Again (Part Two) #13
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
At 3:15 am the Lakeshore Limited slid past Youngstown, Ohio towards Lake Erie through the mush of snow,ice, and mud with a mournful wail that echoed through the trees and otherwise silent roads alongside the railroad tracks. My brown wool pea coat covered my face, neck and chest while I attempted to sleep in my seat and the empty coach seat beside me in a semi-crouched position. I could hear snoring and sleepy gasps for air in the darkened coach car. The train shook my coat off my face and I opened my eyes to adjust myself to a more comfortable position over my purse-turned-pillow.
A pale face hovered near my face. I froze, not knowing if I was dreaming. I felt its warm breath bloom over my skin like a foul-smelling burst of steam. I sat up and jerked my coat down, freeing my hands and arms. A tall, tall figure resembling a human with marble-like skin, a paper-like shroud, and almond-shaped eyes leaned over me, watching me as I stared back in shock. When I opened my mouth to shout at it, I felt the sound gurgle and stammer into wheezing coughs. It was not alone. It seemed that the entire car was filled with these strange people with almond eyes and tissue paper clothes. My body struggled against invisible restraints that only tightened with every attempt to move.
The coach car began to fill with light as it quaked with a ferocity that seemed to indicate an impending derailment. I felt myself being lifted from my seat and pushed into the light, noticing other frozen people being transported. I felt the heat of the exploding car below me as I was lifted towards a large ship with pink, yellow, blue, and red lights. I drifted into a dreamless sleep with a realization of my efforts to escape and not be found again.
They didn’t need the tracking bot to find me anymore.