(If you haven’t read pt 1 please read that first! Or you will be terribly confused)
Nothing. No one. I crossed the tracks and she was gone! Nothing but me and the train horn sounding in the distance. It’s dark and foggy, so I decide that I should double check. I follow the ditch down beside the tracks as far as I can. It drops down further and further into a creek bed. The tracks cross a tressle about 20 foot overhead. I call out and hear nothing. I listen, no movement, no voices, cries or moans. I turn to go back up to the street, head down focusing on my footing.
“Help! Help them!” A shrill voice pierces the air.
My head jerks up to face the brief flash of an ashen face with sunken in black eyes. I slip and let out a scream. As quick as I saw it, it was gone. I scramble up the embankment and run towards my house. I trip on my small, half step and sprall out across the porch. As my body hits the wooden planks, the small amount of air left in my lungs decide to vacate and I immediately pass out.
I see the face again and jump awake. Trying to catch my breath, I assess my surroundings. I am still on the front porch, belly sprawled on the cold wood. I stretch and fumble under my doormat to grab my key. It flips around in my grasp before I regain control and rise to my feet.
As I turn on my lamp in the living room, I keep expecting to see that face again. The ashen white face. The eyes, black as coals, devoid of any life. A chill runs down my spine. The face was that of the woman I saw. Or rather, that I thought I saw. What DID I see? I am now pacing with my thoughts.
I didn’t see anything, I try to convince myself. I spooked myself. I’m in a new place. It’s just nerves. That’s all. My phone buzzes on the counter and I jump. I walk over and pick it up. It’s a reminder to mail something tomorrow. I click off my screen, turn off the lights in the living room and head to bed. I just need some rest.
After a long day, I put the previous night behind me and suit up for my nightly jog. The same horrid fog blankets the night. I stare towards the square as I stretch. As soon as I leave my driveway, my heart stops as I hear the now familiar sound. Metal on metal. Crushing, grinding metal.
I turn to face the tracks as this is where the sound came from. I was sure of it this time. I look around to my neighbors houses. Did they not hear it? No lights flickered on. No curious faces peaking out of doors or windows.
“Am I crazy?!” I ask aloud. And just as before, the clock tower answers by chiming eleven haunting chimes.
I look towards the tracks. I hear no train. I assume the crossing arms are up, the lights are not blinking, but the thick fog obscures my view to be sure. I don’t know if I am crazy, but I felt compelled to go towards the tracks. I wanted to proof I was just imagining it all, but as the shape of a woman cut through the fog it became increasing clear I was not imagining anything, though I wish I was.
(To be continued…)