By DS Levy

On the same day, two trains derail in our town; one a freight train on the outskirts, the other a children’s train at the zoo. Though both suffer major damage, no person or animal is injured. Both incidents will, of course, be investigated thoroughly. However, some conspiracy theorists already suggest that both derailments might be the work of saboteurs, the coincidence too obvious. They suspect foreign or domestic terrorists, though law enforcement denies such groups exist in our sleepy little town. A less vocal group believes the derailments to be the work of bored juveniles. The rest of us think it was just coincidence. An expert, a philosopher, is interviewed on television and claims the two incidents are coincidental, but definitely not “synchronous.” The difference, as I understand it—the interviewer doesn’t push the expert to explain—is that coincidental events happen by chance at the same time, while synchronous events also happen simultaneously yet imply a deeper meaning, as if a spiritual intelligence is at work. Either conjecture would seem to indicate that derailments were, in any case, simply “accidents,” happening without deliberate cause or intent, causing damage, but as mentioned, no injuries. It’s what the reporter says later, after re-stating there were no injuries—“thank heavens”—which I thought unnecessary, the truth derailed as he crossed the line of objectivity, intentionally or not.

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DS Levy lives in the Midwest. She has had work published in New World Writing, Bending Genres, Bull Men’s Fiction, Atticus Review, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, and others. Her work was included in the Wigleaf Top 50 2021 and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best Microfiction. Her flash chapbook, A Binary Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press.

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