The train rumbled down the track, and the moonlight barely illuminated the dark car. A girl, no more than seventeen, sat at the window. She clutched a bundle to her chest and stared out the train window.
A little boy, no more than eight, waddled around the otherwise empty train car. He hopped up onto leather seats and crawled under them. He looked up from his explorations and called again.
The girl, Jett, jumped a little and turned around, and the moonlight seeped through the window and bounced off her golden hair. “I’m sorry, Finn, did you say something?”
The boy’s dark skin nearly made him blend into the dark room, so he walked over and sat next to Jett. “Where are we going?”
The train bounced, and Jett held the bundle tighter to her chest. “I...I don’t know.”
“Oh. Okay,” Finn looked out the window. “What were you looking at?”
“Just the terrain, passing by,” Jett answered as she looked out of the window as well. “This really is a beautiful place...wherever we are.”
Jett sighed. “Yes, Finn?”
“Are we running away with the circus?”
Jett turned to the boy, surprise glinting in her blue eyes. “Why- I- Uh-...where would you get an idea like that?”
“I want to run away with the circus,” Finn looked up at the moon. “I like circuses.”
“You’d make a great clown,” Jett teased.
“I’m tired, Jett,” Finn mumbled as he rested his chin on the window pane.
“You can go to sleep if you want,” Jett offered.
“The train may stop soon.”
“The train hasn’t stopped for...well, a really long time,” Jett sighed. She shifted the bundle to one arm and used her free hand to tuck her golden locks behind her ear. “I think you’ll be fine.”
“Will you sing me Adria’s lullaby?”
“Awwww,” Finn groaned and pouted. “Why not?”
“I can’t sing it like my mom. You’ll hear it when we get back home.”
“And when will that be?”
“I don’t know!” Jett snapped. A cry came out from the bundle, and Jett instantly turned her attention to it, peeling back the blanket to reveal a baby’s face, weeping. “Oh, no, shush now. Go on, shhhhhh.”
“You made it cry, Jett!” Finn scolded.
“I did not. And don’t call her an it,” Jett whispered, gently bouncing the baby in her arms. “Shush, little girl.”
“You can’t just keep calling that thing a little girl,” Finn scoffed, staring down at the child. “It needs a name.”
“You’re right, she needs a name,” Jett corrected. “You got any good ones?”
“You can’t just go naming other people’s children, Jett.”
“I found this baby, I get to name it,” Jett said stubbornly. “I like Emily Jane.”
“Ew, no,” Finn’s face twisted with disgust.
“How about Diane?”
“You have a talent for picking bad names.”
Jett frowned, insulted. “You got any better ones?”
“We are not calling her Axel, Finn!”
“Why not? Your name is Jett.”
“Jett is a nickname, Finnegan,” Jett said. “I’ve just gotten used to using it.”
“How about Finn?”
“Your name is Finn.”
“Finn, you’ve lost naming privileges,” Jett hissed. “We’ll come up with a name later.”
Finn leaned over to look at the baby in Jett’s arms. “It’s asleep again.”
“Good. She doesn’t have to hear any more of your bad names.”
Finn tapped at the baby’s cheek. “Do you think its parents are looking for it?”
“What kind of parents would just leave their baby lying around on a train seat?” Jett scoffed.
Finn sighed, hopping off the seat and walking around again. “How much longer?”
“I thought you said you were tired!”
“More like bored.”
“It may be any second now-” before Jett could barely finish her sentence, the train screeched to a stop. Jett looked back out the window. “That’s weird. We’re not at a station.”
The door to their car slid open and Jett and Finn stepped outside, into the cool night air. Goosebumps ran up Jett’s arms, and she regretted wearing her favorite camouflage tank top. She hugged the baby close to her, walking around the general area where the train had stopped. “A daisy field,” she commented, shuffling through the flowers. “Why would the train stop here?”
“Maybe this was where we were going?” Finn asked, looking up at Jett.
“M-Maybe we should ask somebody,” Jett turned around and gasped. “T-That’s impossible!”
The train had disappeared. She had never heard it leave, and even if it had started to pull away, it couldn’t have been out of eyesight so quickly. Jett rushed to the edge of the train track, looking down both ways. Not a single light of an oncoming train in sight.
“Maybe it was a magic train?” Finn tried.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Finn,” Jett rolled her eyes. “Trains aren’t magical. They’re just...trains. We just have to...keep going down the train track! We’re bound to hit a station eventually! And then we can ask for directions!”
“And we can get back home!” Finn cheered.
“Right. Let’s go then,” Jett hopped up onto the train track, walking the metal like a tightrope. Finn hopped up behind her, holding his arms out to keep his balance.
And there they were. A pale teenager in a camouflage tank top and black boots, and white tutu and tights, holding a baby. A dark-skinned boy behind her, in a too-big suit jacket and jeans, a red tie wrapped around his forehead and bouncing off his shoulder as he walked.
“Do you think there are any weirdos out here?” Finn asked, looking out into the woods beyond the daisy field.
“But there may be,” Finn pointed out, wobbling on the train track. “Murderers, people who escaped the crazy house-”
“How about we don’t think of that?!” Jett interrupted. “Instead, let’s just think of something else.”
“I don’t know, anything,” Jett kept her blue eyes determinedly on the path ahead of her, admittedly a bit too nervous to look out into the woods. “Going down the train tracks, the train tracks, the train tracks,” she mindlessly sang.
“Going down the train tracks!” Finn joined in.
“In the spooky, chilly night,” Jett sang. “Going down the train tracks, regretting I didn’t change...out of these tights…”
“I’m wearing a tie, like a ninja!” Finn added, and Jett chuckled.
“Ninjas don’t wear ties around their heads, Finn,” Jett cut off their rhythm-less song.
“Have you ever met a ninja?”
“Then how would you know?”
Jett thought for a moment, then sighed. “Good point.”
“WAIT!” Jett jerked to a stop, and Finn nearly crashed into her back. “Look!” she pointed ahead of them. Just past some trees, she could spot some lights. “Civilization, hooray!”
“Hooray!” Finn cheered as well.
“Let’s go check it out,” Jett urged, stepping off the tracks and wading through the thick mass of daisies, towards the woods. “Maybe there will be some food.”
As if on cue, Finn’s stomach grumbled. He put his hands to his stomach. “Food…” he moaned, rushing after Jett, lifting his knees to press through the daisies. Jett hesitated before stepping into the shadows of the looming trees, holding the baby to her chest protectively and pushing branches out of their way. Finn ducked under them, trying to catch up as they pushed themselves into a clearing.
The light was coming from inside a small, quaint building, looking somewhat old fashioned. The children walked on a stone pathway up towards the door.
“Mama Mint’s Merchandise,” Jett read the swinging wooden sign. “Why would someone have a shop out here in the middle of nowhere?”
Finn just shrugged. Jett moved to open the door.
“Come on, Finn.”
“Alright,” Finn followed Jett into the store, a tiny bell ringing as they walked through the door.
“Hello, children!” a woman behind a desk waved, presumably Mama Mint. “I didn’t expect visitors to come so late.”
“We’re actually lost, and were hoping we could get some directions,” Jett walked up to the desk. “We were on a train, but for some reason we got dropped off in a daisy meadow-”
“Ooooh,” Mama Mint nodded with understanding, with eyes that sparkled with the knowledge of something that the children didn’t know. Finn and Jett looked at each other with uncertainty. “You two are Lost, huh?”
“Y-Yeah,” Jett cleared her throat. “That’s what I said.”
“Well, I’m very sorry but I’m afraid I can’t help you,” the woman said. “The train won’t be coming back. However, I could provide you with some food, and a place to stay tonight? At least, for a price.”
“I don’t have any money,” Jett looked down at Finn. “Perhaps we can work to pay it off?”
“Of course. But we can discuss the subject of payment more in the morning, you two must be exhausted. Follow me, there’s an extra room upstairs,” Mama Mint stepped out from behind the counter, ushering for the children to follow her.
“Thank you so much,” Jett breathed with relief as they walked upstairs.