Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
So there we were on the cliff above the railroad tracks, the Missouri River Bridge in the distance. We’d armed ourselves with sticks, rocks, and pellet guns. We were a ragtag militia, all fight and no war.

The roar of the oncoming train drowned out our planning for anarchy and unfocused mayhem.
The five of us waited, unsure how to take best advantage of the rolling brown and yellow Union Pacific. Dan looked at me and wiped the sweat from his face with his *** Pistols t-shirt.

“Let’***** it!” Rob said. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t say no. If I said it was wrong they’d have laughed and done it anyway. Tingles ran down my legs. I leaned against a nearby cedar and craned my head in the direction of the oncoming train. From our vantage point on the bluff amongst the trees, the unwary conductor would never see us. I waved to signal the others as it arrived.

The ground shook as the train roared below us. Deaf from its passing, we used hand signals like the guys in Red Dawn. That’s it! That’s who we were! We were the Wolverines! And I was the scout who had just spotted a resupply train that was carrying logistical necessities like...

“Cars! *******! This one has cars on it,” Kevin yelled. The other soldiers all gathered rocks and threw them at the passing supply train. I yelled “Wolverines!” as they pelted the evil communist convoy. The four of them joined me screaming the same. My blood boiled, and my face went hot as I embraced the guerilla tactics.

I was dumbfounded when Rob picked up a boulder... and lifted it over his head like a weightlifter. As it flew through the air in deliciously slow motion I thought for sure it was just going to drop straight down the face of the crumbling bluff. Then, with accuracy too precise to have been planned, the boulder crashed through the front windshield of some red Ford, and due to the speed of the passing train, blew through the back glass before tumbling to rest on the hood of some blue Chevy below it.

Dead Flippin Silence

“Rob! *******! That was awesome!” someone said...Tim, I think.

Rob stood with fists pumping in the air. He won today, and he became the captain of our squad. I picked up a much smaller rock and threw it, watching as it clanged helplessly off the train’s metal siding. The Russians would surely come looking for us now, and this was a hit and run raid. We bolted from our perches and sought other opportunities to hit the Commies where it hurt!

We really wanted to be Anarchy!
Circa 1989. Watch the old Red Dawn and pretend you're too young to know better. (Also that it hasn't aged poorly). Also, listen to the *** Pistols. If you can't... It's on you. :)
This is a re-post of "All Change at Zima Junction."  This morning I turned in my keys after some forty years of herding cattle (metaphorically), seventeen of them with this institution.  I am unemployed for the first time since I was five or so and was set to toddling out to the chicken yard every evening to gather the eggs in an old Easter basket.  My mother said that the rooster often chased me and made me cry, but I don’t remember that.

And now - what adventure does Aslan have next for me?

The first book I bought upon returning home from Viet-Nam was the Penguin Modern European Poets paperback edition of Yevtushenko: Selected Poems.  That 75-cent paperback from an airport bookstall in San Francisco is beside me on the desk as I write.

                                     All Change at Zima Junction

                            For Yevgeny Yevtushenko, 1932-2017

Everyone changes trains at Zima Junction
Changes lives; nineteen becomes twenty-one
With hardly a pause for twenty and then
Everyone asks you questions you can’t answer

And then they say you’ve changed, and ignore you
The small-town brief-case politician still
Enthroned as if he were a committee -
He asks you what you are doing back here

And then you go away, on a different train:
Everyone changes trains at Zima Junction

                           “I went, and I am still going.”1

1Yevtushenko: Selected Poems. Penguin,1962
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.

— The End —