Adam's Train

March 16, 2008
By Karin Zander, Palo Alto, CA

Adam turned around quickly, startled by the distant sound of a closing door. Or had he imagined it? Looking around, he saw nothing different and continued to work feverishly on his laptop. The clicklity-clack sound of his keyboard echoed throughout the entire room; the sounds bounced off the other desks and classroom equipment with a startling disturbance to the quiet peace that nighttime is expected to contain. There was only one light on in the entire room and it’s rays of light shined down on Adam’s head, as if their power could push him down by force. Thinking back to a year ago, the light and the noises he made would have instilled him with guilt, but not anymore. Now it didn’t matter how much noise he made or how much sleep he disturbed. This realization made Adam all the more determined to finish. He was working on a video, one that was purposely made to shock his parents and bring tears to the eyes of every sorry person who had ever been considered his “friend.” He looked down at his computer and noticed –with a certain amount of un-emotional interest– that his laptop was molded to the top of his thighs. But no time to worry about that now, he needed to concentrate if he was ever going to finish before morning. Even as Adam concluded this thought, he knew that a timely finish wouldn’t be a problem; every time he looked out the lonely basement window, it was still in a state of perpetual darkness.

After approximately fifteen more minutes of hard work –including many mutters to himself– he leaned back, stretched his arms and congratulated himself on a job well done. Truth be told, there was a slight, somewhat insane, smile of glee on his face as he hit the ‘play’ button.

The movie showed Adam walking onto the train tracks at about 3:30 AM, about the time it was now, actually. The sky was dark, and the trees were even darker against that –a slight wind rustled their leaves and a gentle snowfall laid heavy on their branches. Out of the darkness came a train, its light blazing a hundred yards ahead and the horrible sound of the whistle announcing it’s arrival. Adam smiled into the camera and turned to face the oncoming train with his hands up in the air –the sign of victory and conquest. It didn’t hurt when the train hit him, it actually felt relieving. His body lay massacred on the snowy ground, blood seeping out in every direction. A ways down the tracks, the conductor was frantically phoning the local police, no longer attending to the needs of the train. But Adam didn’t have any part in all of this, he was gone, as was the weight of living.

Back at the computer, Adam grinned with satisfaction. This would show them. Never again would they laugh at his pleas for help –now they’d have to take him seriously. No more talking behind his back about a mad desire for attention. Hah! He’d show them. So pleased with his work, Adam opted to watch it again, maybe there were places that could be stronger, more dramatic. Suddenly, a yawn escaped Adam’s lips, he hadn’t realized how tired he was getting. Yet he ignored his new found exhaustion and pressed the ‘play’ button one more time. He again saw himself on the screen, walking toward the tracks. But something was different this time, the miniature picture of Adam on the screen looked different. He looked scared. Adam moved closer to the computer screen with immediate confusion; why would he be scared? He knew there was nothing to be scared of, nothing could be worse than this, this hell he’d been living. The computer Adam continued to look nervous, and occasionally turned back to face the camera with an expression of fright, displaying a timid posture.

Then came the blaring noise and blinding headlights, but when the train hit Adam, he felt pain, not the expected relief.

Stunned, Adam sat back in his chair and gazed off into the distant darkness of the room. It was several minutes before he could bring his attention back to his video and try to fix what had happened. What could have gone wrong? the video worked fine a minute ago. Adam looked blotchy and panicked as he tried to repair the clip by repeatedly hitting ‘undo,’ ‘undo.’ This wasn’t what he had wanted; he wasn’t scared of dying.

Adam continued to try and fix what he’d done for several more minutes, but he couldn’t. He kept pressing ‘undo,’ ‘undo,’ hoping against hope that it’d go back to the way it was, the way he wanted it. But it wouldn’t go back, and it would never go back.

Adam fought to stay alive, screaming that he had never wanted to die. But it was too late: the light clicked off for him, and he dropped into darkness.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Dec. 19 2010 at 6:17 pm
HerMajesty BRONZE, Louisa, Kentucky
3 articles 3 photos 7 comments
Is this supposed to be futuristic? I really like the style, but its very confusing. But overall the writing is fantastic. :D

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