Midnight Train

by Steppen Sawicki

Flash Fiction: Horror

At first, the soft choo of the train’s horn came to him from far away, as it always had before.  Were he not lying in bed with silence all around him he wouldn’t have heard it at all.  The sound of it always calmed him and set him at ease, because even if he couldn’t sleep up until midnight the train was there to reassure him that everything else at least was running right.

But the next night it had seemed louder, the horn blaring closer.  It made him uneasy, but he convinced himself it was only the wind blowing in the wrong direction, bringing it to his window.

But the next night it was so loud it frightened his old cat from the covers, and he could swear he heard the rattle of the tracks in between blasts of the horn.  This was no trick of the wind.

And then last night, the tracks had rattled enough to shake the house, and it had blown its horn loud enough to shake his eardrums.  It was right outside his window, passing by at its regular time as if all were normal, and as it left he shook under the blankets.

Tonight he lies in bed, shivering, waiting for the train.