A train ride for Friday Flash Fics, December 14, 2018, by Jeff Baker.


                                     Boarding the Bedtime Train

                                                By Jeff Baker

            You hear the train whistle when you are between waking and sleeping. In those moments when you are partly aware of the waking world and partly imagining yourself somewhere else, you are in the Depot. Few people have ever noticed the Depot or ever remember boarding the train. But some people vaguely remember the train; an old-fashioned locomotive that somehow has an air of nostalgia.

            This is the conveyance that takes you to the Land of Dreams. This is The Bedtime Train. And though it has a name out of a story for children, its mystic function bridges generations. What manner of vehicle it actually is, no one knows. Certainly it did not appear as a train in the millennia before trains.  And there is no train that returns you to the World of Wakefulness. The awakening is so sudden that the sleeper is instantly, sometimes disorientingly dropped back into the Waking World without a gentle passage on a train.

            And those few people who remember the train have noticed that even when they slumber during the day, the sky above the train is a night sky, sparkling with stars.

            But even those who never see the train or the Depot may hear the distant train whistle as they pass from the familiar world to the world of sometimes-familiar images.

            The whistle of the Bedtime Train.





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