• “If you ever get lost, follow the tracks. They’ll lead you home.”

    Ciel felt a sharp pain in the chest. They ground the heel of their hand into their sternum to try and relieve the pain. The light over head changed to red and the traffic stopped. Ciel didn't hit the crosswalk button but instead started across the street. The cars waiting to cross the highway passed beside them. Ciel questioned what they were doing but as quickly as they asked they justified their actions. Isaac would find it easier to find them if they had a specific place to give him. One with a parking lot would be ideal, which the factories were abundant in.

    Across the highway, there were no shortages of factories to choose from. Ciel knew every one by heart. They were looking down the road at the sign for Ebony street. Looming behind the street lights was the old train yard. Seeing it made something come alive in Ciel’s stomach. It twisted in knots and made them nauseous. They pulled their hair over their shoulder and began playing with it. Staring at the shadows that were much smaller than they remembered them. They kept nervously swallowing, even though their mouth was dry.

    “We’re not doing this,” They said to themself. They took a deep breath that stokes a furnace in their chest. Heat radiated through their face as the fire built. “There is nothing there. And I’ll prove it.” Ciel stayed still, their knees trembling slightly at the command to walk forward. The first step barely left the ground, the second one made their knee buckle. By the fourth, Ciel had stopped counting and was moving slowly down the street towards Ebony street, and the old trainyard. Behind the old soda factory was the break for the trucks that came and went to the soda factory but never when anyone was around to see them. After the short road was the giant reinforced fence and the hollowed out corpses of the trainyard. Abandoned for years after the trains relocated to a bigger yard two towns over. Behind it the street lights on the right side of the street increased in number. Bordering around a residential area like sentinels of light. But on the left side, the side Ciel was on, there was only one streetlight. Standing in mute guardianship of a single husk of a house as empty of a carcass as the gutted train cars in the fenced off yard.

    Most of the house was still standing, A fence had been installed around it, and giant signs and tape all marked ‘condemned’ covered every inch of it. Ciel forced their hands into their pockets and scoffed. Amazed the city hadn’t torn the old eyesore down yet. They kicked a rock hard, it clattered under the fence and toward the house. Not making it past the driveway. They stared at the house, the knot in their stomach growing more restless.

    "Now what," they whispered. The gate had an opening that was chained together. Ciel grabbed one side of the gate, pushing and pulling out experimentally. Not trying to open it, but not trying to not open it either. The gate moved back and forth. Ciel pulled it back and forth further and farther. They swung along with it and then ducked under the gap and squeezed through the gate. Ciel stood on the other side of the fence. Its links clinked against each other like an alarm. Making Ciel’s ears ring. There was static in their limbs as they faced the charred corpse of their childhood home.