Dead in your tracks

It had been a good enough day. The best part was knowing I had the evening off – my first free night in weeks. I caught an early tram home by some miracle and found myself a precious five minutes ahead of schedule.

The glossy tram slid along the rails to the station where I normally switch off and take a bus, then, suddenly, it slowed to a stop on the bridge, lined up behind two other trams. The conductor spoke through the overhead in Czech and the doors opened with the suction sound that always makes me feel like I’m on the Death Star. Everyone got off. I followed.

Through the cold darkness that pierced like glass, we walked along the side of the tram tracks in single file till we reached the bus platform. We were pocketed into a free space, a circumference of emergency responders and siren-lit trucks circled us. On the other side of the circle was a small and growing crowd of bystanders. Firemen were working to lift the tram – I assumed it had gotten stuck.

Based on the number of trams in front of mine, I figure I was about eight to ten minutes behind the accident. Police pulled up followed by two larger trucks. A gurney was wheeled out and still the severity of the accident didn’t dawn on me. Was there a person under there?

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