It’s Christmas Eve and head librarian Melissa Wright is travelling on the Shepherds Valley railway’s Santa Express, to reconcile with her on-and-off again ex Alex. However when she locks eyes with a handsome stranger on the platform, he threatens to throw her romantic plans off track. In the dining car Melissa and Daniel soon share stories over the traditional festive trimmings, but before her journey ends she has a choice to make. Does she embark on a brand new romance or give into nostalgia and try yet again with Alex?
A Sufi tale has it that there was once a metalworker who tinkered with locks and was unjustly put in the dungeons by the king. His wife came upon a brilliant plan to gift him a prayer rug with a pattern of the inner workings of the lock woven in which one day he saw in a flash after the fajr prayer. He cajoled the guard to provide him with some scrap metals and after months of procuring such tiny shards he would eventually fashion a key and with the help of the guard escape. He would be reunited with his loving wife and be lifelong friends with the guard in a classic fairy tale ending! He once shared this with Sarah. She was lying on the bed in a bathrobe having just blow-dried her hair and solving New Yorker crosswords. “That’s so silly!” He just didn’t know if she was so absorbed in trying to remember the capital of Eritrea or really thought of this sparkling tale as stupid. But a pang of anxiety clutched his arteries. We often tend to take umbrage and slide these daily idiosyncrasies straight under our emotional rug, but they stay with us forever. (Excerpt)