the bower of dream creaked and cracked with all the babies yet to born, all Lilith’s daughters. even as she lay dying they ripened in fields of wheat, and whether some died, even their blood greased the cogs and wheels of the Leviathan’s barren fields. their future lay in dream, even as the material world neared its next apocalypse.
Hours had passed, and even the cabin itself was dark. I was finally drifting off into a dreamless sleep, and for some reason only at that point glanced at the ticket I had been clutching in my hand all the while. The usher finally lumbered by, faceless and nearly formless, a shroud of black with an outstretched hand of bone.
He nodded and moved on.
The name on that ticket seemed like it should be significant to me, though it was just my name. Gabriel. And clustered about that name, figures seemed to emerge, like the shadows of weary travelers round a campfire. For a moment I heard all their stories, all of these people born under different names but somehow, beneath it all, always Gabriel, always the one who warns of the coming storm. The message always misunderstood.
Their voices lingered no longer than frosty breath might grasp the air. I could still hear the train singing its monotone lullaby, and the travelers were forgotten, along with their stories, which I’d so long clutched, an invisible tattoo wrapped round my heart like the letters of my name. G A B R I… So tired. I was so tired I couldn’t remember. There were still many miles to travel, an expanse that stretched out before us sleepers like the depths of the Mariana trench: dark, silent and heavy.