You can click on the links below to read the beginning of "Townspeople"
by Jason Hart
Part 4 of 6
Lara wandered through her house tidying up. She grabbed a newspaper from off a chair, folded it, and set it down on her coffee table. She straightened the couch cushions, put a few dishes into the sink, and moved some of Trey's things into the hall closet. Lara yawned and tried to rub the fatigue out of her eyes, Time to call it a day. She moved silently through the kitchen, reached back and flipped off the kitchen light, and headed toward her bedroom.
She brushed her teeth, quickly slipped into her night gown, and crawled into bed. Had Nate still been around, she might have brushed her hair, painted her nails, or spritzed on a little perfume - but not tonight. Tonight she couldn't even force herself to look at her unkempt reflection in the mirror. As she lay staring at the ceiling, water built up at the base of her eye, stumbled over the edge of her eyelid, and began journeying down her cheek. Lara smothered her sobs with her pillow, and let the tears purge the dark memories locked up inside of her mind. She began mumbling random words strung together into sentences that only she could interpret.
Suddenly, an unnatural noise from outside her window startled Lara out of her emotionally induced stupor. She sat up abruptly and quickly brushed the tears from off her face. She held her breath as she strained to hear any more noises. Nothing. Lara rolled her eyes, You're losing it, girl. Pull yourself together. Lara eased back onto her pillow, reached across the bed, turned off her lamp, and drifted off into a fitful sleep.
-Sometime in the Past-
Paul's patient love and devotion was the fuel that powered the engine of Abby's steady recovery. Despite her improvements, she still wasn't feeling good enough to do any traveling, and they had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel their planned train ride. The week of Paul and Abby's would-be vacation came...and went. During that time they just sat around their house moping as if they were scheduled to die at the end it. The web of confusion weaved by the recent string of events left them feeling trapped, ready for what remained of their lives to just be sucked from their bodies.
But one morning, while reading the newspaper at the breakfast table, a headline commanded Paul's full attention - "NO SURVIVORS IN TRAIN CRASH TRAGEDY". Paul speechlessly handed the newspaper to Abby and simply pointed to the article. The very train that they had originally planned to vacation on had crashed. As the full realization of their decidedly generous fate sank in, they sat stunned, totally overwhelmed by emotion. As they pondered the implications, they began shedding tears of joy - We're alive!
And all the townspeople declared, "Paul, this is good."
...to be continued.