Letters from Unsung Heroes: The Train – Franklin Millsborrow

Dearest Agatha,

I’ve had a most dreadful experience. As I’m sure you are aware by my lack of arrival, the train has failed. I have been trapped with the rest of the passengers for two seemingly whole days, though I cannot be sure. I, like most people here, have been sustaining myself on stale doughnuts and cheese. I have, thankfully, been nibbling on the beef jerky that I had brought with my in my luggage case. It’s been of great comfort and I’ve found that people have been willing to trade things for it; liquor, cigarettes, reading material, etc. It appears people will only consume stale pastries to sustain themselves for so long when other options present themselves. Suffice to say, I’ve been able to keep myself occupied.

My making the best of it could only last so long, however, before it turned to absolute horror. A few hours ago, I reached up and opened the overhead baggage compartment to get some more jerky. A young man had assisting with lighting and warmth for everyone and I felt he deserved some kind of payment, especially after setting up one of those oil lamps up right behind me. I had asked him to wait a moment while I get him the treat from my luggage, but when I open the compartment, the luggage case that I had been going in and out of for the past couple days was not there. Instead, to my horror, bundled up in the fetal position was a sickly looking man.

I screamed and fell backwards into the aisle, almost knocking over the poor young man bumping into a woman in the seat opposite mine. The man was terrifying; a pale, almost faint green, skin accentuated his bony frame. Knees pulled up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, twitching fingers clinging to his thighs. A full head of long wiry black hair seemed to stretch out in every direction. But most frightening were his eyes. All color seemed to be drained from them as though he had no iris, only pupil and sclera remained.

The woman seemed initially put off, but then herself screaming as she looked of at the frightening visage. The boy on the other hand, didn’t seem to notice. He instead jumped into action helping me up and placing me back in my seat. Though I could not physically resist, paralyzed with fear as I was, I managed to mutter the word “no” repeatedly, yet he paid no mind. He carefully put me back in my seat and left, returning moments later with another gentleman who took out a bottle and carefully poured some whiskey into my mouth. I was able to swallow, but other than move my eyes, that was about all.

Now, I don’t know if the man has left or not but he must no longer be there for the boy and the gentleman turned to the woman whom I had fallen into and she was still staring petrified into my overhead baggage compartment. Then, they turned, looked inside, shrugged and closed the door. Where the man went to, however, I do not know.

I have since regained my composure enough to write, probably thanks to the whiskey, but am afraid to open the compartment above my head for fear of that sickly man may have returned. I have tried to speak to the woman, but she will not even look in my direction. And if I mention the man, she just cups her face with her hands and bursts into tears. As such, I just sit here in silence, praying that help comes soon.

Prayerfully,

Franklin Millsborrow

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Letters from Unsung Heroes: The Train – Andrew Herman

Mark,

I hope this letter reaches you in haste. We have been trapped aboard this train for two days now and there seems to be no sign of escape. I’m not really sure what’s going on, but I’m terrified. There is an almost frightening calm amongst everyone on board with the greatest emotional problem seeming to be mild annoyance. Logically, people should be freaking out, but they’re not. Instead, they’re all remaining unreasonably mild about all of this. I even saw an old woman happily knitting in the dark. Who happily knits in the dark!?

I know you think I’m often paranoid, but I honestly believe that some evil force has over taken this train and that I’m the only one who sees it. Everyone else is just brainwashed or worse; perhaps they’re all in on it. What if, perhaps, they all plot to kill me?

That was a close one. The postman just came by to take my letter. He claims he’s going to try to get help and deliver any messages free of charge, but I am on to their little ruse. I quickly hid this letter under my satchel simply told him that I do not have one to said. He looked at me funny and then continued on taking letters from the other passengers after asking if I was sure. Shit! That may have aroused suspicion. Stupid! I should’ve figured this out sooner and written a dummy letter to hand him. I may have just condemned myself. Surely they shall now suspect that I am on to them and will kill me first chance they get.

Dear Mark, I am going to attempt to make an escape by heading out the tunnel back the way we came. As soon as I reach civilization again, I shall send this letter to you along with an amendment at the end telling you of my situation wherever I end up. I pray that I won’t have to go into hiding again, but I fear that I shall need to make myself scarce once I make my escape. So if you don’t hear from me again after you receive this letter, you’ll know why.

Love,

Andrew Herman