C. C. Rayne


Thank you for choosing THE OCTAGON as your new home, and your preferred means of transportation. We are honored and thrilled to welcome you to our train/city, which personally, we also like to consider a family.

To prepare for your new lease (which is simultaneously, of course, your new journey) we’ve created a brief list of introductory bullet points for you to review. Please feel free to take a seat in the lounge (the third car down) and sip on some of our complementary WHISK-YE1 while you peruse.

What impact will THE OCTAGON have on my life?

We are proud to inform you that you will never have to navigate again. No more reliance on buses or subways or cabs! No more nights of ache-filled walking, while the rain pours down and soaks your shoes! NONE of that for you!2 As a passenger/resident of THE OCTAGON, you will be transported across the world in style, while living out your life in the greatest chrome-glass metal maze that humanity’s designed since Daedalus.

How big is THE OCTAGON, and why was it built this way?

THE OCTAGON is made of seventy-seven interconnecting train lines. Now, don’t be mistaken – we’re not talking about separate trains whose tracks might overlap. THE OCTAGON is seventy-seven train lengths fused together, a massive creation that’s somewhere between an octopus and a spider’s web. It crawls across the landscape using its differing types of train cars as propellant limbs. Occasionally, one of the train cars at the very front of the line gets crushed or crumpled into a mountainside, a side effect of our high-speed navigation. But rest assured, that decision is always made for the benefit of THE OCTAGON as a whole.3

What routes does THE OCTAGON travel? 

All over the world. We are proud to report that THE OCTAGON can take itself (and its passengers) through any and all strange terrains and new environments. In recent decades, THE OCTAGON has traversed the tops of the mountain ranges, the sands of the scorching deserts, and the bottom of the deepest oceans. The views provided aboard THE OCTAGON are unparalleled, and we can’t wait for you to experience them.4


What will I experience inside THE OCTAGON? 

Within the walls of THE OCTAGON, a world unfolds, much more varied than the one through the windows. Skyscrapers lie sideways, running dozens of stories horizontal, filled with busy businesses and office workers. Street musicians play to drown out the din of train travel. Pigeons roost atop the luggage racks. Some of the other passengers will likely try to speak to you. You are encouraged to speak to them5, though be aware that travel friends rarely last throughout the trip. Proximity is a magical spell, after all! If you ever wish to avoid someone, you are welcome to flee to a more forward-facing part of the city/train.

Am I able to leave THE OCTAGON, should I desire?

Well, you can certainly leave if you want. But really, where else would you go? Do you want to be on the outside, standing on the ruined landscape of our ruined world while THE OCTAGON travels above you, through you, perhaps shattering your bones in a careless mathematical miscalculation? Do you want to be one of them? Those people outside the window? Look out through the glass of the lounge. You can’t even really see them, can you? Their faces are just blurry streaks of rain. You’re better off not leaving. You’re better off being a part of something great. The train loves you; the city loves you; THE OCTAGON loves you. So stop worrying! Just enjoy the ride.6 

1: WHISK-YE contains 0% alcohol, and is a completely neutral beverage. Its only impact is that it will completely and totally prepare you to be WHISKED AWAY on our endless journey. 

2: Disclaimer: you will still get tired from having to walk through the 1,500 miles of winding liminal space that constitutes the inside of THE OCTAGON. Please make sure your comfortable shoes are stowed securely in the top part of your suitcase. 

3: And you probably won’t be in that specific train car, anyway! The odds are relatively low. 

4: Disclaimer: not all views are equivalent, and space at the windows of the train/city is limited. A handy lottery system is used amongst residents of THE OCTAGON to determine who will get prime viewing locations every day. 

5: Formation of unions is, tragically, prohibited. But never fear. We swear that we only have your best interests at heart. 

6: Passenger enrollment final. Refunds not provided.

C. C. Rayne is a writer, actor, and musician based on the East Coast. A lover of all things weird and discontented, C.C.’s work blends the magical with the mundane, and the silly with the strange. You can read C.C’s stories in The Razor, The Deeps, Sublunary Review, Demons and Death Drops, and Fish Gather To Listen: An Anthology of Underwater Horror. C. C.’s poetry can be found in such places as The Dread Machine, Rough Cut Press, Eye to the Telescope, and moth eaten mag.