Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.
"Hello? Is anyone there?"
Everything was dark. I talked to the abyss until my throat went sore and only the echoes of my voice replied to me. When I started walking, the wailing of a baby reached my ears and I searched for the source. At the end, there was a white door that stood but had no walls. It permeated a hint of lavender and milk. I turned the doorknob and found a woman cradling a baby on a train. Her eyes were dark and her skin was like copper. She bore a smile that emitted a certain warmth that only a fellow mother would know. My gaze went down from her face and onto her child who was softly asleep.
I stepped inside and she looked at me. Surprised, I tried to go back but the door was no longer there.
"Hello." Her tone was polite and welcoming. "You're on your way there too?"
I was still stunned so I didn't turn to face her. The train was moving and I could see hills and the bright sky outside, even the overhead poles that passed by.
"On my way where?" I was still enamored that I leaned on the doors to see a wider view.
I snapped out of my trance, confused by what the mother said. The train was entering a tunnel when I turned around to face her. When I did, I found the train filled with passengers. The mother and her child sat where I saw them but the mother's eyes were swollen and red and tired. Her face had dirt and ash and her clothes were tattered. Her smile was gone, now replaced by a dry, chapped frown. The child was not moving and looked thin and malnourished.
"Oh god…" I walked towards her and knelt in front of her. "Is your baby okay?"
She didn't respond. She only kept cradling and paid no attention to me. Maybe she was just distressed so I put my hand on her shoulder.
"Ma'am, are you-" I stopped speaking as soon as I noticed my hand passing through her like mist. "What in the world?"
I looked at my hand and flicked it.
"Ow!" It hurt, so it must not have been me.
I turned around and looked at the people. I only noticed now that everyone else were shadow people- mere silhouettes that were of no importance whatsoever. That is, until I was pushed to the side by two boys. They were teens, probably about sixteen and wore clothes that I could only dream of wearing. The both of them stood in front of the crying mother with their backs turned to her.
"This car is so noisy. Why don't we move to some other place?"
"Nah, the other places are too crowded."
"This place stinks though."
"Yeah, I think it's coming from behind us."
They took a peek at the mother.
"Well ain't that a bunch of bones in her arms?" One of the boys' voices went louder.
"Keep your mouth shut. We ain't here to cause no trouble." the other boy turned around and took out a bunch of cash. "We're sorry for the trouble, ma'am. Here. Something to get your kid some food."
She didn't respond. The same as what happened to me yet the boy didn't let up. He slid the money into her hand and left with the other boy.
"Seems like there are still some good samaritans, huh?"
After a minute, the train shook and everyone, the mother, the child and even the silhouettes, all of them were thrown off their seats and off the floor. The lights went out and everything was in utter chaos. People screamed for only a second until everything ended with the car upturned. Some people survived but the mother and her child did not. I watched her as she hit her head on a bent pole with an extremely sharp corner and pierced her skull and brain. She landed on top of her child and the child was squished under the weight of the mother. Their lives and the lives of many others, were snuffed out by a broken rail.
"I'm not happy with how it ended." I turned around and saw the mother, now back to how I saw her initially. "But I am happy with what we had."
Her child was no longer in her arms, rather, holding her hand. He looked just like his mother and his smile was just as heartwarming.
"Are we in Heaven?"
I looked around and saw a city filled with people, clean streets and clean air, everyone was going about their own business with a smile on their faces.
"Well yes." She looked at her son. "And no." She looked at me. "To me, it's the end. His end. Our end. And our new beginning. To you, it will be just a dream. A just dream. A dream that you will forget when you open your eyes to the warm caress of the sun."
"So I'm dreaming?"
As soon as I asked her that, my eyes opened as my ears welcomed the chirping of birds. I tried to recall my dream that gave me so much sorrow, so much… loss, but only ended up with nothing.
Maybe it was all just a dream.