There is ice on the tracks and the train is on its side. Black fumes come from its snout and from all the wrong places and the iron beast snores in something like sleep.
Smoke invites itself into my cabin. Slowly. The man across from me wipes his eyes until they’re yellow and coughs up black and touches his forehead with fingers dark red and then he dies. It is a vanishing act. He disappears in a cloud and soon he will reappear somewhere with a beautiful assistant, and a rabbit, and his audience will clap for him.
Through the cabin window I can see a wooly thing looking back at me with eyes like mine. I name him Charles. With his fur and his frown he looks like an animal. He looks at me and his hands prowl back and forth along the glass. The hands pace and he pants and smoke fills me and snow falls and falls.
Charles tries to tell me something. He stretches his face and yells but the Wind catches his message and flies away. His words writhe in the Wind’s taloned grip. A thousand lost sentences ride the air and I try to read them but find I have forgotten how and then everything is swallowed by snow and smoke and Charles, Charles, that miracle.