Whisper to a Scream

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I know Teddy Roosevelt, but I'm a nobody and it's a hundred years after his death so nobody believes me. I see him when others can't, and occasionally I let him have a ride in my body. Like today, as we wait for the train to get out on the bridge.

He said he came home to New York after his death. Even dead, he's larger than life. He's brave, loud, overconfident, and he gets me in trouble. He's sill kicking himself that he didn't run for reelection. His heart's in the right place, though, and he's just a stand-up dude. Which is why we're starting something in about 2 minutes.

He tells me he can't abide seeing decent people shackled to someone else's work. He tells me we can do something. He tells me that after we free a few, they can help us to free more. He tells me he knows what to say to get them on our side.

We chose the train because the etheric detectors can't quite discern what's train power and what's raw spirit. They say the detectors will find terrorists with etheric bombs, but everybody knows that's total bullshit. They're looking for escapees and for the people who help them, like me.

Good luck picking us out of a crowd on a train. Unless they're recruiting Whispers as corporate bloodhounds now. If so, the bastards deserve what's coming.

Only one conductor within sight, and a couple of sensitives look at me funny as I feel Teddy's spirit face overlapping mine. One nods at me. Good. There's a chance we can smuggle all the souls off this train and keep them safe.

"A train robbery! Just like in my day. I never thought I'd be on the side of the outlaws!"

"Teddy, shut up. It's time."

"Excellent! Stand, would you please?" I stand and pull the emergency stop. The train screeches to a stop near the middle of the bridge, throwing passengers forward.

The conductor starts running toward me shouting "Hey!" I give control over to Teddy. I feel my lungs expand and my lips form a word.

"BULLY!" Windows shatter. The conductor is thrown back. Everyone screams.

"He'll recover, but he may be deaf for a while," Teddy tells me.

"Again, and straight up. We're right under the power unit," I whisper. Teddy fills my lungs deeper than I thought possible and I feel myself shout even louder at the ceiling of the train car, an ether-powered sound that tears through sheet metal like tissue paper. The power globe shatters, and six glowing forms fly out, disoriented.

Teddy has my voice. "Quickly, friends! Find someone who will let you ride and we shall escape together! Your freedom is assured if you find a person to hide you!"

An older gentleman stands behind me and speaks. "Come inside! I can't hide all of you, but I'll take as many as I can." He spreads his arms wide.

Public Domain
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I whisper to Teddy, "One of yours?"

"I get around," he whispers back.

All six forms waver, as if in conversation. I can't quite follow, their words are too quick. Teddy says riding in my body is like breathing molasses. Two forms head for the older man, One of the other glowing forms speaks, a harsh Boston accent sharpening his words. "We'll take our revenge."

Teddy counters, "Yes, you shall. But if you attack the innocent on this train, you will be hunted and destroyed."

"That's a better end than this hell." The four forms become red and sharp.

Teddy shouts to our new friend, "OUT THE WINDOW! NOW!"

"But the bridge is so high..."

"Just jump!" I sprint to a shattered window and leap headfirst, not wanting to see what I know is coming.

The echoes of screams and shredding flesh follow me as Teddy slows my fall to the river below.

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