You could feel it
the bulk, the mass, all those displaced particles of air, stirred and scattered by the motion of two hundred tons. Rattling freight, cars bouncing and jostling along the tracks, wheels grinding: it wasn
t an object now, but a force, a giant fist punching forward through space. Then: two oil tank cars, shaped like enormous bullets, each of them elevated at least four feet off the tracks. For a brief moment
thirty seconds? Fifteen? Less?
the ground on the other side of the tracks was visible between the wheels, another rutted stretch of mud and gravel and grass running way toward the woods. Then another series of freight cars plunged by them, these low-bellied, hanging low to the ground, obscuring the view of the opposite side of the tracks. They
d missed the chance. Jake felt nothing but relief. Maybe they would delay and debate until the train was gone, until the last opportunity had passed, and no one would look bad. But no sooner had he begun to relax than Sophia turned to them and pointed, her eyes lit up, her smile radiant. Once again, her voice was lost in the wind, but it was obvious what she meant. More tank cars were coming, four of them in a row, all of them a filthy and rusted black. Four chances. Jake
s palms were sweating. His breath hitched in his throat whenever he inhaled, like it was snaring on something.
ll go first.
This was Mike, shouting, as the first tank car drew level with them, as the train body thinned and lifted, revealing a vision of dark tracks, mud, the undercarriage sailing overhead like an enormous sea creature through water. Jake was impressed and relieved and annoyed at the same time
the Dick had, since the sixth grade, always been the first to do everything: touch a boob, lose his virginity,