“The Hereafter Railroad” is the first story that opens the book “After Death”. It’s about a young man who lives in Guadalajara and has the need to visit his mother for her birthday. His mind is focused on making the trip around midnight to the city of Autlán, where he pretends to be early at his mother’s house to celebrate and congratulate her as early as possible.
As he leaves his job and takes the road, he thinks he will have a peaceful trip in every way. But he ignores that an unexpected surprise awaits him on the Villa Corona railroad cruise. On that road in the state of Jalisco passes a train that connects the port of Manzanillo with Ciudad Guzman and Guadalajara, three important cities through which transit the goods that enter the country or leave it. Foreign trade in all senses.
Our young man, upon arriving at the railroad crossing, receives a call for help from a lady who is desperate because her husband has been seriously injured after being run over by the train. This young, noble and supportive in all respects, without thinking twice go to the call. But on his own he discovers that it isn’t a request for normal help. He goes into the path of the train track until he gets lost in the darkness of it through the field, dimly lit by the moon. Insecurities are present both in the darkness and in the loneliness of this strange place to help.
The protagonist ends up facing an incident that at first he thought was real, but it’s nothing more than a play of the spirits disappeared many years ago whose energy was very present in the area where they lost their lives. This story is inspired by the narrations told by the people around. At least in this part of Jalisco, there’s an endless end of stories of people who say that lost and forgotten souls wander in the railroads, beings that are trapped in our dimension.
Unfortunately, there are many accidents where the trains that travel along these routes have taken the lives of people who walked in them. It may sound like a kind of nonsense that this kind of thing happens because the trains, with their loud beep and sound that they produce when passing, warn from a distance that the’re about to pass through the place, but even so people seem to trust themselves in such a way that they underestimate the strength of this type of heavy and powerful machines. The ideal is that there were few human losses in these accidents.
Those who know the place that has been expressed in the narrative could argue that the descriptions don’t fit with reality. And it’s true, the site is different from what appears narrated in the story. What is taken into account is what our friend lives in his paranormal experience, where he could have faced a scenario completely alien to our time that made him lead to a place totally unknown to himself. In his own despair he sees a handful of houses that barely shed light, but that suppose a hope for all the anguish he is living.
When he discovers what is happening, our friend understands that nothing has logic and meaning. What is happening to him is an extraordinary event that, had it happened to any normal person, could easily be judged as the product of a well-crafted fantasy. Our protagonist comes to be invaded in his mind by the assault of the doubts that make him reflect if what is happening is real or the product of one of the most nefarious fantasies.
This type of legends is common in Mexico because, as I said before, there’re many accidents where trains have been involved in the running over of people who were walking on the railroads. I, the author of “After Death”, when I was a child I heard stories about apparitions and ghosts that had once been victims of the transit of the train. My experience in going through this cruise and also walking directly on the railroad at night, although not precisely in that place, it have suggested me interesting ideas about the excitement generated by these incredible places and stories about the terrible accidents that have ocurred in them. That’s why I decided to write a story that would describe a little the incredible solitude that a railroad has despite its proximity to a road and the stories that it contains.
This loneliness is conducive to the ghosts of people of other times to move without a defined course, it’s like a meeting point where the souls of those who were trapped after having made their lives in towns or settlements around the railroads converge. Whoever walks through these types of places in solitude under the cloak of the dark night will come a moment when they can perceive that they are not really alone in that place. The dead, the ghosts, will be watching him at all times.