"The Train" has gone live on the EMCSA.
Mr.Scade hosted a contest last year which he called "Eloquent". He was looking for "porn-as-art" entries, so I entered this story. (Side-note- Two weekends ago I posted "The King and I" on the EMCSA. That story was also entered into Mr.Scade's contest. It was the winning entry, although, I felt "The Train" was the better story. "The King and I" is much closer to my typical story-style, however.)
"The Train" was a bit of a strange writing experience. I actually took stories I'd written years earlier and combined them. By "years earlier", I mean *way* earlier.
The tunnel section came from a story I'd written when I was 17 years old. I was still in high school, but I was taking a couple college classes during the summer to have the right background for classes I wanted to take during my senior year. Since I wasn't taking the classes for grades, though, there was no immediate need for me to pay close attention to the professor, so I passed the time by writing a story. That story focused on a man walking down a tunnel searching for a reality. I was into the weird and abstract back then and that story really captured the kind of thing I enjoyed writing about. Yeah, I was a weird kid.
The train station section and the train boarding session were written a couple years after that. I was around 19 or so when I wrote that. The same type of abstract concepts were still there- I still enjoyed that type of thing- but that story was meant to be more an exercise of what I thought was cleverness at the time. I worked in several concepts I took from various song lyrics I enjoyed. The "train bound for nowhere" was a reference to Kenny Rogers' song "The Gambler", the "suicide is painless" line came from the M.A.S.H. movie theme song and the "living in the forest of a dream" was a reference to the Laura Branigan song "Self Control". There were others as well, but I think you get the idea. Most of them didn't make the cut for "The Train" (the song lyric concept wasn't quite as cool now as it was then), but a couple of them still worked, so I left them in.
When Mr.Scade announced his contest, I pulled out those two stories and blew off the dust and thought about them. I realized one of them might work as a base concept. Then I realized if I combined them, they could absolutely work, but they'd still need something. So I wrote the mirror section at the end of the story, and that was the missing piece. It also created a relatively happy ending for the story when I hadn't thought it possible.
So strangely enough, I'm actually very happy with the story as a whole. Considering the bulk of it was written when I was a teenager, I'd have to say I wasn't expecting that.
All right, I've babbled long enough. Feel free to indulge in "The Train", but if it's not your cup of tea, don't worry about giving it a pass. I won't be offended. :)
Side-note: Because I was taking those college classes as audits, I wasn't taking the tests or turning in assignments. I wasn't supposed to be receiving grades. Somehow I ended up with D's in both those classes, despite turning in no assignments or taking any tests, and despite the fact that they were audited. When I actually enrolled in college a few years later, I got straight A's the first semester, but found out I was on academic probation. I had no idea why. They said it was because of the D's. I pointed out they were supposed to be audited classes and I couldn't have received academic credit for them since I was still in high school when I took those classes. They were unimpressed with my impeccable logic. They agreed it was their fault, but they said it was too late to change. I graduated with honors anyway, so I felt I had the last laugh, but they didn't seem impressed then, either. Meh.