Train Ride - Original

Ryan Duclos

Night comes fast in the month of February and more gradually the sun starts to win the never ending battle. I climbed aboard the last car of the train which was completely vacant. As the train took off, I stood there wondering where I should sit wishing more people were in the car, it would’ve made the decision a lot easier. I finally choose a seat in the front half of the car next to the window, staring out at the brightly lit city when a very peculiar feeling enveloped me. Maybe this wasn’t the best seat to take, I felt vulnerable but not only that, I felt as though I was about to be shot in the back of the head. Wow, There’’s an odd feeling one doesn’t feel too often. I quickly turned around to see if anyone was behind me but to my surprise no one was, for why should there be, the car was empty. The train was quickly furthering me along to the north and I still couldn’t shake that feeling from before. As I stared out the window the city’s lights captured my attention and was soon lost into a passing world. My eyes pulled back and focused on my reflection in the window. What I saw in the reflection would’ve surprised anyone, but all I could do was breathe a sigh of relief. That feeling I had had finally left. There was a man somewhat taller than me wearing a yellow and black winter coat. He looked like a cougar. I would’ve liked to of observed the coat since it was an odd looking coat but my eyes were quickly drawn to the 9mm pistol that was pointed at my head. The train’s automated voice announced we would be arriving at the Chicago stop; neither of us moved
“Hello, Mr. Cougar man.”
He didn’t reply nor had he said anything since his mysterious transportation behind me. I wanted to turn around but some invisible barrier was keeping me from doing so, most likely this barrier had to do with the gun. A long moment passed without much happening. “Ar…are you going to kill me?”
“I believe so.” I almost jumped out of my seat when he answered me. Unfortunately he didn’t sound like a cougar nor was his answer all that relieving. Instead it sounded harsh as though he just finished running to catch the train.
“I see, well can I ask you why?” I hadn’t moved yet and my butt was starting to go numb, and we just kept staring at each other in the window.
“I’m bored.”
“Boredom is the death of life, don’t you think?”
“The death of my life or yours?”
“Ha, you know I’m not sure.” In all honestly I wasn’t, I had thought I was talking about his life being wasted away by being bored, but here I am the one with the gun pointed at my head.
“You…you seem to be excited, are you?” He asked assuming this since I was talking a bit faster than normal. I hadn’t noticed till he mentioned it, but he was right I had an overwhelming sensation of excitement and couldn’t sit still. “I am, and this may seem trivial to you, but I’ve had this feeling that you were coming, well not you exactly, but how can I explain it…I was waiting for this moment you could say and I feel as though I am about to explode from excitement." After saying this I was out of breath, was it the gun that was pressuring me? Or something else?
“You were waiting for this moment, and now that it has arrived and you have seen that it has brought along the aspect of death you have grown excited?” The tone of his voice had hinted that something was exciting him as well.
“Yes, you have stated it far better than I could in these circumstances. If you like I can try to explain further for I don’t think anyone is going to be interrupting us any time soon.”
“Please do.”
“Well you see I have always had a fascination of death not in a cult like way but speaking philosophically. My favorite philosopher said that philosophy was the practice of death and throughout the centuries other philosophers have tried to grasp this concept of death.” I stopped and looked at him in the window to see if he was following along with what I was saying or if he was just amusing himself with me. But all he was doing was looking at the back of my head with no expression of amusement or nervousness, actually he had no emotion whatsoever. “And this is where it gets exciting because you see no one can explain death, it is the unknown. Of course there are many who have explanations on what they think is after death but no one knows for certain and won’t be known until it happens. It is life’s mystery, and here you have given me the chance to explore that very mystery.”
“If death is so compelling to you, than why have you waited for me?”
“Ah, well you have hit upon my dilemma. You see I enjoy my life and there is much that is unknown to me in this realm as there is in the next, and once I am through with life either from my time running out or I cannot go any further then I shall jump head first much like a diver. HA, a diver of death you could say.” Will I jump or be pushed this time, I did not know the answer. The train was coming closer to my stop yet we were both quiet for some time.
“I want you to stand up.”
“Now turn around” He looked much older in person and his eyes looked as though he hadn’t slept in years yet they were fixed on something, something deep inside of me. “Here” He handed me the gun. “I want you to…” He seemed to have swallowed the rest of the sentence, but it was evident what he wanted. As he stood there his eyes became more awake with each passing. “People always say that death before your time is like giving up. But you, you seem to believe that it’s ok to die, that death is really just apart of life no matter when it comes. I’m not sure if I agree with you but I do know that I am done and I know that I can’t do this without you.” We both stood there again for some time as the train raced to the end. The moment I had stepped on this train I had a feeling that something was coming. I didn’t think it would be death nor did I think that it wasn’t going to be mine, for who imagines the death of others before your own? And now the decision of killing this nameless man was in my hands, and the thought came to me, maybe this was his plan all along or I had convinced him otherwise.
“Sir, I’m sorry you must forgive me for it seems I have persuaded you out of your intended goal, for aren’t I the one to be at the other end of this gun?”
“It’s true that what you’ve said has caused the change before us but I am thinking clearly for once and I see that this is the way it’s suppose to be.”
“May I inquire why the change of mind?”
“I may have still have much to live for this is true, but I also have much to die for as well, and I choose the latter. Your babbling about exploring death has awaken me somehow. I know that this is a big risk, because like you said no one knows for certain what is after death, for what if it is nothing? But than again, what if it is everything? I am sorry I cannot explain further and this is why it has to be you.” Their is no turning back now, even if I wanted to. I raised the gun and pointed it at him, “Death is not the end, but only a transition” I pulled the trigger. The blood splattered everywhere and shined on the windows against the snowy night. I laid the gun down on his limp body. The train came to a halt, the automated voice announced that this was my stop. The doors opened and let in an icy blast of wind and holding onto my hat I stepped off the train.

The End

Train Ride - Original

Ryan Duclos

Chicago, United States

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