Allister did not revel in catastrophe. He did not choose to think this way. He would merely catch this feeling midway through his scan, as if this fear of a crash were the common cold or typhus (where and when typhus was a common illness). And immediately, Allister would prepare the only way someone could.
Searching for the sweet eyes of the one he would fall in love with, would marry and raise a family with in this train car, this deflated zeppelin. Searching for the patch-covered eye, pointed dark mustache, and evil glare of the man with the dark gentleman's cane who would most certainly become his arch nemesis-who would somehow find ways to prosper and abuse the rest of the population of this elevator car, this trolley. Searching for the calm, wide shoulders and the simple, honest smile of Allister's newest life-long best friend-whom he would surely have to protect from this arch-nemesis who most certainly preyed on those simple, honest souls. Searching, too, for the doctor, the nurse, the farmer (cultivating corn and tomatoes from leather seats and steel bars), the philosopher, the mayor, the judge, the sheriff, the scientist, the tailor, and the man whose nervous twitch and cross-eyed glare betrayed all too clearly that he was all too eager to leap to cannibalism much earlier than necessary.
And, in one place, Allister would see the general store stocked with gum and hard candy scraped from the bottom of seats. And, in another the restaurant where at first all would feast on leather strips and then nothing at all-everyone sitting at the long table and imagining they were eating filet mignon on imaginary plates with imaginary forks and knives. And then, perhaps, if necessary (but, and this should be stressed for the man with the twitch: only when absolutely necessary), a person.
And there were the tailor and the cobbler shops and hardware store and the office of the newspaper editor. All in this train car, this bus, this trolley, this ship, this submarine, this zeppelin, this elevator. No one understanding how or why the entrances and exits will not work and why no one has come to save them. Everyone just moving on, adapting to Allister's fantasy.
And this whole life Allister would work his way through as the vessel traveled along, carrying Allister, his new companions, and their new lives to their desired destinations. And when the doors did open, when the ramps were let down, and people made their exits, Allister would mark them off as though they had just forfeited their place-until the doors opened, the ramps were let down for Allister, too. And he would find himself exiting.