This is my posted submission for the Daily Post Writing Challenge http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/editing-challenge/
The loud whistle sounds, first long and lingering, then short staccato bursts that pronounce their arrival, momentarily breaking the monotonous silence. Vehicles lined up behind the blinking red lights and barrier arms. Traffic came to a halt, when the rumbling wheels rolled through. BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) and the Rio Grand faithfully kept to scheduled runs through quiet country towns. They were as predictable as old Western television reruns.
I could be lulled to sleep at night with train whistles and their endless line of cars making its slow, sluggish way across wide open prairies, their tracks crisscrossing fields of wheat and corn before climbing their way up over the foothills, through the Rocky Mountains until finally disappearing out of sight, out of hearing range, but not out of mind. When we went to visit my grandparents in a another small town they lived so close to the tracks behind their house we could feel their little house rattle and vibrate during the night when trains came through. And still, I slept.
I loved watching trains, loved hearing the whistles, and loved taking trips on trains as I got older, some harrowing, some nostalgic like yesteryear. Trains are an icon to the past, but thankfully today they still rumble through town, stop traffic and sound their warning system when approaching.
Today, I live in a different town, close to the tracks here as well. And each night around 10:00 p.m. when I hear the train coming I listen for the long shrill whistle to announce itself. And still, I sleep. 🙂
Joyce E. Johnson (2014)