be asking where this Xmas challenge is — during one of the lengthy stops in the middle of nowhere, inspiration struck, … and subsequently swiftly left me again. So during this spell of inspiration, I started writing a story. Then the train moved again and I had no idea what to write next. So this is your challenge:
Read the story and tell me what happens next, because I have NO IDEA and I want to know how it ends 🙂

Lucy already added the last sentence and now I am looking forward to reading some great creative writing.
Have a lovely 4th Advent, I am so pleased to be back in Lyon where it is warm, snow-free and sunny, and here comes the story…

The lights went out. Then the train slowed up until it came to a total standstill. All was quiet inside the carriage: Only few people were on board at this time of day. Outside the snow covered landscape was immersed in silence and although the sun was about to rise shyly from the East, as yet only a faint orange line illuminated the dark horizon.
Daisy stared out of the window. Warm and comfortable but slightly nervous about this sudden stop in the middle of nowhere, she wondered how the day would unfold. With the stopping of the train, the carriage became noisier. People started chatting excitedly with their travel companions, obviously sharing her concerns. Bits of conversation reached her. There were unconcerned tourists who travelled for pleasure….”it’s not so bad, we will only be an hour late… “, a grumpy old man who reckoned this would be a not be a short stop, but in fact all passengers would probably be herded into buses and driven to Paris. This would prolong the journey by at least 5 hours…. Daisy found herself somehow removed from what was going on: She was travelling alone and had two seats (thank goodness) to herself. She felt a mere spectator of the situation. A few minutes into this somewhat eerie halt in the middle of a snow covered wilderness somewhere between Belgium and France, the crew finally announced that the train had come to a halt due to a technical problem, which would hopefully be resolved within 30 minutes.
Daisy sighed. The people on board lent back in their seats, starting nestling with their belongings and the conversations died down. Suddenly the compartment was quiet again, the passengers felt assured and informed, now it was just a question of sitting this out.
Daisy started daydreaming. Somehow this situation of the train stopping mid-journey had spurred on her imagination. She almost felt a bit disappointed about knowing the reason for the halt and the expected time of delay, because somehow this could have turned into an exciting adventure.
Suddenly the doors opened with a clatter.

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