We used to hang out at the park in the middle of town. One time, myself and two other guys were hanging around and smoking cigarettes. One of the kids, whom I’ll refer to only as Corky, was a real wild one. Always getting into trouble and doing bad things.
We left the park and were crossing the rail road tracks. For some reason I was always afraid of railroad tracks and trains but at the same time fascinated by them. There was a young boy who lived in my town that got killed a few years earlier on these very tracks.
Back then, electric trains were still somewhat new and the 3rd rail was an exposed iron rail that carried the electrical current that the train used to run. I was very uncomfortable as we were hanging out there and Corky decided it would be cool to squat between the two electric rails as the train passed. I just kept trying to get them to move on. Then he found what looked like these bicycle handle bars and started tossing them onto the electric rails. I was standing very close but I didn’t know what he was doing. He then approached the rail with the handle bars and said, “I’m going to put the bar half on the track and the other half under the electric rail so when the train comes by, it will trip the metal and short out the electricity.” Okay, I thought, I’m getting outta here.
The second I started to turn I heard this ominous sound that could only be described as a wooomff. It was really low and heavy and was accompanied by a flash of brilliant green light about 10 feet in diameter. The last thing I saw was Corky’s silhouette against this flash. It knocked us all back. I don’t know how long we were out, but when we came to, we were all momentarily blinded and all I could hear was horrific screaming. We rolled around over each other in the dirt for a while and tried to get a grip on what had happened. It seemed that Corky had thrown the handle bars onto the rail and shorted it out, causing the flash. When my eyesight returned, I noticed that all of the hair on my head and face was singed and we saw Corky running down the street holding what looked like a charred piece of steak. It was his arm. I went into shock.
In school the next day there was talk about how they had to cut his arm off and he’s left with a stub. I never told anybody I was with him. I lived in complete anxiety for months. It was traumatic.