Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 143

engine, alone with only the rumble of the engine for conversation and the passing landscape as a companion. He wanted more of it. There was no solitude in his mother’s house. Even though Sebastian lived there, it would always be ‘his mother’s house’. Life inside those walls went her way, or it didn’t go at all. Sebastian’s only contribution was his paycheck, used by both for sustenance and necessary bills.

Sebastian spent many of his trips chronicling his resentment. It was the subject of a regular tirade debated in his mind as he rode the rails. While guiding the train, Sebastian could see all the ways his essence was sucked away by his mother. The problem was that on the return trip, as the miles ticked away, his resolve to create change always ticked away as well. To be truthful, Sebastian had it good. His mother cooked and cleaned and, as long as she knew exactly what he was doing, let him do anything he wanted. It was too easy.

Sebastian talked aloud to the air blowing through the engine cabin. He berated himself for his ineptness. He bemoaned his solitary lifestyle, since he considered his mother only a necessary evil, not a companion. Sebastian screamed curses at the fleeing sky outside, raging against even the need for change.

A small tickle, a slithering biting itch grazed his neck. He slapped at the intrusion. Sebastian looked out the front window of the engine cab to see if a cloud of gnats had descended on the slow-moving engine.

Bushes and trees leaned in over the track, danced beside the engine as the train’s movement lifted shards of wind. Sebastian stood and leaned toward the window to see clearer. There was moss and lichen growing between the tracks. The flat, sparsely vegetated land was missing, overtaken by masses of agitated leaves. Startled, Sebastian's