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The Train Ride of Our Lives

Updated on October 5, 2016


My first attempt to write a piece of fiction. It is a new journey for me. I hope you enjoy it.

- July 2016

Revised Oct. 2016

The Strange Train Ride

I had a dream recently and it had a deep impact on me. I was riding in a commercial train heading somewhere. My car was full of passengers from all walks of life. It was like I was a silent observer but yet I was there sitting by a window as the scenery outside swept by. I took notice of the people around me. They were all caught up in their little world. Some were laughing, some were playing cards, some were reading a book and some were snoozing. We were separate but together in this car heading down the tracks slowly but surely.

At the beginning of the trip, I saw lush greenery outside and a sunny day. There were mountains in the distance full of evergreens and white snow caps. I felt truly happy to be on this adventure. Even though I had no clue as to where we were heading, I felt safe and secure and the confidence that we were going to get there in one piece.

As the trip progressed, we passed through several long, dark tunnels. Some of the younger kids on board were scared. They cried and were comforted by their parents. One tunnel seems to last a very long time. Some of the adults were beginning to doubt and waver. Were we on the right track? When the light outside shined, we cheered and offered a sigh of relief.

On the left side of the train window, as the train move along, I saw trees turning brown. I saw towns that seem broken down and stuck in time. I saw some homeless people hanging around stations we passed.

Strangely, as I look to the right side, I saw a totally different scene. I saw rows and rows of fruit trees. I saw high rise with glass and steel. I saw kids playing in their yards with not a care in the world.

As I listened in on some conversations around me, I heard noises about inequality and racism and violence...being drowned out by talk of reality TV stars and Pokeman and Social media...

As the train approached a bend, at a distance, I saw a bridge that seems to be collapsing. I tried to warn the people around me but they seemed to be pre-occupied. I reached for the emergency brakes and there were none. I tried to reach the conductor but he was located in the front of the train. As I banged on his door, it opened and I saw a faceless figure busy counting gold tickets.

I tried to reach the controls and maneuver it to a bypass just before the bridge. It was stuck and I couldn't move it.


I awoke from the dream and was a bit confused. Was I given a vision just as the Pharaoh of Egypt were given in the time of Joseph from the Old Testament? Was this a warning of impending doom? Or was I just day dreaming. In any case, it was disturbing. I tried to make sense of it and turned it over and over in my head. What does it all mean? Was this a test, like in the movie The Matrix, and we must choose the color of the pill? Red for harsh reality and blue for fantasy bliss.

I walked outside of my house and all seemed normal. The world is the same. There was no apocalypse. We are not Greece yet. Life goes on and we are like cogs in a wheel. Another day is dawning and we are free to choose. Life is Good!


I want to thank members of my writer's group for their comments and suggestions. I have modified the piece to improve it and make it more comprehensible. I assumed more than I should about the audience. This is my first attempt at writing fiction. I hope to continue and explore this side of my psyche.

I did intentionally created many metaphors. I hope the readers would pick up on them. I am told that if I had to explain it, it means I have failed in my writing goals.

Here is the list:

  • train
  • tracks
  • engine
  • observer narator
  • passengers
  • left and right side
  • long, dark tunnel
  • broken tracks
  • faceless conductor
  • gold tickets
  • stuck controls
  • emergency brakes
  • fork in tracks
  • cogs in wheel
  • red or blue pills

In case you are wondering, this is a political, social and economic piece that reflects our country today. A clue to help guide you. My political view is Conservative. I do not support either party candidates in the election of 2016. I have written about my views in another hub.


How many metaphors did you get?

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    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 20 months ago from Yorktown NY

      breakfastpop, a nightware would be great, one that we can awake from. Unfortunately, what we have now is real and it is going to get worse regardless who is elected to the Whitehouse.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 20 months ago

      You must have been watching the Democratic Convention and it caused you to have a nightmare!

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 20 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Thanks for your comments and suggestions and encouragement.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 20 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Keep writing, Jack. You get better over time. This story is a good idea, but it can be dressed up by being more detailed and specific about where you are and where you're going. Maybe some add some ideas about the people you see on the train and your observations about who they are and where they might be going or what they might be thinking. The more details the better. You might speculate about what various people are thinking and/or how they are behaving. Maybe there are some children in the car and something about what they're doing and how excited they are to be riding on the train. Let your imagination take you for a ride you'll never forget. Good luck.