We are at Southern Cross Station and are going down the steps towards platforms 8 and 9, soon to board the 4:05 Mernda train. I am holding my daughters hand (I don’t have a daughter in real life). We are halfway down the stairs and the train goes past and we miss it. The next train is the 4:09.

We are walking on the railway tracks being lead by my grandmother. (both in real life are dead, and this lady isn’t either of them and I am not myself). We walk slowly along and I am worried about the 4:09 train running us over and suggest moving to the tracks next to the ones we are on but the 4:12 will be on those any minute too.

We continue walking and come across a section of the tracks twisted into a shape resembling a roller coaster. We are in the countryside now. It is sunny and the grass is green.

We get to a place where three men and a dog are arguing. We sit and hide behind a tree. When they eventually find us, I am ready. I have fought men before and am waiting to see what they make of us. The large one finds me, he creeps around my side of the tree first and pulls out a gun. They always tell you you have a crystal clear moment before death but I didn’t, I wasn’t ready to die, I didn’t have enough time to be ready. He smiles an insane smile and pulls the trigger. I flinch and am hit with a warm stream of water in my face. He laughs uproariously again and his companions do the same. They look at us and ask us why we’re here, my grandmother replies ‘why dyou think’. The blonde one says ‘tell them the Pharaoh still flows’ and quickly adds ‘I mean obviously tell them I’m dead, but tell them the Pharoah still flows.’ It’s silent for a moment and I watch as the bugs fly over our heads. A large green butterfly lands on a discarded piece of dark green cardboard, slightly darker than the butterfly. I silently mouth to my grandmother for the camera. The men are instantly suspicious and I say quietly so as not to disturb the butterfly, ‘when she stole a train she also stole a camera.’

She passes it to me but the movement disturbs the butterfly and it flies away.


© Neptune and Manisha Anjali