Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Trip: Baltimore Drive-by, Part VI

Fictional character Peter Rozovsky leaps from a moving train and rolls down a grassy bank in Delaware, barely escaping desperate fictional fictionists John McFetridge and Declan Burke. He has the clothes on his back; a partly used, non-refundable train ticket in his hand; and one thought on his mind: Where do I go next?

"It's New-ARK."

"Excuse me?"

"New-ARK, Delaware; NYEW-urk, New Jersey. You're in New-ARK."

"Give me one from Nyew— from New-ARK to Philadelphia at 5:04, please. And one to Baltimore at 5:08."

An intake of breath at the other end of the line, and the clicking on her keyboard stopped. Just for a moment, though.

"Will that be round-trip or one-way, sir?"

"Which one? Never mind. One-way, both."

A few more clicks, and I was done.

"Pay on the train, sir. Whichever one you take. Thank you for choosing Amtrak."

It wasn't quite four o'clock, so I found myself a shady tree on the platform, and I lay down with a good book — not Burke's or McFetridge's. Those were sharing a non-quiet car to Philly with their authors and my luggage.

(Read all of "The Baltimore Drive-by" so far here. And remember: This is fiction. Almost none of it really happened.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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