It was during that era, the era when the dead were returning, or so we thought, that I took a train to the edge of the Great Desert.
The train was crammed full of passengers returning from the Beyond. It was hot. Children were singing, clapping, and shouting.
I was carrying a thrush in a wicker cage. I pulled a velvet cover over the page so it would stop singing. I was very tired.
I fell asleep over my book, The Book of Hellfire & Damnations. Mainly, it was a cruel and bloody collection of old "killing ballads" from the Old West.
"Everything changes, everything appears and disappears. When both existence and non-existence are transcended, Nirvana will be bliss."
Do you know what book that's from, originally? a woman asked, her eyes on the page I'd been reading.
It startled me, her slightly rough voice. I looked at her. She was wearing a sober, neat, chaste dark blue dress but had blazing blue eyes and black hair.
No, I said, putting my finger on the page to keep my place. Where?
She took an old leatherbound book out of her handbag and showed me the spine: The Book of Ghosts and Mysterious Apparitions.
Where are you going? I asked.
She looked at me. After a long long time, she said: West.