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The Runaway Train

by Maria Shaw 5 months ago in Fantasy
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Judgment of the Soul

Wow this dream I’m having seems so real, I swear I even feel like I’m moving. “Tickets, Tickets” I hear someone yell. I crank open one eye, “What the hell, where am I?” I say out loud. A little old woman next to me swats my arm “That’s not appropriate language for a lady”. She’s dressed in some sort of get up that looks like it comes from the 1800’s. I turn to her and say “Okay next time I’ll say what the fuck, where am I?”. The look on her face as she got up and left was priceless. Before I had time to enjoy my own humor, I heard a person yell for tickets again. Oof, okay Brenda what did I drink, who did I go with, and why am I on a train? I heard the ticket person yelling closer so I decided I might need to move to another car to buy myself sometime to figure out what was going on. As I walked to the door between cars I looked around. In this car I have a bunch of old bitties. Some of them look like they walked right out of a mid century film like that one we’ve all seen with the girl trying to get a husband because that’s like her only job. I spot the chick who was sitting next to me earlier and decide to bother her again. “Hey girl, what’s poppin? I’m thinking of jumping this car for the next one. You want to come with me and see if we can get into some trouble?”. Her repulsion is almost so thick you can cut it with a knife. I decided to bend in and give her a kiss on the cheek. Before I can gleam over how much I’m irritating her, flames shoot up from her hand and burnt my arm. “Wait, what was that?” Her face turns a bright shade of red and she says “I have held restraint because I am waiting for judgment but next time I will burn your face off”. Now in a normal scene I’d throat punch this bitch but with flames coming from who knows where I decided it was in my best interest to walk and get to the next car.

Getting to the next car may have been my next mistake. In this car I saw flames and I think acid spewing from people. All sorts of men and women were fighting and some were still going even after having half of their face melted off. I don’t know what form of sci-fi movie I’ve entered but I am not okay. A person sees me and spews acid in my direction and I think “move, move, move” but my feet don’t move. Somehow I dematerialize and move over about a foot, making the acid miss me and melt the seat near me. Okay, um this is new and maybe I’m hallucinating but I don’t have time to think about this so I run into the next car dogging flames and things I don’t even want to think about. If this is a dream can I please wake up because this is not going well and I am beyond scared. The next car is better, kinda. Everyone looks so sad and I’m not sure but I almost feel the wait of their sadness upon my soul. Being overwhelmed I sat down in an available seat. The person next to me is just a teenager and barely that. He looks so sad and I just can’t help but ask “are you okay”? He looks at me and says “no”. Oof my heart hurts at the look on his face “my name is Brenda, what’s yours?”. “My name is Andre, nice to meet you”. The verge of tears in his eyes and the epic turmoil oozing off from him was enough to crush me. He stared down at his ticket and I saw the writing. The ticket reads train to lower judgment, suicide. His name is listed with a date. The saying “you have been chosen to be excluded from a gift and have decided to wait in the car assigned until your time to burn”. Um, what the hell does that mean? Where am I? What kind of nightmare am I in? Okay I’m with a kid who is so sad and reading this, my own freak out can wait. “Andre, I’m kinda out of sorts here, do you know what’s going on? I’m sorry you even had to read this ticket, but what does it mean”? Andre began crying “I was upset with my mom, and everything seems like it was so much. I decided to get her back by putting a noose around my neck. I thought she’d come up and call me down for dinner. She’d see me and then take back my punishment and I’d get some help with my emotional stuff. Unfortunately I didn’t survive the noose. My mother and my siblings probably walked into my room to a dead body. I’m so sorry, I never meant for this to happen. I can’t even begin to think of how this affected them. I had a good life, good parents, great siblings, but I just got over dramatic and impulsive. I deserve to be punished for my choice, that’s why I’m here”. The tears dripped down his face and my heart absolutely crumbled. “Andre, I’m so sorry you are just a kid and made a dumb choice, kinda the staple for kids”. What can I do?”. He looked up at me and said “I don’t know but I want to be alone with my thoughts now” then looked down to his ticket and stopped speaking. I decided then that I must do something for this kid.

I got up and moved to the next car. I almost think the train sped up because it had no intention of stopping and I feel like I’m in some epic movie. The next car is full of people who look like supermodels and movie stars. Wait, I think I saw someone who was a star in a show I just saw. I walk over and ask if she was in the movie I’m thinking of. “Yes, dear do you need an autograph?” she asks. I loved her in the movie so compassionate , so giving and wow I think maybe my favorite on screen person. “If you don’t need an autograph, please move on so the others can admire me, I don’t need you breathing in the air around me and polluting it with your non important smell”. My face probably gave her what I was thinking but just in case “chick, you are a washed up has been that I thought was taking humanitarian rolls because you cared. I just found out it’s because you’re a mean bitch who deserves her ass beat for your mouth”. This woman's face fell and all of a sudden ice flew from her hands. Wait, I’ve seen flames, acid, now ice spew from people’s hands on this train. What is going on? Because it’s in my personality to piss people off with my directness and if this is a thing then I’m going to be dodging some epic stuff. A man comes in yelling “tickets, tickets” and everyone else pulls their ticket out. I’m not sure what to do but run to the next car. I don’t have a ticket, I have no idea what the tickets are but the only one I saw said damnation. The next car was probably not the best choice. I sat at the door and contemplated the choices I have made. Did I do something to deserve this? Am I asleep in a dream that maybe I need to just see what my subconscious needs? No one is interacting with me but the scene is scary so I sit by the door and decide that it’s okay to take a minute to think about what’s going on and what control level I have over what’s going on.

The next car is full of things that look like what I’d call demons. I use the term people loosely because I see horns, red skin, and different types of features in front of me. Some of them look completely frightening, like worse than horror movies I’ve seen but some look interested with angles and features that intrigue me. What the hell, I decided to sit down next to one of the most interesting people I see. His horns are at least 6 feet in height. I’m not sure what to call the color of his skin, an indigo with not quite blue or purple hues but the perfect blend in between. The fact that he didn't react by eating me or something when I sat down was a good sign. I looked at him or her, not sure which and introduced myself. “Well, Hi my name is Erwin, it’s nice to meet you. Why are you in this car?”. I decided honesty was all I had so I explained how I woke up with no ticket and have been running from car to car having no idea what I was doing. Erwin was probably the sweetest thing that I could ever ask for and even after I threw up from his explanation I appreciated his tact. “You are dead and on the train of the damned. This train is endless, and when it’s your ticket’s time you go to the inferno and they burn you. They use the remaining life force you have to fuel the train and then your soul goes on to damnation, or what you would call hell. We are the demons that cross over from time to time. When we are caught and killed we go back on this train to this car. At some point when they need more workers in hell, tickets will be called and we will return to Lucifer's domain. As a human you are given a gift when you cross the gate to death. You should have been granted a gift which is different for everyone. This gift is to help you navigate your new existence and better navigate whatever after life you are put in. I’ve never heard of anyone not having a ticket, are you sure you checked everywhere?” I look at him and tell him “I so appreciate you explaining things, I’m not sure where else I should check but I don’t have a ticket anywhere.

I don’t know what happened to make me die. This is a big deal, and I’d ask am I sure I’m dead but I’ve seen demons and suicide people who make me realize this is the real deal. I have always been outspoken but I’ve taken care of people, prayed for my enemies (yes while silently cursing them out so maybe it’s null and void), I’ve worked hard in life, and thought I was doing things fairly okay. Damn it, I should rethink saying that, I’ve been damned. I should have given more to charity. I shouldn’t have cursed out my neighbor for letting her cat tear up my trash. I always thought being an inner city middle school teacher and general good person that I’d end up going to heaven. I’ve paid for lunch accounts for poor students, I’ve helped tell parents their teenager was pregnant, I’ve taken kids out who needed a break, and so on. I guess thinking about it, why do I think that I deserve anything for being a somewhat decent human being? I still curse, I still drink, I still at times blow up at people who insult me, and I still at times just do me because I just need a minute sometimes. Ooof I’m hell bound, how do I even process this. Well I guess I process this, sitting next to a demon who is calmly explaining this to me. So instead of the graceful response I begin crying and hugging the demon next to me like a lifeboat while blubbering that I’m so sorry. I never expected hell. I am technically a a believer in a higher power but I haven’t been to a house of worship in years. I pray pretty much everyday and do what I thought was my best navigating life with everything I’ve been giving. I just really didn’t expect to be bound for hell. I really thought I’d be living the after-life party with my mother who died when I was young and seeing friends who’d passed due to living in an inner city school and losing people, which unfortunately is something that kids in inner city schools have to cope with almost yearly.

After I’m done with my pity party for one I put on my big girl panties and ask Erwin “how are you here, you’re letting me hug you and spill my guts. I thought demons were supposed to eat people or something?” Erwin smiled with something that almost melted my heart. He was the most perfect looking thing I could have ever imagined, almost attractive in a demon sense. “Demons are born in hell, we have no choice, just like Angels. We are supposed to be inherently evil but sometimes you end up with one that doesn’t fit the mold. If you think of it Lucifer didn’t fit his mold in heaven which is why he was cast out. Demons are only given the chance to go topside to unleash havoc but when I’m there I create peace. This time I was killed trying to defend a woman who was being raped in an alley way. We are not allowed powers top side or I would have burnt his ass. Unfortunately his shotgun was enough to bring me back to this train. I’ve been here 42 times in total all to defend humanity which doesn’t earn me much in the demon world”. I felt for this man or demon whatever I should call him but just as I got comfortable a man came in and grabbed me. It was the man yelling tickets.

The man was pretty average looking, brown skin, short hair, a little less than 6 feet, and with a not too amused expression. I know everyone’s ticket on this train except yours. You will come with me now or I will end you where you stand. I’m not sure what threats you have had but for me that was pretty epic so I decided to go with the ticket handler. I was put into a little room in what I think is the front of the train. I get my first glimpse of a real window and rush to look outside. The outside is crimson in color, zooming past at speeds faster than any train I’ve ever heard of. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe flames or something but it’s almost beautiful to watch the variety of reds and swirls of orange. I started to calm down watching when the door burst open and 3 men walked in. Two of the men have eyes that look just like the outside and one man has blue eyes that look like pools of Caribbean water. The man with the blue eyes spoke to me first. “You shouldn’t be here, we have had what you humans would call a mix up. It’s not completely unheard of ,it doesn’t happen often and we’re not in full knowledge of the grand design to know its purpose. You were in an accident that left you dead for several minutes. Humans with their new technology were able to bring you back but you being one of those impatient human souls jumped from your body before you knew the end result. The person who was supposed to escort your soul to its correct location didn’t see you on the list for Heaven and decided to be lazy and not double check where you belonged. Your body is in a state of sleep awaiting the return of your soul or your final death whichever comes first”. I’m sitting here processing what this man just told me. I’m not dead or at least I don’t think I am. “What kind of messed up system is the afterlife? Who's running this place and what does this mean for me? Are you what they’d call a supervisor? Can I get an afterlife lawyer cause I’m thinking I’m owed something for distress”? One of the men with red eyes spoke up “I am happy to go ahead and burn you, I was outvoted in just letting you join the others. Trust me, from now on I’ll be watching. For the trouble you’ve caused I hope you end up on this train when your time really comes”. I look up at the guy I was calling blue eyes “Does this mean I get to go back and live”? He gives a nod and says “we owe a debt for our error, one thing you can ask for right now otherwise it’s forfeit”. It didn’t take me long to think about it “I want Andre’s ticket changed so he can go to heaven, he doesn’t deserve to be here”. The other red eyed man spoke up “he has put himself here, it was his choice to come he can’t take it back”. The Blue eyed man makes a motion and says “it is done”. One of the red eyed men begins growing and what I think must be his true form shows. He’s at least 10 feet high with three horns the size of my forearms. His appearance is absolutely terrifying. The other man with red eyes holds him back “you better get her back, I can’t hold him long. He will devour her soul in this state. Oh but Brenda rest assured we will be watching and waiting”. Before I could respond blue eyes made a motion and my world went black.

I think I’m back in my body because I hear all this beeping from machines nearby. Okay I can do this eye opening thing, dang this is harder than it looks on TV. I finally manage to see where I am. I’m in a hospital room and I don’t see anyone in here with me but as I wake more the machines start going nuts. In comes a team of medical people yelling “she’s awake, no one ever thought she’d wake up. Mam can you tell us your name? Do you know where you are”? My mouth is dry and full of what feels like cotton “My name is Brenda, I’m in a hospital, and I need water”. One nurse leans me up and gives me a quick sip with a straw. One nurse gets on the phone and requests a page for Doctor Jackson. When the doctor walks in he begins “Brenda, you were in an accident and badly injured”. I felt fine besides needing to get used to how much my body weighed again, how injured could I have been? “The accident took place 6 years ago, you’ve been in acoma with life support. Your aunt setup an account to keep up the life support after everyone else thought you’d never wake up. We’ve called the social worker, I’m sure you’ll need to talk to process things. She will be up in a little while”. The team took my vitals again then slowly each one trickled out, letting me know where the call button was. I didn’t want to talk to a social worker. I wanted to be back home, I wanted my family most of all, I just didn’t want to be here. All of a sudden my body started to dematerialize like it did once on the train. Looks like another mix up but, at that point I didn’t care, I just wanted to go home so I let my body float with the wind towards the place I most wanted to be.


About the author

Maria Shaw

I have had a roller coaster of a life and would love to share some of my real life and my imagination with others through stories.

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