the last train ride

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

quick chiller about the last journey i will ever take

No moon. That was the first thing I noticed as I stared up at the sky, midnight black and pinpricked with stars, but without a moon to cast it's clear bright light on my slowly dying body.

But, I digress. I must go back to the beginning to make my story clear.

My day started much like any other. Monday morning blues swarmed my aching head as I approached the train station. Commuters bustled around me eager to make sure they got a seat on their journey. Announcements echoed on tannoys overhead, bright screens buzzing with updates.

I made my way to my platform and stood in silence as people chattered around me, mostly on mobile phones. The station was abuzz as is always the case, but I nursed my hangover, trying to cleanse my body with as much water as possible and tune out the noise.

After what seemed like an age, I heard the bell to signal an announcement that my train would be arriving and to stand back from the edge of the platform, keeping all my belongings with me at all times etc. etc. Anyway, I'm waffling again. I boarded the train and managed to find an empty seat in the quiet carriage. I pulled out my e-reader, put my headphone's in my ears, picked my favourite tune on my phone and settled in for my journey. My change over wasn't for a while and when I reached it, the rest of my team would be there to meet me and board for the next leg of the journey, so I wanted to get as much quiet time as possible. The only person to disturb me was the ticket inspector, I showed him my pass and he left me in peace.

The journey was uneventful, my book was enjoyable but my aching head made it difficult to concentrate and I soon closed down the device and settled with listening to my music. I must have only listened to a couple of songs when I drifted off, the combination of a late night, remaining alcohol in my system and painkillers sending me into a deep sleep, filled with nightmare shapes, strange noises and intense smells. Nothing in my dream was clear or coherent but it filled me with a sense of dread I hadn't had since my older sister made me watch my first horror film at the age of 5 and then proceeded to tell me our house was haunted and the ghosts would torture me in my sleep.

When I awoke, it was dark, and my head, still stuffy from the sleep, was aching even more than when I drifted off. I was panicked, wondering how I could possibly have slept until nightfall without someone waking me at the end of the line. The inspector must have been through multiple times to check the carriages, how could he not notice me, if not the first few times then certainly after several. Then, I realised we must be in a tunnel. I chuckled at myself for being such an idiot. I moved to pick up my phone and check the time and the overhead lights flicked on, presumably on a sensor and despite feeling foolish I almost jumped out of my chair. The carriage was eerily quiet, the only sound my beating heart echoing in my ears, threatening to burst from my chest. Something didn't feel right. The carriage should have been packed with commuters, even the quiet carriages get full on the morning commute. I was alone, but I didn't feel alone. I picked up my phone but the battery was dead, this didn't make any sense, it had been on full when I left the house in the morning.

I picked up my bag and headed for the door to the next carriage, no voices were coming from the other side, I peered through the opaque window but could see nothing but darkness. I proceeded through, shaking with fear from an unknown source. This carriage was also empty, lights flicking on as I walked. I continued forward, repeating the process though 2 more carriages before I suddenly stopped dead at the sound of a long drawn out scream coming from the front of the train, then silence again. I needed to get off the train but I didn't know how. I know the conductor used a key to send power to the doors, the windows were too narrow for me to climb through. The only thing I could think was to head back to the last carriage and try to smash a window and just hope no one heard.

I made my way down the train but suddenly I could hear heavy footsteps behind me. They must have heard me or seen the lights, they knew I was here, whoever they were. I hid under a seat just before a large man came running through the door. I could hear his breathing, he was terrified. Then two more sets of footsteps running after. There was a struggle and grunting, whoever the man was he was putting up a fight but to no avail, and he was a big man, whoever was attacking him must have been very strong.

After what seemed like forever the two attackers managed to subdue the man and dragged him back through the doorway, presumably to the front of the train., I peered out from my hiding place to the empty carriage and decided that if I ever had a chance to escape this train ride from hell it would be now. I took a deep breath and ran for the door in front on me, squeezed through as quietly as possible and collapsed in a heap in front of the drivers door. This was the rear of the train so I knew no one would be in the room but I tried the door anyway. It opened. I went inside and began frantically searching for something to break the window, anything heavy enough. I've never broken a window before and I imagine train windows are double the thickness of normal ones but I couldn't think of anything else. I opened a small cupboard or compartment under the controls and miraculously found a set of keys. Hoping against hope that I'd found the right ones for the door mechanism I slipped back into the last compartment, picked the one that looked the right size and shape and pushed it into the hole. It was the wrong one, I had to try for different keys before I found the one that opened the box.

This was it. I could make my escape but I would have to be quick, once I opened the doors the attackers would know I was here and would come running. I gave myself a few minutes to compose myself, then I turned the key, pushed both release buttons and and hit the door button. It seemed to take forever for doors to open but as soon as they were wide enough I squeezed myself through and set off like a shot down the tunnel. I heard the rest of the train doors open and shouts from behind me, gruff male voices screaming at me and each other, but I just kept running. My feet kept slipping on the stones and my soft flat pumps weren't made for this kind of terrain, I fell at least twice but I kept picking myself up, I could hear the footfalls and shouts of the men behind me getting closer, but I could also feel fresh air on my face, I wasn't too far from the end of the tunnel, I just had to keep running.

I reached the end of the tunnel but with no thoughts of stopping until I reached civilisation. The air was chilly and it was dark, somehow I had managed to sleep through the entire day, and through some sort of attack on the rest of the passengers. There must have been screams at some point, frightened people chorusing their shock but I had managed to sleep through it all and go unnoticed. Only now had I alerted anyone to my presence, I cursed myself, realising I should have just stayed hidden until they had all gone.

Suddenly pulled out of my own thoughts I felt something grab my bag and pull me back, I let go and kept on going but the attacker grabbed my arm and pulled me back with such force I fell around in an arc and landed on my knees. I was hit in the head with something heavy, my vision blurred and when it came back into focus I was on my back with a masked someone over me. I saw the glint of a knife, felt a sharp pain in my stomach and smelled the coppery scent of blood.

And here I lay. Staring up at the sky as I slowly bleed out. I will never know who these feral attackers were. I will never know what they wanted or why they chose this particular train. All I can do is lay here and stare at the ever darkening sky and think to myself, There is no moon. How odd that this will be my dying thought. There is no moon.



Submitted: October 05, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Nicola Chudasch. All rights reserved.

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