All Aboard


Kristy Dark


It wasn’t what Mary Rose had expected.  The vast cathedral-like space.  Rays of light streaming through high windows.  Black-clothed strangers.  Elongated shadows.  Constant announcements of train arrivals and departures. 

But the young man who stopped to talk to her seemed kind.  Tall as a church steeple, crow-black hair slanting across his forehead like a broken wing.  “Where are you going?”

“Home,” she said.  “How about you?” 

“Home also.  So where do you call home?”

“The City of Lost Angels,” she said with a wicked grin.  “And you?”

He grinned back.  “The Big Poisoned Apple.”

“I’ve never been.  Is it nice?”

“It’s big and noisy and exciting.  And that’s where my family is, so yes it’s nice.”

Silence fell.  Mary Rose fidgeted with the clasp on her purse. 

“So what do you do?” the young man asked.

“I’m a writer.” 

“Oh, that’s great!  Anything I would have heard of?”

Light left her eyes like snuffed candles.  “No.”

“How long have you been writing?”

“My entire life.  It’s all I ever wanted to do, ever wanted to be.” 

“You fulfilled your dream.”

A north-wind sigh.  “I never got published.”

“Maybe you’ll get published posthumously.”


“Anyway, what’s important is that you wanted to be a writer and you wrote.”

The loudspeaker boomed, “Last call for New York and for Los Angeles!”

The young man bent and kissed Mary Rose’s faded cheek, then led her toward the tracks.

“Time to go home, folks,” the stationmaster called.  “All Aboard!” 

* * *

Submitted: April 19, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Kristy Dark. All rights reserved.

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