Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 146

him. He clawed at a whipping frond that threatened to ring his neck. He screamed curses, whether at the vegetation or his mother he didn’t know and it didn’t matter. Both were threatening and filled him with anger.

He kept his vision focused on the track, watching it melt into emerald bands and waves. He blew the whistle again, snapping the pea-green cuff from his wrist. The blade twitched briefly then fell to the floor of the cab and Sebastian ground it beneath his foot. He saw his mother’s hands rising from the oozing slime leaking from beneath his boot and he snickered. He kicked the green detritus to the side.

The drone of the engine shifted. There was an intermezzo of disharmony and Sebastian adjusted the controls. He heard the engine respond and slide into grandioso. He stood again, leaning forward, an orchestra master.

He watched the front of the engine beat back the creepers, slice through the ever-sprouting leaves. He would bring the train in on time. He would beat back his mother’s stifling hold. The clarity of the thought startled him. Something had changed existence along the track and because of it, his existence could and would be shredded and replaced. He was somebody to contend with. He slowly raised his hand, palm upward, conveying his orchestra to a higher level.

The train hurtled through a thick wad of massed and entwined shoots. Sebastian saw sand and a single leafless stick anchored near the track. The gradation of light inside the cab increased. He could see the cobalt and teal of the sky breaking through. He slid his hands over the controls, bringing the crescendo down, modulating through the scale. He saw sand tones and shrubs slinking up to the track. He let