Alexithymia / Alexitimia - The Ink Well Prompt #14: Railroad

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This is my entry for The Ink Well Prompt #14: Railroad

The large window of my seat showed a blue sky in all its immensity, resting on a mountain range. In spite of going over hundreds of kilometers per hour, everything up there looked with a peaceful and enviable calmness. Oblivious to the earth, the clouds moved lazily, in no hurry to get anywhere.

Up above, perhaps 2000 meters high, a bird hovers carefree and I think it would be desirable to have wings at this moment.

A row of trees disappears in front of me, blending into a green blur like someone dragging a brush over fresh paint.

I keep my hands inside my jacket pockets; the small droplets condensing on the top of the large window tremble at the vibrations of the train and crawl like tears on the surface of the glass, leaving tiny crumbs behind them.

The song stops playing in my headphones, giving way to the monotonous rattling of the sleepers under the train's wheels. It was initially lulling, now it is overshadowed by the constant pounding of lifeless beings who have already begun to crack the window of the railcar's rear door. A caravan of teeth desperate to satiate a voracious appetite that is never satisfied threatens the safety of the passengers in the carriage.

I rearrange my headphones so that they fully cover my ears.

Panic floods the faces of the people around me to the beat of the queen's bohemian rhapsody that begins seconds before the screams of terror erupt and the human stampede rushes towards the front of the car. Some stumble and step on others without looking back, regardless of whether they are women, children, or the elderly. It is hard to believe that just a few hours ago everyone was cordial to each other at the beginning of the trip.

My condition prevents me from reacting as other people normally would. Sometimes I wonder if it's a curse or a blessing. That's why I'm not feeling dementedly shouting, or running away in panic.

In the wake of the wounded left by the mob, I wait for the weaker ones to leave the wagon. The integrity of the door is about to be compromised by the weight of the lifeless. I get up and have not taken 3 steps when I see a small girl hiding between two adjoining seats, hugging her knees, abandoned to her fate.

I extend my hand towards her and she with her eyes full of tears extends both her arms towards me. I carry her and we hide in a tiny bathroom seconds before the hungry creatures manage to enter the carriage.

Erratic footsteps flood the aisle and behind the thin door that defends our lives, scratches, grunts, and whimpers are heard. Trembling, the little girl hides her head in my arms. My attention is again drawn to the beautiful scenery shown by the window inside the bathroom. It paints a huge lake, as peaceful as the sky it reflects.

An idea crosses my mind and my body shudders at the thought of how cold the water must be.

See you next time, space cowboy (should I say cowgirl too?).





Esta es mi entrada para The Ink Well Fiction Prompt #14: Ferrocarril

El gran ventanal de mi asiento mostraba un cielo azul en toda su inmensidad, descansando sobre una cordillera de montañas. A pesar de ir a cientos de kilómetros por hora, todo allá arriba se veía con una calma pacífica y envidiable. Ajenas a la tierra, las nubes se movían perezosas, sin apuro a llegar a ninguna parte.

Arriba, quizás a 2000 metros de altura, un ave planea despreocupada y pienso que sería apetecible tener alas en este momento.

Una hilera de árboles desaparece frente a mi vista, mezclados en un borrón verde como quien arrastra un pincel sobre una pintura fresca.

Guardo mis manos dentro de los bolsillos de mi chaqueta; las pequeñas gotas que se condensan en la parte superior de la gran ventana tiemblan ante las vibraciones del tren y se arrastran como lágrimas sobre la superficie del cristal, dejando diminutas migajas tras ellas.

La canción deja de sonar en mis audífonos, dejando paso al traqueteo monótono de los durmientes bajo las ruedas del tren. Inicialmente, era arrullador, ahora se ve opacado por el constante golpeteo de los seres sin vidas, quienes ya han comenzado a agrietar la ventana de la puerta trasera del vagón. Una caravana de dientes desesperados por saciar un apetito voraz, que nunca se satisface, amenaza la seguridad de los pasajeros del vagón.

Reacomodo mis audífonos para que cubran totalmente mis orejas.

El pánico inunda los rostros de las personas a mi alrededor al compás de la rapsodia bohemia de Queen que inicia segundos antes de que estallen los gritos de pavor y la estampida humana arremeta hacia la parte frontal del vagón. Unos tropiezan y pisan a los otros sin mirar hacia atrás, sin importar si son mujeres, niños o ancianos. Es difícil creer que hace unas pocas horas atrás todos eran cordiales, los unos a los otros; al inicio del viaje.

Mi condición me impide reaccionar como normalmente lo harían las demás personas. A veces me pregunto si es una maldición o bendición. Es por eso que no siento la necesidad de gritar demencialmente, ni huir despavorido.

Tras la estela de heridos que ha dejado la turba, espero que los más débiles abandonen el vagón. La integridad de la puerta está por ser comprometida por el peso de los sin vida. Me levanto y no he dado 3 pasos cuando veo una pequeña escondida entre dos asientos contiguos, abrazando sus rodillas, abandonada a su suerte.

Extiendo mi mano hacia ella y ella con sus ojos llenos de lágrimas extiende sus dos brazos hacia mi. La cargo y nos escondemos en un diminuto baño segundos antes de que logren entrar los seres hambrientos al vagón.

Pasos erráticos inundan el pasillo y tras la delgada puerta que defiende nuestras vidas, se escuchan rasguños, gruñidos y quejidos. Temblorosa, la pequeña esconde su cabeza entre mis brazos. Mi atención nuevamente se ve atraída por el hermoso paisaje que muestra la ventana en el interior del baño. Pinta un enorme lago, tan pacifico como el cielo que refleja.

Una idea cruza mi mente y mi cuerpo se estremece al pensar en lo fría que debe estar esa agua

Hasta la próxima, vaquero del espacio (¿Debería decir vaquera también?).

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Thanks ^_^


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Thanks ^_^

There is nothing ordinary about this story. That is the secret of its charm. The narrator is numbed by past experience and sees an extraordinary event--an invasion by the undead--with flat effect. And yet, the narrator shudders at the possible coldness of the lake, and softens at the sight of a frightened child. Your description of the scene tells us everything. This is a classic example of show, not tell. You 'show' with extraordinary skill.

Thank you for posting this story in the Ink Well community. Please be sure to read the work of other writers in the community and share comments with them. We are urging everyone who posts in The Ink Well to take this step, going forward, to ensure our community members are supporting one another. (We also have this in The Ink Well community rules on our home page and in our weekly writing prompts.) Thank you!

You 'show' with extraordinary skill.

Glad to hear that, I've always wanted to try to show more than telling.

I will comment on the others posts ^_^

Oh my, you hit it out of the ballpark with this one, @jadams2k18. So much of this story is told by saying very little, and holding back on over-explaining. The "condition" of the narrator... what could it possibly be, that keeps him from becoming alarmed at an invasion of zombies? Many writers would have been compelled to describe these horrid things in gruesome detail. But it's not needed. The story is very gripping and compelling with the small details you provided. Well done.

Thank you very much, my dear @jayna. ^_^

Coming from you, that's a great compliment. Step by step I'm getting better and better. I really enjoy writing stories, but I still have a long way to go.

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Yay! ^_^

I was not ready for this ride between a tranquil scene and the reality that it is in a world full of zombies ... and this hero who cannot run or react becomes the only possible savior of a little child ... between the zombies and the deep cold lake ... and the unbroken tranquility of an earth that thrives and is beautifully indifferent ... just STUNNING, and so brief!

Hi, @deeanndmathews! Thanks for coming by.

Some time ago I saw a movie where there was a character who suffered from a condition that did not allow him to worry or get upset. I had a great desire to write and imagine what would happen if that character lived an experience of a zombie attack.

Quite concise i must say. The character in this story feels a little more like my kid brother. He isn't easily moved or terrified by any sudden occurrence. That most times i wonder if he is normal or crazy lol.
I am glad the character didn't leave the poor girl all by herself to face her fate.
Nice story!

Thanks for your kinds words

Maybe your little brother is like Daredevil, the superhero who has no fear :-)

Hehehehehe, I guess lol

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Thank you! It's been a pleasure ^_^

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