Train ride home

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The college student tapped their foot against the cold concrete. It has been a long day and now they had to take a long train ride back home. It was nearing the end of semester 1 and they had a lot of work to do. It was flurrying out and the white snow flakes began to collect on their head. There was a loud screech coming from the tunnel, the train was coming. They pulled their laptop case closer to their body and waited for the train to halt. They felt the odd sensation of falling when the train stopped in front of them but they ignored it and boarded the train.

The ride to their parents house wasn’t that long, 20 maybe 30 minutes. But it was enough time for them to work on a paper that is due on Tuesday. They sat on one seats by the window, and an old lady sat down next to them. She smiled at them and looked away, realizing they did not want to converse. They pulled their laptop out of the case and began to type away about  Mayan medicine. The college student was really interested in the Mayan history, they were so violent but yet so ahead for their time. Not a lot of people took the college course on Mayan history making the class a little bit more intimate, which is always better for the student. They would look up every so often to look out the window, most of the time they would see their reflection because the train was under ground. Their glasses rested on the bridge of their nose, they would push it up and go back to work.

The voice over the intercom would go off every 5 minutes, stopping at each stop. People would get off but no one would ever get on. The numbers of the train dwindled till it was just the college student and a man in his late 30s. The train came to a screeching halt as it came to the college student’s stop. They put their computer back into the case and stood up holding onto the bar for support so they wouldn’t go flying when the train pulled up. The doors swung open and the two people walked out of the train. But no one boarded, which puzzled the college student but they brushed it off and walked out of the train station.

The snow was picking up and the breeze bite at their nose as they walked to their parents house. They had to live with their parents because at the moment they couldn’t afford an apartment. The snow had piled up on the sides of the street and spilled onto the poorly shoveled side walk. Their house wasn’t that far from the train station. They remember when they were kids them and their friends would say they were hanging in town but sneak onto the train and spend the day in the city. Their parents found out a couple times, they were always furious.

They reached their street and noticed a police car parked in their drive way. Naturally they were worried and curious so they began to jog to get to their house. The door was open so they walked in.

“Mom?” they called into the hallways. “Dad?”

Nothing. They walked into the kitchen and saw their parents sitting at the table with a police man. Their father had his arm around their mothers shoulders and she was crying into his chest. His father had a solemn look on his face. They had never seen his father look like that before. The police man was talking softly to the college students parents. His mother gave a deep sob and began to wail.

“Mom…” the college student said, placing their hand on her shoulder.

“He can’t be dead!” she wailed.

“Ma’am I’m sorry to say your son was in the train station when the train lost control before stopping. I am so sorry for your loss.”

“He can’t be dead, he’s just a baby, he just graduated high school,” she wailed again.

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Day 86, year 1

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Day 86, year 1

Celia and I have found an okay hiding place for now. I’m not going to say where in fear they might find this. But we’re safe for now. It quiet and we cannot see the burning city which is a nice change. But the quietness is getting to me. I cannot sleep, but that’s not new. Celia’s leg is healing, slowly, but it’s healing. The puss and redness has gone away, now it’s itchy. I remember my mother always saying that when a cut was healing it would get itchy. Or maybe that’s what I imagined my mother saying when my cuts got itchy.

Last night there was a raid in the town we were in.

Honestly I do not know how we survived. We hid in a tube. It felt as if we were in there for months. We clung to each other out of fear, curled up for hours in the small tube. My neck is still sore from the way it was bent. But it’s better than the alternative.

They entered the house we were in. Celia and I huddled together as close as possible. They opened up cupboards downstairs, throwing the rusty pans across the floor. They were trashing the place. There were footsteps coming up the stairway to the hallway. They walked by the door, the door nob jiggled and opened. In that moment I felt my heart stop beating, I thought I was going to die. I do not know how he did not see us, but he looked around the room, glancing at every empty space in the room then closed the door. If Celia’s cut was bleeding he would have sure smelt it and we would have been captured.

When he looked into the room I could hear him breathing heavily. There was a distance between us but I could feel the tickle of his breath on my skin, making it crawl. All I could hear was his breathing and our hearts running fast. We held our breaths as if it would stop our heart from beating.

They left the house 20 minutes later, then we were finally able to breath fully without worrying about being heard.

They must have looted another house in the town because there were shrieks for the rest of the night. The screaming stopped sometime in the early morning. When we left we didn’t dare check to see what happened to them, knowing it would be a very gruesome scene.

We left the town as soon as the sun came up, we got to where we are now by the end of sun down. It’s dark now and the only light we have is from the stars and the moon.

I remember as a child I would laugh at that saying, but now I see how serious it is. Living in this world is much less of a joke than I used to think it would be. I used to think living with the threat of dying each day was a fun adventure, that traveling from empty town to empty town was going to be a beautiful thing to see. Now I cannot help but look down at my feet whenever I see a town.

I wish things were back to how it used to be. But I know it never will and we will have to build a new world, somehow.

The forest is my room.

The air seemed static around me, raising the hair on the back of my neck. I looked into the sky, the grey gloomy clouds were rolling in. From a far you could see the light come from the clouds and strike down on the ground.  Sheets of rain followed behind the dark cloud. In the distance I could hear the booms of thunder.

“Molly!” My mother called, “Please come inside the storm is coming.”

I grabbed the book that lay on my lap and bolted into the house, not wanting to get caught outside in the rain. Mom sat in the chair her hair pulled into a tight pony tail like it always was. She was staring at the wall, her eyes glazed over. I walked past her and ran into my room, skipping every other step on the staircase.

My room was neat for a 10 year old’s, my bed was made and all of my clothes were put away in the bureau. My cat, snuggie, was curled up on my pillow. I walked over to him, resting my head right by his body.

“Hey buddy you won’t leave me this storm?” I muttered to snuggie.

She nuzzled her cold wet nose into my face, I took that as a no. The rain began to beat down onto the house making it’s own melody on the panels. Snuggies ears perked up at the sound of the rain on the panels. He made the weird squeaky noise that we called meowing and pawed at my face.

“What is it?” I asked him softly, my voice barley going over a whisper.

He “meowed” again  and I took that as a notion to look outside. It was dark, it looked like it was night time. The sky was beginning to have a circus and a light show. I squeezed my eyes shut as the thunder got closer and closer.

I don’t like thunder and never have. I was sensitive to loud noises, ever since the fights. There was a loud crack and then the sky lite up. Snuggie and I jumped, his claws digging into my soft skin making me cry out in pain and then hit him softly on the nose. I pulled my book out from under me, somehow I laid down on the book. I took it out and to get away from the sounds of the storm and got lost in the adventure that lay before me. Snuggie began to purr in my ear as I read on and together we waited out the storm.

I opened my window, the humidity lay over my like a blanket. I leaned out my window the trees bending down from the weight of the water. It smelt like rain, the mix of pine and the fallen sky. I closed my eyes and got lost in the smell. If I closed my eyes it felt like I was in the forest rather than my room. The wooden sill that was digging into my hip bone was a tree branch that I was leaning on to look at the river that was close to over flowing. The trees of the forest bent down to me to tell me the secrets of the trees. I listened. I parted my lips to let the scent roll onto my tongue and I could almost taste the fog and pine. Snuggies nose on my elbow was a snail crawling onto my arm from the branch digging into my hip bone.

The rushing sound of my imaginary river kept me calm and safe. There was a knock on my door, bringing me out of my forest.

“Molly,” my mother said softly against the wood of the door frame “Can you come help me with dinner?”

I sighed and pushed off of the window sill, closing it before I left my room. Snuggie following behind me.