2018-10-02 13:27 fiction flash-fiction

The Edge

From where the train was they could see the tunnel in the distance. "What if it doesn't go anywhere?" she asked. "Excuse me?" he said. He sat across from her when he boarded, the train was crowded. "Like when sailors didn't know the world was round. Like they could sail right off the edge of the Earth," she said. He laughed a little, "so then the train would fall right off the planet?" She leaned forward slightly, "Worse". "Worse?" he asked. "There's nothing there. Nothingness," she said. "I guess that's bad — although we wouldn't really suffer anyway," he said. She looked out the window towards the tunnel, the train slowly making its way around the bend in a long mountain pass. "We suffer now. Waiting," she said. He didn't know how to respond to this, what started as a casual series of comments had become gloomy. If he said anything more it might prompt something uncomfortable. He sat and stared out the window. They got closer to the tunnel, or the tunnel got closer to them. Perhaps it was the silence, but now he felt fear. He could see nothing in the tunnel. The train became very close, he was certain they were being drawn in. Would the train fall off the end of the world. He could not conceive or accept a reality of nothingness. Maybe the train would float in space, somehow this was more palatable. Just before the train entered the tunnel he said to her, "Well, it was nice knowing you". And he caught his own breath like you do when a roller coaster drops the first time.