Happy Tuesday everyone and a warm welcome to my blog! Today I’m posting the fourth and final part of my short Horror series The Train Ride From Hell. I hope you enjoy the finale!
WARNING: Do not read this series alone or in the dark.
The Train Ride From Hell – Finale
by Vashti Quiroz-Vega
“Why do you watch?” the girl asked with furrowed brow. I gazed at her, and this time I felt love for her. I didn’t want her to suffer any longer.
“I don’t know, but I will not look out again. You were right to stay in your seat.”
“I stay in my seat because I already know what is out there and where I will be going,” she said with her face tight barely able to hide her anger and pain.
“How do you know this?”
“That isn’t important.”
“Where are you going?”
“My stop is Violence. I committed violence against you…”
“I forgive you!” I spurted. She smiled faintly at me.
“…and I committed violence against myself–when I slit my throat after stabbing you in the belly.” My hands flew to my mouth, and I continued to sob.
“I’m so sorry for what I did to you–to your entire family. You don’t deserve to be here. You’re just a child who suffered greatly, and you were traumatized by your mother’s death. You deserve a second chance.”
“There are no second chances here. I will be transformed into a twisted thorny bush and fed upon by beautiful women with wings. They will resemble you so that I will always remember the face of my victim. Every bite these creatures take will be devastatingly painful to me. Every branch torn and every thorn plucked will cause me unbearable pain and suffering, but every branch and thorn will grow back so that my suffering may be infinite.”
“No!” I couldn’t bear the thought of this. My heart was torn to pieces. “I don’t want you to hurt anymore.”
“What we want is no longer pertinent.” I looked at her wretched little face. This was my fault entirely–this young girl’s suffering and her ghastly fate. I must somehow undo this!
I left my seat and ran up and down the aisles.
“Conductor! Where is the conductor? I must speak to him!” I yelled. Immediately, I heard his voice behind me.
“What is it you must say to me?”
“Do you have the power to remove someone from this train and release them from their fate in hell?”
“I do not.” My heart sank. “However,” he continued, “the people on this train have the ability to save themselves.” The creepy conductor breathed new life into me with his words, and I lifted my head high.
“Surely you do not believe you can save yourself?” he sniggered. “You are a greedy, self-absorbed woman!”
“I am not attempting to save myself. I deserve whatever comes to me, but there’s someone here that is innocent.”
“No one on this train is innocent,” said the conductor in a malicious tone.
The young girl approached the conductor and me and held onto my arm, but hid herself halfway behind me. Her hands were cold and trembling.
“This girl is innocent! Everything she did, I drove her to do it. She was traumatized and not in her right mind. She deserves another chance.” The conductor’s face altered, becoming still more hideous and wicked, and his irises became red balls of fire. I was frightened, but stood my ground.
“She is not wholly innocent!” he growled. I flinched and the young girl hid further behind me. I could hear her whimpering.
“I will gladly take whatever punishment was meant for her!”
“You have your own punishment to bear!”
“Then I will accept her punishment as well as mine! She has already suffered enough because of me. She doesn’t deserve to continue to be tormented for the things I’ve done! It is my turn to hurt. I will suffer on her behalf!” I meant every word with all my heart.
The conductor began to grow out of his uniform. His skin became rough and a fungus green. He grew thrice the size, his face so ugly it was painful to look upon. His chest heaved with each audible breath. His long burly fingers balled into tight fists. He growled, and long sharp horns exploded out of his head. He stared at me with his red eyes and snarled, showing me his large, razor-sharp teeth. I trembled and my teeth chattered uncontrollably. I screamed and sobbed as the heat radiated from the monster’s blazing hide, singing my skin. I turned to shield the girl from the inferno, and what I saw stunned me.
She was aglow. Airy. She looked radiant and happy.
“I have been forgiven. Thank you, this was your doing. I am going to a good place now.” With these words her ethereal body floated up and traveled through the train’s ceiling, disappearing from view. “Thank you!” I heard her say again from the distance. I took a deep breath, feeling relief. She was safe now and she would never suffer again. I gaped at the monster before me through squinted eyes.
“I’m ready to receive my punishment and hers. Take me to whatever nightmare awaits me.” My voice quavered, but I had made my point. The beast slouched forward and with a thunderous roar, lifted his claws to attack me. I could feel its incredible rage!
I opened my eyes. The pain was excruciating. Groans escaped my lips. I couldn’t move.
“Welcome back,” said a man wearing a white coat. I stared at him in awe.
“Can you speak?” he asked in a kind voice.
“Yes,” I croaked.
“You’re in St. Francis Hospital. You were involved in a serious automobile accident. Apparently you received a serious puncture wound in your abdomen during the crash. You’ve been in a coma for the last few weeks. We didn’t think you would make it, but in the last couple of days, your vitals began to stabilize. I believe you’re going to be alright now.”
I must have seemed crazy to the doctor as I began to simultaneously laugh and cry despite the pain. Yes, I will be all right now, and so will she.
Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.
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