I groggily made my way down the steps of the 56th street subway station. These twelve-hour shifts at work were beginning to take their toll on me. I could not even remember the last time I had a day off. My small sliver of hope was if I could stick it out for a few months, my hard work would pay off, and I could finally afford a car and bid this forsaken subway station adieu.
This place always gave me the creeps. With the exception of a random homeless person or a businessman who had been working late, the whole area was almost always deserted. I had always lived my life in fear. Walking into every situation expecting the worst. I had this way of life instilled in me when my older brother was murdered by a hitchhiker when I was just a small child. He was missing for three weeks before they finally found his body in the river. Two years later, my father killed my mother, then himself in an alcoholic fit of rage. He had taken my brother's death the hardest out of anyone. I may have been a victim of his insanity had I not been at a friends house that night.
After that, I completely closed off to people. I went to live with my grandmother and we barely spoke until I left for college. I never opened up enough to anyone for them to call me a friend, and never made it past a first date with any guys. It wasn’t their fault, I only saw the negative in people.
I reached the final steps down into the subway station when I heard the sound of the train pulling away. Panic hit me as I bolted down the last few steps trying to catch the train. It roared as it entered the black tunnel without even acknowledging my existence.
“Shit!”, I thought to myself. “The train isn’t supposed to be until 1:30 a.m. There’s no way it left already. What the hell time is it?” I had left work at 1:15 a.m. every day for the last four years. It was always a five-minute walk to the station so I never missed the 1:30 a.m. train. I jammed my hand into my pocket to check the time on my phone. My pocket was empty. I had a mini-meltdown as I frantically searched the rest of my pockets, along with my purse. My phone was nowhere to be found.
The confusion washed over me. I never forgot my phone. I was obsessive compulsive with these types of things. Phone, keys, and wallet were the three things I never left anywhere without.
My surroundings then dawned on me. I looked around and noticed that the station was much more dirty than usual. It looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. It was also much darker than usual. In the past few years, the city had stepped up their enthusiasm on keeping the subways safe. That meant more police patrolling and brighter lighting, to try and thwart would-be muggers and rapists.
I felt a sudden chill as I stood alone in the dark, damp, abandoned subway station. I figured I had to have left my phone at work. Then I pondered if I would have enough time to go back and get it. I scanned the walls to find a train schedule to see when the next train would be arriving. I finally spotted one hanging in a dark area at the far end of the station. I all but ran over to it and with my hand, wiped the dirt and grime off of it. I examined the schedule and found the next train would be coming at 1:45 a.m.
“Plenty of time.”, I thought as I let out a little smile.
Since I left work at 1:15 tonight, I figured after the five-minute walk, it only had to be a little after 1:20.
I decided that would be my plan and I turned around to head for the stairs and that’s when I saw her. At the other end of the station, there was a woman. She looked to be around thirty-five years old. She was turning her head all around the station with a look of fear on her face, and from this distance, it looked like she was crying. I was about to yell out to her when a thought entered my head. How had I not heard her come in? In these old stations, the smallest sound would echo throughout the whole area. If she had come down the steps, I should have heard. If she came out of the bathroom, I should have heard. As I was staring at her and pondering this thought, that’s when she spotted me. She immediately sprinted toward me and grabbed my violently by the shoulders. I tried to back up but immediately met the wall.
“Por favor, ayúdame!!”, she screamed while she shook me. “Por favor, ayúdame!! Por favor, ayúdame!!”
“Get off of me!”, I shouted back as I attempted to push her away.
She reached into her purse and pulled out a small picture. “Dónde están mis hijos?”, she said as she pointed at the picture.
“I don’t speak Spanish!”, I said as I tried to walk past her.
She stepped in front of me once again and pointed to the top of the subway steps. “El hombre me sigue!!”, she shouted as she pointed. “El hombre me sigue!! “El hombre me sigue!!” She was now beginning to weep uncontrollably.
“I can’t help you! I’m sorry!”, I said sternly as I forced myself past her. I swiftly walked over to the steps and stopped at the bottom. I had to know if the woman was following me. I slowly turned my head and found her on her knees, in the exact spot where I had just left her. Everything inside me was telling me to run, but I had to make sure she was alright.
“Ma’am?”, I asked as I tiptoed towards her. “Ma’am? Are you ok?”
As I approached her, I heard the last thing I expected to hear. A quiet laughter made its way from the woman's mouth to my ears. But it wasn’t a happy laughter. It was the evilest sound I had ever heard. It was like the laughter of an evil clown trying to scare a child.
I stopped dead in my tracks as she began to rise off of her knees. She slowly turned to face me and spoke. “Te quemarás.”, she whispered as she raised her hand and pointed directly at me. With that, she immediately sprinted towards the train tracks and jumped down into them. She moved faster than I had ever seen any human run before. It was almost inhuman. Before I knew it, she was all the way down the track and was swallowed by the darkness of the tunnel.
I decided that I had to get out of there. My decision was to go up to the street and find a taxi. With how eerie my night had become, I would even walk the eight miles back to my apartment. I moved as fast I could while trying to still keep my composure, not wanting to trip and fall in my high heels. When I reached the steps, I kicked off my shoes, picked them up, and began sprinting up the steps two at a time. I reached the top and ran out onto the street into total blackness. Confusion came rushing back to me. Not ten minutes ago, there was people and cars all up and down this street. Even in the middle of the night, there was always at least some people out.
I stood for a second and pondered what my next move should be. After a few seconds, I decided to venture out into the blackness, hoping to find someone. While I walked, I turned my head around and looked at the subway steps. It was the only light in the blackness that I could see. I stopped, wanting to go back to the comfort of the light. I pushed through the fear and kept going. I walked a few hundred feet when I realized I definitely should have made contact with something by now. A building, a car, anything. I stopped where I was and scanned my surroundings. I could not see a thing.
I looked down at the ground and almost fainted from fear at what I saw. The ground was not concrete, or grass, or wood, or anything else that is walked on. It was just blackness. Like walking on top of a very thick, black smoke.
I had to be dreaming. “What the fuck is this?”, I said out loud, beginning to almost hyperventilate. I immediately started to sprint back to the subway station and the safety of the light. When I was about halfway there, I heard a deafening boom come from behind me. I shot my head around and saw a bright light coming from the distance. It seemed to be miles and miles away. I stood and watched it for a few seconds, noticing that the light was slowly fading. I then looked back at the subway station light and noticed it was not fading like the other light. I weighed my options and decided to seek out the light that was fading.
“Maybe there’s people there.”, I thought to myself, with a little bit of hope. “Or a phone, I could call the police. Maybe they know what’s going on.”
I started to head towards the fading light, picking up the pace as I walked. I didn’t want to be in this darkness for any longer than I had to. I began to jog, and before I knew it, I was full out sprinting. The light was slowly growing bigger so I knew I had to be getting closer. Excitement was making its way through my body when I noticed a small shadow at the bottom of the fading light. I slowed my running and tried to focus on the shadow, trying to figure out what it was. I slowly came to a complete stop and noticed that the shadow was rapidly getting bigger.
Out of fear and nervousness, I started to walk backwards and before I knew it, I was back at the top of the subway station, in the safety of the light. I kept my eyes on the shadow as it was very quickly growing in size. I felt hypnotized. I could not take my eyes off of it. After a few seconds, I was finally able to make out what it was. A man was running towards me as fast as his legs would take him. My mind went immediately into panic mode as I watched him get closer and closer. But then the thought entered my head that maybe he was running from something. Or maybe he was in the same situation as me. It was always better to have someone with you, even in the worst of situations.
“Hey!”, I shouted to him as I waved my hands as high as I could. “Are you ok? Do you know where everyone is?”
He made no acknowledgment of my words and continued to speed at me, with his eyes fixated on me. I glanced down at his hands and saw that he was carrying a large knife in each hand. A deafening scream exited my mouth as I started to step backwards, trying not to take my eyes off of the man. I ran out of places to step and I tumbled down the subway stairs, coming to stop on the landing halfway down the staircase. I stumbled to my feet and glared at the top of the steps. There was the man, glaring right back at me from the top of the steps. I finally saw what he looked like.
He was very well dressed in an outfit of all black. If I had to have guessed, I would have said he was around thirty years old. In any other circumstance, I would have said he was good looking.
My heart and my stomach sank when I saw his eyes. They were completely black. Blacker than the night. He took a step off of the top of the staircase and onto the first step. He slowly moved his other foot to the second step when I suddenly heard a loud static noise coming from behind me. It was the loudest, most spine-tingling sound I had ever heard. I covered my ears with my hands and looked back up at the man. He took his foot off of the second step and slowly climbed back up to the top of the steps. He then continued to glare at me, not moving a muscle.
The deafening noise faded away and I contemplated what my next move should be. I quickly decided to try and get away from the man.
“I can either lock myself in the bathroom or walk into the tunnel and try to make it to the next station. Maybe there’s people there.”, I thought to myself.
I began the descend the steps backwards, not wanting to take my eyes off of the man. I made it down a few of them when I mistakenly missed the next step. I tumbled head over heels down the staircase until finally landing at the bottom with a tremendous thud. The last thing I remembered was looking up at the still staring man until my body finally slipped into unconsciousness.
“Ma’am!? Ma’am!? Are you ok!?”, I heard as I felt someone trying to shake me awake. I groggily opened my eyes to find a middle-aged man bent over me, with a look of concern on his face.
I quickly sat up and began to slide away from him. I did not know who he was, and given the circumstances, I was not about to trust anyone.
“Take it easy.”, he said sharply. “It looks like you took a pretty bad spill. That lump on the side of your head is enormous.”
I moved my hand over my head and found out that he was correct. I had a golf ball sized lump on the back of my head.
“I’m fine.”, I replied. “Who are you?”
“My name is Jerry.”, he said. “Thank God you’re awake. I was so scared. Thank God I found someone!”
“Where did you come from?”, I asked.
He replied, “I was walking down Concordia Ave. looking down at my phone. Then suddenly everything around me went black. Not like night time black, but like blacker than black. No streetlights. No cars. No other people. Nothing at all.”
As he was talking, the thought of the man at the top of the stairs entered my head. “Where is the man!? Did you see him!?”, I quickly asked.
“Who?”, he replied with a look of confusion.
“There was a man following me. I walked for a bit outside of the station and that’s when I saw him. He chased me back to the stairs and that’s when I fell. The last thing I remember is him still watching me from the top of the stairs.”
He said, “I didn’t see anyone up there, but it’s funny you should say that because…”
He then trailed off as he looked down at the ground in deep thought.
“Because what!?”, I demanded.
“While I was walking around outside trying to find someone, it felt like there was someone following me. I looked around a few times and didn’t see anyone, but I’m sure I felt someone there. I just know it.”, he replied.
“It’s a scary feeling.”, I said. “That guy at the top of the steps really freaked me out.”
Jerry stared at me for a few seconds and I could tell he was trying to find the words to say. He finally spoke, “That’s the weird thing about it. The whole time I thought I was being followed, it never felt sinister.”
“What do you mean?”, I inquired.
He replied, “Well, it just felt like whoever was out there was guiding me towards safety. They seemed to be guiding me towards the subway station. And it felt like I would be safe once I got here. It seemed to be leading me away from the light in the distance.”
My ears shot up. “What light? Was it like a spotlight?”
“Yes!”, he replied. “Exactly like a spotlight. It was way off in the distance.
My mind immediately thought of the light that I had seen in the distance before the man at the top of the stairs had chased me back into the subway station. The small sliver of hope that I had after meeting Jerry, finally finding someone in whatever terrible thing was happening, was fading quickly. He and I had very different experiences with being followed.
“So you didn’t make it to wherever the light was?”, I asked. “How did you find me?”
He answered, “I was walking towards the light when it started to close up very slowly. I started to run for it when I spotted the light here in the station. I decided that this might be the smarter choice since the other light seemed so far away. I came down the steps and that’s when I found you.”
“Do you still have your phone?”, I asked.
“Unfortunately no.”, he replied. “I tripped and fell pretty quick after everything went black. I looked for it but wasn’t able to find it.”
My head sank with disappointment.
“There’s no payphone here?”, Jerry asked.
My head shot back up and my eyes met his. I had never even thought of a payphone. Without even answering Jerry’s question, I sprang to my feet and immediately started running around the station looking for a payphone. I then finally spotted one, in the way back of the station, around the corner nestled in between the bathrooms. I moved as fast as I could over to it and picked up the receiver. I looked behind me and saw that Jerry was right on my heels. I put the receiver up to my ears when the voice on the other end spoke.
“To make a call, please deposit two coins.”, it cheerfully said.
“What the fuck?”, I thought. “It said two coins? That’s weird. Shouldn’t it say exactly how much I need?” I ignored the command and immediately pressed the numbers for 911.
“To make a call, please deposit two coins.”, the voice said again, this time more sternly. Annoyed, I dug around in my purse and pulled out two quarters and inserted them into the coin slot and pushed the numbers again.
“What is your emergency?”, the voice on the other end said.
Finally, some hope had come back to me. “Hi, we need help.”, I said. “Me and a man with me are stranded in the 56th street station. There is another man who is following me and I think he has a weapon. We need the police.”
There was then a long pause. I began to think the line disconnected when the voice spoke again. “Your fate will be there soon.”, it said, almost in a whisper.
Fear shot back up my spine. “Excuse me?! What did you just say?! My fate? What the hell does that mean?!”, I demanded.
“Your train will be there soon.”, the voice said. With that, the line went dead. I hung up the receiver and immediately brought it again to my ear. There was no dial tone. I dug another fifty cents out of my purse and put it into the slot. Still no dial tone.
I then felt Jerry tap me on the shoulder. I sharply turned around to face him and saw he was pointing at the back of the payphone. When I saw what he was pointing at, my stomach sank. The chords looked like they had been burned in some type of fire. They hung loosely from the back of the phone stand, not hooked up to anything. I dropped the phone and took a few steps backwards with a million thoughts flying through my head.
“What the….. What the fuck?!”, I finally screamed.
I looked at Jerry and saw that his eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head. “Calm down.”, he said as he tried to comfort me by placing his hand on my shoulder.
“No, you don’t understand!”, I stammered. “There was a voice!. I know it!”
“I know.”, he said. I could hear the fear in his voice. “I heard it too. I couldn’t hear what they said, but I’m sure I heard it.”
Hearing him say this helped me try to get my thoughts together.
“What did they say?”, he asked.
“They said ‘Your fate will be there soon’, then they said ‘Your train will be there soon’”.
“It’s probably just some kind of sick prank.”, Jerry said, trying to reassure me. “Why don’t we go sit down for a minute? We can rest for a minute and figure out what to do next.” He then took my arm and led me over to the bench that was next to the side wall of the station. We sat down in silence and I leaned back and rested my head against the wall. My eyes quickly grew heavy and I decided to give in to my tiredness.
When I awoke, I forgot where I was for a second. I thought that everything that had just happened had been a dream, and I was really at home in bed. Disappointment reared its ugly head as I looked around me and saw that I was still in the train station. I looked next to me and found Jerry still there. He looked very peaceful as he sat there asleep, snoring softly. I was glad he was with me. No matter how scary the situation was, it was better to not be alone.
I looked around the station, wondering if anything had changed since we fell asleep. I was a light sleeper, so I knew the train had not come yet, I would have definitely heard it if it had. I slowly stood up and began to walk around the station, full of hope that maybe another person had made their way down there. I rounded the corner by the bathroom and noticed a small digital clock hanging on the wall.
It read 2:58 a.m. “Holy shit!”, I thought to myself. “There’s no way I slept that long! Where the hell is this train?”
I made my way back over to the bench where Jerry was. I gently tapped on his shoulder, in an attempt to wake him. This attempt failed, so I started to tap his shoulder harder while saying his name out loud. All he did was switch positions and continued to sleep. I then decided that it may be better to just let him sleep. What more could he do right now anyway? We were stuck here for the time being.
I sat back down next to him and slowly buried my face in my hands. I was thinking about how much I wanted to just go home when I felt tears streaming out of my eyes. After a few seconds, I quickly pulled myself together and wiped the tears from my face. I lifted my head back up and was blown away with shock at what I saw. Sitting before me was a train, waiting patiently on the tracks.
I was speechless. My mind was racing. “How did I not hear it?”, I thought. “This makes no sense. Did I fall asleep again?”
The first door on the train opened while the rest of the doors remained shut. I quickly rose to my feet and began to briskly walk towards the train. I then remembered Jerry was with me so I immediately turned around and approached the bench where he was still sleeping. Again I tapped him on the shoulder, saying his name softly in an attempt to wake him up. I glanced back at the train, making sure it wasn’t getting ready to leave. I then noticed that the train did not have any identification letters. The trains always had numbers on them, signifying the different routes they were destined to take. This struck me as odd but I quickly exited that thought from my mind. Any train was a way out of here.
I heard a soft beep come from the train. I knew this beep to mean that the doors would be closing soon. I slapped Jerry as hard as I could across the chest and shouted his name at the top of my lungs. He jolted awake with a look of surprise and confusion on his face.
“The train is here!”, I exclaimed with a small smile on my face.
He looked past me at the train and returned a smile to me. “Oh, thank God!
Let’s get the hell out of here!”, he said.
He sprang to his feet and we both ran to the train. We entered the open door and sat down at the first seats. I looked around and noticed it was very dark throughout the whole train car. I could make out the faces of the other people on the train, but just barely.
“What train is this?”, Jerry asked.
“I’m not sure.”, I answered. “There was no letter on the outside.” Jerry gazed
at me and I could tell he found this just as weird as I did. He then looked past me towards the other people on the train. He stood up and asked, “Excuse me, does anyone know what train this is?”
His question was answered with nothing but silence. I turned around to view the other people and noticed that most of them were sitting with completely blank looks on their face. The few who weren’t had looks of complete horror and sadness. Another woman was seated all the way in the back, quietly sobbed.
Jerry repeated his question. Again he was met with silence. A few of the people slowly looked up at him, but they refused to speak or acknowledge his question. Jerry looked back at me looking for advice. I sat for a second, trying to ignore the creepiness of the train, hoping an idea would come to me. Then, before I knew it, one did.
“The driver!”, I said softly to Jerry. I quickly stood up and ran up the train to the driver's door. I peeked in the window and saw the driver sitting in his seat, motionless. I lightly tapped on the glass and said, “Sir? I need you to call the police. Something is going on outside. There was a man following me earlier”. He continued to sit and stare straight ahead. I placed my hand on the doorknob and slowly turned it. To my surprise, it was unlocked. I pushed open the door and stepped inside.
It was then I noticed what the man looked like. He was a very large man, not fat, but very muscular. His arms were covered in scars and I could tell by his reflection in the window, that his face was too. I gulped as I slowly approached the man.
“Um, Sir?”, I softly said. “Is this the E Train?” I felt someone behind me and turned around to find Jerry standing there, his eyes fixated on the man.
The driver responded, “This train will get you where you need to go.”
I looked back at Jerry and he finally took his eyes off of the driver and looked at me. He opened his mouth but looked like he could not find the words.
“So this train will get me to 112th street?”, I asked.
The driver finally rose from his seat and turned to face us. He stood at least seven feet tall as he towered over us. I glanced down at his name tag and it said ‘Charon’. I knew i had seen that name before, but could not remember where. “I need you two to take a seat.”, he softly said.
I gave him a puzzled look. “But I need to get to 112th street. I need to get home.”
“Do not make this harder than it has to be. Just sit down.”, he replied.
“Don’t make what harder than it has to be?”, I heard Jerry say.
Charon answered, “Sit down, and I will explain your fate.” As soon he had finished his sentence, I felt an unbelievable force take over my body and immediately walk me over to a seat on the bench. I no longer had control of my legs. As soon as it sat me down, I noticed that the same thing had happened to Jerry, and he was right behind me and then sat down next to me. I began to cry again as I watched Charon approach us. He knelt down in front of us and fixed his eyes on me. “Tell me about your night.”, he said softly. “How did you get here?”
I immediately thought of how weird of a question that was. I replied, “Well, I left work the same time as I always do, then I walked to the station to catch the train home.”
Charon said, “There is more. Try and clear your mind and remember.”
I closed my eyes and tried to remember any more memories from my night. Suddenly, I felt like I had been hit with a sledgehammer as the memories had come back to me.
I had been walking to the train station after work. About two blocks into my walk, I looked behind me and saw a man following me. He looked to be homeless, as he was very dirty looking. I had a mini panic attack but tried to reassure myself by thinking that maybe he was just walking the same way as me. He continued to follow me for several more blocks and I began to get very scared. I came upon an alley that was located midway between two streets. I knew there was a police station on the other side of the alley and this way I could get there quick. I glanced behind me and did not see the man anymore. I decided to cut through the alley to try to make it to the police station. I made it about halfway down the alley when I suddenly heard quick, approaching footsteps behind me. Before I knew it, I felt something very hard hit the back of my head. I was knocked out before I even hit the ground.
I awoke to the homeless man on top of me. He was doing his best to both hold me down and reach for my purse, and he was succeeding. I could not move at all.
“Help me! Someone, please help me!”, I screamed.
“Shut up!”, he cried back to me.
I continued to scream as I tried to slap and punch him as hard as I could. I
then felt something very sharp enter my neck. The man looked surprised at what had just happened. What he had just done to me.
“I told you to shut up. You should have listened.”, he said as he sprang to his feet and I saw the bloodied knife in his hand. He then sprinted down the alley, out of sight.
I raised my hand to my neck and felt a hot liquid gushing out of it. Panic set in as I tried to scream again. All that came out of my mouth was blood. I turned over onto my stomach and began to crawl down the alley, with one hand on my neck, trying to slow down the bleeding. I made it a few feet before the dizziness set in. My body eventually refused to move anymore, and the darkness surrounded me.
I opened my eyes to find Charon still staring at me. A small smile came to his face as he knew what I had realized.
“I’m….. I’m dead?”, I asked.
“I am sorry this happened to you, young lady. You were so young.”, he
replied. I was floored. I began to weep uncontrollably as the reality of the situation sunk in. My mind was racing a million miles an hour, yet it seemed so blank at the same time. I had no idea what to say. I looked over at Jerry and saw that he was staring at Charon with his mouth wide open in shock.
“Now you.”, Charon said to him.
“Me? Wha… I, um…. don’t…… don’t know what to say.”, Jerry answered.
“Remember to clear your mind.”, Charon said very softly.
After a few seconds, Jerry closed his eyes and I could tell by his expression, that he was experiencing the same flow of memories as I had.
He finally spoke, “I remember leaving work, much later than I usually do. I walked outside my office to catch a cab, but there were none there, so I decided to take the train. I pulled out my phone to let my wife know I was going to be later than I thought. I started to cross Concordia Avenue to head for the train station and that’s when…..”
Jerry then trailed off as he looked down at the floor. I glanced over at him and saw a small tear rolling down his cheek. He must have realized what had actually happened. “The bus.”, he said quietly. “It came out of nowhere. I saw the headlights coming at me and I tried to jump out of the way…… but.” He buried his face in his hands and began to cry. I put my hand on his leg in an attempt to comfort him.
I looked back at Charon. “What’s the point of all this? The train? The station? The crazy woman?”, I asked.
He replied, “The journey to the afterlife and the trials the journey entails is different for everyone. It can appear as anything. The woman you saw gave you the opportunity to help her find her children. She gave you the chance to do a kind act for a stranger. Yet you were cold to her, refusing to help. This is how you live your life, being cold to people, never having love or compassion for others.”
He was right. I barely ever talked to anyone, let alone help them. I hadn’t felt the emotion that is love since I was a small child. “What about the man who chased me?”, I asked. “What’s his purpose?
Charon quickly answered, “its purpose is to guide you away from the light of life and to the journey to the afterlife. It also appears to everyone differently. Some experience it negatively, such as you, while others have a more positive force guiding them, such as the feeling of safety that Jerry experienced when he was alone in the dark.”
“The Angel of Death?”, Jerry asked, but I knew he already knew the answer.
Charon slowly nodded then stood up and said, “Now, let me get you where you need to go.” He walked back into the driver’s car and sat down. Before I knew it, the train started moving. I looked over at Jerry and I found him staring at the floor, obviously deep in thought. I decided to let him be. I laid my head back and closed my eyes, but I knew there was no way I could sleep. I began to think about all the mistakes I had made in my life. How I never gave anyone a chance to love me. How I had never let anyone close to me. How I spent my life being angry.
It seemed like hours had passed before the train finally came to a stop. Charon exited the driver’s car and stood at the front of the train. I looked out the window and saw the most beautiful beings I had ever seen. A white light streamed off of them as they stood there. I could not tell if they were men or women. They just looked like the most gorgeous things ever created, like they were genetically created with perfection in some scientist's lab. Meanwhile, people began to exit the train, with giant smiles on their faces. The beings greeted them with what seemed like greatest love ever known. I sat watching them, in awe.
“I guess this is our stop. Let’s go.”, I heard Jerry say behind me as he took my hand. I turned around to see he had a big smile on his face. Seeing his smile made me smile in return. I stood up and gleefully began to follow him out of the train. Then I felt a hand violently grab my arm from behind. I turned around to find Charon holding my arm in some type of death grip.
“I’m afraid this is not your stop, young lady.”, he said with a sad look on his face.
“Wha…. What do you mean?”, I demanded.
“You need to sit back down.”, he answered.
“No!”, I screamed. “I want to get off here!”
“Sit down, young lady.”, he said softly.
I looked around to find Jerry but found him already out of the train and in the arms of the glowing beings. “Jerry!”, I yelled. “Help me! Jerry! Please help me!”
He was too busy talking to and being comforted by the beings that he didn’t hear me. I stood there in shock, not knowing what to do when I looked back at Charon.
“Sit down.”, he said one final time.
As soon as he said this, that force once more took over my body and I felt my legs walk me over to a seat and sit me down, against my will. Charon re-entered the driver’s car and the train began to move once again.
“Please take me back!”, I shouted. “Please!”
“There is nothing I can do for you now.”, he answered.
I looked back out the window the beings had opened a giant door and were leading Jerry and the other people inside. I looked past them and into the room. It did not seem to end. It was miles and miles of sunshine and the softest looking grass I had ever seen. People in there looked tremendously happy as they laughed with and hugged the new arrivals.
The train then started to move again. As it made its way forward, I noticed that the tunnel was getting darker and darker. When we finally stopped, the tunnel was almost completely black. I began to cry as I looked around, trying to figure out what to do.
Charon again stood at the front of the train car. “This is your stop.”, he whispered.
I looked out the window, hoping to see the glowing, comforting beings that I had seen before. But what I saw was completely the opposite. I watched as four beings entered the train. They were the ugliest things I had ever seen. Their skin was blacker than charcoal and they smelled of death and rot. They stood before me as I again felt a force take over my body. I stood up and two of the dark beings grabbed each one of my arms. They led me off the train as one walked in front of us and one walked behind us. I heard the train start to move down the track as they led me down a dark, wretched smelling hallway. I could hear the screams of others as we passed each room. I began to weep as we finally came to a stop in front of a black door. The being in front opened the door and what I saw made me feel like I had just been hit by a freight train. The room was fully engulfed in fire. I looked around the room and saw there were no walls. The room did not seem to end. Unlike the room I saw Jerry enter, with the sunshine and grass, all I saw in this room was fire for miles upon miles.
Two of the beings grabbed me by the arms and threw me inside. The instant I landed, I was fully engulfed in the fire. I managed to let out a scream as I heard the door slam behind me.