Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 22

and turned to face him, arms crossed over her chest; a strip of orange, cast from a sodium lamp outside the window, splashed across half her face, her eyes and mouth set in a hard line. He sat up, folded his hands on the tablecloth. Waited.

—What am I supposed to do with you, she finally asked. How am I supposed to feel? You left. You were gone so long. How many times can the world end?

Vacancy

When the priest had gone Rice pulled on her shoes and walked to the train. The stationmaster was nailing the door shut when she arrived.

—No trains any more, he announced. Done for good.

—I’m looking for my husband.

—No trains any more.

—I want to know what happened to his body.

The stationmaster paused in his hammering and finally looked at her, This is the end of the line, then he pounded in the last nail and walked away, leaving her there outside the empty building. She waited until he had disappeared around the corner before she jumped the fence to the tracks, squinting down the rail in the vain hope that she would find him there, but not even the ghost of the train darkened the horizon. Had they cleared the wreck so fast? Maybe, perhaps, she was in the wrong place, so she started to walk.

Rice walked for miles and miles and hours and hours but could find no signs

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