A Conversation Abord the Express

A Conversation Abord the Express

Suphala Nibhanupudi

“I can’t believe you’re not talking to me right now.”


“You’re just gonna ignore me for six whole hours? It’s a very long train ride.” 


“That’s fine, that’s fine. That’s. Completely. Fine. You won’t mind if I just keep talking then right? Because oh my god, I have so much to talk about. Things. Many, many things. I could go on all day really, about, things.”


“Look I’m sorry, okay? I shouldn’t have laughed and I’m sorry or whatever. Please, please, I’m so bored Aurelie.”

“Grovel like you mean it then.”

 “I’m not grovelling.”

“Then you’re not sorry.”

“I’m telling you it wasn’t blood! It was ketchup!”

“It didn’t smell like ketchup. It smelled like a rotten corpse, and copper coins, and everything but organic material. I stepped in blood, Sybille.”

“You know, you could have just said tomatoes.”

“You change the subject again and I’ll throw you off the train.”

“It’s Halloween! People get all crazy about stuff like that. All the fake blood and spiders and the horror murders mysteries. Halloween is so tame.

“….You’re a detective. Don’t you like mysteries and intrigue and blood?”

“Yeah, when it’s real. I don’t pretend to be entertained by all this pander-y kid stuff. So don’t worry, it’s not real. And we could probably wipe it off your prissy little Mary Janes with a wet napkin. Nothing to worry about.”

“I’m not convinced.”

Fine. Why don’t we just, go back there, and I’ll prove it to you.”

“Fine. If it is ketchup, I’ll throw myself off this train.”  


“See? It’s nothing but ketchu — why is there a body bag?” 

“I did not step on a body bag.”

“Oh, this just got interesting.

“Oh my god, there’s a body bag.”

“Yes hello Mx. Conductor Person, I’m sorry, but could you tell us what happened here? Where are the police?”

“Sybille, perchance, is there a body in this body bag?

“Please don’t faint into the pool of ketchup Aurelie.”

It’s blood!”


“Don’t say it. Don’t say it, don’t say it oh my god there’s blood on the floor. Someone got murdered and I stepped in their blood. What are you doing?”

“Hmm, yeah I guess it is blood.”

Did you just taste it.”

“Well, how was I supposed to know the difference?”

“You’re a detective! This is your job!” 


How are you even employed?

“Nepotism and a terrible tragedy.”

“Why do I trust you with anything?”

“I’m quite capable, you know. Anyway! Murder! I’m so excited!”

“Who gave you your license? Do you even have a license? Are you legal?”

“Shh-hh. I have to concentrate.”

“Ah yes, so you can employ your masterful detective skills, such as eating the evidence.” 

“I know my stuff. I’m a responsible detective.”

“The first time I met you, you had ten cups of coffee in your system, tried to Karen your way into making me check my plumbing for a non existent leak, then passed out in the middle of the store.”

“I don’t see your point. A detective’s gotta do what a detective’s gotta do.”

“You never even solved the case.”

“I still don’t see your point. That woman was insane.”

“She was. In another universe, you two would have been best friends.”

“Shh. I need to get In The Zone”

“Okay, I’ll just be over there. Far, far away.”

“It looks like a botched job. Multiple stab wounds in the stomach. The blood trails from the next car over. Dining car, where we were. There are probably… yes. Stab wounds on the back, no wait, just one. The victim was trying to escape. The murderer must have been frantic, most likely, a novice for sure. These wounds aren’t even accurate. Were they stabbing blindfolded?”

“….That was actually kind of impressive?”

I know right? Murder! It brings out the best in you.”

“I retract that statement. You are awful.”

“But the question is why? And who would be so stupid as to do this here?”


“Sybille? Did you hear that scream?”

“Yes… It came from the next car over. Ms. Conductor Person? Are you okay?” 

“Oh, that’s not good.”

“Hello? Please respond to me! Hello!”

“When did she leave? Sybille, maybe she just passed out! Maybe she hit her head!”

“If that helps you, then she totally fainted. Hello?! We’re coming!”

“Stop running!”

“What if she’s in danger?”

“We’re not going to be much help! Don’t you have a knife or something?”

You’re the one who always has weaponry on you” 

“I’d probably stab you on accident! Which, at this moment, doesn’t seem like a terrible idea! Where are we — oh my god!

“Oh my god.”

“That’s another dead person… please, I’m going to vomit oh my god.”

“Oh! Conductor lady you’re… here.”


“Aurelie, she’s holding a knife.” 

“I see that Sybille.”

Why hello little detectives. I’m afraid you both have
caught me at quite an awkward time. 

“Is this Halloween enough for you?”

“We need to get off this train.”

No, no please! Don’t be put off by all this!
Please do stay. I seem to be in need of some practice.

“So we’re running right?”

“Oh, what do you think?”