Archive for the 'Series: Train Inhabitants' Category

Train Inhabitants: Note

Jan 25 2013 Published by under Series: Train Inhabitants

As much as I wish I could spend the time I need to do a good job on this series, I fear that, due to time and health constraints, I must postpone this series until after the “In-Between Alphabet” one has finished.

I don’t intend to abandon this series entirely, but it may take some time before I take this up again.  I apologize for the wait and hope you’ll stay tuned. 

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Train Inhabitants: #1

Nov 30 2012 Published by under Drabble,Series: Train Inhabitants

The cold metal curved familiarly underneath his fingers and within is life, a molecular mixture that sustains his next breath.  That’s what life is to him now, the next breath, that next moment as his lungs expand and contract.  Life used to be about far-flung epic dreams only limited by his feet and hands and mind.  But, slowly, as each year slithered by almost without notice, life shrunk bit by unnoticeable bit, closer and closer and closer, until one day he woke up with the realization that  his whole world  consisted of himself and his oxygen tank and nothing else.  It made him want to weep, to know that that brash loud young man so many years ago had been reduced by his own damn choices to this pathetic wrinkled crooked mess of an old man.

He shifted on the hard stone bench.  There were two other people waiting underneath the same shelter as him, a young woman and a middle-aged man.   The man stared off straight ahead, his briefcase next to his feet, his red tie slightly crooked, his attention directed somewhere inwards.   The young woman’s body curved around her phone, her bare knees poking out from underneath her black skirt, her eyes flicking left to right, left to right, enthralled by whatever that shining white screen displayed. He wanted to say something, to yell at them to pay attention to the world around them before they lost it, but the words that climbed up out of his throat were choked away around the plastic tubes snaking through his head.  Instead, he coughed, a  wet gurgle of sound. 

This was ridiculous. 

Taking a firm grasp on the tubes in front of his face, he pulled and gasped aloud at the feeling of them slithering out, taking with them the life-giving air.  It’s ok.  A few moments without compared to the lifetime of life he could give to the people around him would be worth it.  Finally, the tubes pulled free and he let go, letting them dangle freely in the night air. 

A clanging started clamouring around them, red lights blinking off to the right.  The train was coming.  He had to hurry or else he’d lose his chance, or else they’d disappear into the bowels of the train, sinking even deeper in their own inner world.  He shuffled first to the young woman.  She looked up at the presence hovering in front of her and smiled, "Hello."

He opened his mouth to speak the words that tumbled over each other to be let out first but her head turned away as the great rush of air swooped by them, "Oh, grandfather, do you need help getting on the train?"  She stood, swung her bag on her shoulder in one easy motion, and slipped one hand underneath his elbow.  "Do you have everything?"  His mind balked.  What?  He blinked down at the steady upward pressure of the woman’s hand underneath his arm, "Oh.  I – "  What was he doing again?  "Yes?"  Barely waiting for the answer, the young woman’s hand pressed him forward, "Hurry grandfather, the train will only stop for a short time."

The middle-aged man appeared at his side, "Here, let me help you."  "Thanks," the young woman replied, and there was another hand holding onto the old man’s other arm.  Together, they led him gently but firmly up the two stairs and through the waiting train doors.  "I – " the old man began, but the middle-aged man had already disappeared to find his own seat.  The young woman smiled again, her smile sweet but distracted, "Have a nice day, grandfather."  She left him planted on the nearest empty seat. 

He turned to look bewildered out the window.  The light of the streetlamps caressed the rounded sweep of metal of his oxygen tank, still sitting in front of the stone bench, the tubes swinging slightly in the breeze.  He gasped, his lungs clamping down in panic.  The rumbling under his feet grew as the train  pulled out of the station.  



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