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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2125290-One-By-One
Rated: E · Short Story · Spiritual · #2125290
A ride for those not ready to depart, yet eager to arrive at their unknown destination.
One by one Passengers boarded the train car and sat down in the next available seat. They would never speak or ever look around. They would just sit and wait patiently until their destination.

The ride seemed to last forever as the railroad tracks passed underneath. Shelby didn't remember when she boarded the train or how long it had been; but with the other passengers patiently waiting, she decided to do the same.

She turned to look out the steam covered window and focus on the shadows that zoomed by. It didn't help that the whole time she was on the train, it seemed to always be foggy outside. She couldn't see anything through the thick white fallen clouds but sometimes if she was lucky she could see the silhouette of someone standing in a field, looking back at her. Occasionally she would shift or look at something else but the silhouette never seemed to pass. Not before long, her attention shifted over to the room she had been sitting in. It was a train car that could fit twenty seats, ten on each side, all facing forward. The seats had a brown frame with red upholstery and gold trimming. The ground was a black laminate with a red carpet that ran down the aisle, and the walls were covered in a red and gold stripped wallpaper. The sound of the train tracks echoed throughout the car as everyone sat facing forward.

Tempted to look at the other passengers, but not wanting to stick out, Shelby looked down at her lap where her hands had been resting. Enclosed in her hands was a folded up picture that she hadn't realized was there. Releasing her grip, she unfolded the picture and began to inspect it. The Picture was blurry, as if someone moved while taking the photo. She squinted harder and tried to focus but it stayed the same. Suddenly her glasses began to fog up from the tears that threatened to fall from her eyes.

Shelby couldn't remember why she left or where she was going, but remembered her life as being filled with happiness and warmth. Now all she could feel were the shadows of a deep loneliness that wanted to haunt and choke her. After taking a deep breath, she folded the picture back up and adjusted herself to face forward.

From a distance the sound of a door sliding open was heard. She looked over her shoulder to notice the ticket master walking down the aisle. She sat calmly in her seat hoping it was her stop coming up. Slowly the ticket master tapped on the shoulders of other patrons of the train car before making his way to her side and then passing her seat. Disappointed she went back to looking outside the steam covered window. At the next stop everyone who had been approached by the ticket master stood up and departed, while more passengers made their way on to the train.

One by one Passengers boarded the train car and sat down in the next available seat. They would never speak or ever look around. They would just sit and wait patiently until their destination.

Frustrated she rolled her eyes while still looking out the window. In the distance she could see the silhouette of the person standing in the field. After some time, Shelby could tell it was a woman. Realizing this, a warm memory came to mind. The sounds of a voice and the scent of a perfume. It would remind her of her mother. She was then reminded of her mother's last embrace before she boarded the train. It was warm and comforting, but very bittersweet. Her face softened as she remembered her last day with her family. The room was dim and cold, and everyone who surrounded her had the face of someone in mourning.

Shelby had gotten sick and her mother had been by her side since day one. She held her hand tightly in hers everyday as Shelby's conditioned worsened. On that last day she wasn't even conscious. Her mother grasped her daughters hands and tearfully whispered to her, "You can rest now Shelly."

Shelby remembered the last breath being the hardest, then....nothing

Suddenly she then felt a light tap on the shoulder and turned to see the ticket master standing next to her. He nodded his head and then went to the next person.

The time had finally come for her to depart the train. As everything came to a stop, she put the folded picture in her jacket pocket and stood up. The doors opened as she waited patiently in line behind the other patrons. When it was her turn to step off the train she felt the loneliness finally lift off her shoulders as she made her way into the white light that embraced her.
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