Her feet crunched in the leaves with each step as she followed the trail through the woods behind her house. Other than her own, she could have sworn she heard small feet shuffling ahead of her. She knew of the stories in her small community that told to never be near the tracks after 10-o-clock, but she ignored what she thought couldn’t be true. She approached the bottom of the tall tower and rung by rung, she climbed the cold ladder, slick with dew. Her hands were clammy because of all the anger built up inside of her and she was nervous she would slip.
Finally, she reached the top and her rapid pulse abated as she carefully walked over and sat down. She felt a cool breeze blow on her neck all of a sudden. Normally, she would get out her headphones and listen to music, but something told her to just lie there in silence and stare up at the night sky filled with dark, muggy clouds. She began thinking about the stories that people had told her about the little boy as she laid there on that cold, metal tower. “How did they go again?” she thought. She remembered something about a young boy named Emmett and a train accident that happened around 16 years ago, coincidentally on the same day she was born. She felt another chill across the back of her neck. She ignored it for a second time.
The thoughts of the argument began racing through her mind again. It seemed that every year on her birthday, her mother seemed so timid and strange. Her thoughts trailed off and she fell asleep. Several minutes later she woke up to the sound of a train horn in the distance. She heard what she thought was a young boy’s laughter coming from the tracks below her and suddenly the pitter-patter of feet coming up the side of the tower. She put her back against a pole and watched the top of the ladder as a young boy with a pale face and solid white eyes stopped and smiled at her for a moment. He slowly climbed up and started walking across the platform over to her. The train was getting closer.
The boy got close and said, “In case you’ve never heard, I am your brother, Emmett. Sixteen years ago, our mother left me at home while she went to the hospital for you. I left home and found this place. I lost my life that night playing on these tracks because of you and I’m here with one purpose.”
“What’s that?” Jennifer cautiously asked.
“You,” whispered the boy. He violently threw Jennifer off the edge as the train zoomed beneath him, completely decimating her.
She woke up as the sun was rising and relieved, she looked over to find that she was alone. Then a train horn startled her and a whisper from behind her said, “Goodbye, Jennifer.”