Light At The Bridge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is listed as an Action/Adventure short story with elements of horror and science fiction. It's in my descriptive narrative style.
"Light at the bridge" is a tale of a drunk who walked up to an overpass above train tracks to kill himself late one night.
He took a short hike and got drunk while waiting on the tracks near the bridge. It was late and no one was around.
Instead of a speeding train, a UFO floated up! They got him!
He woke up a short while later beside the bridge. He had to find his way back.. and some resolution as he later got help.


  Clifton had found his way out to the bridge after dark. It was one of those dark nights where the hustle and bustle of life takes a day off. Like a Tuesday. Where the main attraction is out of the limelight. The old bridge had been erected some time ago in the late Eighties. A far cry away from the times of now. It crosses over a railway which is nestled beneath. A healthy forest of pine trees Shrouds the distance. There is a nursery nearby, its land stretches for miles.

  He crossed over a large drainage ditch. It was dry except for the sloshy trench down in the center. He simply found the narrowest path and stepped over. Upon climbing the bank, he came out on the other side into an open field. It was bare with rocks and loose gravel was strewn about, like an old laydown yard that had since been abandoned and grown-up. The field hosted pockets of vegetation with a soft pine tree or two. A little further and the ground sloped up to the base of the bridge. Dew sparkled on the green grass all the way up. There was no one here or anyone around.

  Upon traversing the old field, Clifton reached the other side. He pushed the Wild bushes back, like a brush of nature that knew his intentions. The darkened hedges opened to a clearing. Something vague appeared here and stretched the entire landscape. He had made it to the tracks. The partly cloudy moon `reflected off the man-made veins that could take you anywhere. The midnight special should be on its way. To Cliff, it was a train of finality...

  He took a sip from his bottle. A large gulp to get it down. Relinquishing the burning fumes of dissolution. The rocks kicked about tightly below him, staggering only slightly. He stumbled and made it up the rocks. With One foot behind the other, he balanced on the single rail. Cat walking a good way before slipping off the side and giggling like a child without guidance. The concrete span was visible behind him. An endless choir of cricket’s serenaded to the stars. Occasionally, a diesel would thunder through black stacking, bellowing out its crossing rhythm.

  Cliff now sat on the rail. Turning up his bottle, transferring the fluid into his own. Blowing out from the fumes as the round glass left his lips. Gazing toward the horizon, the moon was in its’ crescent form casting very little light down upon creation. Cliff was now ready. He peered down the tracks hoping to see the bend light up with the ditch lights of an approaching locomotive. He was now closer to his zone. The proverbial place he liked to be when he had enough to drink. A little less than half remained in his oblong glass.

  "User port compatible," he thought to himself, as he enveloped the fermented liquid in his mouth, swishing it around foolishly. He dropped his cigarette! He tried...but there was no hope of finding it now. Cliff paused and inhaled a breath of fresh night air. The smell of creosote oozed up from the tracks. The scent of pine was heavy in the breeze. He heard twigs snapping as something was running through the brush, perhaps it was just an armadillo he thought. He began swishing his bottle around getting ready for another drink when…......

  Suddenly, bright light illuminated him and the area underneath the bridge! A silent helicopter-looking thing with a bright light had eased over.! It had physics unlike anything earthly! It was silent, zooming right overhead and suspending in the air! They connected to Clifton and probed him, taking samples of his emotions. He was placed in a horizontal position and fastened to a containment. There were several dark things. They approached moving in segments, one of them inserted hose-like attachments to Cliff. The rest of them remained behind a glowing wall. Then a chamber formed around him. There was a three-legged scaly dark thing with pale eyes. It had a wide, crooked face and an unsettling expression. It came closer, looking into Cliff’s eyes and hooking up to him. A transfer took place within a master console and the scaly thing unhooked from him. The chamber converted back to the containment with the glowing wall. A further sample was being prepared when one of them relayed it be stopped. He was then injected with a compound that alleviated human despair. Finally, they capacitated the time and space complex, and it was already over with when he realized...

  He had been laid over passed out beside the bridge column when he awoke. A mural of menacing graffiti occupied the face of the concrete structure. The crickets' lovely summer night theme was down to the part that it changes to right before dawn. Cliff didn’t know how much time had passed. It was pitch black and no sign of any train. All he could do was find his way back ... He felt hot and burned from inside somehow. The area under his groin ached. His scalp burned. He needed a drink! Luckily, he still had his bottle! Upon reaching for it, he discovered the cap missing. He turned up the remaining contents with a firm clutch. He felt the equivalent of a plant being watered.

  Cliff continued to wander down the dimly lit railway over the rocks and tripping off the rail. He made it to the spot where he crossed over from the field. It was cold now. He was exhausted and fetched a short full-flavored cigarette from his coat pocket. Upon lighting the cigarette, he could see strange wires and bright lizard-like things every time he blinked. The drag he Inhaled was hot and scratched the itch from within his aching lungs. The smoke he blew out mixed with the fog of the cold and he suddenly wasn’t foolish anymore. The square was hotboxed when it hit the ground, tumbling away as its’ embers flickered out.

  He crossed through some vines and small brush wrapping around his old boot, creating resistance as if nature didn’t want him to emerge from there with the tale. The thicket collapsed underneath his numb motion, giving away and releasing Clifton into the clearing. He fell forward catching himself with ease. Rocks scattered below him. He was now in the field. The night birds were chirping as he navigated the clearing under twilight. He took a short breather beside one of the thickets. Lighting another cigarette, its robust full flavor a comfort in the dark elements. With a final hit of his bottle, he swallowed the burning fumes, blowing out its’ vapor trail. He tossed the empty bottle out of sight. Still in the cover of darkness, Cliff stood at the bank of the large ditch. He descended at an angle and down to a stream, crossing it with little effort. He pushed through and ran up the hill to the other side. He had made it back. It was about to be getting daylight in the sky over the nursery. He must have had second thoughts as he walked out of the woods… Months later he completed a treatment program.

Submitted: November 24, 2021

© Copyright 2023 Jacob L. Ansley. All rights reserved.

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