View Single Post
Old 07-15-2017, 10:34 PM   #45
deoxys's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: A Place Further than the Universe
Posts: 6,505
Originally Posted by Maskerade View Post

There are a select few moments in life when words like “reason”, “logic” or “sense” become empty, nothing but hollow shells of inconsequential rational thought – because these moments cannot be explained, only felt. Whoever, or whatever, that man truly was, there was something about the absolute certainty of his speech that made following his instructions feel not just compelling, but right. And, as such, you took a seat.

“You hear it too?” the elder inquires, cracking the faintest of smiles. “Few others in this world can. I was right about you.”

And with that, he falls into a deep silence, eyes closed, as if asleep. The minutes that follow would have been the most mind-boggingly boring of your life, were it not for the fact that you continue to cling on to that strange sense of a greater purpose. As such, you bear the uneventful silence, pierced only by the ever-rising noise of an incoming locomotive in the distance.

After a short while, the sun finally sets in the horizon, but despite the skies being clear, what’s left behind isn’t the usual orange tone of dusk; instead, as soon the bright disk vanishes from sight, the atmosphere grows abnormally heavy and the starless sky is tinted dark violet. The man, somewhat as expected, does not seem in any way alarmed, but the strange sequence of events does cause him to finally speak up again.

“We are in their realm now,” he declares with a hint of solemnity in his otherwise monotone voice. “It approaches.”

Indeed it does – moving along the rails at alarming speed is a large, seven-car train, pulled by the strangest locomotive you’ve ever seen: made of pitch-black metal with blood-red stripes running along the body, with a large skull carved at the front, smoke escaping its open maw, it’s truly a vision as impressive as it is terrifying. And although the elder has remained immobile and unfazed the whole time, it seems this particular train has also peaked his interest, as you sense genuine surprise in his words for the first time as he speaks again.

“This… this one…” he stammers briefly, before peering over his shoulder to face you. “Listen boy, close your eyes and focus! You must memorize everything you are about to see!”

Wheels shrieking loudly as they spin madly atop the rails, sparks escaping the heating metal as it approaches, the demonic train’s appearance and noise – coupled with the eeriest sunset you’ve ever seen – would cause just about anyone else to flee in panic… but not you. True to your convictions, you stay put, but as any human – normal or otherwise – would do, you can’t help but close your eyes and brace yourself for impact as the black-and-red steam engine is about to hit. Everything goes dark, until….

An amalgam of images flashes before your eyes in quick succession, dizzyingly fast, over and over again, each lasting but a fraction of a second before the next one comes. The scene is so rapidly shifting that you begin to feel nauseated and your head hurts like a hundred needles stabbed it from the inside; air escapes your lungs, refusing to enter them, and your heart rate is through the roof. It’s a miracle that you don’t pass out… but after a mere minute that feels like an eternity, everything comes to a sudden halt. Nothing but darkness once more, and the old man’s voice echoing in the distance.

“… hear me? Boy, are you alright?”

You begin to regain focus, your body readjusting from the otherworldly experience; you realize you are drenched in sweat. When you finally open your eyes, you realize you are still sitting on the train tracks with the elder directly in front of you. The sky is still purple.

“Good, you endured,” the elder sighed. “Now quickly, you must tell me everything you can remember. What did you see, and what do you think it means?”

Confused, you look behind you to see the railroad stretch for miles and miles, scarce dry vegetation on each side, but no ghost train in sight. Now if only you were capable of recalling everything you saw after the imminent collision…

Hiero was shaking, and his shirt stuck to his torso from sweating profusely. He hyperventilated and grabbed his face, unsure of exactly what had just happened. It seemed as though being "hit" by that train - that... ghost train, or demon train, or whatever it was - it didn't seem to have physically affected him, but mentally, he had not been as prepared for what had unraveled as he should have been.

"I'm... yeah, I'm alright," Hiero said, running his hand through his hair while inhaling and exhaling slowly. "I'm alright."

“Good, you endured,” the elder sighed. “Now quickly, you must tell me everything you can remember. What did you see, and what do you think it means?”

Hiero looked around, trying to recall all of the images that he had seen during the experience. There were too many to count, but several stuck out to him in particular. Whatever that ghost train was, though, it was gone. Probably.

Hiero sighed. "After the train hit me... I saw train tracks extending as far as the eye could see, with dead trees lining each side of the tracks... sort of like right now, except not as scarce. The next thing I remember... was more train tracks, and a full moon above it, trees and plants on each side. Then, night became day, and the tracks remained, surrounded by lush forest and fog in the distance. And then... I saw a tunnel going into a mountainside, hidden behind a blanket of fog... and then I was inside of the tunnel, and there were large icicles forming on the ceiling. And then..." Hiero stopped for a moment, puzzled at how to describe the last thing he saw. The old man looked at him, hungry for more information.

"And then... I don't quite know how to describe it. It was a massive structure... absolutely huge. It seemed quiet, maybe even abandoned. It was almost like some kind of... dilapidated, underground ruins, like a fortress, or maybe even a city... I don't know how else to describe it." Hiero turned to the old man and looked him right in the eyes. "I can't help but feel like they were directions. I think I need to go there - or perhaps we need to go there. I don't know what I'll find, but I'm certain that that is what I saw."

deoxys is offline   Reply With Quote