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Always at the Old Railroad
There we were walking down the old rusted railroad tracks, holding hands. I hold tight because I’m scared; him gently because he enjoys the pale softness of my hand.
It had been one of those aching, dark, gray days that pound rain off and on. It was evening. We were on our way to the small sweet shop that sold dark chocolate truffles and crème soda. The railroad tracks on solid earth had turned into railroad tracks on a bridge over a dying creek. Breaking our smiling silence he asked me,
“What would you do if a train came? Like right now?”
I paused for a moment, thinking.
“I don’t really know. What would you do?”
“I’d jump off the bridge,” he said.
“I’d jump off the bridge and feet first into the water.”
We both instinctively looked down through the space between the tracks and into the small creek below us. It’s more jagged rock than anything. The summer had been nothing but a drought until that day, the day we decide to go out.
“You’d die. Slowly too, bleeding to death if you didn’t cut open something vital. If I didn’t have any chance I guess I’d let the train hit me.”
He looked at me in horror.
“But why would you do that?”
“If I knew I was going to die I would pick a faster, easier death rather than something slow and painful. But honestly I think I’d do whatever you would do. Life wouldn’t be much without you. I’d hold onto you and follow you.”
Smiling he gave my hand a quick squeeze. My grip loosened. I was not so afraid anymore.
It was then that the devil had spoken, a random stranger from below. Maybe he was brought as a savior, but today in my eyes I know he was an evil demon.
The devil called out, “You might want to get a move on. The train comes in three minutes.”
He and I met eyes. Both were wide. Both of our grips tightened. Both of us went much faster, but I was still slower than him. He was true and went at my pace. I was slow because I was scared of falling.
It started raining. Hard. There was no hope in my eyes. The bridge didn’t end for another fifty feet.
“See that ledge over there?” he questions.
I squinted, trying to peer through the harsh weather that soaks us. I see it. It was the part of the bridge that supports it. It was out of the train’s way, but it was a good twenty feet away.
“Do you think we can make it?”
The trains whistle blows.
His reply is barely heard over the silver beast’s war cry.
“It’s our last chance.”
We went faster, faster, so much faster. I could see the ledge, our ledge, our means of life. We were practically running when I slipped. The track was too wet and I had gone too fast for my boots. Not only had I slipped but my foot had become wedged between the tracks.
I begged him to go, but he stayed with me.
He was there trying to get my foot out of my boot while hot tears silently streamed down my face.
Bright train lights shone on our wet faces, our lips making one last kiss.
CHUGGA, CHUGGA, CHUGGA, CHUGGA, CHOOO CHOOOOO!
It was all cold. I opened my eyes and stared back at him. He stared back at me in disbelief. Had we made it?
We stood up and saw what was left of us at our own feet; both of our bodies were covered in each other’s hot, red, sticky blood. We hadn’t made it. We were simply ghosts. We held each other as we watched them find and recover our bodies. It was obvious he had tried saving me.
You can always find us at the old rusted railroad tracks, holding hands until the train comes. I always slip a few feet away from the ledge. He always tries to save me, and we both always get hit.