THE DESCENT

She had awoken, her long blondish hair curled beside her warm breath. As she had gasped over and over again for the same satisfaction that the others were given. She was given no word on whether she could awake or even die. She was told multiple times, over and over; ‘You will not leave this place.’ The words echoed in her encased mind. Her skull was covering up the words she wished to speak. Being held back for so long, is it any wonder why she couldn’t speak? Perhaps not. She awoke with her hands fiddling together whilst she smiled with her beautiful lips touching once more. She grasped her pillow with frustration and threw it to the other side of the room. As the pillow landed, the white door sealed with barbed wire had opened.

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21. CHAPTER 21

(THE DESCENT)

- CHAPTER 21 –

I-I counted the trees and the fields, the animals, the things that mattered. Trees for Oxygen, and animals for life. I don’t know, it seemed like animals were key to mind. Then again, I counted it all wrong, coming off the tracks – I remember the accident that occurred. It ended with several lives hanging on thread, I saved one of them. The heat got to me and I soon never looked back. Tragic lives, but I was tragic to leave them hanging there. There was a gun next to her, so sweet and innocent… I picked it up and knocked out the father of the girl. His skull was most likely fractured but I still left him alone in a place that don’t matter. A train without tracks is like tracks without a train.

- The Conductor

 

A While Back From Their Time…

Mr . Fitz, a man with a guilty conscience and food on his mind. His memories played like strings on an instrument, and cards just laid on a table for someone to pick one up, leave it alone, walk away or just leave the table to rot away too. On the train, he stood quite tall, he looked down at them all. The Conductor spoke with his majestic voice;

“Okay, settle down, passengers. We’ve got a few issues on board, it seems that there are more people dying outside rather than inside.”

Mr . Fitz never wanted to hear it all, he just sat there and watched on as the outside world became more vile and disgusting to them all.

“Excuse me?” An elderly man tapped on Mr . Fitz’s shoulder with an unconcerned look on his face.

“W-what is it?” He replied with a sharp tone.

“My wife and I, is this the right train?”

As he asked that question, the train had started to become a little more dangerous on the tracks. Going at higher speeds and almost falling to the side over turns; Mr . Fitz didn’t reply, he had nothing to say to them.

“You see, my wife and I, we don’t usually go on trains, right trains…”

Mr . Fitz never said anything but he offered his hand out to the man’s wife. She happily accepted the bold offer and allowed him to lift her out of her seat. With a smile, he turned away from the husband and escorted her to the Café near the middle-section of the train cargos; crates, boxes, many objects laid in a room beside the main hallways, and anything that looked remotely interesting had lost its interest due to its wonders hidden within each crate and room. The wife’s name was no other than: Hayley Hayfield – also known as ‘HH’ – the initials mattered.

As Mr . Fitz escorted the presumably (young lady) to the Café; many conversations were heard in each ear:

“Was you ever going to reply? I mean, I sent you text after text, you didn’t reply to me!”

“I was going to pay you for the ride, but then I kind of forgot to pay you. Big Deal.”

“You had it in you, right? You could’ve shot her in the hand or the foot?”

“I was going to leave you alone back there. My instincts told me you were a murderer.”

- One final conversation was heard.

“Nothing makes sense… I-I cut and I cut, and nothing falls down? I question this because I have to.” In reply to himself, the voice replied again. “The cutting was easy, it was the falling that I never got over.”

As Mr . Fitz arrived with the lady holding his arm for unknown reasons, they stood near the Café entrance and looked on as several tables were all placed around the sides of the cargo. The room looked beautiful in their eyes, dark and light colours all mixing together, blending to make something magical. In others eyes; they saw darkness, blue and red, white and grey, orange and yellow and other colours that stay.

Pulling out a chair for the woman, he smiled as she sat down. Pleased to have met such a gentleman, she offered a payment to the man. Mr Fitz accepted the payment, looking uneasy, he sat opposite her and held her two hands together in his own. Feeling reluctant to even smile back at her generosity. HE saw her as a woman with cash, a lady who deserved better attention rather than being stuck with an elderly man that lives off government payments and family earnings. Mr . Fitz didn’t see anything in the husband, nothing but a sad pillow to sleep on.

Walking over to the woman hidden behind a desk, serving drinks to others, and also taking orders from customers. The elderly lady spoke in her kind gentle tone, feeling embarrassed to even have to talk to the woman about getting a drink to wet her whistle. Mr . Fitz stared outside the window, looking at the ongoing traffic not far from them. Seeing nothing but fields and trees bored him, due to the beautiful sounds of nature that he wished to hear once more, he stayed calm and never spoke about his experience on a train ever again.

“And… what can I get you?” The staff member spoke with a Texas-like accent.

“Anything, really, I’m usually the good doer. Dearie, do ya think I could go for drinks?”

Raising her right eyebrow, she replied with a sharp tone.

“Ma’am, you could have little to anything on this Menu. I’d love to deliver you a slap for your on-going bitchiness.”

“Excuse me?!” She raised her voice. No longer wanting to play innocent-little Granny.

“You ‘eard me? Sometimes, you crazy folks from the old towns make me wanna do something! – I hold back for those that care.”

Mr . Fitz saw the tension from across the room and never said anything to prevent it from continuing. He gazed at the two women arguing and without any second thoughts; grabbing a handle from his left pocket, he pulled out a gun and hid it behind his gentleman-like hat. Soon, before anyone could sip their drinks in peace or just get manage to relax in their seats. Mr . Fitz put an end to all the commotion and left little-to-no evidence in its place. BANG! BANG! BANG!

The sound of gunfire was instant, everyone heard it; many ducking down below their seats and some hiding underneath the tables. Whilst others weren’t going to stay in the room to find out who had done it. Many ran out, the brave ones they’d be called. A large majority of the passengers were held on board, trapped in the Café, fearing for their lives. The Conductor not knowing anything about the event was left to handle the crowds of people screaming and panicking near the locked doors.

“…Ma’am? D-did you just..” a single voice spoke through the silence in the room.

Falling to the floor without anyone noticing, the woman fell behind the desk and landed in a strange position with her legs sprain across the carpet. Her hands behind her back, whilst her head leaned slightly upwards facing the ceiling.

“Now, now, settle down. My name is Mr . Fitz. I’m a noble man like many others here. Have faith, little do you have. I’m here now.”

All the passengers stared at the man, feeling terrified and others not knowing what to feel.

Mr . Fitz clapped with sarcasm as he approached the desk with his thick black boots treading across the carpet.

“All I wanted was a drink…” the elderly woman spoke out.

Mr . Fitz smiled, looking into her eyes as he revealed the hole in his hat to her. She looked down, shocked at first but soon smiled as she realised that it was a hole from a bullet.

Whispering into her left ear, he told her something that she would have to do to survive on the train:

Listen, listen to me. When you hear the next shot, I want you to drive this train off the tracks… don’t question it, if you do, well you won’t.

Nodding with hesitation, she could not believe that she had been asked to do something so dangerous which could only result in the worst possible outcome. Knowing that there were families, children and kids of all ages unknown to such a barbaric sabotage action.

“Wait, and why do you want to do such a thing?” She spoke without whispering.

Keep it down. I mean it, this will not end kindly for you or them. – The cargos aboard, the crates, the boxes. It will all result in a perfect opportunity to demolish a train, leave it to rot away and the remains are nothing more than wheels and crates with valuables inside.

The elderly woman knew she had little time left, making use of it, she revealed her name to everyone.

“My name is ‘Hayley,’ and I’m telling you this because I’m not afraid of those that put others’ lives at risk. And that goes for the people that are in my family. Those members of my family mean the world to me, and so does everyone else! You don’t realize how lucky you are until it’s over…”

A tear rolled down her left eye, as she put on a brave smile and looked out towards the adults that had stood up, no longer hiding in fear.

Mr . Fitz seized the opportunity, pushing the elderly woman aside. (Wanting to push her with more force, making her fall down for good) – he calmed down, keeping a calm attitude. He spoke to the ones that feared the sound of weapons firing.

“Spies, CIA, anyone with weapons, services really.” – “I ask you all to just leave the train…”

“No.” A voice interrupted.

“Honey, I don’t think-“

“Shut up! – This man clearly feels we should all jump off a train that is going near full speed. No way! We stand together here, okay? Any situation with vehicles – I always go by my orders.”

“Very well, I’m sorry for you all to see this. Sniper!”

A red line aimed at the father of two who spoke so bravely towards Mr . Fitz. Feeling intimidated by such an act, he continued to speak to Mr . Fitz, not caring what could happen anymore.

“It’s clear to me that you are no more than a man who works as a Spy. And if you are not that, then you are a coward.”

Mr . Fitz sighed. “Like I said, you stand up, no way to sit back down now. If I was you, I would’ve remained seated.”

Hayley knowing the plan, ran towards the backdoors and dived into Mr . Fitz. Knowing that many would call her old and weak, she wanted to prove to herself that there was a way to make yourself useful. Desperate times like these, she’d say to herself.

Becoming more and more agitated, Mr . Fitz became ruthless and failed to stop half of the passengers escaping. With only ten remaining in fear, the man left his wife to run ahead. The father of two remained standing, not wanting to just run away and feel alive again, no more fear. Holding Hayley by the throat, he pushed her into the wall. Elbowing her in the nose, he kicked her hard in the left kneecap.

“Selfish acts annoy me…”

(Outside the Café, The Conductor pushing his way passed the on-going crowds of people running for their lives.)

Reaching the Café entrance, he put his hands in the air and spoke professionally. His words all had meaning and was more of a threat to Mr . Fitz than any other passenger on board.

“Hold it there, as a man like yourself. I understand you. You don’t think we have ever had a situation like this before? Ha. You’re mistaken.”

Hayley struggling to stand, she looked down at the floor feeling hurt and feeling the urge to give up. Mr . Fitz held the gun out, no longer caring about the consequences of being seen as a killer or a thief. Holding it steady, he aimed it downwards.

“Firing the floor is not going to make a difference. I think you’re just afraid of your own shadow.” The Conductor laughed.

Mr . Fitz smirked, knowing that Hayley was on the floor at gunpoint, he winked at The Conductor and fired a blank at the ground.

BANG!

The ten passengers held imprisoned in the Café flinched and some cried due to knowing that an elderly innocent woman laid on the floor now dead.

“Okay, if you’ve murdered anyone behind that desk. I’m telling you now, you’re looking at me behind bars for years to come.”

“Calling the police? How rational of you, and this is where I must leave you all with a word of warning.”

Smirking again, “my friends, families, whatever. This whole train needs to stop, I was going to keep it all a secret from you. Sadly, you’ve made it impossible to keep that secret. You’ve got me all wrong too! Ha. This w-woman…”

Struggling to lift her from the ground, he hit her over head with the handle of the gun. Knocking her unconscious with blood around her forehead. He lifted her up, bending her over the desk so everyone could see her.

The Conductor moved in towards Mr . Fitz, his hands no longer up in the air. He approached Mr . Fitz with a slow pace and a calm attitude.

“That woman, do you know her name, sir?”

Mr . Fitz laughed. “Why does it matter?”

“No reason. It’s just you’re going to have to explain to the Court who you have killed and why…”

(The eyes moved upwards, rotating several times clockwise it seemed…)

### RING, RING, RING ###

A voice replied on the other line.

“You certainly know that trains go off rails all the time.”

“W-who is this?” The Little Girl replied.

“Several. There were many more to come. I’m just one of them.”

“You know about this train?” Another voice replied.

“There are many wheels on that train, each one is going to fall off. I think you know why I called it the wagon of all times.”

“Not really. How many of us survive?” The same voice replied, interrupting The Little Girl.

“Many. Not many. I have no clear answers to speak. There is one thing that allows you to have such an advantage over those that don’t make it. Unfortunate souls…I claimed them to be. Would it be so wise to ask of you? Something sweet, painful too. It’s all a hoax for them and the new.”

“We are little. We don’t have time for you.”

The sound of something screeching across a blackboard ruined the voice that tried to get through to the other side. Followed by a mumbled voice that spoke the last words over the phone.

“Wake up. Pss… Wake up. Seven-thirty, very early for them. Wake up. Wake up!”

Demanding more time, the voice shouted across the line; you wake up! You need to talk, and I need answers! The other voice was clear, it sounded very much like her own. She didn’t take much notice and never questioned it. The voice was similar to her own, the sound, the vocals according to her were normal. All the sounds mixed together made her think of the train accident, something described as a true story. Yet, she couldn’t accept that reality was with her. Whether reality had removed her, it was all too bold and brave. She was lost, it was clear.

(The eyes slid round and round like wheels, slippery things they must be. They opened up more light, clearer than the vison she could see.)

There will always be the cards on the table. The same cards I place each day, and every time I find myself looking through the cards, the light reveals more and more. I see an Ace, a diamond, and a pack of cards beside my hand. Whether I take one or two, it won’t matter. Everything and everyone I once knew…were going to see what I could see. The darkness around me, the fury inside her, it all was real, and I was too.

Children with their parents, grandparents, guardians, whatever. They were all crying, muffled sounds coming from behind walls. Mr . Fitz didn’t have much more to say to them. He offered his imprisonment as a trial for his actions, his speech was little to no desire. The so-called hostages that never really felt trapped or frightened to death, they waited and waited for the situation to come to an end. An conclusion is all was needed, and if it would take more and more time, then why are they waiting for the wheels to run off a line?

“Okay, you’ve got me. I question so much, and little answers rise to my brain. I know, I know, I’m clearly insane. How much more dangerous can one man be? I’m standing here with a gun, yes, a gun! – You not affray? It’s all so clear now. You lost it too. Arrest me, then.”

The Conductor’s question was not answered. The coward had given up, no longer caring whether the plan was going to work or not. Knowing that a plan was still in action, he made his time feel limitless. The time went by as they spoke to each other, wanting answers from each other.

“You need to answer my question. It may be given to Court, but I want answers now!”

“So do I…this train won’t hold us all. The wheels go round and round, round and round, round and round..” he grinned.

“This train’s rail ends here. Your stop is here! – I’ll throw you out, and you can explain to whoever may find you.. why you lost and why you’ve given up. That is not the problem here, you’ve murdered innocence, put my passengers at risk and scarred children for life!”

“Mr . Fitz, it’s the name. Innocent lives? I think not. Due to misunderstood words, I can only accept your apology and be on my way. This running train will stop for all of us. As for me, I choose to leave while the wheels still go round and round.”

Mr . Fitz walked over to one of the flat doors and stared at the children hiding behind their taller parents, and knowing that he has put them all at risk. He smiled in response to murder and never even had second thoughts or even questioned his motives. He just wanted to leave the train. The Conductor was proud to have finally gotten through to the insane man, but he did not just let him leave so cowardly. He allowed him some time to wait it out. It would be a mess to see him just walk out of a moving vehicle and be trampled (maybe) by the dangerous wheels.

“Two bodies reported. A murderous nutcase! More trouble on its way, I can see it now. Just make sure you get here, the next stop is at the junction. I believe it is the one near the Great-forth Farm, near the greenery and the lighthouse on Castors’ Beach.”

Mr . Fitz held the handle, knowing it was locked and waited for the train to each a more dangerous height. Still smiling, he turned round with his hand firm around the handle and spoke to those who were shivering in fear and crying for the train to reach the next stop soon.

“Yes. There were two shot dead. Two women, and those women were barely innocent. They were screw-ups and you are all here because of them! – Don’t follow a man’s shoes, you never know when the ground will become rough. If you follow a man for the looks, for the faith? You are setting yourselves up for immediate death. Like I said before, a death wish has been granted upon us. Have fun sitting like ducks.”

“Don’t you dare!” The Conductor shouted.

“Oh. Now, I see why you told me to walk out and just give up.” He smirked. “A dangerous fall is what I’m waiting for. You can all live, don’t worry. I’m done. There is always life being cruel, though. One would consider to fall out with me, and not by purpose, no, no, no. By accident? No. You follow me and you can see why I wanted more from this train ride. You stay behind, you live and unfortunately…you will be happy with family.”

The train going round a dangerous hill, the tracks ascended and descended through the rough grounds. Mr . Fitz opened the door and stood at the edge, waiting for a bump to knock him out, or for someone to push him out. With a wide smile, he waited for life to throw him out. The children in fear, they wanted freedom. The families hiding and keeping their loved ones close and safe; they wanted a chance to escape. This dangerous man on a train, was it really going to just end with that? The rails continued on, and the scenery looked more beautiful too.

“Good-bye.”

A final word was spoken. The train slid to the side a little, as it came off the tracks for more than a split-second. Some of the passengers fell to the side and clung onto tables and chairs. Whilst, it wasn’t too serious in their own opinion, they feared for the worst to come. Mr . Fitz was no longer standing where he had been. They all gasped as they saw nothing but a hat sitting near the doorway. The train still moving at high speed, they could all see the deadly end coming closer and closer. The rails had rusted away near the top of the hill, and they all feared that the dangerous heights could be all they had left to see in the world they wanted to continue to live in.

Pressure was on all of the passengers. Was they going to survive such a nightmare? Or, was reality going to become a dream? There was one guy with the answers. Mr . Fitz was less than interested, though. And if they survived, would it matter? It’s all too dead to say the truth.

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