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Fiction

1.933.

It was summer and a  vast swamp   could be seen through the window of that lousy train, running under the vapor of the heat in sublimation that only showed a few and wobbly profiles of trees and bushes lost among crocodiles and birds flying in the distant horizon, as infinite as it would be.

-Take it! – an old-witched woman, wearing a large hat.

I took the branch and put it in my luggage 

In  the passengers vehicle, there  was a young reddish haired lady in a brown dress  and shoes, sitting by the dusty window  with an opened newspaper which headings were saying that : “ a dangerous prisoner has escaped from jail"

-Another one? Is this the picture of the prisoner? A bearded man in black.

 It certainly is becoming a routine – she muttered   closing the newspaper as the seat next to her was going to be occupied.

A bearded man in black suit , hat and gloves, sat beside her, carrying  a black bag under his arms, in complete silence.

At first glance , there was nothing strange, only the police rounds in the whole wagon

ZIt must be routine rounds. 

So I kept reading the news about sports, my passion.

Telling by his appearance, I could not say he was a smuggler but certainly he could give me some information, despite   that he was so attentive with his bag,  a pointed-shape one.

He started to look around, while taking a match box from his pocket and litting a  cigarette  that was completely  wrinkled, almost redone – but it does not hurt if I ask him

The train was running for more than an hour.

So, I realized that we were close enough to the train stop.

When I was trying to ask him by  looking to him ,  he suddenly took a gun out his bag.

In shock, eyes wide opened,  I got scared and frozen, looking for the eyes of somebody to look st it too, before he shoots me.

But no one saw me.

Desperate, my imagination flew   making emergency questions like  is he a burglar? A drug dealer? A narco?  A bandit? 

No.

I found out that he was the same man in the newspaper, running away from the police.

In panic, I wanted to stand up to call for help.

But, if he shoots me finding out what I was heading to?

I stayed sit for a while.

He started to play with it, pointing up and down, one side and the other.

A guard walked down the corridor.

But he did not see the gun because the man in black put it under the bag.

As the policeman was passing by, I used my hidden fingers pointing at thel gun.

But the police just  passed.

(Damn!!! What can I do? What should I do? – nervously looking at the weapon that I assumed to be real and also loaded, and accidents always happen. Oh God ! Save me ! Look at this man playing with the gun …) 

I was  praying, shaking ,   sweating profusely too.

That was my me and my fear to die.

Suddenly,

-boooom!  - the explosion.

- damn!- I shout, surprisingly astonished, and madly looking at him , as if I was questioning him, in all the ways.

- why did you shoot ? Are you crazy ?

As a matter of fact, the shot was so  profound, incisive,  loud and strongly listened in the whole wagon and the whole train, that all passengers and even the guard run to see what was going on in the vehicle, gathering around the seat.

Two babies started to cry, and many mothers were complaining when the police arrived to that numberless vehicle.

Many people screamed.

 The young lady, totally scared, was crying with the baby in her hands.

An old man shouted :

-Bombing! War! -  three times, being assisted by a girl who run for medical help as he was not breathing.-

Why did you do this?  -  repeating, in the same way as the other passengers were asking the same.z

Let’s throw him from the train – one black man suggested.-

Let’s kill him! – cried another.

-Let’s punch him – crazy another,  starting to spank  him, with all the fury that he deserved – in accordance with all the passengers will.

I stood up, and ooked at him.

He was not bleeding.

His eyes were opened but his look was somehow lost.

There was a light sardonic smile in his mouth, like a restrained laugh.

I could not coordinate my thoughts nor  my reactions.

second after, he slipped slided from the seat.

I thought about taking him back to his seat, but I got really wobbly when the passengers shouted “ Murder" , thinking that I was the murderer. 

( oh my God! Did he commit suicide? Were the bullets real?

Or   was I so nervous that I heard something unreal?  Oh my God,  Get me out of here!).

I looked for help all around. 

Nothing.

Again.

Nothing.

Using its breaks, the train stopped, in the middle of the swamp,   and all passengers stepped down from that rusty old train, taking him from the collar.

What can I do? – repeating.

And, exactly in that moment, he   stood up, trying to leave his seat.

All passengers took  two steps towards from him,  I just froze, while he was desperately getting closer and closer in order to stand up.

(I he the prisoner that escaped from the jail? 

Does he want to make me a hostage? I am going to call the police,!).

But he took a green jacket from his bag, wearing it,looking like a policeman.

Am I neurotic? Seeing crazy  lurked things? Oh my goodness! I think I am fainting – really starting to loose conciousness, pale and hard breathing)

It was him!  - pointed a man near the bathroom at the end of the aisle.

The police, got in.

Incredibly, but real, I was looking for the man with all my anxiety .

But  the man wasn’t  there anymore.

Vanished.

'Where is the man ?  I swear he was here! – was saying the man who has called the police.

Where did he go ? , he asked me – totally startled, mute, confused because in a second ago  he was sitting beside me, but now he was gone without surpassing my seat, jumping or passing through me.

Voiceless and astonishingly, I started to look for him, as well as people started to do it, on the ceiling, under the seats, behind those doors.

The police closed all the entrances and doors of all the train.

- No one gets In or out until we catch that man! – whistling to demanding order as all the fifty two passengers were making a fuss, up and down the train.-

As an order of the command, and according to the law, you will be espoused and send to jail for further investigation

- I don’t know what happened! I am not guilty of anything.

I did not have a word with him! You have to trust me! – desperately crying – there really was a body beside me a minute ago. But, I really do not know what happened after the explosion that was so strange that I am not even hurt nor burnt. 

That, was a fact.

An unexplainable one, like a mystery.

- Take her out of the train and lead her to the county jail – was the order that reverberated in my head a zillion times before the barrels of that cage were opened.-

What the hell happened ? – I kept asking myself, waiting for the state lawyer to come.

Building things up, I could only remember one thing : he was playing with the loaded pistol.

If he knew it was loaded…why would he want  to play with it?

Stoned! He  probably had used drugs.

And the body- asked the tall and slender lawyer that was sent to me.

- I was reading a newspaper

That was it! – I knew what happened 

So, I asked for the same newspaper that I was reading.

Cut the picture of the runaway fugitive.

And read again, under a candle flame.

“  6” – could be read .

Six is the number of the devil – I concluded, showing the evidence to the lawyer, who did not believe in that – according to him  - fantasy.

- Fine – I said, sure about that demon work.

Thirty minutes after, I was sent back to my cage, taken by the guards, brutally.

And, inside the cage, with only a dried loaf of bread to eat with water to drink, I casted a spell, that I read in some book, during my school days. 

“ Magic spell, magic will, let the demon go out of the bill" , twisting  a wand made by a stick taken from that hatted old  woman 

June 18, 2021 20:04

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