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I watch from above. It seems to go on forever and ever, disappearing like a whisper through the misty dawn. The main body twists around the hill’s side, her final car trailing behind. Silence ascends her throne, leaving me to my thoughts and the land's natural glory, spread out around me. As I look around a sense of loneliness bites at my heart, like the wheels of the train had bitten the rusty tracks. I’m nowhere, I can feel it; floating and falling, both at the same time. It’s the strangest feeling I’ve ever felt. Looking down, I see the beautiful world I had loved; the glittering lights of the city and the dark windows of the houses, scattering away from the city like diamonds decorating a lady’s dress. I could just barely make out a few of the carved pumpkins still glowing ominously from their porches. A sigh escapes my lips; it’s all part of my past now. I can still see the train, barely visible as it makes its way around another corner into the faint, watery light of dawn. The loneliness is eating me away again, prying bits and pieces from my soul as I struggle to hold myself together with my wings. Tears trickle past my eyelashes, but I won’t let them fall. Not now, not here.
Glancing directly below me, my eyes are caught by the endless vertical ladder, man made of wood and steel. Trembling, I notice the body sprawled to the side of the tracks, as if thrown there. Her face, uplifted to the sky is unrecognizable. The iron band around my chest loosens, and I can breathe again.
I drift down towards her with a strange tugging in my heart and in my throat, as though I had known her. Her arms are splayed out in unnatural directions and her legs are folded beneath her, as though she’d been praying on her knees. Her dress is as pale as the whitest lily and lies all around her like a cloud. Though torn at the hem, the fabric still shimmers in the faint light. A bouquet of roses lies exploded all around her, the crimson petals spinning to and fro in the gentle breeze. The newly risen sun shines bloody rays on her pale cheeks, and her fiery red hair lies strewn about her face.
I study her face as though memorizing to remember; she looks peaceful, though her limbs are bent and broken. Her eyes, a blue of faraway oceans, seem to plead for forgiveness that I am unable to render. Disobedient tears trickle down my cheeks and land on her pale pink lips. Her eyelids close and a small sigh escapes her chest. Weeping, I kneel down beside her, cradling her head in my arms. My tears fall into her flaming hair, strewn about her face. The ruby rose petals are harshly displayed against her skin and clash with the beauty that was her hair. A tender lock of it falls over her eyes and I gently tuck it behind her ear.
Who is she?
Another train whooshes by, the sudden wind stinging my face like a slap. Its side is nothing but a blur. I stare at it, mesmerized. The image of a toddler bumbling about her art desk dissolves from the side of the train, it’s roar completely deafening. A girl, a teenager really, sits at a piano. Her hair is reflected in the glassy paint as he body gently sways to a melody only she can hear. Her lips move, as though she’s singing. Images flash unstoppable before my eyes.
Finally the torture stops, and only a single moving image is reflected against the train’s blur; she walks with a sway in her hips, a slight smile playing on her lips as her eyes twinkle eerily in the shimmering moonlight. Her dress sways around her, the fabric rustling slightly as she walks. She turns around, her laugh slicing through the cold night air like a knife. It’s a dare, I can tell as she yells back and forth to her friends, just down the tracks. Their Halloween costumes are outlined beneath the spotlight of the streetlight, where the road crosses the tracks. A Goth faerie yells something unintelligible over the distance, as a vampire in black and red laughs loudly.
I want her to stop, but she is deaf to my screams.
The gravel crunches beneath her white boots, and her heels clunk loudly against the wooden boards of the railway tracks. She can hear the train coming now and veers off to the left. With a cry she stumbles, but her heel is caught in between a cracked board.
Wordlessly I watch her, knowing that no amount of screaming in the world can save her. I watch as she tries to pull her booted foot from the grasp of the railway tracks, my heart in my throat.
The steel snake clips her, sending her tumbling to the left of the tracks. She just lays there, and I wish with all my heart that I could trade my life to see her simply stand up, brush the dirt from her face and laugh that musical laugh of hers. She does not rise, but merely lays there, broken.
Realization rushes through me as the memories sink in. Memories of my own speed through my mind, taking no heed of time or setting or of who they were. Simply time, passed time. My hands are covering my face now, and sobs shake my whole body. The train leaves a deafening silence in its wake. Taking away one hand to stroke the silk fabric of my dress, I tuck a lock of my flaming hair behind my ear.