Saturday, December 12, 2009

We Tried To Save Him

The train rocked slowly into the night as he stared into the dark the Montana landscapes. Lulliper had cramped herself in the corner with her legs up and the side of her head pressed against the far wall. Sam was lucky enough to have two seats to himself, so he slept with his legs slightly pinched, flat on his side. He had converted a bag that he filled with clothes as a pillow. Jack, as always, could not sleep. In the distance, the red lights of a town just across the river came into view, ribboned by the thick black canopy of trees that separated the town and river from the speeding train. He could see the wide tunnel thorough a small past if he pressed his head against the cool glass. It was a clear night. The moonless night would have been pitched black save for the reflection of the stars and cities upon the river, which created a ethereal wave of glittering stardust that seemed unreal. Jack felt the lulling drowsiness but not the eye shuttering exhausting that came with regular sleep. If he closed his eyes, he would simply see the back of his eye-lids, but the oppressive darkness that shielded the view of the river created a strange filtering effect and made his eyes strain to capture the fleeting momentary view. It was the moment after he wiped his eyes when he saw them.

They were four from the count of them, all riding horses. From what Jack could recall from what little esquiterian he knew, they seemed like Fox-trotters but it was hard to tell from the lack of color and indistinguishable shape that came from incorporeality. They rode on near the light of the train, two of them were toward the rear of the cart neck and neck. One was a little farther along from them catching up to the one which Jack saw clearest from his window. Together, the four of them rode like a silent films, there vague forms only hinting at who and what they once were in life. The details well obscured by the poor light and the lack of physical forms. At times they would lose resolution and luster. Other times they were sharp and crisp. A moment later they would blur. Jack took note of their late night presence for one reason. It was the first time he had ever seen ghost horses. It was a sight.

©Benel Germosen, 2008

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