You really can hear the train coming.
Anaxagoras, lover of knowledge, learned something new every day. However he would’ve rather learned something else. He planned to have years of learning ahead, but he had exhausted his options and escape seemed unlikely. His hands were tied in silver cord, grounded into the earth. No matter how Anaxagoras turned, he was unable to touch cord to track. Magic, being highly conductive, would easily transfer from silver to iron, allowing him to save himself if he was careful. Anaxagoras was always careful. The cord, was held tight with a railroad spike, dissipated his magic.
He had tried bribing his captors, but they were clearly barbarians, babbling some strange language. He knew a translation spell, useless of course. Kaia, His guild and protector on this adventure was likely unaware Anaxagoras was gone, surely in a drunken sleep instead of earning her rather generous pay. There was no chance of contacting Athena so far from civilization without prayer beads and incense.
Anaxagoras heard a whistle. Having explored this area for weeks, he knew he was just under 4 miles from Hermit’s Hollow. Trains normally only blow their whistle when approaching a settlement. The only train that stopped in Hermit’s Hollow was the 4:15 pm, so this was an express. Given the average express speed, he had approximately 4 minutes to live.
There was only one course available. One spell performed hands to the ground, one prayer enhanced by terror. The timing had to be perfect.
The train rounded the hills. He could see the light. Maybe a minute left.
30 seconds. Anaxagoras shut his eyes from the distracting light of his doom.
“Persephone!” Anaxagoras screamed, releasing every watt of magic he possessed into the earth.
The track stopped vibrating. He couldn’t hear the thunderous clanking. He opened his eyes.
A shadow figure outlined in the train’s light stood before him.
“Anaxagoras, so nice of you to call,” said a voice sweet as syrup, deadly as venom.
This was written for this week’s trifecta prompt. I love this world and I plan to write more stories here very soon.