|sent from: London, UK. destination: North York, ON, Canada|
On a cold night I was walking along the train tracks.
“Where are you going?”
The speaker was a boy, no more than 11 or 12 years old, matching my pace and direction on the other side of the fence that divided the road from the tracks. From his accent I guessed he was North African. Algeria, most likely.
“Orsay,” I said. “You?”
“You’re going the wrong way.”
“I’m following the stations.”
“Why are you walking the tracks?”
“I don’t know the roads.”
“I can show you, if you want.”
I stopped, and my shadow stopped with me. The kid was dark against the streetlights. Down the tracks I could see the glow of another station. What was he doing awake at this hour?
“Last chance,” my would-be guide said. “I’m getting cold.”
My breath curled around me. I bent down and touched the tracks. They were still and silent.