I had walked alongside those train tracks everyday.
In the Circle, There the Carnage Lay
They bordered a graveyard. That fact had never bothered me before. As I said, I had walked by those tracks everyday–twice– during that summer. This particular day was the same as the others: I woke up early, got ready for work, and made that hour-long walk. I had learned to tune myself out to the time. To drift. It made things more bearable.
Then came the graveyard, with its sparse border of spruce–the only thing that separated the train from the tombstones. My feet automatically followed the dirt path that ran parallel the tracks; my eyes stared straight ahead; my mind on other things; my music drowning out the real world . . .
Something caught my attention. Lowering my headphones, I slowed down to a stop. Between two spruce was a ring of mushrooms. Monstrous, bloated things, gelatinous, glistening in the shade. They formed a perfect circle.
I wanted to vomit.
Someone had taken the time to place a disembowelled cat in the centre of the ring.