“Finally,” Catherine Dawson said to herself as the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train to Farmingdale she was on announced her stop. Minutes later, the train stopped at the right stop, and the door opened. Pulling a small Ziplite Lime-green Samsonite suitcase behind her, relief etched her face. She eases towards the exit.
As she was about to step out, suddenly, without announcement, the door slammed shut. Then sped away like a thief fleeing a beat cop after snatching an old lady’s purse on the streets of New York City.
“What the . . . ? Catherine hollered as the speed of the train threw her body backward. Her right-hand breaks her fall as she plops down on the nearest seat. Her screams echoed, bouncing off the interior glass windows and panels. As the speed increased, she realized her compartment was almost empty, except for three other passengers. Staring at them sitting in the front row, paralyzed by shock, her heart raced in competition with the train’s speed.
The three passengers were replicas of her. Attired in the exact outfits, she was wearing from her dyed burgundy boy-cut hair. Her grandmother’s white gold diamond teardrop earring hung loosely from their ears. A handmade rainbow-colored scarf her sister knitted hugged their necks, adding warmth. The pastel pink and purple polka dot sweater her grandmother wove. A large C made from beautiful multi-colored flowers in the center decorated the front.
A silver pendant suspended from the sterling silver rope chain around their necks, spelling her name in silver decorated with turquoise oval-shaped stones delicately resting on their chest. Light pink dress pants fitted perfectly on their lower bodies. A comfortable black hush puppy loafer adorns their size nine feet. They sat, staring at her, but a dead far away look in their eyes without a blink — a copy of a soft pink and grey crochet handbag in their laps.
Her attention was pulled to a black ink spot on the left side of the front, close to the grey zipper. The result of a mistake she made when her pen ink overflowed inside the bag two years ago — leaving a reminder not to turn her pens up. A bad habit that had ruined several other handmade bags and pieces of her favorite clothing. There is an identical Ziplite Lime-green suitcase beside them on the floor!
Catherine unconsciously clutched the bag loosely over her right shoulder for a moment. A birthday gift from her creative art-crafty best friend, Julia. It was like looking in a mirror. She often wished she could clone herself, but this was terrifyingly weird. Overwhelmed by fear, her terrified eye scanned around.
The train rumbled, picking up speed as it shot out of the tunnel faster and faster, catapulting her back into the present.
She screamed, running from door to door, banging and hollering in distress. They sat as if in a trance. Their bodies and mind seemed unaffected by the increasing speed of the train.
The train swayed to the left, suddenly going off track and heading towards a cliff. Catherine bellowed from somewhere deeper within her and felt herself falling as the sounds of something ringing close by pulled her down.
She woke up on the floor, her cell phone ringing nearby. After a quick area and body check, she sighed deeply, grabbing the phone from her nightstand nearby.
It was 3:33 AM. She was home, scared but relieved and happy to be alive!
Thank you for reading this piece. I hope you enjoy it.