The Train of the Dead


-Samee Ullah

The ominous abode of a hallway in his castle, lit by the gleaming light of a dying bonfire, just as his staggering emotions waiting for her.  
Had he died? Had his feelings, after having endured the austerities of time, also died? 
The flower bloomed out of broken stone tiles, in the middle of a roofless hallway lit scantily by my bonfire. I watched it for a while before I felt compelled to get up and pick it. Silver-blue petals, stretching out like curved tongues of the dead, trapped between the glows of the full moon and the fire.
A cold breeze descended into the hallway, and the petals fluttered. The fire fought, eroded, and died. I already had the stem of the flower between my fingers, so I picked it. The breeze became a hand, a grasp, and it wrapped itself around by hand, cradled it.
"Leave it," I could hear a soundless voice whisper at me, "It's for the one who escapes the train of the dead."
I bent, put the flower down on the dark tile and sat cross-legged, watching the tall glass windows of a broken wall that almost caught the full moon. Stars gleamed like fireflies pinned to the firmament.
"You've waited a long time," I said, "No one speaks the way you do, not anymore."
"I only just began waiting," the voice replied. "I will wait an eternity, I think."
Oh, I knew him. A long time ago, this was his hall, his castle. He would stand by the parapet, and this was the very flower he would twirl in his fingers. Had he survived, somehow? Or was he a ghost now? Either way, he waited.
“If you expect to wait an eternity, then it sounds like you've lost hope," I said.
"I will gut hope if I see it," he said, and he said nothing more.
The ground shook as the train of the dead came thundering towards the castle. Its lights flashed in the doorway at the end of the hall, and its engine appeared but for a moment before it swerved away from the castle, going where the railroad took it.
"You don't think she's on there?" I asked.
“What can you decipher?” He replied. 
Seeing his face, the answer was clear, she was there, but she wasn’t. Possibly, he had found her, not in this realm, but in a realm where angels reside.

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