The smell of freedom on the other side of the rails

Hovhannes Torosyan

Freshman English I


A preSmell

This imaginary story reflects my personal memories connected with school, friends and happy childhood. For me, the early years of school were the most amusing and bright time of my life, thank School. The friends I had at the time are my best friends today, thank Friends. I am a happy person now, thank Childhood. You know the smell if only you have smelled once. You feel the freedom if only you have been free once. I wish for all of you to smell the freedom once.




The days spent at secondary school were quite interesting and advantageous for a young and inquisitive person as I was. However, that particular day completely changed my understanding of happy childhood.
Me and my two close friends, Taron and Aram, were equipped with the explorers’ packages on shoulders, which were filled with nutty sandwiches of cheesy scent and ham savor, prepared by our mothers; in our magical packages we also had some mechanical instruments filched from our fathers’ garage collections. Taron, a strong and shapely boy, was carrying the heaviest package; it was his idea to take the instruments just in case. On the other hand, Aram, a lean and puny person, had couple of instruments and dozens of sandwiches on his back; he is fond of melted cheese. And I, having in mind the succelent image of ham sandwiches, had a plan to discover the freedom of nature; we were going to escape from the park’s train.he days spent at secondary school were quite interesting and advantageous for a young and inquisitive person as I was. However, that particular day completely changed my understanding of happy childhood.

The dusk was gradually coming up when we began to hotfoot towards the destination. The sidewalk of the street was free of any spirit; hence, I felt my feet like wings of a bat. Rarely a car passed away with a screaming noise of punctured exhaust; the only thing which sounded regularly was Taron’s magical package because of intruments’ overflow. We were hurrying to be in time for a special open-air truck which would carry us towards the train station located in the park, on the other side of the hill.  The building of our school became visible in the twilight of the street.

After passing by the school, which was lit with a single glow of the guardian’s room, we appeared in an area surrounded by trees and a nonworking fountain. A nice truck could be seen on the other side of the street moving towards us. It took two and a half minutes the truck to be beside us. There was a woman with her child sitting behind the steersman; the latter looked at us with a kind suspiciousness and invited on board. We started our trip which would have brought us to the dreamed train station. The fancy truck entered a tunnel, where only the enlightened exit was seen; it seemed like a bridge to the paradise. After getting out of the tunnel, we emerged in the park, particularly on a small square with colorful benches around. Taron, Aram and I got off the truck.

Now we had to get on the rattler train, which was going to depart the last time on that day. The square, full of benches, was followed by a long downwards stairway; we began to roll down the stairs with a laud rackety clinking of our packages on back. The surrounding reminded us the unseen paradise; tall and dense trees accompanied the stairs all the way long. We approached the bottom of the stairway, where the red rattler train appeared next to the still station. Aram was the first to rush towards the cashier desk to get a ticket; the tickets for the last train of a day were half-priced and colored purple instead of regular white. Taron and I got those tickets, too; the money saved on tickets’ price was spent on stick ice-creams for each of us.

The conducter of the train interrupted the bright delicious flavor of ice-creams; our train was going to start the trip to the other side of railroads. As soon as the ice-cream sticks were naked, we rushed over the platform to get the first on the train; the tinkling sound of packages echoed the empty platform. A screaming sound of the whistle followed and the red train slowly started to move.

The rails laid their way through a rocky canyon parallel to a flooding river. The train gradually gathered its maximum speed, which, in fact, was rather slow. It seemed that the train had submerged into the nature; the branches of tall trees were scratching the rotten roof with a disgusting noise, the grass was getting down under the power of motion of the train, the hum of crickets was getting louder and louder. A seldom rock cutten arches occurred making the trails shorter over the canyon. The smack of fresh air was so spectacular that none of us noticed that the train had stopped; it was the end of the rails. The conductor came into our wagon with a remainder that the train would move back to the station in five minutes. As soon as he left, Taron opened the lock of the wagon with one of the tens of instruments he had carried on his back, Aram and I took our vowel packages on shoulders and pushed ourselves towards the freedom – the nature.

The venturesome trio already was on the rails, when the train began his way back. We, admiring our genius plan, started to wander among dense bushes in the hope of getting to the river. Our stomachs had already took the way of rumble festivals, when, suddenly, the shore of the river appeared next to us. Finally, Taron, Aram and I got an opportunity to enjoy the natural flow of the canyon, hastily swallowing the ham sandwiches covered with the melted cheese, which had already been hardened.

The darkness had already spread around, when we finished our tiny feast. Taron, displeased with the heaviness of the instruments, decided not to pick them into his package; however, Aram, having in mind the value of our fathers’ collections, took both his and Taron’s instruments, placing all in his own package. Now we had to get back to the station, but some signs of panic could be seen on our tired faces; the plan of escaping from the train didn’t include such a point. We entered a forest, but still had to get to the end of rails and cover the 6-kilometer long way to the station without a train; we had already escaped from the last one of that day.

All of a sudden, the peaceful nature went away, while the dark and  fearing night came; the moonlight enlightened the canyon, the chilly and frosty wind replaced the fresh and quiet air. In spite of the lightness of his bag, Taron was mumbling about the situation we stuck at. Aram was whistling with a quiet and pensive expression on his face. We were moving slowly and weary through a dense forest of bushes which seemed endless. Taron and Aram donned the winter coats and gloves they had taken just in case. On the other hand, I was able to feel the insensibility of my paws because of the absence of gloves; a summer jacket was my only source of warmness.

However, the bleak nature transmitted us into the great power of its lightness. Each consecutive footstep was followed by a gentle whisper of sleeping grass. The tight bushes soothed our skin with their mild touches of limbs. The ceaseless buzz of surrounding crickets served as a meditation for our crusted minds. Our hearts got warmer and warmer along with the freezing bodies. The bright wave of kind emotions, liberated from our hearts, headed towards the libertarian wind over the canyon; simultaneously, our minds leaded the bodies to the end of the bushy forest. The boundless glow of exempt souls was unfortunate to cease; our minds got back to the cages of busy life as we approached the rails. There, a surprise was waiting for us; the rattler train was shining under the bright moonlight. The motorman turned out to be very headful; he noticed our escape during his last ride and decided to take us back to the station.

That particular evening definitely changed my understanding of childhood, freedom and nature. Sometimes people need to get outlawed in order to get freedom. The freedom of canyon’s nature worth to escape from a train. If I ever had the feeling of freedom, it was there, in the dark bushy forest, among the hum of the crickets, among the numb grass, among the coldness of that evening. Today I smell the freedom through the odor of melted cheese or the smack of a ham sandwich, through the sound of an accelerating train, through the burble of the streams over the canyon. The smell of the freedom is in the nature, on the other side of the adventure.


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