Title: Midnight Trains
Author: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Ghosts
Format: Short story
Publisher: World Fire Press
5th sentence, 74th page:
He’s alone at Christmas time in a beautiful city, but a chance encounter at a midnight train could bless him with the future he’s always wanted.
Although there was a slight paranormal spin to this Christmas tale, what I loved the most about it was the loneliness. Which seems a little weird in a Christmas tale. A story that seeps loneliness from its pores as it sweeps you through the beautiful and picturesque streets of Paris. The deserted streets, the Christmas lights, and most importantly, the mysterious train stations.
There was a lot going on in this short story, and I think that rereading it, I will find more clues. And maybe even rereading it after I’ve been to Paris (which is most definitely on my bucket list) will make it all the more real. But the idea of being and feeling apart and alone on Christmas is an incredibly common emotion. So the fact that Rusch took this and highlighted it worked fantastically well. Then there’s the fact that there is ultimately a happy ending which shows that no matter how lonely this Christmas is… the next one could be much, much, much better.
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