Comic 22 - Chapter 4 - 2

25th Jan 2021, 10:05 AM in Chapter 4: Trapped

Brakes squealed and whined at length while the train lurched to a standstill. Seconds later, Anton jumped down to the platform, a row of uneven concrete slabs. Most of the cars had already passed the waystation; this wasn't a planned stop.

He surveyed the surroundings. Back towards the city, the empty tracks seemed to stretch on forever. Off to the side, a dirt road climbed the space between desolate hills. Far ahead, however, he could see a plume of black smoke, and occasionally the flicker of flames. The boy ran that way without waiting for the adults, while other passengers leaned out the windows, their conversations buzzing over his head.

Thick smoke made it hard to see, and the air trembled with heat as well, but he caught glimpses of another locomotive in front of their train, and was that the burning wreck of a small sedan? A goth girl, slightly older than Anton, was standing there staring, and a pink clamshell phone lay broken at her feet. He followed her gaze to a mangled body trapped in the pyre. A body dressed in the same clothes...

"I don't understand," she muttered with trembling lips.

Anton didn't know what to answer at first. Then:

"You died," he said with a dry mouth.

"Worst pick-up line ever," she said among tears, and turned to look at him. "Aren't you a little young for a Grim Reaper?"

The boy examined himself in surprise. He tended to forget about the way he dressed now: black hoodie, t-shirt with a generic Death Metal motif, massive black boots and a silvery hourglass on a chain at his belt.

"Well, I'm not, really..."

Sirens could be heard approaching through the crackling fire. The entire scene suddenly appeared infinitely distant, like a mirage.

"...We'd better go now," he finished, extending a hand. She grabbed it, and they ran together towards the rearmost cars. It wasn't until the train set into motion again that she broke down crying.

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Author Notes:

Felix 25th Jan 2021, 10:05 AM edit delete
Felix
Wait, what? I skipped a day again? This takes more discipline than it seems.