Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 144

mind abandoned its internal debate. Vegetation this lush was foreign, never before seen on his every-other-day bauxite run.

Out of habit, Sebastian blew the train whistle. He did that every few minutes, just in case an animal was thinking of crossing its path. He’d hit a deer once, and spent hours agonizing over the paperwork it caused. How did he know whether the deer hesitated before attempting to cross the track? He had looked up. It was there. WHAM!

Sebastian whipped his arm. Something was flicking around his wrist, toying with him. He looked at the hand still squeezed around the train whistle and his jaw clamped shut. A frond of some exotic green thing had snaked through a crack in the engine door and was toying with his arm. Sebastian drew his arm back, watching the blade trace across and around his wrist.

Sebastian swung around in his seat. He didn’t need his hands on the controls. Everything was automatic except the whistle. He pulled at the stalk, which seemed to sense an attack and wove around his hands, teasing his fingers. He grunted, fighting to get a grip on the dewy foliage.

He looked back at the windshield. There were now large leaves blatantly overhanging the track. What had been a blue sky was now a jigsaw of blue and variegated shades of green. Sebastian’s hand hooked the radio from its stand on the sloping dash. No signal. He pulled out his cell phone and was only mildly surprised to find there was no signal on it either. His engineer’s sense registered a sluggish pace to the engine. Its sleek dance was stalling.

Sebastian was only good at one thing. He could orchestrate the bauxite runs with precision. The only time anyone told him he was