I don’t like to think about the past. But I cannot stop remembering my son.
Emma Nightingale prefers to remain grounded in reality as much as possible. Yet she’s willing to indulge her nine year-old son Rupert’s fascination with trains, as it brings him closer to his father, Gunnar, from whom she is separated. Once a month, Gunnar and Rupert venture out to follow the rails and watch the trains pass. Their trips have been pleasant, if uneventful, until one afternoon Rupert returns in tears. “The train tried to kill us,” he tells her.
Rupert’s terror strikes Emma as merely the product of an overactive imagination. After all, his fears could not be based in reality, could they?
Published here for the first time in English, “Where the Trains Turn” won first prize in the Finnish science-fiction magazine Portti’s annual short story competition and then went on to win the Atorox Award for best Finnish science fiction or fantasy short story.
This novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by Peter Joseph. Translation by Liisa Rantalaiho.
[Read “Where the Trains Turn” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen]