Plugs

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

The Infinite Train

by Rudi Dornemann

It had started four years before Luna was born, and never slowed or gave any sign of ending.

No one could say for sure that the train was infinite. It just kept going by and going by: appearing from empty space under a highway overpass outside Montreal– tracing three-quarters of a circle through Canada, US, and Mexico–disappearing behind the governor’s palace in San Luis Potosí.

For Luna, growing up just blocks from its route, the train rumbled behind her parents’ every shouted conversation, vibrated in her chest when she stayed in her room to draw, blocked her eyes with a horizon-wide wall when she went out.

As a teenager, when she did venture out, it was often into the no-go zone beside the tracks. A few months, and parties in basements of abandoned houses grew routine. She found herself joining the trainspotters she’d once mocked, standing, staring for hours at the cars as they shimmered by. No shouting past the rumble here. The vibration might have replaced her heart.

She started painting, not quite the tagging some of her classmates did on buildings and ordinary trains. She’d never see her designs standing still; she just sprayed swoops and waves on the passing cars. Dots, she discovered, turned to dashes, so she mastered them, flurried them out among the long arcs of her hypnotic cursive, in each hand, a can, a staccato stuttering hiss of propellant. Quick. Flashes. Color. Motion.

One night, she fell out of her painting trance, box of empty cans beside her, rainbow haze retreating after the train on the wind of its passing. She hauled her cans home. Her mother had finally gone, and her leaving blocked her father’s sight to any horizon but the most immediate. Luna heard his words as a broken rumble, but her heart held true to its own vibration. Attuned to speed, she saw the dishes he smashed as dots rather than dashes, and dodged the fragments with trance-practiced fluidity. When he collapsed in a corner, he seemed too still for her eyes to focus on.

In the kitchen doorway, she woke again, as if from another trance. Part of her was traveling away, lines shaped from her movements crossing the continent and slipping out of the world. Another part of her stood still while everything moved as relentlessly as the train, designs rushing past that she’d never really see.

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