TUBE, DRAFT 1, CHAPTER 36 (EXCERPT)
The noise was a tremendous hollow bang. It rolled across the field like thunder. There was a brief spark, and then both carriages derailed with a screech, briefly rearing up like two fighting animals, their wheels spinning clear off the ground. They hovered like this for a few seconds and laboriously tumbled to one side. A few more cars collided on inertia and careened dangerously, swaying, not quite off the tracks but not on them either, before the whole mess stopped moving.
Where Olesya’s father stood a moment ago was a mash of clothes and blood. It sprayed out at the snow, splattering it with red droplets, melting it, turning it into pink sludge. The rest of him got dragged over to where the tipped carriages wallowed in the snow.
“No, papa! NO!!!” Olesya swam in pain and shock, no longer knowing who she was or where she belonged or how she was able to witness her father’s horrific death that took place eleven years ago. Tears streamed down her face, and she wailed, blubbering muzzy nonsense, crawling up the embankment on her hands and knees, her vision blurry, her head ringing.
A smell of burning rubber streaked up her nose, that, and another odor, sweet and cloying. She didn’t want to think about what it was, deliberately breathing through her mouth.
“Oh...” she stopped, her eyes pinned to a hand, her father’s hand that she touched not too long ago, now severed from his arm and resting palm up, as if in a gesture of supplication, fingers curled slightly, a tangle of torn ligaments and muscle where his wrist should’ve been. Olesya touched his dead fingers and dropped her head, “Oh, my God.” The fingers were stiff and cold, not at all what the fingers of a recently killed person should feel.
They should be warm...they should be...
Olesya looked up, scanning the ground.
It’s fake, it’s all fake. You’re doing it to scare me.
There were other body parts, mangled and strewn along several yards, unidentifiable unless she crept over and took a closer look. Then she felt sick and gagged, catching the bile by her teeth and forcing it down. Directly across her, right on the rail, mysteriously balancing on its very edge of it as if was placed there on purpose, sat her father’s head wrapped in the fur hat, his eyes open, glassy, staring at her.
Olesya felt her stomach melt and disappear somewhere. Her bowels were hot and churning. She felt an urge to void herself, right there and then, suddenly not worried about the smell or the feel of doing what she hadn’t done since the day when her father snatched her away from the moving toy train at the park, when she let go of her bladder, terrified of his fear, of his bulging eyes staring at her.
(Photo by Steve Chandler.)