California Zephyr

This story is written for Friday Fictioneers. The challenge is to write a complete story with a beginning, middle and end in 100 words or less using the picture prompt below. My story follows the picture prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT Ā© Alicia Jamtaas

His mind wandered in and out of the real world. His twenty eight years working on Amtrak trains occupied his decaying mind at the moment. He had a nightmare that would not go away.

He had to throw a switch.

The switch that would allow his train to enter the siding and allow the Amtrak California Zephyr to pass on the main line on its way to its final destination in Emeryville. He didn’t realize how much the heavy snow would slow him down.

The headline in the San Francisco Examiner read: “Brakeman only survivor in Amtrak train disaster.”

26 thoughts on “California Zephyr

  1. michael February 16, 2021 / 4:35 pm

    Transport is my kind of thing, trains rumbling through the night, magical,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alicia Jamtaas February 14, 2021 / 4:26 pm

    I’m glad you went with the mostly unknown side of being a railroad man. Many people think it’s glamorous. Nicely told.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. James McEwan February 13, 2021 / 5:03 am

    Technology has overcome ,such in our lives, but the weather always catches us out.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. msjadeli February 12, 2021 / 9:23 pm

    My stepdad worked for the C&O (later renamed The Chessie System) for many years. He had his fair share of haunting from things that happened on the job. People often don’t understand or grasp the reality that trains can’t stop instantly šŸ˜¦

    Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli February 12, 2021 / 9:44 pm

        Wow. I remember him telling me that all of the switches are controlled from someplace in FL now? He led an interesting life as a railroad man.


  5. Brenda's Thoughts February 12, 2021 / 8:52 pm

    It seems his nightmare is based on reality, tucked away in his wandering mind. A very sad tale nicely written.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Eugenia Parrish Author February 12, 2021 / 2:00 pm

    So much responsibility, no wonder he has nightmares. Hard to think of, but a really good story.


  7. Dora February 11, 2021 / 6:40 pm

    He’ll be wishing he hadn’t survived, poor man!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Iain Kelly February 11, 2021 / 1:04 pm

    He may have survived, but I’m not sure he will be able to live with it for long.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. granonine February 11, 2021 / 10:51 am

    This is too real to be completely fiction! Good writing, Danny.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Bear February 11, 2021 / 9:59 am

    Unsettling. Great story. When I took a course in emergency management, we had a train derailment exercise. How this could so easily happen is very disturbing. You captured it well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Danny James February 11, 2021 / 1:25 pm

      I know. I also worked for the railroad for about 12 years until I got tired of working outside in the winter.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nick Harrison May 12, 2021 / 5:43 am

      Hey beautiful angel sorry that I text you you are very attracted to me that’s why I text you my name is Nick Harrison
      I’m from California this is my Gmail address that I am using on Google Hangout I am a surgery doctor please beautiful queen TextMe send me a petition I have something to tell you if you don’t mind ………šŸŒ¹āœ…


  11. Reena Saxena February 10, 2021 / 10:54 pm

    Can relate to this completely. I used to have this nightmare of not finding a switch, and the walls closing down on me due to its absence.

    Liked by 1 person

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