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Rated: ASR · Novella · Contest · #2050849
Page One of A Ticket To My Past for Hook to Book
A prickly haze hung from the sky that day, and it sparked the air with an energy I hadn’t known before. I’d just returned home from a brutal day at work and tossed my keys onto the foyer table. I made my way to the kitchen for a cool drink, and decided to thumb through the mail. Funny, I didn’t remember getting the mail that day, but there it was, stacked into a neat pile.

One envelope caught my eye. Purple block letters stood out against a soft orange tint. It shimmered with that same strange energy. I pushed my finger under the flap and removed its contents. A train ticket stamped with a date. April 4th, 1983. I knew that date. My hands shook and I nearly lost my breath. On the back side was a single word. “Finish.”

This was clearly a ticket to my past.

I thought back to that horrible, dark, April day. Sweat dripped from my face, my breath ragged. I remembered that final moment, that split second when I decided to let the bastard live. I should have finished it then. Why didn’t I?

I looked back at my ticket. “Finish.” Fear blanched my face but I knew what I had to do. I glanced at my watch. My train was leaving in an hour.

I stuffed the ticket into my jeans pocket and drove the short distance to the station. The train was waiting, surrounded in that same smothering haze. I stepped up to the platform and offered my ticket. The Conductor moved aside so I could board. I looked into his face. His eyes told me he knew my destination. He watched as I sat, and then he was gone. He never spoke.

I wasn’t surprised to find I was the only passenger in the car. I closed my eyes as the train started to move. I tried to calm my thoughts, but they wouldn’t quiet. Instead, they raged in my head. Could I actually do this? More importantly, would I survive?

It wasn’t long before the train came to a halt. I opened my eyes and met The Conductor’s deep gaze. We both knew it was time. He stood aside to let me off, and without a word, I stepped from the train, and into the cold, biting wind that stung the night of April 4th, 1983.
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