The Heart on the Train A.H. Mittelman

It all started when I was sitting next to a man in a blue uniform wearing gloves and a face mask on a train. He was holding a medium sized ice box, white on top and blue on the bottom.

“What’s inside,” I asked.

“A delivery for the hospital,” he said.

“Oh, what kind of delivery?” I asked.

“A heart. Actually, I’m not sure I’m supposed to tell you that. I’m new,” he said.

“How did you get in the business of delivering hearts?” I asked.

“I have a job for a morgue. When someone donates their organs to science or medicine, if the organs are still good, someone cuts them out and puts them in an ice box. Then they give them to me and tell me which hospital needs which organ, and I deliver,” he said.

“That’s cool, my names Wyatt,” I said and reached out to shake his hand.

“My names Luke,” he said. We shook.

“Could you do me a small favor,” Luke asked.

“Sure,” I said.

“Could you watch the box? I have to use the restroom,” Luke said. I nodded.

“Of course,” I responded.

Luke got up and I sat next to the box, my hand placed on top.

I was sitting for two minutes when was tempted to look inside. Should I, I kept wondering. Who would know?

I slowly opened the box, and on top of the ice was a human heart. It was gross, but oddly satisfying. It was interesting to see an actual human heart outside of the body. I wondered who it had belonged to.

I was about to close the box when I heard a gasp. I turned around and in the seat behind me there was an old lady covering her mouth.

“What are you doing with a human heart?” She whispered.

“It’s a delivery for a hospital. I’m watching it for a friend,” I explained.

“I don’t believe you. You’re a killer, aren’t you?” She asked.

“No, ma’am. It’s for a medical company… it says so right here on the box, Flying Floyd’s Fast Face, Femur, Finger, Foot, Forehead, Fallopian Tube and Heart Hospital Delivery Service company, Inc,” I explained.

“I don’t believe you. I’m getting security,” she said and abruptly stood up.

“Ma’am, please,” I pleaded, to no avail.

I saw her whispering to one of the uniformed train staff who then mumbled into a walkie talkie before meandering over to me.

“Excuse me, sir. What’s in the box?” The train staff asked.

“My names Wyatt, and I’m watching this box for my friend Luke. He’s delivering a heart to a hospital,” I explained.

“So you’re saying there’s a human heart in the box?” He said.

“Yes, it’s my friends. He’s just in the…”

“Would you mind opening the box, sir?”

“I’m not sure I’m allowed, it belongs to my friend. You see…” I started to say.

“That wasn’t a request. Just open the box,” he said. I opened it and showed him the heart.

“Do you have a license to carry the heart sir?” The man asked.

“No, he’s a killer,” the old lady hissed.

“No. But sir, it belongs to my friend. I’m sure he has the license,” I explained.

“And where is your friend?” He asked.

“He’s just in the restroom. If you could just wait two minutes, I’m sure he’ll be right back,” I explained.

“Sure he is. Sir, I’m afraid I’m going to have to detain you and have the police deal with this situation at the next stop,” he said.

“This is absurd,” I shouted, got up and pushed the man and old lady out of the way.

I ran to the bathroom and knocked on the door I thought I saw Luke go into.

“Luke, we have a problem. Can you come out and show the nice train employee your license to carry the heart, please?” I asked as the train employee slowly walked over to me.

A tall gentleman in a suit walked out. It wasn’t Luke and the man gave me a strange look and walked away. I ran inside the bathroom and locked myself in. How was I going to find Luke. The second I leave the bathroom they’re going to kick me off the train and have the police interrogate me.

There was a pounding at the door.

“Sir, we need you to come out,” the train employee shouted and continued to pound on the door.

“No. Find my friend Luke. He’ll explain everything,” I shouted.

The banging continued on the bathroom door. Then a loud, singular bang on the door as if someone had thrown their entire body weight against the door. Then another bang. Then another right before the door flew open.

There were now two train employees standing above me. They grabbed onto me and dragged me out of the bathroom.

“Sir, we called the police. We must have you exit the train at…”

Luke came out of the other bathroom, looked at me on the floor, shocked, and interrupted them.

“Excuse me, gentlemen, what’s going on here?” Luke asked.

“This man is carrying a human heart with him and he can’t explain why he doesn’t have a license. He claims he’s holding it for an imaginary friend,” the train staff said with condescension.

“Oh, no. His friend is far from imaginary. That’s my heart he was watching for me and if you would like, I’ll show you my companies medical transport license,” Luke said. He then took out his license and some paperwork and showed them.

The train staff looked at me in shock, their jaws hanging below their necks.

“We’re so sorry, sir. We apologize,” the train staff said.

“My names Wyatt, not sir. And your apologies aren’t doing me any good,” I said.

“What can we do to make amends, sir,” the train staff asked.

“You can start by kicking that nasty, nosy old lady off the train,” I said.

“Done. Next stop, she’s off…” the train staff said, and to this the old lady hissed.

“And get us some champagne and cookies,” Luke said and smiled.

“We have champagne and caviar crackers,” the train staff said. Luke smiled, nodded and winked at the staff.

We sat back down in our chairs and were served the finest champagne and caviar crackers the train had.

“Thanks for watching the heart,” Luke said.

“Oh, it wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t a problem at all,” I said and slowly smiled.

Luke and I both started laughing.

Copyright © 1/8/2023 by A.H. Mittelman. All rights reserved.

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