Bullet Quick

by Bill Unsworth

Now, at twenty-four, I dream again of Train Shore and the improbable dunes of my childhood summer. Left out the screen door and I am running barefoot, on down the hill and past the Grocery Boy Junior. Over the rise it still remains: tall reeds and white sand a strange bulwark, keeping the creep of North Carolina clay always fifteen feet away from the tracks. My memory is bad now, so I cannot say if I ever really sprinted through the back lot behind the Grocery Boy or if I ever made my rows and stacks of pennies on those buzzing tracks, but this dream is solid as the still amber air - preserved within it the reeds still clack and the oil smell rises off the railroad ties. These days, I don't need to remember; when I dream, it is always left out the screen door and bullet quick down to Train Shore, then diving through the clacking reeds. I leave my feet among the eye-high strands and hurtle heedless forward, as does a fast black train.


Bill Unsworth wrote this story. He lives in New York now.