Stopped

It winds down.  The man standing in the aisle sits on the ground; so does the woman on the way to the bathroom.  The whole train shudders and slows, stops.  Through the window, Jeremy watches birds land en masse, and the last listless flip of the wind in the trees.

The world fills with the sound of people holding their breath.

Then he can hear his own beating heart.  Blood crashes in his ears.  When he stands, it’s like he’s shattering the glassy air.

He opens the door, and a hundred pairs of eyes follow.  Outside, a dull heat roars.

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