There’s no such thing as good news this time of night.
This feeling isn’t really one you can prepare for.
It’s like standing on an endless set of tracks
the railing is rusty and corroded,
oxygen eats into the formerly sound structure
causing it to flake off into the ravine below
that’s waiting to devour anyone tired enough
to fall in.
A train howls in the distance
but the path ahead remains clear and black
the wooden planks
split, splinter, and snap
under each cautious step forward.
The tracks begin to vibrate,
a soft and subtle rhythm at first
but a broken breath later
the quaking intensifies
and he loses his footing.
The train frantically wails
and the ambiance is stripped away,
he stumbles forward and notices
the sudden illumination of everything around him.
A cold light causes his stomach to lurch
just before he’s hit.
He plummets into the ravine,
the darkness below stretches and wraps itself around,
yanking him by the neck
the rush of air is too strong
it’s choking him as he comes in and out
He’s been falling for what feels like months,
his only source of light
stems from the train as it passes
ever too briefly
it’s beam spilling over the tracks
and drifting down toward him
close enough to tease the tips of his trembling fingers
and then it’s gone again.
The relentless momentum finally lets up
and he’s able to breathe a little
he looks around
begging for his bearings to return.
The train’s muffled cry can be heard
while it glides ghostly
this time grinding to a stop
it’s mechanical lungs expel what breath it had left
and the silver-coated cloud descends.
The cold, still light creeps below
and uncovers his body
floating among a sea of others
in the milky gloom.
The cloud disperses itself through everybody,
and one by one the lost bodies around him
ignite from within
glowing brighter with every breath
until slowly they begin to rise.
The lustrous night sky pulls closer
and he finds comfort in the warmth of his own flesh.
His body lights the way and he joins the others
as they all float up and out of the darkness.