Thursday, September 2, 2010


[Here's the conclusion of B.N.'s story The Lost Train.  if you missed any installments, you can click on "The Lost Train" label to see them all.  Enjoy!]

There are stones like souls, that are flung down on the streets. But once the new houses are built, then one will fit them into holy stones. Then the marriages within the houses turn to bliss and the children to angels.
Meta Tannenbaum

Late at night I still sometimes think that what I learned to want was the love that drove men into the foreign legion, the will power to lose trains in forests, to hear the jingle of a choke chain, and to be a woman in a seaside town who never needed to understand why anybody would ever say something like, "There but for the grace of God go I." So when I go downstairs, out the door, and stand on the front lawn in my nightgown I feel for an instant that I've come close. People taking the train to Scranton could look out of their small windows at the house as they sped past, and feel that all was well in the house.

In the morning, between 10:30 and 11:10 A.M., I will introduce my fourth grade class to the three stages of transformation.  An elaboration, and a possible understanding—some multicolored chalk pictures drawn on the green blackboard, 'the egg, the larva, and the chrysalis." Each stage ensures a strictly scientific and explainable transformation and redemption. Each child will imitate me with lines traced onto construction paper, cutting carefully with safety scissors the different stages of a life.

© 1990-present
This story originally appeared in The Gettysburg Review


  1. A truly enjoyable piece. The last sentence seems to sum it up so well, indeed it seems to sum up life so well. Bravo.

  2. Hi Alan: & thanks--your enthusiasm for this wonderful story is much appreciated.


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