The Train to Nowhere

By Ash76

Disclaimer: This is my first piece of writing that people all over the world will be able to read and, hopefully, enjoy. Although this may look like a simple story, it can become very intense on the mind. I offer this piece not just as entertainment but as a gift to the world. (This will be more realized in parts two and three.) If there are any blanks or lack of detail, let your imagination fill in the rest of the story. Now, sit back and enjoy part one of "The Train to Nowhere."

The train sped along on its steady course. I took a glance around and noticed very distinctly that I was the only passenger on board. Where am I? No clue. Where would it stop? Who knows. Maybe the conductor does, but I'm doubtful that he's even on board. Stuck in a haunting scenario on a train to sights unseen and places unknown. The most chilling aspect was the fact that no one ever returned.

I sat in what appeared to be one of the two adjoining passenger cars. From the black walls and the candlelit collaboration, I was more than satisfied with my guess. It must have been where the poor would sleep and sit, I thought. My eyes would just have to adjust to the lighting. The design intrigued me as I looked to the roof. It was built as a locomotive out of an old western.

I don't remember how I ever came to be aboard this infernal contraption, this miserable ride. Maybe I just bought the wrong ticket. I felt around my jacket, looking for the cursed passport to hell, when my fingers ran across something wet. My eyes wandered downward until my eyes fixed upon two blood-soaked

fingers. I had been shot. There was no ticket for this train. I had been shot and thrown on board, left for dead. Fortunately, there was no wound or at least any sign of one. The unfortunate part is that I would rather be dead.

I turned on a sudden urge and took notice of a creature in a tattered gray robe sitting a few seats behind me. It looked towards me and all I could make out were two yellow eyes confiscating my will to turn back. He pointed at me with one of his sleeves as if to say that I was the next victim in this slaughter of terror. What was it? The flames of hell looked back at me in a sort of makeshift grin. What did it want? I had read about such creatures that wanted blood and hunted humans for that reason only. This time it was different. He wasn't after blood. From the way his eyes captivated, it was my soul he wanted, and I was prepared to go through hell and back to protect it.

"What do you want?" Fear grew within me as he sat there in the same position; his eyes still focused on me." What in God's name do you want from me?" No response as a putrid stench rose from him. "Tell me what you want!" He stood and displayed smoke underneath of him, no feet protruding from the base of his tattered robe.

"Your eyes!" He growled in a low voice. Then the creature began to chant in the most peculiar language, a combination of German and Latin. My eyes were instantly sealed shut as a trickling of blood proceeded from the lids. I screamed out in terror. What could I do now to fight it? The pain was too great to bear.

Two options were available at the beginning, fight or die. Either way, he would never have my soul. Being a man of resources, I always hid a spring-loaded dagger under my sleeve. Because of my disadvantage, I had to depend on my hearing to fire the shot. I held my arm straight out towards him and released the knife.

The instant the weapon was released, an incredible force hit me; apparently emanating from the soulless being in front of me. My body flew back into the door of the passenger car. The knife rammed into my chest, spilling blood. I could tell my soul was valuable. He wanted it gravely enough to keep me alive.

I was down to one last resort, prayer. "God. Grant me the strength to fight and the eyes to see what I'm up against." I stood trembling, my knees knocking in a nervous fit. My hands grasped a hold of the two bars that started the aisle. He soared towards me, thinking that he had me within reach. I swung my legs in

an upward position and heard a crack as they connected with the beast. He roared in pain and crashed to the floor.

It took all the strength I had to stagger the beast. That was all he was, staggered. I fingered for the knife and yanked it from my chest. Just then, my ears became receptive to the creaking of the door behind me. All that I knew would come to a sickening end, and my soul would be forfeit to hell. I felt the touch of a stranger as he took hold of my shoulder and shoved me into the dining car. A booming gunshot rang throughout the car. A shriek of pain soon followed after.

"Who are you?" I asked as the stranger closed the wooden door.

"No time for explanations. I need to restore your eyesight before…"

"Before what?"

The stranger trailed off, took me by the arm, and sat me down at the edge of the closest booth. "I am Cecilia. We have been waiting for you a long time."

"We?" I sat there puzzled as she took a mixture of salt and water and dabbed it on my eyelids.

"This may sting for a few seconds." My gut reaction was to scream but that would only serve as a fixed location for the beast. "The lost souls that are bound for an eternity to this train."

She then ran a cold cloth across the painful lids of my eyes. "Now, open your eyes, slowly."

When I gained my full sight back, I saw leaning towards me a vision of beauty. Her long strands of blonde hair waved in the silent wind. Her blue eyes gazed at me in longing. "Welcome back." She leaned forward, running her smooth hands through my long black hair and kissed me fully on my lips.

"Lady, whatever it is you think you're doing…"

She put a finger to my lips and whispered "Hush. You are safe from him for the moment."

I noticed that this car was more decorated than the last one. The walls had been aligned with western motifs as incandescent lights hung from the ceiling. My eyes took a gander around at the new surroundings as I blinked to renew my vision. "What is this place?" Cecilia was dressed in a white blouse and tan pants. Upon her feet, I gazed upon the black leather boots she wore. The final touch came in the form of a long tan overcoat.

"Call it a temporary sanctuary if you'd like."

"You spoke of lost souls a few moments ago. What did you mean by that?"

She reached under the seat and withdrew a large sword still in its scabbard. "For centuries, this train has winded throughout eternity. It is a deathtrap for the living, a place called hell."

"Then, the beast is…"

"The beast is a soul taker, a demon named Stratos, meaning life taker in the old language." She placed the sword directly on my lap. "He sees much value in your soul. If he takes it, he will have enough energy, enough power to enter into existence. He will be unstoppable. That is why you must fight him."

"How can you foresee all this and not have any idea what my name is?"

"I do know your name. You are known throughout your lineage and heritage as Montgomery, the one who walks in light."

"But how?"

"Like I said, we've been waiting a very long time for you."

Cecilia looked down at the blood stained silk shirt. She unbuttoned the shirt at the entry point and examined the scar. "Old wound?"

I stared at her in confusion. "If that's what you call a knife in the sternum just a few moments ago."

She stared again, this time in amazement. Two of her fingers pushed against it, and, for the first time on this trek, I felt no sensation of pain. "You are the one," she whispered. "The wound has completely healed."

I took a glance for myself. "This is…"

A growling noise came from the other compartment as both doors split wide open.

"What happens now?" I asked, ready to fight against the beast.

"Run. It is neither the time nor the place. He is coming for your soul in vengeance."

I stood up and ran as she braced herself with the Remington shotgun in her hands. "And whatever you do, don't look back."

I entered the next compartment and hid behind one of the seats, awaiting death in fear. I could only hope that she would be victorious.

She raised her shotgun and steadied it at the dark form. "Come on. Let's finish this." She held out her hand, palm upward and beckoned. The creature roared as the whole train shook in fear. She felt his hot breath dizzying her in waves. She started to gag as he floated towards her. Cecilia fired, her aim unsteady at best. The air cleared as she vomited, her eyes blurring the vision of how far the bullets had run from the beast.

The blast of the gun was heard throughout the cabin. When the smoke cleared, the creature was running towards her without haste. She started to load the shotgun when it was knocked from her hands. A tight grip wrapped around her throat and hoisted her up in the air.

"A pity it should end like this." A guttural sound came from deep within, forming the word 'shaloch' which means, "join me." He threw Cecilia into himself, and, with a final scream, she was no more.

I bowed my head, tears overflowing. All I held was a sword, and, by the grace of God, I was going to avenge her with it.