Copyright © 2016 by Lena Jill Lorenzen
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means – except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews – without written permission from its publisher.
Lena Jill Lorenzen
I returned to work full duty right on the very cusp of the next Sunday on the Maryland and New Carrollton Railway’s former Pennsylvania Railroad nee Conrail, Popes Creek Secondary subdivision at around 5:22 PM late that evening. My four year veteran conductor, Meya Nilsson and I arrived in a little over half that time down at the local Merritt generating station in Morgantown down on the edge of the Potomac River in her dinky little white sedan from which she always more than willingly picks me up in no matter where or how far across town I may possibly be. Meya was a kind middle aged wolf all the way from Stockholm of Sweden with fur as pure and snow white as winter with patches of black along most of her ears, forehead, and cheeks, and soft amber eyes that just somehow spiritually caressed you like a mother’s pouch whenever you indeed were lucky enough to come in full contact with her. Unlike most thirty nine year olds working the rails today though, she had the biggest motor mouth I’ve ever seen any wolf of her kind and originality possess. No, it never got her into any sort of trouble at all in any way; considering she always went by that “the older the wiser” type thought and mentality, but boy did it sure hilariously drive some of Joey boomer guys and gals downright to the point of insanity to which some even dubbed her the proper and fitting nickname of “Motorola Meya”. We had just retrieved our striking orange and gold pair of C40-8Ws, depressingly replaced by the ever famous G&W style herald with the MNC letters for our company printed boldly in the middle of the sun style logo on both the nose and engine compartment sides, and were now throttling up to head north with our string of about eighty six empties for the staging yard down on Norfolk and Atlantic territory in the form of their ever prominent Mount Claire yard in Baltimore. Everything was pretty fine for the most part. The cab signal indicator shone the bright green universal color for clear, the rails hummed rhythmically and rather nicely, and of course Meya even started up her usual round of nearly nonstop talking about the latest video games out to date, console releases, and of course the ever so usual girly girl gig of what couples both she and I were going to be swooning over when the two next seasons of “Teen Wolf” or either that third reboot of “Being Animal” ever came into play on television. “I don’t know.” I laughed genuinely. “I’m not at all that much of a TV buff roo. I mainly just stick to Youtube and such. Besides, everything on there is pretty much being consumed by zombie crap anyway.” “Yeah. Ain’t that the truth, kamrat.” She replied, once again with that ever so friendly and motherly smile. “Say, I’m getting kinda hungry. You still have at least a few of those carrot sticks and all you got from our luncheon at Baja Fresh earlier?” “Didn’t you just eat nearly all of my veggie wrap meal along with your own beef supreme chimichanga?” “Yeah. But, that was about two hours ago.” She whined comically along with her stomach as I began to bring us slowly around the turn and junction switch at the twenty mile an hour limit steadily onto the late night deadened version of Amtrak’s electrified Northeast Corridor. I sighed and rolled my eyes coyly in mock indignation. I’ll take you by Shelly’s or somewhere when get up into B-more.” She smiled gratefully over in my direction in return then her expression suddenly resembled those of a fellow ruminant caught in the midst of headlights as I gave the usual signal of two long warning blows on the K5LA horn button for the New Carrollton MARC and Amtrak stop before turning steadily back to me in almost whispering in sheer, undine horror, “Did you just see that?” “See what? What’s wrong, mama wolfina? Is that usual late night case of acid reflux finally starting to settle slowly within you? I hear nearly just about all forty year olds get it, you know?” “That’s sure as hell not funny, deary. And no. That’s not at all what I mean. I mean, there was a woman; a deer from the looks of it, standing somewhere within the fence of the old catenary substation. Nothing unusual I thought at first glance except for being the occasional trespasser, but her apparel she was wearing apparently looked to be ripped straight out of way back of the nineteen fifties or so era.” Just then, my stomachs dropped and I let out an audible gulp in response as my mind suddenly raced directly back to the movie theater with my mom and cousin. “Crikey, son of a bitch.” I murmured in shock and surprise. I turned back to Meya. “M, did you manage to catch even a slight glimpse of what all she was wearing before she went by?” “Some long ass trench coat; in the damn dead of summer, Jimmy John slacks, curling dress shoes, and some kind of wide brimmed Smokey Bear like fedora that looked like something out of fucking LA Noire.” “Holy mercy mother of Anubis.” I swore under my breath. “Just about a minute after I forced that response from the lips of my muzzle, the DC based dispatcher of the NEC returned my routine status call for clearance along the route and my blood soon ran like a stream in February at his exact words, “MNC engine seventy eight fourteen, you are indeed green for glory all the way, but strangely all of our service is just about suspended for the night here on. Apparently, there was some sort of random transformer explosion somewhere near your section. Odd, because the techs just checked that sucker out nearly a week or so right on inspection date.”