Flash Fiction – The Train


The people walk in grim silence. Their clothes are plain and their faces hold no expression. They walk in formation: quick steps, arms close to the body, heads down. All of them are older; they never allowed the children to stay. The children would only return once they too were broken.

The town is gray; both the houses and the people. The only noise comes from the wind blowing through the streets and the footsteps of the people. Work is letting out. It is time to leave the factories and return home. Not to their loved ones, but strangers. Alliances of any kind are not allowed in the town. Family and friends can only connect underground. Being caught making such connections meant death. Instant death.

A patrol car drives through town. The people walk quicker, make themselves smaller. The warden inside the car scans them carefully. Anyone different will be taken into custody. However, the warden sees nothing wrong and drives on to the next town. The people sigh in relief.

The last of the factory workers are being let out. They cross the train tracks running through town. The lights come on, the barriers go down. They stop and wait for the train. Such a noisy thing, it is. In a town such as this, the train is deafening. Some people cover their ears.

Just as the train approaches, a woman jumps on the track. “This is not a life!” she yells. The train conductor makes no effort to stop for her. Her blood stains the area with a bright burst of red. The warden will not be happy about the bright color. Someone innocent will answer for it.

The train fades into the distance and the people scurry home. It’s just another day.



Let the music carry us away

There’s a girl floating in a back-country creek
In an old patched inter-tube bleached by the sun
Just a lazy Sunday to relax and enjoy
She looks up as the clouds pass by
Such beauty in such a simple thing
Who doesn’t look at the sky and feel joy?
Whether it be clear skies of blue or the excitement of a storm
Or the vast dark skies filled with twinkling lights of distant lands

In the summertime, when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky”

Music drifts to her ears from a worn radio
She hums along to an old song her mother used to sing
Just a sweet little melody about the summertime
The girl enjoys the sun now and soaks it in
Her skin darkens as sweat rolls off into the cool water below
The sun makes rainbows in the water, reflecting enchanting beauty
Little minnows dart back and forth, going about their day
The girl allows herself to drift further downstream
The music grows fainter now

We love everybody but we do what we please
When the weather’s fine
We go fishing or go swimmin’ in the sea”

Laughter is carried on the wind from a group of men fishing
The girl closes her eyes and allows luck to guide her past their lines
She’s drifted farther than she ever has before
The breeze is picking up, blowing cold against her skin
The trees rustle and she enjoys the music of nature
Water rushing, wind blowing, birds chittering gossip
The trees clack together from the fierce wind

When the weather’s fine
You got women you got women on your mind”

The breeze has grown freezing cold
The girl shivers as she drifts down the creek
The cold hands reach out and claw at her, tearing her flesh
The tube deflates and she’s pulled under the water
She can’t breath, she’s gasping for air
She can’t hear anything but her own struggle to reach the surface
Her lungs burn and her skin sear as the fish slice at her skin

We’re always happy
Life’s for livin’ yeah, that’s our philosophy”

There’s yelling now, telling the girl what to do
The radio in the corner plays on, the singer chipper and relaxed
The girl turns over on the bed, begging for it to be over
She smells blood and sweat, then the breath of her abuser
He’s on her again, digging his nails into her skin
He brutalizes her until he’s satisfied and leaves her to her tears
She reaches under her bed for help
The white powder will make all her pain go away
One good sniff and she’s drifting down the creek again, humming along to the radio

Sing along with us
Dee dee dee-dee dee
Dah dah dah-dah dah
Yeah we’re hap-happy”

The song, for anyone who doesn’t know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvUQcnfwUUM