He sat quietly on the bench, phone in hand, waiting patiently for his train. His eyes flicked up to the top of his screen again and again to check the time even though he knew he had hours yet to wait.

The station remained empty, bereft of all life but his own.

A memory rose to the surface of his mind, a snippet of a forgotten dream from the night before: the shadowy entrance to a massive cave, the baffling runes scratched on its walls, the ebony statue guarding the fracture in the earth. He closed his eyes and shook his head, willing the images away.

A sharp, staccato noise caught his attention, forcing the dream from his mind. He opened his eyes to a bird perched on the rail across the tracks, head cocked and staring at him.

The whistle blew, and he took a deep breath, bracing himself for the hordes of people to come.


Summer Vacation

Alice bundled her coat into a ball as she took her seat on the train. She turned to her seatmate to introduce herself, but the man was reading a paper. Quite determinedly reading a paper, she noted. He rattled the pages fiercely as he turned them, shaking out imaginary wrinkles and possibly mixing up the words, Alice presumed. She shrugged and faced forward to wait for her journey to begin.

The remaining passengers bustled by, occasionally knocking her elbow, but mostly focused on themselves in that polite way that people assume in mass transit situations. Alice settled back and thought about her grandmother’s house. where she’d be in just a few short hours.

aliceShe was named Alice too, and ever since Alice the younger was a little girl, she’d been entertained with the most outlandish stories of dreams and mirrors and decks of cards. Alice the grandmother even had a nifty little bottle labeled Drink Me that served as a prop for one of those stories. Summers with her grandmother were the best times of young Alice’s life.

The train began to move, and she nodded off, to dream of a rushing rabbit in a waistcoat who was terribly late.

PP #57

9178 Feet

Today we rode the Georgetown Loop Railroad, going up to 9178 feet. 

Our elevation at home is 30 feet. 

First Day of Work

I know I’ve been away, and I’ve missed you! But this is exactly why I didn’t sign up for NaBloPoMo. I am a day ahead of schedule with my novel, though!

Today was my first day of work as an engraver. It’s actually even more fun than I thought. There’s a lot of nifty little stuff I can do, even though all it really boils down to is me telling the machine to put this text here.

Here is my engraving test, and yes, I was the first employee to ask to take a picture of it.

I truly had forgotten how difficult it is to be just a peon, not responsible for anything but my own little self. It’s definitely a change from years of management.

It is fun, though. It’s interesting to watch how the engraver cuts the letters differently for different fonts. And it suits the perfectionist in me to be able to make adjustments by a thousandth of an inch.

By far the best part of the day was after I got off work, when I saw that the mall Christmas train is hiring. I could be a conductor! I’m applying tomorrow morning.