White lights cross like warring swords in the night. Me diving through plate glass window and coming up stunned and bleeding at the feet of a cop with a gun cocked and pointing at me.
I wish yew would run, it says. I shore hope yew will.
Through the afternoon twilight with the carriage rocking and clicking and rain coming down from the west, cutting furrows on the dusty windows. Barren fields falling away desolate and flocks of birds wheeling over the darkening land like alluvial fans stamped from pig iron. The shapes of trees against a winter sky, their barren branches capillaries bearing sustenance to fates not known nor inchoate.
Past empty passenger cars dicing the scene beyond and this train ranting and screaming for a crossing like a thing damned of all deliverance. I ease the steel bracelet on my wrist and rest my head against the harsh nap of the seat and sleep. On the way to Fayetteville and the world is wide.
My forehead against the cold glass watching. Rows of henhouses on a hill like a passing train itself, row on row backing down the night and drawing into the metallic dark. The thing I am manacled to sleeps slackjawed and comatose. I have to reach across my body to his service revolver.
The thing stops snoring and I freeze. When it falls back into its coma I pull slowly slowly slowly till the gun is in my hand. Relieving the thing of its money and badge and ID. IT continues to sleep peacefully until I get off at the next stop. I leave the train and go far from Fayetteville, for the world is wide.