Please Stop Committing Elaborate Murders on My Old-Timey Train

Molly Kessler
Molly Kessler
October 13, 2021

All aboard! Next stop: Vienna! Please find your seats, have your passports and tickets ready when the attendant passes through the car, and also, for the love of God, please stop murdering people on my old-timey train.

I’m serious. You have to stop.

I can’t take it anymore. When it was one murder, it was a tragedy. We mourned. “Poor Mrs. Llewelyn, stabbed before her time.” But twenty-seven?! Twenty-seven murders, and each one more elaborate than the last?! It’s gone too far!

I am a simple train conductor. I punch tickets and supervise the train crew. I do not “gather evidence” or “assemble timelines.” Sure, we could have spent our time together on the train getting to know each other over a game of Tiddlywinks or Hoop-and-Stick. But, no! Instead, we must dig into each other’s personal lives to see who has ready access to cyanide.

Listen. I know it’s tempting. You’re alone, presumably with a person that you hate; you’re in the uninhabited countryside of Yugoslavia; you have a great big knife. Believe me, I understand the impulse!

But I am tired of cleaning up after you. Who do you think disposes of your weird cousin’s body? Who do you think reupholsters the settee where he decomposed for several days? Who do you think mops up the blood from his many snake bites and then wonders out loud, “Say, did anyone ever find the snake?”

I do. And, no, we never did find the snake, so stop asking!

Please. I’m begging you. If your neighbor owes you money, jump him in a dark alley like a normal person. Smother your crooked employer in a park, if you must. Is your aunt rich and mean? Poison her at home. Don’t buy her a ticket to Budapest and then be all, “Aunty would’ve loved Budapest…” You’re lying! Nobody loves Budapest.

Now, if there are no objections, please proceed onto the train. And if anyone is a doctor, please make your way over to me, as I appear to have been shot with a blow dart.