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Train Wreck

There is a train station in a small town. No one knows where the train leads, but there are very few who care. If someone were to ask, the only answer they would receive would be ‘away from here,’ and for most people, that is enough. The station is filthy and run down, much like the rest of the town, but there are few who can afford to leave.
And so life goes on.

A girl sits on a train. Her eyes glow and her face is bright, but she cries. She weeps in joy, for she is to see her family again, in the town. They are meeting her at the station, and so she waits to arrive, to see her family, for the first time in two years. Or so she thinks.

Another girl waits with her family at the station. The town has been hit by the plague, and they are fleeing. This girl cries as well, into her father’s shirt, glad to be leaving the town that smells of death, happy for what lies ahead. Her parents cry for a different reason.

The train pulls into the station, and people crowd around it, waiting. The girls both stop crying. They put themselves together, ready to move on, towards happiness. The girls from the train steps off while carrying her luggage and searching for her family. The girl from the station moves toward the train, excitedly pulling her papa behind her.

But wait.

Her papa stops her. He is not coming. Only the little girl, their only daughter, is leaving. They cannot afford more than one train ticket. The girl who has just arrived cannot find her family. They promised to come, and yet she does not see then. They were killed by the plague. A messenger comes to tell her, but she has already realized the truth.

Both girls want to run. Both want to escape the station and their fates, but they cannot; the crowd is too thick. Stumbling, trying to flee, they crash into each other. For a moment, their eyes lock, and they see in each other a reflection of what they each are feeling. For a moment, these girls who will never know each other share their loneliness, their pain, and their eternal sorrow. They do not know each other’s stories, but they are the same, really. For a moment, they each have a friend who knows what they are going through, but then the crowd shoves them aside, forcing them to part.

And so a girl boards a train which will take her only farther from home, and her family, while another returns to an empty, silent house which smells, like the rest of the town, of death. Again their eyes are filled with tears, but this time, they are not tears that fill shining eyes about to have their dreams come true. This time, they are tears of woe. Tears of sadness and pain and the horror of losing everything you love, in an instant.





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