by John Yeo
We ran down the platform at top speed, the train had been sitting in the station for at least fifteen minutes.
“C’mon Betty! Keep up, we mustn’t miss the train, I’ve been waiting so long to get this interview over with. Means a lot to both of us.” Joe said, literally tugging her along.
“Alright Joe, I’m coming! Please don’t pull my sleeve like they. You will ruin my new coat, I bought it especially for this college interview. It will be great to go to the same Art college together.”
“Wait, please wait!” shouted Joe to the Guard who stood on the platform with a flag and his whistle, which he raised to his lips ready to set the train in motion. He smiled as the young couple dashed up and jumped into the nearest carriage.
“Phew, that was close!” Joe went on, as Betty collapsed in the nearest seat to the door. The train soon pulled away from the station into the leafy countryside speeding through the rural beauty of England on the way from their hometown of Ware to the city of London.
It was then that they took notice of the other two passengers in the carriage, an elderly gentleman with a smartly dressed young lady, both were politely smiling, as Joe and Betty settled back into their seats.
“Look at that wonderful view Joe,” said Betty. “Beautiful farms and country houses set in acres of rolling countryside.
Joe grunted in reply, as he put his head down studying his iPhone intently.
The closer they got to the city, the more derelict and decrepit the buildings looked as the large blocks of flats and terraced houses with washing lines on the balconies, became views of factories and industrial units. The buildings were covered in graffiti; an amazing variety of shapes and patterns and pictures that seemed to accentuate the general state of urban decay.
Betty was shocked at this change of scene. “Joe, that's disgraceful, look at that shocking rubbish and abandoned litter, piled around the buildings and the graffiti all over the walls!”
Joe looked up from his device and said, “Betty, I hate the rubbish and the piles of junk all over the place, but I think some of the graffiti is good and actually has the effect of brightening up the urban landscape.”
Betty then replied, “Joe that graffiti is mostly rubbish and has no meaning, just block initials and hearts and zigzags.”
There was a polite cough as the elderly gentleman in the opposite corner of the carriage broke in. “I beg to differ, young lady, the graffiti is an example not only of urban decay it reveals the underlying artistic decay of the population. This is an example of youth expressing themselves in the nearest they can get to pure art.”
Joe then looked closely at their traveling companion and gasped, “You are Sir Larry the television artist, who has made millions from art! We are off to college to be interviewed for our places.”
The young lady then smiled and said, “Sir Larry will be on the selection panel!”
Betty said, “I hope I haven’t put my foot in it by what I said.”
The gentleman smiled and said, “I am sure you will get a place, both of you, I am a prime example of Artistic Decay, I was a graffiti artist once a long time ago when I was young.”
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved