The Train: Episode 12

“So what’s this unusual thing you say happened back there?” Michael insisted.

“What I did, my part. It was instinctive,” Nicole tried to explain.

“Instinctive?” Michael asked confused.

“Kind of. It was more like signing your name, you know? I just did it without thinking.”

“That is quite unusual,” Michael agreed. “Although. . .,” he paused, “it might explain something.”

“What’s that?” Nicole asked, her long stride easily keeping her beside him.

“Just before Jason started the attack, I got this cold shiver,” Michael said.

“Yeah?” Nicole asked. “Cold shiver, huh?”

“Sorry,” Michael apologized. “My father used to tell me that the cold shiver we feel run down our back is a long forgotten sense of danger, a warning system that we no longer listen to.”

“You thought something was going to happen and it didn’t for some reason?” Nicole asked.

“Yeah. That’s it. I know it sounds unreasonable to think the train was helping us, but it does fall in line with what you said happened to you,” Michael explained.

“I saw Elliot’s dog up in the balcony. That would explain why he was there,” Nicole responded.

Up ahead they spotted the small diner where Dr. Elijah Ricer and Lucy his granddaughter were waiting for their return.

Seated at one of the booths, Ricer seemed nervous, looking out the window every few minutes as he watched for Michael and Nicole. When he spotted them approaching, his eyes widened.

Quickly he hopped up and walked over to the diner door to greet them.

“How did it go?” he asked as he opened the door.

“We’re alive, so that’s a positive sign,” Michael said as he fell into the booth.

“I need coffee. I’m drained.”

“The train seems to have helped us out. I guess you aren’t the only one with an unusual ability, Doc,” Nicole said as she entered.

When the waitress approached the booth with her pad and pencil, Nicole slid in beside Michael. Before the waitress could speak, Michael said,

“Coffee. . .strong.”

The woman nodded her understanding and looked over at Nicole for her order. Nicole shook her head and said,

“Nothing for me.”

When the waitress headed for the coffee pot, Ricer sat back down beside Lucy and asked,

“So what happened?”

In a low voice, Nicole explained what had happened to her in the balcony of the nightclub. When she finished, Michael told his story about what he had been through and about the cold shiver down his back.

“I need energy,” Michael said. “Everything that happened in the nightclub, everything I did, might have looked dramatic, but it wiped me out.”

Michael glanced out the window in the direction of the nightclub and saw a column of smoke rising into the night sky. When the waitress brought his coffee, he asked,

“Got a radio in here?”

“Sure do,” she smiled and walked behind the counter to turn it on.

“This just in. Club owner Jason Vargas has been arrested outside his night club. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the club on fire and Mr. Vargas waving a gun and standing over the bodies of two police officers. Police subdued Vargas while firefighters and emergency personnel rescued those who were trapped inside the burning building. The names of the two officers have not been released, pending notification of next of kin. Vargas, a suspect in the shootings, was taken into custody and is being held in the county jail as the investigation continues. We’ll have more as it becomes available.”

Stunned, Michael looked over at Nicole as the radio station switched to band music.

“Wow!” Ricer said. “Sounds like he had a complete psychotic break.”

“Now all we have to do is find the police officer. Nobody’s protecting him anymore,” Nicole said.

“Unless he was one of the dead officers on the scene,” Michael suggested.

“There’s no way to be certain until—.”

Ricer was interrupted by the unmistakably loud pitch of a train whistle.

Michael stood up and looked out the diner window in every direction.

“Ma’am,” he called the waitress, “are there any train tracks nearby?”

“No sir. The nearest train station is about a half hour’s drive south of here.”

“Thank you,” Michael said.

When the train whistle blew again, Michael said to Nicole,

“Let me out.”

Nicole slid out of the booth and stood aside as Michael got out. He walked over to the front door and opened it. When he stood staring out the open door, Nicole asked,

“What?”

“Come here,” Michael said.

Nicole, Ricer, and Lucy walked over to the door where Michael stood. Through the doorway, they saw the inside of the train station. The Fairbanks Falcon, engine number 562, was docked and waiting while the conductor Roscoe Bentley stood beside her. Returning to the booth, Michael grabbed Priscilla and the King and stepped through the door, Nicole, Ricer, and Lucy at his heels.

When they walked over to the train, Roscoe Bentley smiled and said,

“A job well done. I am pleased to announce that the train is ready to leave.”

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Published in: on February 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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