Terror on the Tracks
Ray Lowery -
I was about to board the train bound southwest to Panama- a whole 7 days of traveling. The train station was oddly silent for morning, but then again, it was Halloween.
Wispy clouds dominated the blue - gray sky, and frigid air poured in through the open doors. I sighed. For a 24 year old fresh out of college, it was a miracle I had found a long lasting job.
Even if it was in Panama. Over the summer, I had gone to visit my few remaining relatives - my aunt and cousins in the north of Greenland.
A lonely toot from the train whistle echoed through the nearly deserted station. A couple and a young boy in heavy coats hurried by, clutching their luggage tightly.
This reminded me that the only train heading towards Greenland took off at eight o’ five. I wrapped my scarf tighter and started up the stairs.
I was starting to regret that the only clothing I had brought for cold weather was all warm weather clothing with the exception of the scarf.
Being a poor orphan who still had to pay off college debts; I didn't have very much money to get by, and much less for any new outfits.
My parents had passed away when I was only eight- so the only thing I inherited was the apartment- something that hadn’t been paid off yet.
As an orphan with no job, the landlady had booted me out onto the streets- and ever since, I survived by doing dodgy odd jobs- something that didn't help my reputation.
Chok-Chok-Chok-Chok-Chok-Chok-Chok-Chok- Eeeeeeecchhhh! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! A train slowed down, finally coming to a complete stop.
I watched the words as they flashed by on the electronic screens overhead.
(8:05 Train to Panama- 8:05 Train to Panama- 8:05 Train to Pa-) That was my train!
Shaking my sleepiness off bestowed upon me by the weather, I dashed along the platform just as the train was starting to move, my feet eating up the pavement.
The cab and I were head to head- and I was sure I was going to be left behind. I braced myself and flung my body onto the metal grate, barely making it before the train cleared the station.
Bang! My head made contact with the railing and I reeled back, slamming against the grate once more. I stumbled back to my feet and jiggled the door knob. It was locked.
Oh great- now I was stuck freezing outside of the train, liable to fall off when the train started going 50/mph.
It would take a full 2 days for the train to clear Greenland and reach Canada, and 3 more to reach Panama- and I was not going to last five days locked outside in the cold!
It was two more days, counting the stop at Canada- and the trip would have been longer if there hadn’t been an underwater train to Canada’s edge.
I was definitely going to be drowned if I didn't open this door…
As if by a miracle, the doorknob clicked and began turning. “Huh? What are you doing out here?” My savior was about 30, with blue hair reaching his shoulders and crystal clear blue eyes.
An obviously blue soldier’s uniform hung rather loosely on his shoulders, though I couldn’t fathom a single war going on in Greenland.
“Uh- I was just taking a breath of fresh air- y-yeah… I was!” I nodded my head quickly. His eyes narrowed in an unusual concern.
“You’ll catch a cold out here… and can I give you anything for your head?” I nodded my head, my vision spinning dizzily.
“I was going to take a fresh gulp of air too from the stuffy indoors… What happened to your head anyways?”
“I um… bumped my head on something…” I murmured, sounding much like an idiot.
“Don’t look so embarrassed! I get a lot of injuries myself- for probably more stupid reasons than yours… My name is José, how about you?
” I sucked in a breath of air, causing my throat to tingle with ice; as my eyes stung, my nose ran and I desperately wished to get inside, and away from him.
As innocent and as nice as he sounded, he probably would hate me immediately if he knew who I was. A troublemaker and orphan without a cent to his name.
‘Lowery’- a juvenile (as they used to call me) and town outcast. ‘Ray Lowery- some scum just sucking up resources,’ as one of my former high school teachers had ever-so-kindly put it.
“Um… Raymond Lawson…” I muttered.
“Could I call you ‘Ray’? Wait a second… not this- or this- or that- or those… Aha! Here’s some ice, Ray! You look fresh from college- what job do ya’ have?”
“D-delivery driver…” I held the ice to my forehead and went in to find a seat.
“Delivery way out in Panama? You better be paid well for that! What job would you rather? Oooh…! How about super secret spy!?
! You’d be overlooked and then- POW! You bash some heads and win! That would be kinda awesome right?!?
!” His childish voice was drowned out by the grinding of the train gears and the pounding in my head.
I’m just going to rest for a second, I think… I lowered myself onto the seat of the last cab and my head leaned back. Just for a little while…