Someone screaming underwater

Posted: July 23, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in fifteen or over
Tags: , ,

[interview conducted with Toby Rayment, provided courtesy of Keith Tinney, Sydney Morning Herald]

I remember the sound she was making more than anything else, that’s what I remember.

I was standing on Platform 16 at Central Station waiting for my train home. On the platform opposite there was a group of people standing around one of the benches. There were so many people I couldn’t see what they were looking at.

Some people ran away with a purpose.

It reminded me of the time I saw a car accident, you know, how some people like to take on different roles in an emergency. There was a woman in a power suit and joggers calling someone, the ambulance I guess, on her mobile. Others just stood around and watched with their arms folded. There was a woman with her hands over her mouth and two little kids just stood there staring. People on my platform started asking each other what was going on.

Then I heard the moan.

It was definitely human, but a bit wet, like someone screaming underwater.

The crowd backed away and I think someone vomited off the platform. Through the gaps in the crowd I could see this woman sprawled on the bench. She was rigid and shaking violently and then…completely still.

I ran down the platform and didn’t look back.

Toby Rayment


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