The Cheese Maker's Son
Early one morning, the cheese maker's son wandered into an empty café, but a steady drone coming from the lights crashed his ears like car horns, so he wandered back out.
He found another and ordered a coffee. He took it to a corner table and sat facing the wall. When younger, he used to pinch wings off bugs and watch them run round in circles. He imagined they were sad and maybe a bit confused, too.
He left wondering who pinched off his wings. And he wondered why someone would do such a thing.
About a third way through, I closed my book and looked at the man next to me. He pretended to be asleep, but I could tell by the way he breathed he wasn't sleeping, so I asked: “Why's it so cold in here?”
Without opening his eyes, the fake sleeper said: “I'm comfortable." I didn't believe him, he was freezing like the rest of us. He only pretended not to be.
The bus reached further into the night. Except for a few spotlights, it was dark; except for a few people talking, it was quiet. I gave up on conversation and re-opened my book, but this time only pretended to read.
Train Whistles in the Wintertime
Alone on the platform, he waited for a train. Hollow cylinders of sound hurled toward him and he watched white smoke punch up from an engine.
The smoke reminded him of the woods. He once stood in a forest surrounded by trees covered in white snow.
Then the smoke took him to the ocean. He had watched waves turn white at the top before smoothing out on sand.
The train crept towards him and he thought about snow-covered trees and foamy-white waves. He fisted up his suitcase and wondered where he'd go this time.