Train Wreck II

Andrea L. Kassner By Andrea L. Kassner, 31st Jul 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Becca undergoes a traumatic event in her life which is metaphorically compared to a train wreck and chemical exposure.


Many years passed before Becca could look at the full moon in all its color and splendor.

“I remember that night,” Becca reflected in a voice tempered by time. “The full moon shone through my bedroom window. Since that night, the golden sphere has triggered muddled memories, and robbed me of moonlight walks on starlit trails. I shied from nights adorned by a full moon. When I wished for an evening of relaxation, and a casual moment to gaze at the bright shape in the night sky, my fears overruled.”

Becca remembered the night as both frightening and mesmerizing. The orbed shape silhouetted against the darkness with curtains of rain clouds merged in the soupy seas of blackness. A shadowy forest of shifting shapes wandered in the landscape of her refuge.

While the full moon ebbed and the late winter snow melted, Becca slept tranquil and dreamless until the moonlit fast-moving train hurtled into her being.

Less than three hundred feet from her little house built by her hands, a train that pulled bulky boxcars filled with lumber, equipment, and chemicals, collided with good old Montana dirt in her small-town backyard.

Becca awakened, jolted and dazed by booming impacts. She lay in her bed with arms and legs paralyzed by fear. Her heart clenched and her mind cratered into itself. She imagined the worst.

Time after time, the silence boomed. The ground reverberated. The frame house swayed. Her tiny abode felt like “ground zero”.

After what seemed an hour of torturous blasts, an unnerving quietness descended on the landscape. The clouds released the rain which fell as a mist and fluttered with soft pulsations.

But Becca needed answers. She peered into the blackness, into the low-lying clouds and obscuring mists. Endless shadows pervaded every crevice and cranny between rocks and trees.

“What happened?”

“What caused the explosions?”

With her eyes wide open and a soul peaked in panic, Becca moved from window to window. She quivered on the inside.

Moments later, a quiet passage of time ensued. She began to believe all was well. Her heart began to hope.

And then, without warning, the fumes began to penetrate the wood-trimmed walls. Fumes with a familiar odor of chlorine bleach seeped through and fueled Becca’s raging anxiety. The vague odor overpowered her thinking and fear strangled her.

Becca stepped outside. The poisons drifted in the air and acid-like raindrops fell. She choked with each breath. Her exposed skin and eyes burned. Tears, mixed with the acid rain, scarred her face.

The fumes and fear triggered Becca into action. She left everything; pictures, mementos, books. She left her home, land, trees, and security.

Becca remembered the night’s drive to safety. Her aged car jolted to an uncertain start, and then, wobbled along the rough, rugged Montana backroad. She drove with abandon. Headlights barely punctured the strange misty darkness. The car’s windshield wipers cleared the acid raindrops, and toxic fumes blew from the defroster into the vehicle. As she drove, she battled the intense desire to scream an alarm. Instead, Becca blasted the car horn and hoped the blaring sound would awaken any sleeping neighbors.

Finally, there it was, the firehouse. The station’s silhouette appeared as a castle engulfed in fog. The firemen were gracious as she relayed her story, but they stared at Becca in disbelief until the fire alarm shocked them to action.

Friends and neighbors, stunned and bewildered, soon gathered to comfort and be comforted. Stories of overturned boxcars and explosions filtered through the groups; stories that were different but the same.

Becca recalled those moments that followed the explosions. They are forever tattooed into her psyche and soul. Her soul, often black with the soot of the world, was burned and scalded. Like the engine of that train, her life chugged and blew steam, carried back curving loads. And like the train wreck, living as she knew it crashed into the Montana dirt.

Becca trudged through years following the accident. Without her land, trees, and belongings, she struggled to put her life back on track.

Her life was transformed because of a train wreck. She faced truths, looked at her life, and made changes. Every day, following the accident, Becca surveyed her life and examined her feelings about the experience. She questioned the priorities in her life, and in time soon became awed by the beauties of her surroundings. Her life, now, a palette of color, welcomes the full moon’s light.


Chemical Spills, Reflections, Trains

Meet the author

author avatar Andrea L. Kassner
I was raised and educated in Spokane, Washington attending and graduating from Community Colleges of Spokane. My A.D. is Liberal Arts with English concentration.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
4th Aug 2017 (#)

Did you enjoy my chat sessions so much that it became storylines. Yep, learn the reality now. Should have known better that all of you just scour as BOT people to steal personal life data. I am not angry just reiterated my belief we are all watched. Now lets hear your real life shall we. You are a good writer.

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