Even was driving his train through the beautiful countryside. He liked being a train engineer. The meditative tranquillity of the train following its tracks, the calm attention of keeping his eyes on the way and make sure the speed was as it should be.
-A bit more steam! He had shout to be heard over the noise. The fireman threw more coal in the fire.
Even laid back, watching the smoke from the chimney. This was the life.
The train stopped on the Droftville station. Fine people went on and off, beautiful, elegant men and women. Among them was Jessica Babbit. Her life in the spotlight had made her quite a fortune.
She sat down on the seat, looking out of the window. Touched the blue little tumour on her belly, the little lump she hadn’t told anyone about, that seemed to grow when she was nervous.
An old lady was sitting by her side.
-So, where are you going?
-I’m going into town. Paperwork, you know.
-Isn’t this beautiful? The old lady lent over Jessica, looking out through the window.
The train chooed on between tall hills and green forests.
Even looked ahead. There was a cow on the track. He pulled the chain. The whistle sounded through the valley, the cow looked apathetically up toward the train further up.
It didn’t move.
There was still a long way down, and Even stepped on the brakes.
-What the… They didn’t work. -Hmm. That’s odd, Even pulled the emergency break. The lever came off.
With the lever in his hand Even looked in terror at the cow on the tracks. It was big enough to throw the locomotive into the field.
The little lump tingled a bit, as it usually did when Jessica was annoyed. The old lady kept chatting on about grandchildren and cake and how horrible things were these days. It tingled so hard it hurt. She touched it. It had spread, grown. It had happened once before. She had blacked out.
She remembered the news the day after. Horrible things had happened.
-Can you please be silent, she asked the old lady. -I’m not feeling too well.
-This is exactly what I’m talking about, the lady said. -Young people today have no respect for the elders. My grandson, when I make him cake, he….
The tingling sensation spread around her body. On her skin. In her stomach. Her heart and brain.
-SHUT UP ALREADY!
The old lady shut up. Jessica looked out of the window. The train was on its way down from the mountain, faster and faster. The whistle sounded desperate, whistling long and hard.
Other passengers were getting nervous as well.
Jessica turned towards the lady -I think the train is….
-I’m not talking to you, you rude little bitch.
Even looked at the cow on the track. It was chewing and chewing as the train accelerated towards it. Even pulled the whistle over and over, The Cow took a step to one side. Then another. It got out of the way as the train rushed passed it down the steep hill at high speed.
-I need to go to the …
-I said, I’m not talking to you.
The carriage was shaking wildly. People were screaming and holding on to anything they had close.
The old lady looked at Jessica.
-Oh my, what’s wrong with your face?
The tingling pain shot around in her body. She felt muscles grow underneath her dress. It broke. She screamed a monstrous roar. The old lady screamed and threw herself over on the other side. The wagon cringed and jumped.
-We’re all going to die! A man shouted from the other side of the wagon, looking out towards where they were going.
Jessica grew. She grew too big to stay in the carriage. She punched a fist through the roof. Her eyesight was blurry. Her brain was pumping with weird emotions, strange thoughts of violence and death.
She ripped the roof off, jumped up on the train.
It was out of control, the wheels hardly hanging onto the tracks. Further down the engineer was screaming from the locomotive, hanging out of the window.
She crawled ahead towards the locomotive. She no longer knew what it was, but she knew it was the source to her problems, the threat to her existence.
Even panicked. He hung out out the window, screaming for help, but he knew there was no one who could help them now. He looked back towards the carriages. These innocent people, depending on him to…
“What is that? Just when you think things can’t get any worse, a monster comes jumping …”
It got on the locomotive roof. Onto the engine in front. The curve over the cliff, hundreds of feet over the rocky ground was coming closer.
What used to be Jessica Babbit hung onto the engine, biting it. She had to stop it somehow, it had to stop moving. The last soft curve before the cliff the train cringed, flew several feet, landed on track again. Jessica held on to the train trying everything her primitive brain could think of. One of her feet got stuck in between the wheels. A lever was pushed down. The train started breaking.
Sparks flew wildly as the train bent from one side to another, cringed, scraped.
Even pulled levers, let out steam, did everything in his power to keep the train on track. The train went into the curve at high speed. Underneath there was an abyss. The train wheels on the inner side of the curve left ground. Jessica grabbed the metal track, kept the train in the curve, held on as her hand slid along it. They were out of the curve. The train kept breaking.
Jessica fell off, exhausted. Everything went black.
She woke up naked on the ground. Around her the other passengers were looking anxiously.
-Yay! Applause.People hugging each other, dancing around.
Jessica felt tired and her hand hurt like hell, but it seemed that somehow she she had become a heroine.