GraffitiTrain

Age rating: 13 and older
A young woman hiding from her past in the backwaters of northern Wisconsin is trapped in her worst nightmare as eerie personal messages are revealed to her in the graffiti of passing freight trains.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: GRAFFITI TRAIN – Synopsis

Fox Brenner is hiding in the woods. Ravenedge, Wisconsin is not the end of the earth, but it is in the vicinity and it provides a refuge from the past until strange things begin to happen. After a couple years of relative stability following her miscarriage and subsequent beating by a boyfriend, Fox is working at a small furniture shop and basically laying low. The boyfriend has threatened to kill her if he ever sees her again as he blames her behavior for the loss of ‘his son.” When the daily freight trains going through Ravenedge begin pulling box cars with sinister message aimed at Fox within the usual graffiti, she begins to panic. She turns first to Ada, a sympathetic crone, who runs the local ‘libray’ and then to George Letourell, a handsome and harmless would-be writer.

As the graffiti messages become more personal and more threatening, Fox becomes obsessed with finding out how, why, where, and most importantly who is responsible. She talks George into taking her into backwaters and forests of the flowage to see if rumors of a lost train yard inhabited by meth-heads could be the source of her torment. They embark on a ‘heart of darkness’ voyage and discover that this nightmare world does indeed exist.

The lost train yard reveals that Fox’s brother is the graffiti artist, but she also discovers that he is so far gone into the drugs that he doesn’t even know who has been hiring him to paint. We learn that Fox is really Emily Jacobson, so her brother could not have known who Fox was. From her brother she learns that the threatening boyfriend is in prison and could not be responsible either, so in her mind, that only leaves her father.

The relationship between Fox and her father is complicated. He is a successful lawyer in the Twin Cities, but has earned his fortune representing a Mexican drug cartel in the upper Midwest meth lands. Fox believes that her father was responsible for the death of her mother because she knew too much and drugs had destabilized her. Fox believes she is now in the same situation. Her presumption seems to be true when her dad kidnaps her when she returns to Ravenedge. Her father, however, has other motives and merely needs to talk to her and give her a warning; one which she cannot seem to absorb immediately.

In the final resolution, Fox is shocked to learn that George, her trusted friend (and now her lover) has been setting her up in order to provide scenarios for the book he has been writing all along. The climax of his betrayal is more than Fox’s fragile mental state can bear. Twists and a shocking surprise ending ensue.

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