Table of Contents Perry Portly and the Fake DNA Results, by Gary Gocek

[INITIATION II-a ] - Belly of the Whale

Perry's only hope was to hop the westbound train, toward Pittsford, to get out of the way of the door and rocks. Fortunately, the trains were passing at "crossing" speed, and with an anxious trot toward the west he was able to grab a boxcar ladder and hop on just as the car with the broken door rushed by in the opposite direction.

Perry's decision had been finalized. He was on a train to Pittsford.

In most parts of the world, taking a train between neighboring villages is a daily occurrence for many people. However, in the United States, there simply is no short-haul passenger train service outside of large metropolitan areas. Fairport may very well be the center of the universe, but there is no train station there, nor in Pittsford. Perry had hopped a moving freight train and was holding onto a ladder. He was able to move between the two cars with good handholds. He was not in serious danger for the trip of a few miles as long as the train didn't speed up too much.

Perry would see the interstate highway as the train passed over, and then a canal crossing. He would need to disembark somehow just after the canal in order to stay within walking distance. Perry supposed he could have just waited for the train to slow down and jump off anywhere and then call Della for a ride, but he had envisioned himself as a hero on a quest. It wouldn't look good if he had to call a barista less than an hour after his journey began.

As luck would have it, or maybe karma, no law officers saw him riding the rails and the train slowed as it approached the road crossing after going over the canal. Even if someone called the cops on him a couple miles back, he'd be off the train before it could be stopped. He noticed a grassy knoll and jumped. Whatever broken glass and animal droppings may have been at the spot, Perry didn't roll over them. He was unseen, behind some commercial buildings, and was able to make it to the sidewalk and start his way up State Street. It was about a half mile walk to the Pittsford library.

Crossing Main Street was probably more dangerous than hopping the train. Another hundred yards and there he was, in front of that that source of bad internet traffic, the Pittsford Community Library.

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©2020, Gary Gocek, http://gary.gocek.org/, @garygocek, gary@gocek.org