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The Train Up Mount Silence

by Adam Breckenridge

About the Author: I am an Overseas Traveling Faculty member for the University of Maryland Global Campus, where I travel the world teaching American military stationed overseas and am currently based in South Korea. My fiction has previously appeared in Strangelet Press, Visions, the Final Summons Anthology from NESW Press, Sci Phi Journal, and elsewhere, and most recently I was accepted into the Clockwork, Curses and Coal Anthology from World Weaver Press.


There are only two reasons anyone ever comes to the town of Beggs, deep in the mountains of Colorado. The first is to take the train that runs to the top of Mount Silence. The second is to listen to the commentary that the tour guide, Elias Smithfield, provides the whole way up. I once looked through a guidebook on Colorado and found an entry for our town talking about how Elias had been doing the commentary for fifty years and that it was worth the price of admission just to listen to him. This was in a guidebook that was published all over the world too. So this is what it’s like to know a celebrity, I thought. No doubt about it, Elias Smithfield had the best job in the world. And I wanted it.

I would ride the tram as often as I could to listen to his commentary, the history he provided and the jokes he would make because it helped me with my own script, which I had been working on for years and was already a lot better than his.

“Does anyone know why it’s called Mount Silence?” he would ask. “It’s because the first man to climb it, Bertram Hinkel, was trying to get away from his nagging wife. When he got to the top he said, ‘Finally, some silence.’ ”

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