Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 147

loose a giddy chuckle as they overtook the olive and pine shades of the track. The train raced forward, abruptly unencumbered. Dust and spindly brush flew into panoramic view and Sebastian laughed a full laugh. It was a laugh of triumph, of satisfaction.

He slowed the engine to a monotone growl and conducted a waltz into Baldwin Station.

Sebastian slid out of the cab, his eyes lit with exultant purpose. The sky above sang of the future and the ground beneath his boots whispered with gratification. He lumbered into the station to sign what needed to be signed.

The cars were, in time with the schedule, loaded with bauxite. Sebastian maneuvered the train through the switches, turning it to face the return journey. He looked along the track and glimpsed a snaking green tendril. It waved and dipped and Sebastian remembered the blown kisses and waves of the morning. He whispered a promise of resolve to the cab. No emergent scrub would stop him, and he would no longer succumb to his mother’s ministrations.

Sebastian stepped down and away from the engine, not yet ready to venture into battle. He felt lighter. He felt secure. A montage dusted his brain – Sebastian at the movies, in a small apartment kitchen, laughing with co-workers at a bar. He felt the future bubbling in his veins. He looked at the engine, scratched and dented from its battle ride.

‘Right after I finish the friggin’ paperwork on this damage, I’m movin’ out. She can’t stop me,’ he told the metal brute beside him. The train hissed as Sebastian walked into the station for a bottle of water to carry him through the return trip.