The Dead

“My twin’s dead, I swear my family hates me, and wasn't really suicide, right?”
But if getting yourself killed by getting onto a train to the land of the dead isn't suicide, then what is?
Well, if Christabel Cazarez is ever wondering, she can ask one of her classmates. Because, yes, she did get on a train to the Land of the Dead. And now she, too, has passed away.
But Christabel’s afterlife isn't the peaceful one you’d hope for. Death is attempting to break out of his prison, her best friend appears to be going out with her brother and if she doesn't risk what’s left of her life (nothing, but still), her Heaven-Ever-After will never happen.
On the bright side, she’s met her dead twin sister, and if Christabel actually manages to beat an all-powerful, million-year-old Grim Reaper, then his wife will give Christabel, and her friends a second chance at life. But is that really what Christabel even wants?


1. Chapter One

I thumped the dashboard, causing the furry dice hanging from the mirror to sway about spastically. The rain started to hammer harder on the windscreen, adding to my general feeling of despondency.  In frustration, I flipped open the sun visor, hoping to block out the view of the empty street. A piece of paper floated onto my lap and landed photo-up. I gazed at it, then stiffened. Scrunching it up and throwing it out the window, I closed my eyes.
“Lost something?” Someone asked. I jumped. “You can’t just go throwing photos out the window like that,” they continued. “It might mean a lot to someone.”
“Sorry, Sam.” I said guiltily, “but, y’know…”
“She was my sister too, Chrissy.”
I glared at Sam, then grabbed the clutch of the car and pulled. Black smoke billowed out of the exhaust pipe, making me cough. “Be kind to the car!” Sam yelped, jerking open the driver’s door. “Move over.”
Grumbling, I shuffled over, clutching my backpack to my chest. “Where to?” Sam asked. “The train station…” I said, trailing off. “You can’t come with me!”
“Why not? I’m your brother.”
I glared at Sam. “And?”
“And I can’t let you run away without protection.”
I smirked, turning to look out the window. The car started properly, headlights flashing in the darkness




The car pulled up into the empty parking lot. “Not many trains leaving tonight, Christabel,” Sam remarked, glancing up at the empty noticeboard. It flickered, then flashed. A name scrolled past, in a looping, barely legible script. “TearFall?” I asked, frowning. “I’ve never heard of that before.”
“It’s probably a tiny little village, far, far away.” Sam replied. I could see he was smiling. “All the better, then.” I said, already walking into the building. It was empty, my feet making little clicking noises on the marble floor. Sam walked up to the ticket desk. “Un-manned,” he huffed, attacking the ticket machine. It spat and whirred, choking on paper. Sam kicked it, causing it to give out a dying groan and dribble tickets. I bent down and scooped them up, stuffing the role into my bag. “If the worst comes to the worst, we can always sell these,” I joked, standing up and pointing. “Where’s the platform?”
Sam frowned. “I actually don’t know,” he said, running over to the railway station map.
“There should be someone here to help us.” Sam said, walking around a column. “I don’t know why this place is deserted.”
“The person behind the desk does happen to be dead,” a voice from behind me proclaimed. I screamed, spinning around in panic. “Please don’t kill me!”
“It’s Eva.”
I gasped for air, my sudden hysteria gone.  “Sa-am!” I called, grinning at Eva. No answer.
“Sam! Where are you?”
Silence greeted me, and Eva looked as worried as I now felt. Heaving my backpack onto my back, I ran in the direction I had last seen him standing. The train station now looked empty. “When you say the ticket person was dead, what did you mean?” I asked Eva, trepidation slowly overtaking me.
“They had no pulse. That kind of dead.”
“Oh, gods. Samuel Boniface Cazerez!” I screamed, my voice echoing around the room. Eva gasped.
“Shut up,” she whispered hoarsely, ducking behind an advertisement for rainbow unicorn toys. “They’ll get us too, if we shout.”
“Do you think they killed Sam?” I gasped. Eva nodded towards a body on the floor. “Just a tiny bit.”
It was definitely Sam’s body.
“We need to get out of here,” Eva said, standing up. “I can see a train.”
I glared at her. My mind had gone completely blank.
“He’s dead. My brother is dead, and you don’t care. You’ve known him for your whole life, and you don’t care. You’ve known him for your whole life, and you don’t care!”

Eva’s eyes were big. “I do care, I just don’t want to die!”
I gripped Sam’s lifeless ankles and tried to pull him along after me.
“They won’t let you carry a body onto a train. It’s not exactly hand luggage,” Eva pointed out, grabbing my wrist and tugging me towards the train. I dropped Sam’s foot and ran through the train doors, crying into my scarf. The train lurched, and I stumbled. Eva pulled me down. “There wasn’t a mark on him,” she murmured, “and yet he was undoubtedly very, very dead.”




The rumbling of the train had become no more than a background noise, almost calming. Eva was asleep next to me, her face pressed up against the window.  It was too dark to see anything but dark shadows against darker ones. The train suddenly stopped, sending me flying down the aisle. Eva jerked up and screamed, picking up her purse. Sparks had started flying, and the carpet had somehow caught on fire.
“We need to get out of here,” I said shakily, walking backwards, away from the flaming section of the train.
“We’re on a bridge.”
I ran to the window, gazing down at the shadowy abyss. “We might not die,
“Someone’s being optimistic,”
“My brother’s dead. I can be optimistic.”
“Bawling your eyes out doesn’t help. I should know. My twin’s dead.”
Eva glared at me and looked out the window again. “We could… jump?’
“Yeah. Sure. We could jump out of a flaming train into a gorge in the dark. Mere hours after my brother just died. I don’t see why not. Fine.”
“Three… two… one… Jump!”
“What the hell?”
I grabbed Eva’s hand as she hung out of the window. “You weren’t meant to do that!” She screamed.
“You jumped out of a moving train!” I screamed back. I looked at Eva out of the corner of my eye. “Suicide is bad. You know that, right?”
“Oh, I don’t care,” she replied. Just as she was about to let go, the train leaned to the side and slowly fell off the bridge.

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