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Justice Train 109

Even the dead cannot escape this ride

By Bruce Curle `Published 10 months ago 9 min read
Justice Train 109
Photo by Denis Chick on Unsplash

Terry Jackson awoke with a blinding headache; his palms were sweaty, his eyes were blurry, and it wasn't easy to focus. He struggled to sit upright and place his feet on the floor. He rubbed his eyes as he slowly focused on a dirty window next to his head. He could smell old stale tobacco and sweat in the air.

Terry felt slightly panic as he felt the tweed jacket he was wearing, “What the…” he muttered. A red fedora hat fell off his head as the seat moved hard to the left than the right. He quickly realized this was some rail cart, but it made no sense.

He stood and looked around this museum piece he was inside of. He looked down the aisle each way. It appeared he was on his own. The car moved violently to the right and left, nearly knocking him to the floor.

As the train lights flickered on and off, he pulled himself out of the seats into the aisleway. The motion suggested that the train was moving quickly, but where was everyone else? He looked at the suit pants and fancy black shoes he was wearing. He felt in his pants and jacket pockets. He shook his head in disbelief, this was all wrong and definately not him.

The train tossed him to the right as he moved up the car toward the door. No train tickets were found in his pockets, no Wallet or identification, nothing to explain. However, he found an ancient Smith & Wesson thirty-eight revolver in his left jacket pocket. He smelt the gun and could tell it had been fired recently, but this gun was a museum piece.

The door ahead of him opened suddenly, and a vaguely familiar face in an old-style conductor’s uniform approached him. “Tickets, Tickets, everyone.”

“Where is this train going?” Terry stopped. He felt his heart race as he investigated the face of this grey-bearded conductor that moved down toward his staring straight through him.

The conductor still stared straight ahead as the motion of the train knocked both men into the tops of the cushioned sets around them. “Tickets! Everyone, let’s see your tickets!”

The conductor stopped a few feet from Terry Jackson as the train shuttered, “Ticket, Mr. Jackson.?”

Terry looked at him, “Ticket, you know me?”

In a blink of an eye, Terry Jackson stood on the edge of a city street; a greyish white-bearded man was suddenly struggling with him.”

A moment later, he was back on the train; he grabbed hold of the conductor angrily, ‘What is really going on!”

The conductor struggled for a moment, saying nothing. Finally, in a commanding tone, the conductor bellowed, “MR. JACKSON, give me the ticket this time!”

Terry realized his left hand had the pistol in his hand a moment later, and the conductor was staggering backwards with a smoking black and red hole in the center of his chest. The man tried to speak but only made a gurgling sound as Terry moved forward, firing the pistol again and again.

Terry pushed the dying man to one side as he swiftly moved out of the car to the next car.

He saw three people in the next car as he entered it; a woman in her forties stood in the aisle, an older woman was knitting on a nearby seat, and a dark-haired child was halfway up the car playing on a chair.

“What is this place?” he said in a raised, alarmed tone.

The woman in the aisle moved toward him, “Please, Terry, do not raise your voice,” she said quietly. “Maybe, maybe it could be different this time.”

He moved up close to her; her long blonde hair was down her right should, and her right eye was slightly blackened. He stared at her for a long moment seeing a woman in a loose-fitting tee-shirt and jeans for a moment. “Different, different, what are you talking about? Get out of my way. I want off this train!” he barked out angrily.

The train shuttered violently as it appeared to go into a tunnel, and all was dark for a moment. He reached out in the darkness and took her by her hair. “Tell me what is happening.”

The woman shrieked, then called out to the child in the darkness, “Lewis, RUN!”

The train exited the tunnel, and Terry could see the little boy moving in the other direction to the train door. He looked at the woman he had by the hair. “What is going on? I know you.”

The woman struggled to get free; he saw a flash of the woman in the tee-shirt struggling to get out of his arms. “Terry, you bastard! Let me go; we are leaving!” Her right hand broke free, and she swung with all her might, slapping him across the edge of the nose.

Terry swung out with his revolver striking the woman in the side of the head. Though he never fired a shot, he heard a shot ring out echoing in the car. She collapsed against Terry like a rag doll; He moved back as her body tumbled to the floor.

“Murder!” hollowed the old woman as she raised her knitting needle high as he lunged over the fallen woman’s body. Her knitting needle just missed him as she swung out.

Terry fired his revolver repeatedly as gun smoke appeared. The gun eventually clicked over and over again as it was empty, but his finger kept pulling the trigger. He looked straight ahead at the old woman as she lay in the middle of the aisle; her hands were grasping her throat.

“Curse you to hell!” she muttered as her life slowly left her body. As she struggled for the last breath, she pointed her right finger at him before she collapsed lifeless in the aisle.

He looked up the aisle as the train car swung back and forth; he could see the little body holding the door to the train car. A suddenly heavy jolt of the train and Terry saw a young boy in a blue shirt and shorts; he held out his bloody hands, “Dad-dy.” He turned with blood dripping from his nose. He cried out as he fell against the train car door.

Terry looked around, “What is this place?” he screamed.

He struggled to the train door and hand to pull the dead child away from the door. He knew this was not his fault. If the woman had not ordered him to run, he would be alive and would have been escorted to safety.

He opened the car door the saw a coal car ahead of him. The train was moving so fast the scenery was almost blurred, but it looked vaguely familiar to him. He jumped onto the coal car, climbing up a ladder to get to the top of the car. He could hear what sounded like voices and sirens but could not see anything through the smoke of the train’s engine.

He would get to the bottom of this with the engineer, get the train stopped, and get off the train. He stumbled in the half-empty coal car, moving forward inch by inch. He could hear more voices and sirens but could see nothing through the smoke and steam.

As he fell over climbing on the coal, he looked ahead to the engine controls but saw no one. He stood wiping coal dust from his eyes. He was on a run-away train, but nothing made sense. “Where am I?” He howled out as he stared at the empty engine. The train jolted heavily, knocking him against the side of the steel car. He slowly stood up, but the train's motion spun him around, so he was facing the coal car.

Through the haze of smoke and steam, he saw the two women, the conductor and the child staring at him. “What is going on!” He pulled out the pistol firing it, but it just clicked away. “Stop this train!”

The older woman moved forward as she walked; her clothing changed to a light green blouse and dark slacks. A dark red stain appeared on the bridge of her nose, and blood oozed out. Her face changed ever so slightly, he knew this one from somewhere, but he was unsure where.

She pointed a right shaking finger, “You are the Train Wreck!" She looked into his eyes as blood dripped over her, "This is your HELL!"

Royalty Free Photo by Loic Alejandro &

He looked forward. He could see clearly that the train was about to strike something on the tracks. He felt the jolt and pain as his body was tossed forward against the hot engine controls as the train went off the tracks.

“Over here!” the voice said. “Quickly!”

The other three searchers moved toward the voice. A young officer pointed to the aging rail tracks. Terry Lewis Jackson's body was across the tracks. One of the officers checked for a pulse, but to no avail; Terry was dead. His back was severely burned.

The searchers looked at one another till one commented, “I guess no trial”

“Guess the medical examiner will have to figure this one out; I do not see a mark on him except that horrible burn.” said an older police officer.

A tracker standing behind the others cleared his throat, saying, “Don’t you know this is where the old Hutton Valley Train crashed, what seventy or more years ago. Everyone died.”

The older officer stood up from the body, “Five dead in one day; this town is going to suffer over this.”

Two cell phones began taking photos of the area as a large yellow tape appeared. The older tracker looked at Terry's body, "Wonder if he found his hell for what he did?" He then spat down the slope before turning around.

Photo by Warren Curle 2022

Terry Jackson awoke with a blinding headache; his palms were sweaty, his eyes were blurry, and it wasn't easy to focus. He struggled to sit upright and place his feet on the floor. He rubbed his eyes as he slowly focused on a dirty window next to his head. He felt like he had been here before.

Authors Notes

This story is created by Bruce Curle any similiarity to actually events or purely by coincidence. Please consider subscribing if you enjoyed this tale. I never refuse a tip and forever appreciate comments and suggestions.

Short Story

About the Creator

Bruce Curle `

A Fifty something male that enjoys writing short stories, scripts and poetry. I have had many different types of work over my lifetime and consider myself fairly open minded and able to speak on many topics.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (4)

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  • Babs Iverson10 months ago

    Outstanding story!!! 👏💖😊💕

  • Cathy holmes10 months ago

    Great take on the challenge, intense from beginning to end. Well done.

  • Whoaaa the ending! This was a fantastic story!

  • Carol Townend10 months ago

    This is a brilliant action-packed story. It sent my head on a wild adventure and at times it also horrified me. I love stories like this, and I enjoyed reading yours.

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