“Mortier Station” Explained

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“Mortier Station” was born from stumbling across what looked like an abandoned train station near my friends’ house.

We went for a walk after eating too much, and our path, flanked by trees, was inexplicably and suddenly bordered by two stone platforms on either side. They seemed to have been there for so long that the man-made platforms blended into their natural surroundings, and were covered in blankets of bracken and wild flowers sprouting from the cracks.

Maybe my imagination is too overactive, but it reminded me of the nostalgic, whimsical feel of Studio Ghibli films.

The use of the wild daisy in my short story was used to represent the girls’ life: starting off as clean and pure, and gradually dying as the girls’ life went on.

The name “Mortier” came from the word “memoriter” (by heart; by memory) as well as the French “mort” (death). For me, Mortier Station represented something other than life; not heaven or hell or death, but rather, another place where time and consciousness paralleled ‘real’ life. The prelude was in reference to those who experienced time differently due to illness or similar.
The train conductor was originally a personification of death, but as he is the one who lets the girl off the train and gives her the flower- metaphorically giving her life, I prefer to think of him as a sort of guide to those who step into the ‘real’ world to begin their lives.

The romance between the girl and train conductor isn’t really a love story at all. I wanted to personify the ‘kiss of death’ that happens at the end of the story, and their growing friendship is the girl coming to terms with life and death.

The train is a senttient being, whether by magic or the girls’ imagination, even I’m not sure. 

The structure of the last line is loosely based off the last line of Emily Brontës’ Wuthering Heights: 

I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

Best wishes,

Jia

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