Honorable Mention Last Train
by Victory Crayne
Alfred looked at his watch for the millionth
time and sighed. What a price to pay for a life of sin.
His love of trains had been both his greatest
joy and his worst temptation.
His catholic and very pious father had been
a conductor before him and all he ever wanted to do was wear the uniform
and greet the travelers before hopping up on the step and yelling, "All
He got his wish and worked the Allen & Cooper
line between Chicago and St. Louis. Oh so many times he had greeted joyous
party goers who used the sleeper cars for nights of wanton pleasure with
sex and drugs. A lifelong bachelor, he
had fantasized about joining them. The day he did was the beginning of his
end. Every overnight run from then on,
all he had to do was allow a few passengers without tickets to board and
he was a welcome guest for a night of sinful revelry. Life was good for lonely
Alfred. Then one night, his absence in
the caboose was all it took for the train backing up to hit a heavy truck
stalled on the tracks. One hundred passengers died with him.
Now he was doomed to ten thousand agonizing years in Purgatory, spent greeting
reluctant passengers on the Death Train to Hell. There would be no parties
for Alfred. Only the melancholy and lonely chore of taking doomed sinners
on their last train ride..