Cradles the Brain: A Book of Short Tales

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Ghost Train

Thundering. Ringing. Screaming.

The train approached at full speed. The light at the face of the train illuminated her body standing on the tracks. The ground below her shook. The train screamed again, bearing unimaginable power under its wheels.

She stared down the front of the train. The light contracted her pupils and lit up her irises. She bared her teeth as the train steadily approached her. Smoke billowed from the engine car, contrasted against the full moon’s light. She clenched her fists at her sides and screamed. The train kept coming and the roaring got louder. The rumble under her feet grew more powerful as the wheels continued to spin and grind against the tracks. The train lurched forward, increasing in speed. She broke her scream for a breath and continued, straining her neck muscles. She stretched her arms outward, ready for an embrace. The train approached still, steadily increasing speed. The beam of light grew larger. The vibrations below her became those of a temblor, jabbing into her body. The rumble filled her ears and shook her head. She smiled with wild eyes. The train came at her. She smelled the smoke. She watched as the light came at her, engulfing her in purifying white.

She sighed with relief and outstretched her arms wider. Her head tilted back, viewing the sky. The train gave its final warning cry as it came near her. She howled at the moon, bright above her.

She looked back to the light as it ate her.

The train passed through her. Wind caressed her tense skin. Expecting an impact, she panicked. The light was gone. She spun around to see nothing further down the track. Back to her original position, she saw nothing in front of her. Her wide eyes filled with tears and she plopped onto the gravel below her. She wept into her hands until she heard a train whistle again.

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