The First Car



The train is empty, it's passengers taken by what lies in the first car.

             There’s someone on this train.

           From the eighth to the seventh to the sixth, the streaks soaked into the fabric of each seat grow more vivid, a picture that adds more clarity as the shades deepen and the lumps cower beneath the crimson coating.

            Something’s on this train.

            From the sixth car to the fifth, I can only hear the clacking of the tires on the tracks, the lights flickering like the eyes of a boy trying to stay awake deep into the night.

            Last train and not a single stop until the end of the line. I don’t know where it started, but I can’t wait.

            Fifth to fourth, the blood clings to the bottoms of my shoes and coats the windows, distant lights skewed to look like orange eyes peering into the car. All alone. Just me and whatever sits in the front car, riding on its way to the end of the line.

            Fourth to third, and red’s the only color I’ve ever seen in my life. My shoes are coated. Between the rigid metallic rumble of the tracks, I can hear the blood patter on the ground, swirls of spongy matter slide beneath my feet.

             Every time the train swerves, drops of blood leap from the metal racks and cling to my clothes.

             Senses wired to the point of transcending consciousness, I can feel every drop slam against my sleeves, seep into the fabric of my clothes, and finally greet my skin, staining it with warmth and life that had just been robbed from this world.

            Third to second, and the cars are almost organic, the blood that coats them thick with the consistency of gel. It mutates and obscures the light from the train and from outside until its swallowed whole the entirety of the car. A deep red tunnel, narrowing as I’m led to the first car.

            As the features of the train disappear, my lip quivers, and my mouth runs dry. The door to the first car sits before me, a dead black with a layer of muck devouring it. The ground is mushy beneath my feet, with my pants soaking in the life from the floor.

           No longer am I afraid of the first car.

           As my hands reach out and the door squirms away from my touch, it’s that I’m taking each step on my own volition and making each movement without recoil that instills dread in me.

           Second to first, the door is frigid at first contact and gives way at the slightest nudge of my fingertips, and as the fleshy slab of meat peels away to expose the interior of the first car, I step forward.

           The car is rank, the air moist. I can’t see an inch in front of my face, but I can feel the presence of someone inside and the heavy air that’s displaced by its body. The slab of flesh slaps back over the wall, sealing me tight inside and a not a sound to be heard as the first car envelops me, black walls closing in around my body. 

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