Night Train


Glass microscope-slide windows on a bush-rail night-train smeared firefly-glow cave paint against tunnel walls. Mine-shaft drilled wormholes ventilated windy canyons.  A beautiful young blonde stared out her private compartment window into an ocean-dark night.  Overhead lights scraped Yellow-tinged reflections against the window. Her thoughts melted into a hypnotic daydream. Her innocence had escaped a heartless city that was now being devoured by a phantom fog. Catching her reflection, she brushed aside a loose strand of hair, not noticing the train being chased.

Insect-winged flight cages -a failed military design- swarmed behind, tracing a holding pattern above the rail-slithering diesel burner. Twisting demons rush with storm cloud force, exerting mindless, heart-crushing weight upon individual carriages. Sitting in other railcar compartments, wax museum figures -some deformed by flame- peered into fire-lit water basins. The young blonde unpacked her suitcase for sleeping attire.

Further ahead, pedestrians piled on top of each other as gravity upended the train depot platform, folding it over onto itself, over and over again. Departures were canceled. Detached faces from the train’s passenger windows witnessed bared-knuckle conversations as the widower engineer screamed the diesel non-stop past the depot, washing it in oily exhaust.

There would be no more climbing ladders for the single librarian. She wouldn’t have to arch her back reaching for an out of print volume of the Kama Sutra while scuffed ladder rungs looked up her skirt. She now climbed the bunk ladder for sleep. Marionette strings attached to fondling Incubus fingertips danced along her taught thighs. Her satin panties meant for someone else, the winner of a race after a prosthetic rabbit on a rail. Her seduction had become tiresome, self manipulative.

Rocky heights, steep canyons, jagged edges. Steep falls. The night train whistle blew. Undressed for sleep, the blonde pulled the curtain sealing her in an oblivious charnel house. She no longer had a destination to arrive at.


5 thoughts on “Night Train

  1. I must have read this five times. There is something hypnotic about it. Especially the first paragraph. However, here are a couple of things that spoiled it for me. You tell us, the readers, that she is lovely, and blonde, not once but twice. Is the fact that she is lovely very much to do with anything? You also tell us that she is lonely; could we not have figured this out for ourselves? Show don’t tell is known to you i am sure, but here you have forgotten it.
    I have read a lot of your material now, and I have an idea what you are aiming at, but I think I have to say that you must watch out for consistency of ‘voice’; you have a tendency now and again to step out of the original voice and then step back into it. (Like a jazzman riffing and then coming back to mundane pop melody. For example the sentence tell ing us that satin panty tease is …. loses the voice entirely. I think this mitigates against your aims of being experimental as it usually brings the piece down, as one hears a genre voice there. Keep it tight is always good advice. For example leaving out the young blonde lonely keeps it more in touch with your Joycean style aims.
    Bit critical. Must be a post- hypnotic trauma.

    1. Thanks for the read and comments Fred. I like the comparison of the water basins to computer tablets. It’s a good sign if the reader can draw relevance from a piece of writing. But then, you are no ordinary reader…. Thanks man.

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