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The Never Ending Train

A Short Story

As I step onto the 17:33 train, I feel everyone's eyes manoeuvre to my shaking body; each stare stabs me like a burning, molten iron sword. My legs are pinned to the filthy floor, my body swaying to the rhythmical movement of the carriage, like a drunk man at a bar. I slightly adjust my head so that my gaze can focus on something that isn't a gaping face. However, darkness has kidnapped every photon of light causing the carriage doors to display my reflection. 

I look a mess. 

My hair, which used to be neatly tied back, is wet and knotted with strands sprawled across my cheeks. As for my face, I look like I've been dead for centuries. It's as pale as paper and my 24-hour mascara has betrayed me yet again as it nestles under my eyes, emphasising my dark circles. I look down at my old Nike trainers that my mum had bought me last Christmas before she had disappeared. When I got them, they were a perfect white with a ruby red outline—they were the most expensive gift I had ever received—but now they are so contaminated with mud that it would be impossible to convince someone that they were once like snow. And as for the ruby red, it now colours the rest of the shoe. 

My hands are starting to feel clammy from a tightened grip around one of the sickly yellow poles. My brain is starting to pound for freedom against my head as the musky smell of workers strides into my senses. The pounding gets louder and louder as a crowd of men start laughing. They look to be in their late 20s but the way they are dressed makes them look sophisticated and substantially older. I try to force my focus to their conversation but I give up as soon as it develops into political matters. Without confirming with the rest of my body, my legs collapse inwards, forcing my butt to slam onto the cold, hard floor causing me to let out a tiny gasp as a sharp pain echoes into my spine. I contemplate trying to be normal and standing up, though my body deceives me yet again and places weights upon my legs. Instantly I decide to give up trying and slouch my body against the pole, oblivious to the laser eyes tracking me. My mind starts wandering and I begin picking at a scab through my ripped jeans, making me concentrate on the stinging sensation of blood that is arising to the surface. 

I try telling myself that there are only three stops left, yet my eyes can't help fluttering shut. I try my hardest to prise them open as I know that if I shut them, it will all come back to me. The man, the trainers, the murder. A voice in my head reminds me that it is my fault, that a murder takes two people.

"I'm not sorry but that wasn't my intention," I whisper to myself, tears brimming in my eyes. 

But that's no use as the feeling of anger languishes into the pit of my stomach as if a witch was feeding me poisonous potions. I'm well aware that everyone can see me, though I'm too drunk on emotion to care. My body rocks forwards and backwards forcing serenity but that doesn't work as his scream rings in my ears until I can't tell which one of us is  crying out in agony.  

A pin drops and it's silent. 

It feels like I've just awoken from the dead when my eyes slightly open to reveal a blurred figure reaching towards me with long talons. My first thought goes straight to the possibility that I'm in Hell, which supposedly I deserve. The figure places a damp cloth over my forehead and with that my pores absorb a sudden burst of heat, making me realise how cold I actually am. I make a quick judgement that I have been kidnapped by this creature and I'm quick to whip open my eyes. But much to my surprise, there is no animalistic creature to be seen, just a lady in her 30s with a wide fixed grin and perfectly whitened teeth. Obviously my face paints my confusion as she is quick to inform me that I had a panic attack as if I wasn't at the occasion. 

While she is talking, I decide to make a mental analysis of her appearance for any signs on what is going on. She has bleached blonde hair tied up in a ponytail that sits high on her head, enchancing round, emerald eyes with long lashes and ruby red lipstick. I cringe when I think about how horrendous I look in comparison. My consciousness comes back when I notice her fingers snapping at me, frustrated by my wandering attention. I try to apologise but my voice is dry and I end up having an over exaggerated coughing fit. I have been so concentrated on her that I haven't even noticed that I'm no longer on the train but in a different vehicle. 

"Who are you? Are you a nurse?" The words tumble out of my mouth before they could be fully formed, causing her to lips to stop moving. It seems as if I have interrupted her. 

"You may class me as a nurse for people like you that struggle mentally to deal with losses."

"What?" my voice quivering. No one knows what has happened but me, yet she is reading my thoughts like the words on a page. 

"We have been following you and we are aware what has happened. I understand that he abused your mum but you should have called the police."

All I can do is cry.