I promised there would be another post today, and I intend to deliver! Please enjoy this short story profile and my review. Thank you, Emma, for sharing this. — Jamie

End of the Line Summary

Cassie wants to die. When midnight rolls around, she stands on the tracks waiting for the train to come.

She loses her nerve the first couple of times but returns to try once more.

After all, third time’s the charm.

Author’s Note:

Depression is still somewhat of a taboo subject, yet it has touched most people’s lives, either personally or among family and friends. In “End of the Line” Cassie can’t make sense of her despair. All she knows is that she’s had enough.

Excerpt:

EOTL eCOVERIn the distance, the familiar white light appeared, cutting through the dark of midnight. She’d watched it come before, but always from the sidelines, imagining what it would be like to face such a beast.

Cassie drew in a shaky breath and steeled herself. Legs splayed, arms by her sides, fists tightly clenched, she waited on the tracks as the train approached. Her legs shook, and strands of hair licked her cheeks in the gentle night’s breeze.

She swallowed the fear threatening to overcome her. Hang in there, she told herself. Another sixty seconds, and it will all be over. No more drowning, murky thoughts, heavy dreams or stilted breathing. She lifted her head and stared straight ahead, willing her body to freeze.

Closer now, but not coming fast enough. She was scared. As much as she desired to have it all over with, the fear gained ground. Could the driver see her yet? No, still too far away. Why had time slowed down? An ache began in her ankles, spreading up her legs and winding its way around her thighs and into her clenched hands.

The feel of her fingernails scraping the soft flesh of her palms roused her, just as she became aware of the vibrations on the tracks.

Cassie stumbled into the grass growing beside the tracks and ran, tears running down her cheeks. She stopped as she reached the first line of trees and leaned over, resting her hands on her thighs, trying to get her breath back.

Damn it! She wanted to die. Why couldn’t she have stuck it out?

The train thundered by, unaware of the woman hunched over in the darkness, sobbing. She raised her head to watch the carriages pass, slithering alongside Wilkins Woods like a dark snake. In thirty seconds, the night was once again silent.

She’d try tomorrow night. Maybe pick up a bottle of Jack Daniel’s after work. Might help with the nerves.

Slowly, her breathing returned to normal, and she wiped the tears away. Cassie followed the edge of the woods the mile back to her dingy flat. She let herself in and headed straight to bed. One more day. She could make it that far.

My Thoughts

I don’t want to say too much, as this is only a 17-page short story- I’d be giving away far too much. Suffice it to say, the description and excerpt speaks for themselves.
Emma Meade grabs the reader from the beginning and doesn’t let go. As a reader, I felt myself holding my breath during Cassie’s initial attempts at suicide. I felt sadness and frustration that this young girl was at such a desperate point in her life, and thinking of how often stuff like this happens in real life.
Through Cassie’s story, I think readers everywhere will be able to understand the complex nature of depression and suicidal thoughts. I hope it will also inspire people to be more aware of those around them, and maybe even inspire anyone is Cassie’s shoes to get help. I highly recommend this story.

Author Bio

Emma Meade Author PicEmma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She loves vampires, slayers, witches, ghosts, aliens & shadow men (or at least the youngest of the Shadow Men), and regular people who live extraordinary lives (think Slayerettes and you’re on the right track).

Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on.

Writing supernatural stories and watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.

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