Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Station

A Writer's Extreme Creativity Challenge: Write a story a day, in May. That's it: I've not had access to the internet for over a week, but I have been writing. Still, I  got a few behind, but I can start uploading them now.

#15 : The Station

Seems I'd fallen asleep on the train and missed my station. Not a completely unique event, and it seemed to be an early foggy morning outside. I cast my mind back, trying to figure out where I'd been the previous evening.

Nope. Nothing.

I stood up and surveyed the carriage. No other passengers, but the carriage hadn't been cleaned – coffee cups, sandwich boxes, crisp packets... bags and luggage. The other passengers had got off without taking their luggage.

I checked the time. 7:42am and looked out of the window. Fields, the occasional tree. Morning dew. The fog meant that I couldn't see far, but it appeared that we were at a small country stopping platform, with a tiny shed acting as a waiting room and office.

I made my way to the door, luggage, coats and food had all been left exactly where they were.

Leaning out of the window to reach the handle, I jumped down onto the platform. There was no-one around – the railway line stretched as far as I could see in a straight line in both directions. The train itself was a two carriage cross country engine. No sign of a driver.

There were a number of suitcases and bags lying on the platform, some of these looked very old. Amongst cases and boxes was a coffin with a note pinned to it. I picked up the note. It said:

“Important: Get in the coffin before 8am. Use the handles provided to hold the lid closed. We will fetch you. Do not leave the station”

I looked at the coffin, it was a solid old black box. I opened the lid. The edges had been lined with a rubber sealant of some kind. Some door handles had been screwed onto the inside of the lid to enable a person to hold it closed from the inside. Checking further I realised that the coffin had two wheels and a rope attached to its base.

The rope stretched away from the platform, into the field. I followed the rope down to the edge of the field where a track had been scraped out of the grass. The rope was taught, and the marks on the track indicated that the coffin had often been dragged this way.

I walked up the track following the rope until I arrived at a post with another note on it. It said “Danger of being eaten. Do not pass this point unless completely covered” I looked back – the small station and the train which I'd left was barely visible through the fog. I looked forward into the fog.

I could make out vague forms floating in the fog, which if not for the warning I would have mistaken for something floating on my eyeball. I couldn't make out the details, but they seemed to be getting closer. I retreated back to the station.

As I was stepping back onto the platform I noticed the rope jump, and very slowly, the coffin began to scrape its way across the platform towards the field. I reckoned I had a few minutes before it reached the sign, but not particularly willing to jump into a coffin on the evidence provided, I ran up to the waiting room shed.

I quickly pushed open the door – it had been glued shut with the same kind of resin around the edges of the coffin. I jumped. Amongst the luggage was a human skeleton, in its hands had been a tube of bathroom sealant. One of the opened cases looked like it had belonged to a plumber or a builder of some kind. I looked around the room – attempts had been made to seal the edges of all of the windows and doors, as well as occasional knot holes in the wood.

Outside, the coffin had been dragged about half way up the track and the mist was getting thicker. The forms in the mist seemed to have long, waving strands, stretching many meters into the air, becoming more distinct.

I dumped my bag. There would be no room for it in the coffin. I ran towards the box.

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