not like the waters, whose concealing depths hoard life and death in abundance.
not like the sky, that is only a ceiling against the nothingness of space.
The subway thrummed below him, a lifeless beast of steel and glass sprinting down a path of iron. The tunnels that it followed wove in intricate patterns beneath an equally complex network of metal cords and pipes, tendrils sent out from the towers of concrete that loomed into the grey sky, a uniformity of social control etched in the very colours of their construction.
Ever the pessimist.
A world away, the scene is echoed in bright forms, the staunch blandness of the drab stone replaced instead with vibrant, polished buildings of obsidian, marble, and wood. Bright rivulets of gold and silver trickle over the buildings; images and symbols. Delicate walkways pass between the buildings, spider webs of spun glass arching over the silver tracks below. A highly decorated train steams effortlessly across these tracks, parcels of bronze being tugged behind it, young faces and tiny hands peering from the windows.
The glass is cold to the touch, his breath reducing to fog upon its panes. He dances a finger across it, spelling out his initials before wiping the surface clean. Lights flash by in the darkness, the dim bulbs of the train flicker as the car rocks to and fro on the tracks. The people inside are tired, some already asleep, others idly sipping from paper cups in an effort to remain awake enough to get off at their station. Already one man has slipped quite violently out of his doze, and was now admonishing a pretty petrified woman across from him of the perils of missing one’s stop.
Don’t have to worry when you’re the last stop, though.
The train continued on its trip, clouds of steam billowing up from the steam-stack atop the engine. A shrill whistle sounded as it neared the station, a building in the centre of the metropolis, a piece of architecture unlike any other around it. It was jagged where others were gently round, sharp and pointed at its tops rather than capped gracefully, and completely unadorned by ornamentation. Solitary, it towered above the rest of the skyline, a cluster of daggers thrust through the heart of the city. It was composed entirely of iron, and pockets of rust were strung along it, another strict contrast to the spotless spires of the urban scene. But still, it was the centre, the most important part, and the myriads of twin rails leading to it carried trains to and from this centre. This was, after all, the last and final stop.
Black train, bring me home.
Ride your rails, my future set.
Bring me where I’m fated to be,
Though I could stop at any time,
A mere pause on the tracks,
‘Tis irrelevant to my destination.