The Last Train: our new contest is at the station!

Editor-in-Chief does the Loco-Motion with intern who stokes his engine

Trains. What images they conjure; what memories they evoke! Trains are either the beginning or the end of many, many stories; someone departs, someone arrives. As tragic as Lincoln on a train to Springfield, as horrifying as a train shuttling down the tracks in Poland in the Forties. As adventurous as the Woodie Guthries hopping a freight, as exhilarating as waiting in the station when you get the email she changed her mind. What’s your story?

Literati!

(that would be vouz)

“If you miss the train, I’m on, you will know that I have gone; you can hear the whistle blow 500 words.”

That’s right.  You have 500 words in which to tell us your most poignant train story, real or imagined, though nothing extraineous. A tearful parting? A tearful reunion? A great escape?  A decisive migration? One foot on the platform, the other on the train? Going back to New Orleans to wear that ball and chain?  Going to California to pan for gold? The Train, Boss, The TRAIN!

Trains are metaphors for pivotal events in our lives. Tell us about yours.

AND  SOMETHING DIFFERENT this time around: You will be anonymous. Send your entry with your name on it, AND a title, and you will be assigned a pseudonym. Many of our repeat offenders on the site have an easily recognized style.  With anonymity comes the chance to try something different, and keep our readers guessing.  Judging will be based on each story’s merit, not by the size of an author’s fan club.

I am personally asking each of you to post each story submitted on Facebook, with a link to our site, to increase the gene pool of participants.

Did I ask too much?  More than a lot? (U2)

Up to three entries per author, but please pay our $7 fee for each entry, so we cover the cost of a trophy, engraving, and mailing. Send your entries by November Fifth.  Finalists will be chosen and there will be a brief period for them to add a caboose to their train.

All Aboard?

Here’s how to enter: https://awordwithyoupress.com/contest/the-last-train/

18 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    From “Drops of Jupiter” by Train

    “Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
    With drops of Jupiter in her hair…
    Tracing her way through the constellation…
    And head back to the Milky Way?”

    Please have your ticket available, enjoy your train ride.

  2. Thorn,

    An observation – not a submission – was perhaps a trigger for another, a doer, or better, a “do gooder”

    Trains seem to stop for no one in particular; off, on, as their tickets direct, sometimes a glimpse of those passing through, each, one, all, still, knowingly, or not, following their destiny; watched and watcher sharing isolation, interrupted by thoughtless, directionless, intention-less thoughts, or worse, chatter – who cares how good you were, or the coffee was?

    Mo

  3. cont.

    Still, something happens as a very few make the world, our world, move at their direction. They don’t just arrive or depart, they change everything as they go where no tracks go. The know something – but what?

    I can only tell you how I want the world to be – but no magic, yet, I am still not there, but I think I know that doers are just as likely, as not, to think little of the rules.

    Mo

  4. Not a Duplicate – but a continuation – part two if you will.

    Still, something happens as a very few make the world, our world, move at their direction. They don’t just arrive or depart, they change everything as they go where no tracks go. The know something – but what?

    I can only tell you how I want the world to be – but no magic, yet, I am still not there, but I think I know that doers are just as likely, as not, to think little of the rules.

  5. Parisianne Modert says:

    I remember this onboarad train scene from “North by Northwest”

    Eve Kendall: I tipped the steward five dollars to seat you here if you should come in.
    Roger Thornhill: Is that a proposition?
    Eve Kendall: I never discuss love on an empty stomach.
    Roger Thornhill: You’ve already eaten!
    Eve Kendall: But you haven’t.

    If you Cary about me boys and girl, then Grant this Eva Marie that she is no Saint.

  6. Parisianne Modert says:

    “I never lived in an abandoned railroad station.” – Peter Dinklage
    “If women can be railroad workers in Russia, why can’t they fly in space? – Valentina Tereshkova
    “Trouble ahead, Lady in red,
    Take my advice you’d be better off dead.
    Switchman’s sleeping, train hundred and two is
    On the wrong track and headed for you.” – Grateful Dead stanza from “Casey Jones”

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you for the compliment Mike, but I have yet to win one of these. I’ve been a bridesmaid, but never a bride. May be some very sweet man will get me to walk down the aisle to join him. Today is my 63rd chronological birthday, but I am really a biological clock clanging 27 year old hoping today is the day when I talk via phone to my future husband. It feels so odd to really be a straight woman finally, but so wonderful at the same time. I hope you win this contest Mike. We are in very good company here at AWWYP. Today I feel as dreamy as Jane Seymour in “Somewhere In Time” where a train could pass and I would not notice.

  7. Parisianne Modert says:

    Closing scene from “Desert Hearts” as Vivian is leaving Reno upon an Eastbound train.

    Vivian: “Come with me. Ride with me to the next station.
    Cay: What are we gonna get settled in 40 minutes?
    Vivian: I’ll talk fast.
    Cay: Send me a postcard when you get there. What is it you want?
    Vivian: Another 40 minutes with you.”

    The last train away from past disappointments can also be the first train towards lasting love.
    You have to get on the train to take the chance of a lifetime. Hope to meet you there.

  8. Parisianne Modert says:

    “The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.” – Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express

    Paraphrase of Shakespeare’s “Richard The Third” – Act 5, scene 4: “An iron horse, an iron horse! My queendom for an iron horse.”

  9. Parisianne Modert says:

    LIMITED – Carl Sandburg from “Chicago Poems”

    “I AM riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains
    of the nation.
    Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air
    go fifteen all-steel coaches holding a thousand people.
    (All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the men
    and women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall
    pass to ashes.)
    I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he
    answers: “Omaha.””

    What is your destination?

  10. Parisianne Modert says:

    “To Niag’ra in a sleeper,
    There’s no honeymoon that’s cheaper,
    And the train goes slow.
    Ooh ooh ooh!
    Off we’re gonna shuffle,
    Shuffle off to Buffalo.”
    Please slip “the pull man porter a little silver quarter, turn the lights down low. Ooh!” – from 42nd Street

  11. Parisianne Modert says:

    “Well I lay my head on the railroad track
    Waiting on the Double E
    But the train don’t run by here no more
    Poor poor pitiful me” – Warren Zevon

    “I’m Warren-ing you to be neither poor or pitiful. Come along and write the rails.” – Parisianne

  12. Parisianne Modert says:

    Listen up, “People all around the world.”
    – Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff for TSOP
    featuring the Three Degrees

    “You’re right on time to take a ride on the Soul Train.”
    “Love, peace and soul.”
    – Don Cornelius

  13. Parisianne Modert says:

    Martini (from “Under the Tuscan Sun”):
    “Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew someday, the train would come.”

    This contest is the tracks over the mountains calling you to create your train and make the journey.

  14. Parisianne Modert says:

    “A circle… is the movement proper to physical nature… but the straight line is the badge of man, the straight line of a geometrical abstraction that makes roads, rails and bridges, the straight line that cuts the curving aimlessness of nature by a purposeful motion from a start to an end.”
    – Dagny Taggart from “Altas Shrugged”

    “Most women are content in taking you in meaningless circles, so my tracks are laid straight as Dagny Taggart’s from now on, because I want to get somewhere with my own John Galt.” – Parisianne Modert

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