The Way There

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

three strangers on a train experience something weird.

He awoke with a start and stared around with wide eyes bulging with panic.  Sweat dripped down his forehead onto his red cheek.  Damp feet clung to the thin blankets.  His chest heaved with gulps and beat with an adrenaline fuelled heart. 

The world seemed to come into focus around him slowly as the dull room he seemed to be resting in came into view and reality began to sink in. 

Henry Elmwood finally calmed down as the horrific vivid dream sunk away into the depths of his unconscious mind.  Darkness loomed outside of a window to his right.  Slowly reaching over to a small electric light to his left he turned the switch and lit up the tiny room.  

Books stacked in the corner and his school bags beside them.  All was normal and finally the last of his panic seeped away.  With a long groan he slumped back onto his pillow and stared up at the wooden panelling above him.

He took long deep breaths.  He felt the air fill his longs and exhaled it slowly.  The shrink had told him it was important to be mindful during moments like this.  Henry was always hostile to any sort of suggestion from that smug doctor, but at this moment he conceded and tried it.

He tried to remember what the dream was, he perused his memory to find what image had been so horrific it had caused him to experience such panic and scream.  

Scream? Had he screamed? 

Shit I definitely screamed.

Three sharp knocks on his door caused his tender nerves to jerk him back up into a seated position.  A muffled voice whispered from the other side of the thin wood.

“You alright?” 

“Yeah.”

“You sure?” came the voice again louder with a mocking air that made Henry more angry than was warranted.

“Yes,” he snapped back.

“A lot of us are trying to sleep okay?”

“piss off.” 

The voice beyond the door laughed and added, “Farewell to you as well.”

When the muffled footsteps proceeded down the hallway from his door Henry swung his feet over the bed and picked his mind again.  What the hell was that dream?  So many eyes.

 

Screams in the middle of the night are not a common occurrence in Dunning Castle.  Edmund strutted down the hall and peered out of the window beside him into the inky black fields that flew past. This is what happens when you book your ticket late and get stuck with the plebs. His mom had told him over and over again to get it, to make the twenty minute trip into town to buy his ticket, he should have taken her advice.  He hadn’t and now here he was, getting snapped at by an irritable nutcase down the hall.

He could feel his dads voice echoing in his ear, something like “You need to learn to grow up Edmund!” or “Where did I go wrong” or his favourite “You’re a failure,”.  His dad was nothing if not a walking cliche spouting typical unimpressed dad rhetoric like he was a character in a bad novel.  Disappointed in everything he did.  Being too lazy to buy a train ticket to get to University just added fuel to the eternal fire of his discontent.

Something caught his eye in the distance.  He stopped walking down the black hall and turned his head to look out the window.  Grand black shapes were drawn on the horizon, looking to him like a group of hideous monsters.  Trees and a few ruined farm houses (hovels more like) were the logical explanation, however, one figure stuck out from the others.  Mountain shaped yet rounded, it seemed to sway and stop and then sway again. Not much higher than the other shapes on the horizon. Something about the edges looked wrong as well, he could never seem to focus on it, they seemed frayed and blurred. Some kind of weird house perhaps?  

“You alright?”

Edmund turned his head to the surprise of a young woman staring at him from the other side of the hallway.  Her face obscured by shadow and her long poor-fitting nightgown pooled on the floor.

“Yes.” He responded curtly, trying to strangle the unpleasant conversation in the crib. He began to walk forwards.

“Did you hear that scream?”

Some babies just don’t die. He sighed and stopped, “yes.”

“Should we do something?”

This was torture. “I’ve already checked on it.”

She peered over the doors that lined the left side of the hallway. “How do you know which one it came from?” 

He could feel the worst migraine of his life starting. “I figured it out.”

“How?”

Officially reaching is threshold of humour Edmund began his strut to his room without so much as another word to the woman. Despite her “excuse me?” and “Hello?” he passed by her without acknowledgement and silently slipped into his chamber.

 

She needed a cigarette, she craved one badly, snobby men had that effect on her and they always have.  Universities were full of them and this one would be no different.  She reached into her small pocket and pulled out the pack she had stored in there on her way out of the room.  

She passed down the hall quickly and through the empty dining car.  Sliding open the back door of the train the world suddenly came to her senses.  The chugging of a train winding along tracks and the hiss of the chilly September wind whipping by it filled her ears. Her hair began to fly all around her like it was trying desperately to detach itself from her head.  She gripped the handrail in front of her and turned back to close the sliding door. 

There is nothing like watching a word sunk in black and deep violet dart past you and fade into nothingness. The beauty and the weird fear filled Anne as she took the box of matches out of her pocket.

Getting the stubborn cigarette lit was difficult but she managed and began to take long slow drags.  Pondering what sort of small furry creature had crawled up that man in the hallways ass and what on earth had caused that scream that echoed through the whole train.  It was a scream of pure terror if she had ever heard one.  The sort of raspy long winded shriek that filled one with dread. 

Dread.  Recently dread was something common to her.  Going to a historically male school separated from the world by a long stretch of rough waters.  Still she had never seen her grandad more proud than when the offer came in the post and she would be damned if she let any sort of posh man with a superiority complex stop her. 

The best damn anthropological linguist in the country.

Smiling to herself she flicked the cigarette butt off the back of the train and took a moment to drink in her environment.  There was lots of noise, almost too much. Something was off, there was a sound on the fringes of her hearing.   Not the noise of the train or the wind, but something else.  It was distant, very distant, yet it still sent shivers up Anne’s spine and she felt every hair on her body stand. A muffled sort of grumble filled the air, unreasonably loud and unusually inconsistent.

Not being able to identify any sort of source for the strange sound she spun around and entered the dining car again. The weird noise filtering from her thoughts as quickly as it had entered. Passing back through the silent halls she reached her room and slid open the door.  Sleep was a luxury she had to cherish.  School was starting.


Submitted: January 31, 2019

© Copyright 2021 HorrorBuddy . All rights reserved.

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hullabaloo22

Nicely done atmospheric read. Good job with the three points of view.

Thu, January 31st, 2019 9:47pm

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