It all started when I heard that little pop and then a hiss and then the train came to a stop and I slid forward a little in my seat.
I wasn’t sure of a few things at that point but I was sure of one:
I was pretty sure we had hit something- and within minutes I knew it was true because the Human Vultures swooped around the tracks from the houses and apartments on both sides of the track and the ones that had been riding in the passenger car with me winged their way to the windows.
They were like kids those kids from a long time ago who used to press their faces against the windows at the department stores at Christmas time.
They were giddy, they bounced from seat to seat and like the gathering of Vultures outside they started to take pictures- their faces were bright, they were smiling and giggling and laughing.
Two of them were racing up and down the aisles and from car to car to get a better view.
The person our train had struck had been alive minutes before MINUTES and I couldn’t help but to hope there was nothing to the afterlife question because how horrible it is to die such a brutal death and how torturous it must be to hear laughter as you exited this world.
One of the passengers in front of me is a Train Groupie- she knows who the conductors are, she knows who the station managers are, she knows the security guys and she calls them all by name- she sat back and opined about the recent fatalities and what color the coroner’s van is.
Train Groupie sat back and made herself the go to person as the Human Vultures raced around from window to window looking for the remains of a person who had just minutes before been alive.
They gleefully reported to her what body parts they could see and wondered if the rest of the victim was under our car.
Then one of them cried out in ecstasy and pointed out my window just over my shoulder.
” Hey. Turn around. Look AT THAT.”
I was of course wearing my face mask and as some weird twist of reality the five vultures weren’t wearing masks but the rest of the commuters in our car were.
First of all- I am very familiar with what a train can do to a body, second of all I worked in a funeral home and no matter the circumstances the dead deserve dignity. So I wanted to make my point as clear as possible with as few words as possible.
I did not turn around, I did not say a word.
I pulled my mask down to my chin and I looked up into the Human Vulture’s face and I lifted my lip- just a little and I snarled.
June 2020 Kent Washington USA
The Gathering of vultures- forced back to the curb when the police showed up.
The people in this picture were walking through the weeds and brush looking for body parts, and when they found some they started to take pictures.
The person in white had to cross the tracks behind our car in and ended up on both sides of the train- the other person pointed out the remains and a small crowd of people would race to what he saw with their phones.
The guy in the back perfectly captures the essence of the Human Vultures- see below:
He stood on a stump eating his food from a styrafoam container and gleefully pointing to places along the tracks while hopping from foot to foot on his perch.
Just when I think people can’t sink any lower, someone grabs a backhoe, fires that baby up and proves me wrong.