The Cat's Pajamas

Cover of book The Cat's Pajamas
Authors:
Categories: Fiction
“My God!” he cried. “You’ve gotta come see!”
I lay back, easily. “See what?” I said.
Marty looked as if he might tear out his hair. “Haven’t you heard? Down at the station, a special train is pulling
... in from Washington, DC. It’s a steam engine, dammit, that boils water to drive the wheels. We haven’t had a steam engine here for fifty years!”
“I’ve seen steam engines.”
“No, no, this is strange. All black and covered with crepe.”
“Covered with crepe? Let’s get the hell out.”
We got the hell out.
At the station we stared down the empty track. Far away we heard a melancholy wail, and above the horizon a cloud of steam rose to blow away in a sound of weeping.
The dark train glided from the twilight shadows in a drizzle of cold rain.
“Are there passengers?” I said.
“People crying. Hear?”
“My God, yes. Stand back.”
The black train drifted like a dark cloud with the rain following and a ghostly steam clothing it.
The engine continued to exhale ghosts of smoke while it pulled a melancholy procession of cars, all burnt coal midnight black, with gardens of crepe papered along the roofs where the pale steam whispered and the weeping persisted from within the carriages.
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The Cat's Pajamas
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