The Night Train

19th post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: Write something mysterious.

Well, this is quite the turn. Write something mysterious, huh? No query. Not even a polite “please”. Just a matter of fact statement to write…something…mysterious. Challenge accepted!

The Night Train

It was after midnight. A bit foggy. Like my memory of this night over 40 years ago. Or perhaps it was a dark clear night with no moon? As I said my memory is foggy. But despite the lack of certainty on some of the specifics, this is a true story.

We were sitting in the car, parked at the Brattleboro, Vermont train station lot situated tightly between the long since closed station building and the rails. We were awaiting the arrival of Amtrak’s Montrealer – traveling painfully slowly from New York City to Montreal due to the poor track conditions. The only passenger train serving our rural community. I was 8 or 9 years old. My older brother, about 12, was on the train, which was running late as always.

It was cold and dark. Just a single dim lamp lighting the parking lot. Mom was sitting next to me in the driver’s seat. A shiver came over me as we sat there. Not from the cold (the car was running with the heat on), but from a sudden vision. I knew (not thought, knew!) that the next car that arrived in the lot was going to fall off the sharp edge of the parking lot and onto the tracks. I didn’t just have the feeling…I told my Mom what I was so sure I knew was going to happen. She didn’t say anything as far as I recall, but she listened and still remembers that night and my prediction.

So when the next car came crawling in we watched it carefully. It was a small passenger car. And, as I’m sure you already suspect, it slid off the parking lot surface and hung over the edge onto the tracks. Exactly as I had predicted. There was a moment of excited panic across the lot as some folks rushed over to the stranded vehicle. The train was already late so it could arrive at anytime with its loud horn and slow rumble. But the night was still silent, and the car was light enough to be lifted to safety by the group of burly Vermonters. And all was well.

I can rationalize this “premonition” as just being a logical fear due to the narrow driving lane between the parked cars and the tracks and the dim light of the night. But, I’m inclined to think I saw the future. Why not? It makes for a cooler story.

Hope you enjoyed that little true story.

Unrelated, but in the spirit of “mysterious”, here is a bonus illustrated poem.

“The Poetess” – originally published in Monty’ Very Short Shorts

Be well,


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