There was a train station.
All trains come to where the world all stands. Some people may sit on the roof for a time, but they all come to the gap eventually.
Scrawled, horrible words cover the walls, the floor, the beams and ceiling. Some tried to paint over, some tried to clean them off, and some tried to fix it with beautiful words. Chaos mingles here with the brushing shoulders of strangers, caking memory.
But the station still, just barely, quakes when the trains rumble by and when the brakes screech and gravel peppers the station.
Some trains are steel. Some are silver. Some are gold.
When the time comes for the trains to stop, every conductor starts shouting.
“Come, come, come buy your tickets! Come buy your tickets and save your souls! Come to my train, and you will be saved.”
The echoes and screams and yells, targeting each person, tumbled and echoed around every person. Rich and poor, steel and gold, like the cranking of a gear.
But one conductor sang.
He wasn’t much to look at. His voice itself had no significant attraction.
Oh, but the words he sang.
“You!” The words held a tenderness, as if he could see into every particle of your being. “You! Come follow me. I will buy your tickets, and I will pay your fees. I know exactly what you cost;” the words then began to plead, “believe me, without this train you will be lost.”
The song rattled the graffiti and station bones and precedence. The rich laughed, and secured a seat on a steel or gold train.
But the poor had nothing to lose; not even hope. So they told their friends, and the crowds around the train grew.
The rich laughed. “Yes, let us go see this scandal, this train that claims to be free. Just let him speak! Something ought to be done about this.”
He drew a picture on the ground, and a faint thrill ran through the nerves of those watching. The stone moved like sand under his thick fingers. He turned to the crowds, and sang in a clear voice,
“Throw your tickets, your weights, down, and I will give you mine instead!”
“Nonsense, we want to choose.”
“You! Come follow me. I will buy your tickets, and I will pay your fees.”
“We see no safety on this train.”
“I know how much you are worth; believe me, without this train you will be lost.”
Some threw their tickets on the ground.
Then the flood of soldiers came. Blood-eyed and hungry, kicking and shouting at the crowds, who receded into the graffiti as red-stained ghosts.
“Show us the one who lies! Show us this grand deceiver, who claims his train of grace is free!”
Silence. Every scream canceled into silence.
We’ll take his body to the track, and nail him there so he never comes back.
The chant grows, and the train station quakes and groans a little as its very walls seem to join in.
His voice itself had no significant attraction. But the words that he spoke!
The tracks were so red. The station was red now, red over every graffiti stain. Everyone was covered in blood, just as they had come into the world. And all singing died.
What color do you chose to paint the sky?
When the light hits the water, void before, the colors shine and spark.
If you listen to the overture, ringing echoes
Resound into every corner of the heavens.
Blue was the one that won,
but he shares it with the others in the evening until the dawn.
The music from the garden hid underground, welled up again, and then noon split
into red sun and night.
The singer died.
And it was dark.
The train station was black and groaning in pain, reeling from every thud of the spikes. It didn’t matter if eyes were open or closed. The lights, moons, were bleeding red.
It was too real.
Cheers resounded, while a few bitter hopes slid away. The song was fading from the ocean, from the underground, as the promise that kept the ship sailing cracked and died.
Red, the blood of perfect man.
Black, the sin of wayward men.
The ground beneath began to shake. It shook with fear.
And then the stone began to break, with a snap that stopped the world. It banged against and through every soul’s marrow.
It was the thunder of the song.
He came back.
He came back anyway.
One voice started singing, and the lights began to blaze past the blood. It drove back the dark.
Then another began to follow.
The trains began to hum, as the doors opened with a click.
The screams and shouts and calls of the other conductors began in a frenzied competition. T
“Come, come, come buy your tickets! Come buy your tickets and save your souls! Come to my train, and you will be saved,” they called frantically against the blood-spattered walls.
And one conductor sang.
“You!” The words rang too loudly for a mere ghost of a man. “Come follow me! I will buy your tickets, and I will pay your fees!”
Author’s note: Inspiration stolen directly from The Gray Havens with some additional inspiration from Les Mis.
Published on 17 May, 2016. Last updated on