Wingless Creatures Travel by- You Guessed It!

You know you've always wanted to run on top of a train...

Literati! Come play with us & get on board The Last Train Contest! Here is a bit of fairy-tale fan-fiction to whet your appetite.

 

 

 

 

 

The Train Hides

By Chad Anyuga

We started this great dance called “running” seven months ago, and it isn’t feeling stale yet. The view is nice, and we’re in motion. The hobo life is the best way to stay off the grid, despite security being what it is now. It was so much simpler in the 20’s. Even with the racism in the American South, it was still wonderfully easy to escape at a moment’s notice by catching a train.

Clark has been on a learning curve since we abandoned ship, aka New York. He’s used to social media, comfy living—the limelight where his name is known and his credit card has no limit. He gave up his spotlight life for me, so I try and make living on the lam as swank as possible for us both.

Traveling by train via stolen identities is the best I can do with a weak glam, and not much get-up-and-go in my magic reserves. I’m getting more powerful, but until my wings are strong enough this’ll have to do.

I’m sure Mr. Stone will find us, but by that time we’ll be back at court in the glittering world. I’ve not felt hope in ages, but I think I’m starting to. Anything is better than sitting in that apartment waiting to die.

And Clark is with me at least. He’s eaten my food and drunk my wine, so he’s stuck with me regardless, but he is special to me. He is as beautiful as the day I met him. The smell of him still makes me heady. Man sweat and that cologne that he loves. It reminds me of warm gym showers after a workout. Even as he sleeps he radiates that scent and I want to nibble him.

No one is looking, and I’m bored in the moonlight.

I lean forward and roll my shoulders back, letting my wings lift a bit. To anyone without the sight, I’m a sad chic with a hump. But the minute I engage my magic, my senses perk up and details fly at me.  I close my eyes briefly, taking in the nasal details—Yeast, boys, various level of fertility and desire. Some illness. Lots of gas. Clark’s fear and warmth. I lick my lips and can faintly taste the magic radiating from my skin.

The enhanced view out the window makes me feel like a waking predator. Lake, field, house, house, house. It doesn’t blur. Each detail passes by my adapted eyes, kissing my memory banks with details of color and line and just as quickly, fading to make room for the next entry. I turn away from the window towards the interior.

Clark’s pocket shifts color in my peripheral view. The tiniest stab of light ekes through the fibers of his coat. It must have been on silent, but the notification blinked a steady rhythm. With my unhindered sight, it may as well have been a battering ram to my eyes.

Damn him.

~~~

12 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    I believe the better parts of this entry is that it leaves a series of questions about the greater story and sensual phrases. The lesser parts to me were the uses of pronouns to excess and the lack of continuity.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Well chosen words other than pronouns would get a yes from me, but not precise. There are editing errors here such as the mistakes of using “used” rather than “use” and “level” rather than “levels”. The use of both “so” and “but” causes an awkward and run on sentence in my view. I would not chose to start a sentence with “And”. I would have used “colors” rather than “color”, because of the shifting. I also thought that the constant use of commas before “and” was arcane. The list goes on, but “precise” is not my evaluation. The use of incomplete sentences; while using periods did not appeal to me.

      • Diana says:

        I have to side with the author on the points of grammar, Parisianne.

        * Commas before a conjunction in a compound sentence is correct according to most style guides, unless the two phrases are very short.
        * In addition, “used to” is correct: “‘Used to’ only exists as a past tense.”
        * Starting sentences with a conjunction is completely acceptable grammar-wise, despite the myth that it is not. (Just like the myth about not ending sentences with a preposition.) I am quite fond of it myself as it lends continuity–unless overused.

  2. Diana says:

    I’ll post in two parts:

    I enjoyed the character development in “The Train Hides” and the craftily integrated hint of deeper darkness of the protagonist in the line, “feel like a waking predator” as well as her awareness of the fear in Clark.

    I have so many questions. Why does she have so little get-up-and-go in her magical reserves? What is significant about “no one is looking”? Which 20s is this? 1920s southern racism or a future post-2020s where the South is the locus of a new racism against engineered beings with trans-human talents akin to magic (hinted at with the phrase “adapted eyes”)?
    (cont’d)

    • Diana says:

      Either way, I am intrigued by the complex relationship with Clark, somehow bound to the protagonist, but still an object of affection. As a flash piece, it reads like an excerpt, rather than a self-contained story. Nonetheless, it successfully pulled me in.

      (Picky side note: “chic” should be “chick” if you intend a colloquial term for female rather than stylishness and elegance. )

  3. Michael Stang says:

    To pick this creative, loosely knit flash, clean is to no one’s advantage. To sit back and read it again, is. I want to say this reads (to me) like the front of a novel. An exercise of what to explain right away, and what to dangle. Intriguing, much entertaining.

  4. Diane Cresswell says:

    I agree with Mr. Stang here. This strikes clearly of a beginning with a lot of questions that come with the set up. It would definitely be advantageous to the author to take this a step further and create more of it. Great descriptions ride in the telling.

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