Kemono Cafe 004
Sandy looked out the window in shocked disbelief. The train felt like they were still on tracks, swinging pleasantly left to right while they soared through the sky. Sandy had been left by the strange rabbit in her seat for a moment to perform her routine, looking for loose bags and checking the engine up ahead. Sandy was reminded of the feeling of being on a plane for the first time as a child and everything was incredibly frightening, yet no one around you was panicking as much as you felt you should be. Sandy watched the world fall away into nothing and trembled. This was usually the moment she woke up from a dream.
The world outside became unlike anything Sandy had ever imagined. It was as black as night with no stars overhead. The ink of night was so impermeable it felt like they were in a submarine that had plunged deep beyond where light could reach. Small streaks of orange light passed distantly and Sandy, as soon as she could steady her breathing, noticed that they did have a familiar pacing of windows on a real train ride. As Sandy tried to make out the distant shapes, they would quickly vanish as if frightened of being noticed.
The entire train suddenly jumped a little and shook Sandy enough to frighten her. She had to look down but scooted back in her seat a little in fear of being tossed off an edge. They were on some kind of ground now, but definitely no tracks could be seen. There was a hum of red light beneath them that sparked violently against what looked like a sea of parchment paper. The glow of the red light was like a warm fire with tiny fragments of the paper rising up like ash into it and fluttering away into oblivion. As frightening as it was, this world was surprisingly beautiful to Sandy. The paper beneath them was loose, like a hundred million books all turned inside out and scattered onto the hills.
The rabbit was wiping her enormous hands of a fine black dust as she emerged from the engine room and tossed a rag dismissively into a bin while closing in on where Sandy was. Sandy wished the rabbit would panic too and affirm that what Sandy was seeing around her was not normal. But the rabbit had the confident gait of someone who not only did this before, but loved her job. She reached into her hands into her coat and pulled out a bunch of different sweets. A king-sized candy bar became the focus of her attention and she made a real effort to read the label, squinting at it hard before turning it toward Sandy.