This is my contribution to this months edition of Write … Edit … Publish.
For more information on this monthly challenge check out the tab at the top of the page, where you can find out more about the host and how to get involved.
My story for this months theme of ‘Moving On’ is called …
The Last Journey
Glancing at his watch, Jerry ran as fast he could towards the platform. Why did he have to cut it so fine? He’d been pushing it every day now, leaving off a couple of minutes later and still managing to catch the train before it left. Today though, it seemed as though hs luck had almost run out. Hefting his pack over his shoulder once more, ignoring the painful protest from his muscles, he practically charged through the barriers.
He wasn’t alone either, about twenty others were all trying to get on to the packed train before it left. Making his way through the crowd, the pain that he’d been feeling in in his chest decided that now was the time to make itself known. It felt like a fire erupting within him and he doubled over, knocking into the people standing nearest to him. He knew he couldn’t miss this train though and his determination got the better of him. He raised himself up and battled through the pain, pushing himself to get through the worst of it so that he made it on board in time.
He didn’t have any trouble finding a seat, although he was sure it had been nearly full from the outside. Through the window he saw the crowd, many crouching over something on the ground and others shouting. None of them were concerned that their train was departing.
He sighed with relief and slumped into his seat. The comfort of the railway wasn’t always the most inviting, but today he didn’t care. The cushioning of the seats were welcome after a whole day sat on plastic high school chairs, and he sank further down, letting his head fall back against the seat and his mind drift. He was just about to close his eyes for a doze when he saw a figure a few seats in front. There wasn’t much to be seen from where he was, except for a bald head visible over the top of the seats. Jerry didn’t dwell on the person too much and just slid down into his seat for a rest.
When he awoke he had no idea just how long he’d been out, and began to worry that he’d missed his stop when he realised he didn’t recognise any of the landscape beyond the window. The sky had darkened and the area next to the track was thick with trees.
The lights on the train were subdued and glancing around there was no-one else on board apart from the same bald man from the station.
‘You’re awake.’ The deep voice resonated through the carriage, surrounding him from all corners. Rising in confusion, Jerry could only assume it was from his companion.
‘Hello?’ he ventured, trying but failing to keep his nerves in check.
‘You’re awake. We are nearly there.’
‘No. At the end.’
‘The end? I don’t understand.’
‘The end of your life.’
The beads of sweat now stood out on Jerry’s forehead, panic beginning to overwhelm him. ‘The end …’
At the train station two paramedics lifted the body into the ambulance. They took their time, being careful, being respectful. No amount of rushing on their part would help now.
‘Such a shame,’ the paramedic was saying, ‘just collapsed right on the platform, heart attack.
Word count: 553
A critique of this story would be most appreciated, as would a critique partner who reads and writes science fiction and fantasy, as well as a little bit of horror.