The rails are quiet.
I don't notice it at first. Not when I'm too much into meddling with my thoughts, concerns, and worries.
But as three days past, that's when the power of silence kicks in.
I'll trudge along the path, listen to a content bird sing its heart out, maybe hear a squirrel scamper by...then....nothing.
It disturbs me, even though the silence is my friend. It bears good news. No enemies in the area.You could say that kind of silence could hide ambush, but I doubt it. It's the too quiet kind, the kind that makes your thoughts seem loud. It's unnerving. Especially for a city folk.
When the world went crazy, well...crazy shit went down. The kind of mega stuff you'd only see in movies.
Oil ran out. Starvation spread, people flocked to St. Peter's in Rome, where protest emerged. Riots consumed most cities. War broke out. Cities destroyed or lit ablaze, mass flocks of evacuations. Cannabalism flourished. Bridges destroyed, highways battlegrounds. Power outages and power surges. EMP's, floods, fallen sattelites, It was Earth going out with a bang.
From up above E.T.'s might think we were having some sorta international party. It was the party like there was no tomorrow. And now we reside in the no tomorrow.
What haunts me most is that no trains pass by.
I take care to camp and travel a good ways away from the track: close enough for it to remain in sight, far enough for me to remain in safety.
I didn't expect cars to be used anymore, but the last oil reserves were being used all for train purposes, to help people get home before there was nothing they could do anymore. It was apart of the whole flocks of evacuation thing. Even after civilization fell, they ran for a good while.
What I also find curious is the abandoned train stations. The abandoned part wasn't surprising, but for being abandoned, they are in good shape. Most have no broken windows, haven't suffered bombing casulties and have plentiful stocks of food and supplies.
They have been left untouched by the raging tides of a shattering world.
I explore them quite a bit, but they never reveal anything un-ordinary. I don't camp in them, though. They give me goosebumps. Every noise I make is amplified into an echo, and echo that only reminds me of how truly alone I really am. I prefer the open, quiet outdoors.
Why the train stations are left untouched I think are linked to the fact that the rail line is a short one that connects only small towns with Edinburgh. Why I haven't seen any trains, running or abandoned, I have now clue.
That's how I know there's something fishy going on. Had I seen cars let to rust with their tracks I wouldn't have been concerned. But this rail system...it's like it was brand new, fresh out of a toy box and before the trains could be placed on to be played with, the owner of the tracks died.
It takes me a few days after to realize I've been on the "rails" for weeks. I haven't seen a living soul. It scares me. Crazy thoughts start leaking back into my head. The loudness of them starts to become my reality, like the real reality no longer exist. I think I'm going insane.
Only when I discover the disaster am I distracted long enough to get out of my head for the first time in days.
It's a pile up. But not of cars; it's 100% train.
I fall to my knees when I see it. A worse sight then one that can evaporate all hope. One that shows really how screwed up the world is.
The first train screen displays the blinking words "Durham-Edinburgh 15:00." The exact train my parents were suppose to board.
All the cars are left ajar, diagonal to the track. They leave destroyed buildings and wrecked homes in their wake.
Dead bodies lay spilled out the shattered window, scorched in the exploding fire.
And there is a messy trail of it for about a mile long.
Meter after meter the wreck stretches on, almost as infinite as the horizon. It's more of the same. I even spot a car completely standing up longways, the dead people piled up and crushed under one another at the bottom.
The stench is un-describable. A mix of burning metal and old fat.
Because there are no fires, I assume the train has been left like this from a week ago. And now it resides as a monument to our desperate last attempts as a country: as a species.
The last thing I spot are tracks. Foot prints, a collection of fat, long, and stubby shoes. Woman and Men's. And the lead from the "Durham-Edinburgh 15:00" They are heading back in the direction they came.
I wince at the thought at how power-less they must have felt, witnessing each train pass them knowing what fate was in store for it. Maybe someone tried to flag them down? Maybe they were ignored.
On the meager bright side, at least I'm on the right track.
No pun intended.