While Abroad… (Who’s Frightened Of the Dark?)

Not entirely sure if anything written here is the slightest bit good, but can you blame me for needing to do something while the train moves? Writing is the best way, by far, to pass the time. Oh also side note: after I finish preparing for my presentation in a few weeks and finish my last paper, I’m probably going to start and trying to write something of the longer variety – fingers crossed it’ll be decent!

The darkness outside of the window was suffocating, its inky black fingers creeping in through insulation and unpatched window cracks. And the passengers, the ones that were left anyways, huddled in a corner.

They didn’t have an idea of what was coming. Whether good or bad, but mostly bad – it wasn’t as though anything could be done to save their souls. The moment the train stopped and the wisp of air that signified ‚The Fallen“ arrived, they were done for.

But the human spirit is not so easily defeated.

So the humans began to plot, plan and scheme, thinking of something, anything to save themselves from the encroaching darkness.

10 minutes left.

The leader begn the looting. While none of the survivors could exactly remember how or why they seemed to be on this train to nowhere, it was not as though the seats were empty. Empty bags and lost shoes seemed to overwhelm the car, and the youngest, a boy of only 12 or 13 found a baby’s rattle in a corner, with chew marks on the corner.

The young couple in the corner seemed to be frozen in shock. Did they even know each other?

But the elderly woman in the wheelchair was the strangest of them all. Her hair was a whispy white, while the irises of his eyes were reduced to a pale shadow of the light blue they surely must have been.

9 minutes left.

The wind began to roar, a soft but threatening hum. It was then the first woman snapped. She had come to the place, which was nowhere, alone. And her clothes had provided no clues.

She didn’t even remember her name, for god’s sake.

The difference was like switching on a light bulb. And it happened so quickly, they could have forgotten her previous personality. Screaming and pounding away at the walls and floors, anything she could reach – it was, at last, the leader who knocked the poor woman out – shrugging his shoulders in a non apologetic way.

5 minutes left.

Where had the time gone? There was only three of them left now. The leader, the elderly woman, and the the young boy, all sitting huddled together in the corner of the cart, wondering why the humming seemed so much louder, or why the darkness seemed to creep closer, even though there were no cracks in the windows.

“Do you think someone will find us?” The young boy finally asked, “Or at least, they’ll know who we were”

Before the leader could open his mouth to comfort the child, the older woman spoke up,

“They will” she said soothingly, but a manic glint in her eye told otherwise, “Anyone who falls in the Pit is remembered, the Fallen will never forget you”

“The Fallen?” The boy began to ask, before the elder leader cut him off,

“You crazy old woman” he spat, “The Fallen don’t exist, don’t tell the boy stories”

But the fear in his eyes reminded the boy that adults didn’t always tell the truth, and they almost always lied when it was about anything important.

3 minutes left.

“Two minutes have passed into one” the older woman said, and her voice was as wispy as her hair, in fact she seemed to be floating in and out of existence, “The time will come soon”

The leader pushed the boy behind him, holding a piece of scrap metal salvaged from the train. But the old woman didn’t try anything, she didn’t need to.

She faded away into the darkness, and the air was suddenly filled with whispers, and screams.

Loud, painful screams.

2 minutes left.

“Hold onto me” the leader ordered, pulling the young boy close to him, “What’s your name?”

“Eric” the boy said quietly,

“Eric, don’t let go of me, no matter what”

Eric nodded solemnly, knowing somehow that the older man was about to try something drastic, something that perhaps no man in this same scenario had ever attempted before. And that it might actually work.

1 minute left.

They ran into the darkness. No use waiting for death, when you can attack it like any other foe. And the wispy air tore at their skin, at their clothes, it felt for a moment as though the cold empty darkness would last forever.

But nothing does. Not really.

Seconds, hours, maybe centuries later – Eric opened his eyes and found himself lying in bed, blanket clutched tightly around him. His parents opened the door and smiled like any normal day, kissing him good-night before turning off the light.

As he lay there in the dark, silent and wondering, it occurred to him that he was no longer frightened of the emptiness. Instead, the blurred memory of someone holding him close and protecting him overwhelmed the fear.

Who’s frightened of the dark, anyways?

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