The sound of the distant train horn woke me up – as it does every morning – but it was always different on this particular date. I felt the urge to hurry and grab my keys to watch the train pass by even though I already knew what was going to happen. Deep down I thought that maybe, just maybe, this time it will be different.
I waited at the edge of the tracks. The beams of my headlights tracked the bugs as they danced around and waited with me. The train horn was louder. The ground began to rumble. The hairs on my arm stood as car headlights appeared in my rear view mirror. They were not slowing down. They quickly approached as the guard rail slowly fell and the red caution lights flashed – the car was not going to stop!
I wanted to step out of my car this time – to warn the man; his name was Todd Ballard – but I was frozen in terror. I gripped my steering wheel as the headlights swerved to my left as the train passed before me. I could hear the screeching wheels, the explosion of metal against metal.
It felt like an eternity before I had the courage to open my eyes. There was a honk behind me. I opened my eyes. The train was gone. All was calm and quiet again except for a truck behind me. The driver flashed their high-beams and tapped the horn again. I shifted my car back into drive and drove home still shaking from the memory. Maybe next time I’ll step out and stop this from continuing.
Copyright © 2015 E.F. Olsson. All rights reserved. Photo credit of headlights goes to Flicker.com.
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