Tag Archives: trains

Time Between Trains

11 Sep

I wrote this during the 30 day challenge that I started, and well….started. Good times. Anyway, I was never particularly happy with this so I didn’t post it, but I’ve changed it a little and mostly just hate it less now, although it doesn’t have an ending. Not even close. Ah well, here goes.

Oh, and if you’re interested, it fulfills both day three and (somewhat ambiguously) six.

—-

He glanced at his watch impatiently, and tapped his hand on the handle of the truck. He ran to the train without saying goodbye to the man who drove him to the station (was his name Andy? Or Adam?), running as fast as his suit would let him.

A boy and his dog watched from across the tracks, beneath a sad little tree; one urged the man in suit on, the other hoped he missed it. It was unclear which was which as neither creature made a sound.

He ran past the platform then slowed to a walk, holding his small briefcase with one hand, and his hat with the other. Needless to say, he missed his train.

A beat later he turned back, huffing and puffing and angry with himself for not leaving the house earlier, for being seduced by one more slice of pie. It happened whenever he worked out in the country, collecting money from those that had none to spare. They hated him, he knew they hated him, but still they offered coffee and pie. Out here a guest was afforded certain courtesies, no matter how repugnant they happened to be. It mattered little that he could take away everything they were supposed to own, so they offered the coffee and the pie.

He could feel the dust the train left behind landing on his neck, millions of tiny particles settling in the streams of sweat trickling down his back. He wiped his brow and wondered if anyone would see a smear across his forehead. He already stood out in his suit and fedora, so a smudge maybe wasn’t so important.

He needed a drink, though he knew there was nothing nearby save the white and blue station that sat stubbornly along the dirt road halfway between two towns that were barely there.

He settled for a Coca-cola.

The station agent knew him and his business, but pretended otherwise, no matter how frequent his visits. It was on behalf of those that offered him the coffee and pie, though honestly, the agent showed no one any favor.

“Next train’s in two hours. Well, if you’re lucky.”

“Fine. That’s fine.”

“It’ll have to be.”

“Right. Of course.”

The Coca-cola made everything seem warmer, and he abandoned it after only two sips. He sighed as he sat on a bench, again outside, and again in view of the boy and his dog. He didn’t remember seeing them earlier, and wondered if they had seen him hopelessly running after the train.

He nodded at them and smiled, but was greeted with nothing but the blank stares of, at best, indifferent strangers. He looked away.

He wanted to throttle the people who had said, upon hearing he traveled frequently to the country, how charming everything was. These people were idiots.  He didn’t honestly believe that the people who lived out here liked it, and he certainly did not. Two hours between trains? Where’s the sense in that?

The country was only charming when on a postcard.

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