While the area was being cleaned and made ready for the continuation of oil drilling, Officer McMillan’s body was buried and Mr. Lockman’s was cremated by the state. There is an urban legend that has been passed down from each generation of refinery workers. The story is told of a ghost that is sometimes seen during the afternoon and at dusk. Although this is supposedly a legend, there are police reports by refinery workers seeing this spirit of some kind, a large workingman covered in a dark substance.
The man walks about aimlessly around the oil fields asking, “Have you seen my wife? She surely cannot be dead.”
Camille never knew the true story of her great grandfather. She was told he had also died with her great grandmother in the train crash. The fib never affected Camille but would have made her life seem more interesting than it was. However far away those stories may be, Camille thought of the present moment. So before boarding the train for work, she thought about the children she might meet. She stood there before the door holding two pieces of luggage. One with necessities and the other with her liberal collection of male swimsuits and newspaper clippings. The uniform she wore consisted of a cool white suit jacket with a matching skirt that fell just over her knees. Her calves were bare and accentuated by high heels. Staring at a giant circular light above the cab of the train, and scanning the silver sheet metal indentions along the side of the top dome, her eyes would eventually stop in front of where she stood. Camille knew this familiar routine by heart and entered the train like every time before.
Unlike her mother, Camille enjoyed watching after young passengers who traveled alone. If the day was slow and she had time to comfort a restless child, she would read her favorite story, “The Boy Who Wore a Red Bowtie.” Standing in the aisle and in full uniform. she would act out the story for children. The theatrics of her abilities would outshine any Joshua tree or vulture seen through the windows. Other passengers around intermittently looked up from their reading materials to see where the animated voices came from. While others snickered in delight from behind seats as they watched her changing facial expressions.
Sometimes as Camille read she stopped to look upon her audience. While scanning the smiling faces and laughter, Camille captured a moment in time. She felt as if everything around her would fade into an endless amount of happiness and that the story would never end. Hoping that one day she could have a son or daughter of her own to tell this story to, a child to love her as much as her audiences from over the years.
Often times when Camille had a lull in activities she waited patiently for all of the passengers to leave the cabin of the train. This enabled her to spend quiet hours in the evening to gaze out the windows and upon the blue moon. She would admire families at train stations, sitting on benches with their luggage near their feet. The children trying to discover the world away from their parents and the elder ones waiting for the train to completely stop before boarding. And as she stood there dreaming, she would point with her index finger at shooting stars, wishing that she would no longer be alone. Camille would then look away from the moon and back at the perfect little families marching onto the train, while rehearsing out loud her favorite passage from “The Boy Who Wore a Red Bow Tie”:
“…So the little boy went home and wished for help like every night before. In the morning he found the bow tie in the shape of wings. They came to life and flew him to a place where he was no longer alone.”