Train Ride to Grace Land

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A woman get on a train going home, but what happens next is a little odd to say the least.

Submitted: December 22, 2016

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Submitted: December 22, 2016



Darla boarded the south bound train in Roanoke, Virginia. As she did she heard the Conductor call out, "All Aboard for Grace Land!"

"That's odd," Darla thought, "He must be a new conductor on this route, they usually call out the final destination not the places in-between."

Darla is heading home after a seminar at the Capital. And she had sales demonstration meetings, in various cities, as she headed home; Roanoke being the last.

As she entered the passenger compartment she couldn't help notice how empty it was, only two other people.

As the conductor came by to collect tickets she jokingly asked him, "What have you done with all the passengers, did you put them in the baggage compartment?"

He laughed and replied, "Yep, but they wouldn't all fit in there so we tied some to the roofs of the cars." then he laughed again as he punched her ticket.

As the train pulled out of the station Darla's mind mulled over the conversations she had with the sales personnel.

"They are a determined group," she thought, "some of them remind me of myself, in my younger days, always ready to blaze a new trail and open doors to new ideas. I just hope that they don't burn too many bridges along the way."

Suddenly an idea hit Darla and she thought to herself, "If the passenger compartments are this empty, I'll bet the Private compartments are pretty empty too. Maybe I could ketch a nap in one of them while no one is looking."

Darla grabbed her carry-on and headed for somewhere she could take a nap.

As luck would have it, the first compartment she came to was empty. She curled up as close to the door as possible and pulled the blinds just enough so that the conductor could see in, but not see her sleeping in the corner of the booth.

"There, that ought to do It." she said as she nested-in and waited for the rhythm of the train wheels to lull her to sleep.


Darla was awakened by someone singing one of her favorite songs, (The City of New Orleans).

"Good Morning --- America. How are Ya? ---

Don't ya know me? I'm native son.

I'm the one --- they call --- the city of New Orleans

And I'll go 500 miles 'fore the day is done. ...

"Oh my god! April, is that you?" Darla questioned.

I haven't seen you sense high school. I headed for college and you went to Nashville to be a star, then we lost touch."

On the other side of the compartment a woman sat strumming a guitar. She was the singer of the tune and apparently Darla’s best friend during their high school days.

"What are you doing on this train, girl?" Darla questioned rather excitedly.

April replied, "I came to get you. We have places to visit, spirits to see, and things to do. Yep, when this train reaches its destination you are going to need a guide."

"A guide, what are you talking about? This train is going to our home town, I returned there when my folks died and settled back into their old house. I've lived there ever sense."

April chuckled and replied, "Girl, you don't live anywhere, you are dead --- and I've come to escort you, sort of."

"Knock it off, April, still with the practical jokes.

I'm not dead, I'm right here on this train and it departed from Roanoke, about, --- that's funny, my watch has stopped, --- anyway, it left Roanoke not long ago. The conductor took my ticket, just like always, and he punched it, like always."

April interrupted and asked, "Where did the conductor say the train was going? He said Grace Land, right?"

"Well, I thought that he was talking about Elvis's Graceland."

"Different Grace Land,” April replied, "besides, you'll like this other Grace Land much better."

Darla looked puzzled, and then asked, "When did I die?"

"Oh, not long ago, earth time. You had a heart attack just after arriving at the train station."

"How do I know I'm dead? I don't feel dead," Darla mumbled out load.

April stood up and walked through the compartment's wall, then back again, saying, “Try walking through walls --- that should convince you."

Darla did, and by the time that she finished walking through stuff she was pretty well convinced.

"So what happens now?" Darla questioned.

Just as Darla said that, the train slowed and then stopped.

April replied, "I have already told you, we have places to visit, spirits to see, and things to do.

Now come on, --- you are going to love this place!"


D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  12-20-2016

© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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