We were playing a card game in Cab 1. So far, it sucked. I had somehow lost five times in a row, and by now, I thought that the deck was rigged in my sister’s favor.
“Get me a drink,” my sister, Tiffany, demanded, with an air of superiority. It had only been about an hour since we got onto the train, and she was already bossing me around.
“Do it before I steal your suitcase and throw it out the window.”
She always threatened me like this. It was really unfair, considering she was only two years older, but seemed to have all the power, all the things, and all of our parents’ love.
I glared at her.
“I told you to get me a drink!!!” She repeated, with a scowl that could have made anyone sensible run for their lives. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, having been related to her.
“What drink!?” I snapped.
“Water with . . . a tang of lemon. Oh, and add some fizz to it.” Tiffany shooed me away. “Go on!”
I slammed the cab door as I stomped off. Seriously! When would she learn manners? ‘Never,’ a little voice whispered in my head. ‘You’ll be stuck with *that* your entire life.
Soon enough, I found myself in the kitchen. A bit of red had leaked onto the linoleum tiles, but I ignored it, figuring it was just fruit juice, jam, or something.
I yanked open the fridge door, which boomeranged off the wall and nearly smacked me in the face. I pushed it away from me and looked for the jug of lemon water.
Lime water, Orange water, Strawberry water. I took note of each pitcher. No lemon. What was the difference between lemon and lime anyway? Weren’t limes just unripe lemons? No, they aren’t.
They’re a different fruit, another voice in my head reminded me.
I grabbed the jug and transferred it to the counter, shutting the fridge. I poured some into a fancy glass and decided to fill the rest with ginger ale or Sprite.
When I reached back into the fridge for the soda, I heard a bang as something exploded and something that felt like a nail lodged itself in my forehead.
I stumbled backward, clutching at my head. My skull felt scorching hot. I needed medical attention. And fast. I abandoned the drink and hurried to find some medicine.
I banged into the walls in an awkward gait, trying to find the storage car where we had been told the first aid kit was. I rounded the corner and found myself in another long hallway.
Seriously?! I turned back and ran the other way. The back car was jammed. Of course it is jammed; because life couldn’t make this any harder.
I fumbled around with the knob until it broke off and the door creaked open. In a mad search of the storage, I ripped open a box. Nothing… Empty. I growled, frustrated, and tore open a second.
Gloves. Why did I need gloves?! When I started to lose hope, I finally found the correct box. I wrapped my hands in the gloves and yanked the ‘nail’ out.
That was no freaking nail. It was a crawling, bloody, parasite. Half a parasite in fact. I took a knife out and severed the other half and pulled bandages around my head.
Why in the world would a parasite be in the food supply? I would understand if it was in meat, but obviously it was in a Sprite container.
As the thing writhed, finally ending its pathetic life on the metal floor, I wearily stood up. I should go tell Tiffany about it… but I knew I couldn’t go to her without a drink.
What was the chance that a second parasite would be in a second drink? Too much. The inner voice coached me again. I pried the door back open with intent to go get her a drink anyway.
Empty space and a whole yard of snow… someone had detached the back end of the train while I was still here! That was no accidental parasite! They had placed it there, I was sure.
I backed up, sprinted, and then sprang from the car and landed with a tumbling roll. A crack echoed in my ears for what seemed like an eternity.
My left leg had… broken… at least I still had the med kit.
Where was everybody else?! I forced my leg into an ugly position that hurt an awful lot and was probably totally wrong, but that would have to do for now.
I wobbled on my one good leg towards the kitchen to finish the drink. The bottle was shaky in my hands from my tilting vision. There. One drink. No second parasite.
I forced myself to walk back to Tiffany.
“What took you so long, you moron?!” She took one glance at me. “Whatever… you better have my drink and stop faking to try to gain sympathy.
” Gain sympathy?! Why doesn’t she have any sympathy?! My left leg was broken and she assumed that I’m trying to gain sympathy?
I would like it very much if she just looked at me for longer than two seconds!
“Now go and play with your ugly sacks of junk puppets since you obviously already lost the card game a sixth time.” She was looking at my cards. Ugh. I didn't even care at this point.
Not even that she insulted my works of art. I hobbled over to my sleeping quarters. Sleep. I just wanted to dream about a nice life for once.