I hear the train’s whistle. Distance blends the wail with the depth of night sounds. And the crickets nearer.
My directions to visitors state that I am three miles from where the tracks cross Elm. All ten East/West streets in Crowell are named after trees making four more trees than we have in the city park.
Trains used to stop here. There is a eroded concrete and railroad tie platform as a testament to that bit of Americana. All we get now is the whistle. At two in the morning, the sound is a warning to get out while you still can. All the cars in Crowell and nearly all in Johnsman county have been parked so long the engines are cool. No one is idling at Elm or Oak or Cottonwood waiting for the BNSF.
I try not to imagine that she is though. The top of her once-red Monte Carlo down, June bugs gathering in the headlamps because it’s a long one, her counting graffitied coal cars, and being hypnotized by the gaps between each.
I try not to imagine her putting it back in drive.
[a whole series of stuff not to imagine]
I do try to imagine she’s not dead.
Word count: 198