The train that derailed on the outskirts of town was not from Boston or Worcester, or any other town or city that we were familiar with. Even the locomotive was different, the engine powered not by coal, but by a thick, viscous fluid that scorched flesh.
When we arrived at the train, we had to battle the few survivors we found. They were bloodied and strange in both dress and appearance. Taller than we were, and thinner, they were clad in dark robes and armed with blades.
We, on the other hand, were armed only with the tools we had brought with us to try and free any who might be trapped, and so we used them against our new enemies.
The battle was fierce, and it lasted close to an hour. During this time, we came to realize the strangers were fighting a rear-action while others of their kind collected the dead and wounded. Finally, at close to midnight, the strangers retreated into one of the cars and did not emerge.
Armed only with a pitchfork, I entered the car alone, unwilling to have any of my friends and neighbors injured in a continuation of the fray in such a confined space.
I found nothing except a door propped up against a seat. The doorknob was missing, but by the blood on the floor I could see that the wounded had been carried to it.
We gathered what we could from the train and destroyed everything else.
The battle and the pitchfork reminded me that it was foolish to leave my house without a weapon.
It is a lesson I need to remember.
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