"Gretchen" by Jon Case

car in the dark with headlights off and eyes closed. "It'll be alright, Gretchen," I whispered again as she snuggled tighter under my arm wrapped around her for warmth. Suddenly came metallic screeching and a loud crash. The train stopped, but we didn't. We were air-borne, flying to the front of the car. I bolted upright, my heart pounded wildly. Who is Gretchen? I don't even have a daughter. I never got fully back to sleep that night.        10/03/10
"Don't cry, Sweetie," I whispered, my mouth so close to my daughter's ear--touching it-- that I felt the moisture from my breath on her skin. We roared like lightning, plunging blindly through the frigid night, nestled into the worn red mohair seat. The bitter cold outside the train was so black that the windows could only reflect the distraught and pained faces back onto the passengers who wore them. We didn't know where we were going. It was like driving a speeding