Murder On the Train
A short story written using 'The Very Short Story Starter' by John Gillard
Winter mornings are always depressing. Dark skies, thick with fog, air so cold your breath leaves a cloud of smoke. This morning was especially depressing; I had to wake up at five AM to get the 6:30 AM train. Working in retail around Christmas completely ruins the holidays. Early mornings, long hours, rude customers. The train station seemed completely empty that morning. The sky was darker. The fog was thicker. The air so cold my fingers felt like icicles. I could barely see two foot in front of me. I checked my phone '06:25'. I reached my hands into my thick parka coat pockets in search of my headphones, but with no success. Great. I'll just have to stand in silence. Or not?
In the distance I could hear voices, it sounded like two people arguing. It was probably a couple arguing over who's turn it was to take out the bins. Or a pair of drunks rowing over which pub to stumble into next. The voices were getting louder and louder until they were practically screaming at each other. I couldn't see them, but I could make out what they were saying,
"I can't lie anymore, you need to turn yourself in!"
The voice was croaky and weak, it sounded like an elderly man.
"You think they'll let us just get away with this?"
The other voice bellowed. This voice was hoarse and deep. I just wished I had my earphones. Where the hell was this train?
I tried to block out the arguing. I unlocked my phone, and scrolled through Instagram, looking at all my friends out the night before. I miss out on all the good nights, I thought, just to be perved on by my creepy manager and shouted at by middle-aged mothers. My wallowing in self-pity was abruptly interrupted by a deafening bang. My whole body froze. Was that a gun shot?
I could hear footsteps running in my direction. I held my breath as if it would turn me invisible, tensing every muscle in my body. The footsteps sped past me, I could hear frantic panting. The fog still blocking my vision. The footsteps faded. He was gone. Oh my God. What is going on? Do I ring the police? Where is this stupid train?
"Help," I heard a voice croak in the distance, "Somebody help."
I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Never had I heard such desperation in somebody's voice before. My legs started shuffling towards the voice. What the hell am I doing? It was like my brain was no longer in control of my body.
"Please, oh God, please help."
The voice was getting louder so I knew i was getting closer. There was a man lay on the floor, old and chubby, surrounded by a pool of dark red blood. He had a deep hole in his stomach. I quickly knelt down next to him.
"Oh, my, It will all be o... I'll call someone." I frantically dialed 999, my hands trembling. "I need an ambulance, please, please quick, I think, yes he's breathing, he he he's been shot."
A lump was growing in my throat, my eyes welling up.
"I didn't mean to do it," A voice stuttered from my behind me.
I slowly lowered my phone and turned my head. I could hear my own heartbeat pumping through my chest.
"He was going to tell"
A man was stood over me. A gun pointed at my head. His face was a burnt red, tears flooding down his face. I lowered my phone to the floor and put my hands up in surrender. Lifting myself slowly to my feet.
"It's okay" I managed to utter, "I was just getting help."
Where the hell is this train? The gun was shaking vigorously in his hand, he looked young, about my age. I slowly backed away from the scene, taking baby steps, one at a time.
"They would have killed him anyway, he knew everything."
I had no idea what he was talking about, nor did I want to know.
"Look, mate, I just want to get to work, I didn't see anything."
I continued to back away from the man.
"I'm sorry" he uttered.
Before I had time to beg for my life, my feet could no longer feel the ground beneath them. I had walked too far back. My body toppled backwards onto the track, my arms flailing hopelessly into the air. My head smacked into the vibrating tracks.
The sky was darker today. The fog thicker. The air colder. There was a blinding light racing towards me. I shield my eyes with the back of my bang, and lift my head off the tracks. There's my train.