The Ordinary World

A crowd stood staring at a grisly scene inside a meticulously manicured hospital hallway. Ken Davidson stood near the scene. He stared at the scene with a large duffel full of cleaning supplies and a dry mop.

A large pool of congealed blood sat over the square tiled hospital floor and a large splattered pattern was splashed over the wall and a light blue door. A rectangular sign identified the door belonged to the security team.

He set the duffel on the floor closest to the scene and pulled a plastic bottle from the bag. He combined the bottle with a sprayer when the questions began.

“What happened here?… What’s going on?… Did someone die?… Oh my god”

Ken returned to the bag and pulled from it a pair of large wireless head phones and put them over his ears. He began to apply the cleaner to the scene when someone tapped his shoulder.

Ken turned to see a short man, dressed in a dark blue police officer shirt and slacks waiting for a response. Ken remove the headphones and the men stood awkward for several moments.

“Ken Davidson, do you not recognize me, it’s Paul.” “Paul Shepherd, remember? I was a rookie cop.”

Ken frowned but managed a smile. “Paul, how are you? I’m sorry but I don’t recall much of anything from that part of my life.”

“I’m sorry to hear that Ken,” Paul said with disappointment. “Sorry about what happened to you. You were… are still a hero to many of us.”

“Thank you,” Ken replied. “But if you don’t mind. I have a hallway to clean.”

“Yeah, sure Ken. If you need anything I’ll be over here.”

Paul disappeared from Ken’s view. He returned to work on spraying the floor.

Music flooded the thoughts and sounds of the people queued behind him. They exchanged rumors and guesses while he ignored them.

After spraying the hallway, Ken began to mop up the blood and gore. The traffic in the hallway began to increase as the morning aged.

The bright orange cones redirected the strangers for the most part. Occasionally someone just had to know what happened but Ken ignored them. He kept his head down and his gaze away from anyone. Until someone tapped him on the shoulder.

He turned to growl at what he assumed would be a glasses-clad, disheveled looking man but was surprised to see a brown-haired woman in a eye-catching white sun dress. She smiled at him.

Ken smiled back. An automatic response but one that he hadn’t used in 5 years. He was a bit shocked his face had the muscle strength to smile that widely.

“You have a beautiful smile,” she said, standing in a column of light from a set of windows.

“So do you, it’s a bit intoxicating,” he blurted.

The woman laughed. Ken’s heart shook itself from its sleep.

“I get that all the time,” the woman said then disappeared from view.

Ken stood staring in her direction for, it seemed like an hour, but she can disappeared.

A business man walked up to Ken and asked if he knew what had happened.

Ken automatically explained that a woman had been killed over the weekend.

“That’s all I know.” Ken then smiled again but this time he caught himself. He canceled the smile and added

“I need to finish up, thanks.”

The vision of that woman never left his head. He finished cleaning up the messy scene, packed up his tools and packed them into the portable rolling cart. Questions pelted him mercilessly.

“Who was she? Why did she disappear? Why did she appear? Do I want to know?”

“Rules are rules,” he said to himself. A reminder to not follow his warming heart to find this woman but he was losing that fight.

He knew it was the woman killed in the hallway a few days ago. He had no proof but he was fairly confident. He had been visited before by spirits. They haunted him on occasion but…

There was something about this woman. An intoxicating sense to her. She had the ability to knock him off his feet but she was dead.

“She’s dead.” He confirmed to himself.

He stood and stared at the Security door. He thought to himself, a persistent overwhelming thought.

“Knock on the door, you idiot,” a woman said. Ken spun to see the woman in a sun dress standing in the hallway.

“Ask them.”

“Will it help you?” Ken asked but the woman disappeared when the door to the Security room opened.

The door opened revealing an array of monitors displaying different rooms in the hospital. A large man stepped from the room.
Ken bit his lip then spoke.
“How’s it going? The woman killed, what do you know about her?”
“I don’t know,” said the guard. “Angry boyfriend? I heard an argument then boom. I crapped my pants.”
“Do you know anything about her? Name, where she lives?”
“Why do you care?” Asked the guard. “You just clean up the mess.”
“Don’t be an ass,” Ken warned.
The guard pursed his lips, “honestly, all I know is the guy called her Caroline.”
“Thank you,” Ken said then turned and left.
Ken dumped what was left of the mess into a drain, washed the mop and bucket and stood at the rear doors of his white box truck. He felt a chill creep up from the ground.
“What do you want me to do for you, Caroline?”

Soul Eater – The Jackal

“Here is the frightening truth, my friend,” the strange creature said with a slight smile, “there is life after death. This world… the here and now. Is your truth.”

The creature smiled as he thought for a second. He shucked some of the dust from his large dark feathers and stepped forward. “Listen to me, tall, dark and mute. You can sit there in your life-long stupor and mourn the life you had in that other world. The world that, coincidentally, crapped you into this one, or you can get off your ass and do something awesome with us. Narcissus has something special planned for the soul eater. That being you.”

The stranger looked up and stared at the creature. He looked him over. His hair-covered face and head. His bright, colorful clothing and finally the wings. The stranger stood and stared into the dark eyes of this meta-human. He raised his hands and clapped them multiple times in rhythm. The stranger’s face stared forward, unimpressed. The other passengers in the car, most of them now fully formed humans, stared silently waiting for the creatures reaction.

“Ah, I get it.” He said. “You are one of those funny men. The rebel assholes that don’t follow the rules. I get you, trust me. I get you completely cause… you know I have experience.” The creature then thrust his right hand up and twisted his wrist. He turned and continued to look over the railroad car that had now become full of flesh and blood humans.

“The engineer is not going to be happy with all this going on. Remanifesting dead humans is so illegal in these woods. Eww… he is going to be pissed and there is going to be blood everywhere.”

Above the car, upon the roof was the sound of hooves marching toward them. The creature began to speak but his voice stumbled. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Speaking of the engineer… that sounds like him.”

Another few steps and the other winged men began to stir. “Mr. Jackal, sir. We need to go now.” Whimpered another winged humanoid.

“You guys are such…” The Jackal began but stopped when a snake-like monster peered from the large hole in the passenger train. He motioned for the cabin to be quiet. Then instructed his men to grab the stranger and restrain him with a roll of plastic wrap.

They grasp the stranger and dragged him backward toward the rear door. The Jackal reached over and grasp a long wire that was strung along the top corner of the car and pulled. The breaks scream and the car slowed. Anyone standing, fell forward and that included whatever was on the roof. The snake-like creature disappeared from the hole in the ceiling. The Jackal leapt through the hole and onto the roof followed by his feathered friends. The stranger was wrapped in plastic from the shoulders down and carried upward by a sixth creature.

Once upon the roof the engineer lie on top of the car in front of them. He had four hooves and six snake-like heads all connected at the base of the horse. He struggled to stand with his snake-like heads trying to lift the 400lb creature. The Jackal and his gang spread their wings and lifted from the train.

Soul Eater – The Spirit of the Dead – All aboard!!

Rain fell upon the stranger’s head. Thunder grumbled in the distance. The new world he stood in was dark, dank and full of sadness. The stranger looked around to see a decomposing shack behind him. It’s rain soaked planked walls weighed down by years of neglect. Words, painted in white, spell out mysterious destinations.

-Artemisia

-Obsidian

-Deuterium

-Ambrosia

Beside the names was a small rain-soaked sheet. White splashes if paint drip down the right-side. Painted on the sheet is a dark train. Followed with the words:

“Missing

Train of Light

Taken by the Darkness -1863”

A sharp gust of wind shoved past him and struck the rain-soaked sheet. Something grasp the sheet and ripped it from the wall. The sheet fell to the wooden floor. The stranger watched as a human form stood in the rain for a moment then disappeared. The wooden planks below his feet shook. The stranger turned. A plume of white smoke stalked through the dark trees. The Spirit of the Dead pushed through the dark of night toward the stranger.

A large articulated locomotive, painted black, stretched eighty-five foot from cowcatcher to cab. The engineer stood behind black iron windows and is shackled to an iron loop in the floor. The fireman faded into the darkness, then reappeared. He shoveled a substance into the firebox then flickered out of existence. The engineer stood with his long left arm upon the whistle and waiting till the station appears.

The black train runs on the essence of life.  The molecular essence of every living being on the train, collected within a steel-walled tender. Upon the tender is a set of ledges, one on top and the second two feet above the train wheels.  The ledge on the top was merely decorative but the one on the bottom was two foot wide, barely enough room to walk across.  Aluminum hand holds are placed at body length along both sides of the car.  In the center of the car, painted on both sides, is ‘Spirit of the Dead’.

The engineer pulled and the whistle released a scream from above the train.  The scream pierced the darkness and started the stranger. He watched as the large train approached the wooden deck. He saw beside him another figure, feminine but ghostlike. Another, then several more. They appeared with a suddenness. From ghostlike to human, bone and muscle. They all appeared fully clothed but dressed in period clothing. Almost like a Western on the television back when he was a child. He stared down upon his dress to find himself wearing a pair of faded jeans and a t-shirt stained in large dark patches.

The whistle blew a second time.

The Spirit of the Dead approached the wooden deck of the train station.  The engineer pulled the brake. Forced air pushed the thick rain soaked air out of the way as the brakes squealed. The stranger watched as the engine passed the station.  Followed by passenger cars.

The engineer pulled hard upon the brakes forcing the cars to jostle and jam into each other. When the train came to a stop the engineer disappeared from the engine and reappeared upon the side of the engine and then reappeared upon the wooden station deck.  He disappeared again and reappeared near the front corner of the engine.  He seemed to be inspecting the train.  From Benin’s the tender car a large man appeared.  He meticulously walked along the side of the car holding the handles as he went.  A chain danging from both ankles.  He then disappeared within the cab.  Several large wooden doors opened within the passenger cars behind the engine.  

Several men stepped from the cars and jumped to the wooden deck. They then turned and folded down a set of steel stairs built within the bottom of the cars.  The men, dressed in black, stood and waited as ghost-like figures stepped from the cars. The figures mingled with some of the ghost on the station then the station began to clear.

“All aboard!”

The stranger

City of the Dead – Through the Trees

Dontarius opened his tired eyes.  The light from the morning sun was sifted through the thick leaves.  In front of him stood rows of thick trees most bound with a thick rope-like material.  Dontarius was tied tightly to a tree.  The material wound around his waist and chest.  Beside him was a winged man.  A tall thin-faced man with large wings bound by the same material.

“What is going on?”  Dontarius’s voice was raspy, he cleared it.  “What did you and your people do?”

“You will thank us,”  the winged man replied.

“I’m not very thankful right now.”

Behind both men something shuffled quickly followed by a quiet chant.  Dontarius stiffened and pushed against the tree.  He attempted to make himself small which was impossible.  Within moments smaller men marched past the trees.  The smaller men marched in 6 columns all perfectly measured and stepping in time.  After 5 rows of men they turned right and unbound several bound persons.  They helped them down slowly.  Covered their heads briskly and turned back toward Dontarius.  The small men marched forward.  They wore a covered hood which buried their faces.  “They are the mirror-keepers.”  Said the winged man.  “I don’t know much else about them.  I, along with the other Eros kind, tend to stay within the mountains.”

The noise from the winged man prompted several of the mirror-keepers to look up.  Their faces were black, frightening.  Their small eyes pale and hung above the nose.  Dontarius froze and stared forward.  He wished the small men away but they marched slowly away from the trees.

City of the Dead – Dragon Heart

The dragon hovered over the train.  It’s head was arrow-shaped and it had an extended neck that whipped around like a snake.  It’s abdomen was small leading to a long tail which ended in a split-shape almost like a trident.  It’s wings were humongous.  They were large leather and bone contraptions.  Every time the large beast would bellow out a shot of fire the wings seemed to get in the way.  They would char, leaving small red balls of flame, but would then extinguish quickly.  The large bird man held Dontarius tightly as it fought to avoid the blaze but the dragon out maneuvered and faced the bird man.  The tip of the dragon’s nose smoldered and it’s entire head bled smoke.  The bird man attempted to fly down and right but the dragon countered.  Other bird men flew from other directions.  Suicide missions that were intended to distract the dragon and save lives but only took them.  The dragon opened it’s large dinosaur jaws and snapped each creature the flew near.  The large bird man attempted to fly right then left again but the dragon read each move.  From inside the dragons mouth shadows of it’s large teeth danced in front of an orange glaze.  Smoke began to billow from the dragons nose then mouth.  The dragon opened his mouth wider and the bird man dropped Dontarius.

Dontarius fell through the sky face down.  A bullet of warmth cruised from his head to toes as the ground became closer and closer.  The station was four-hundred yards behind him.  Beneath him was a thick blanket of trees.  Green mushroom shaped bringers of pain and death.  Dontarius was two-hundred feet from the ground when he was dropped.  His hands and feet went numb with anticipation as the tree line quickly approached.

Dontarius hit the treeline and disappeared within the forest.  The first limb struck him hard in the gut and another in the chest.  The wind in his lungs swept from his chest and he gasp.  The weight of his feet pulled him down and then backward.  He then fell another twenty feet to a tri-fecta of pain and agony.  A large limb caught him and spun him into a pair of smaller limbs.  Those limbs held for seconds as he caught his breath then tumbled into the trunk when they gave way.  The remaining fall went dark.  Dontarius went unconscious.

End Chapter 1

The rest of this submission will likely be put somewhere till I complete it at the end of the month.  Knowing me I will not be a stranger to posting because I get excited about these awesome stories.  I still have some other projects I’m working on.  I’m hoping to still post a minimum of 300 + words for City of Zombies.. Thanks for reading.. 🙂

The Long Black Train – Original

The netherworld has no cows so the train has no cow catcher. The large outward grill of an earthly steam-powered train is absent but the tall round-edge box on wheels rolls past slowly as the Narcissus’s forest approaches. Above the train and into the night shoots a tall cylinder of white smoke. Behind the smoke stack sits a taller box. Within that box sits the operator. The operator stands half in and half out of this world. A faint flicker of life trapped within a steel prison. Unlike the earthly steam-powered machine this black train runs on the essence of life.  This molecular essence of every living being on the train is collected within a steel-walled tender or coal car.  This car had a set of ledges, one on top and the second two feet above the train wheels.  The ledge on the top was merely decorative but the one on the bottom was two foot wide, barely enough room to walk across.  To help the engineer aluminum hand holds were placed at body length along both sides of the car.  In the center of the car, painted on both sides, was ‘Spirit of the Dead’.  The engineer stayed in the next car, a passenger car.  The car was black, with windows gray from soot from the engine chimney.  The soot contains the remains of the evil in men’s heart.  These remains forever pushed into the atmosphere of the netherworld.  Within the gray windows and inside the passenger car sits a steel chair and upon the chair is chained the engineer.  Like Charles Dickens fabled protagonist the chairs bind the engineer to his earthly sins till his penance is paid.   Following behind the engine was hundreds of caged cars. The cars wooden planks shake in small metal slots as the train moves forward over its iron track.

You know about the Train, and the Engineer but inside the wooden train cars, within the thick film of the spirits of the dead lay the living. Being alive in the Netherworld is not supposed to happen but it does. On the living world it was compared to a ‘dime a dozen’. In this world it is an advantage and a curse. The floor of the train car is slick with ethereal goo. The large wooden sliding doors are closed leaving only bars of early evening light. The stranger lays unconscious on the wooden floor of the train car. The thin film from the floor covering his face, arm and shoulders. It hides the dark uniform with the red sewed badges on his long arms. His attractive features, the sculpted chin and the military hair cut. Above his chin and past his sharp nose hides two beautiful blue eyes, hidden behind heavy lids.

The darkness pressed upon the stranger as he stared upward at the thin strips of light from the moon. The train car rattled loudly and chills danced from the tips of his fingers to the back of his shoulders. The stranger listened to whispers that passed through his ears. The whispers spoke of love lost, love found and life taken but the stranger could see nothing. The physical necessity to his sense of sight and hearing was missing. That was until something thumped upon the top of the car. The light skittered around several objects which began to move above. Then within seconds a large hole was torn from the top of the car. The moonlight fell through to the car floor. Silver forms appeared but quickly disappeared into the darkness. The chill from the strangers shoulders fell downward covering his back, arms and hands. He was paralyzed with fear from the overwhelming invasion of his senses. From the roof of the car the hole was ripped wider till it was wide enough for two men to jump through but it wasn’t a man that sank into the car. From the moonlight the stranger could trace the framework of a large bird. It’s two large feet curled with several large knuckles on three toes. Upon the toes were large triangular claws.

The Engineer

The brakes of the train screamed as the conductor pressed forward on the valve turning on the air brakes. He pressed against the side of the metal cab as the friction from the brakes attempted to hold the train from moving forward. His presence in this world solidified by his effort to stop the train. Above his head and swinging wildly was a thin leather strap attached to the train whistle. The conductor captured the strap and pulled. From above the train the whistle whined loudly. The 130 decibel alarm clock shook the engineer sitting within his car. The chains restraining the sunken man, head down upon his chest, clanged loudly as they expanded to fill the floor of the car. Two large reptilian wings burst from behind him only to be restrained by the small width of the car. A tail grew from beneath him and mingled with the chains as the engineer looked up. His eyes red as flames and his face straining to hold off the conversion. Scales began to slip from his skin and fold upon each other till no resemblance of human skin remained. He then screamed as the pain overcame him and his face and head extended forward and back. When it was finished the engineer pushed out a ball of flame which engulfed the top corner of the car. He then stood, his height increased three-fold. His elongated neck and shoulders pressed against the top of the car. Another breath and the rear ceiling of the car was cindered oak strips. The engineer crawled forward on his new formed reptilian legs and jumped upward through the weakened ceiling strips into the darkness of the world above.

The Darkness

The darkness pressed upon the stranger as he stared upward at the thin strips of light from the moon. The train car rattled loudly and chills danced from the tips of his fingers to the back of his shoulders. The stranger listened to whispers that passed through his ears. The whispers spoke of love lost, love found and life taken but the stranger could see nothing. The physical necessity to his sense of sight and hearing was missing. That was until something thumped upon the top of the car. The light skittered around several objects which began to move above. Then within seconds a large hole was torn from the top of the car. The moonlight fell through to the car floor. Silver forms appeared but quickly disappeared into the darkness. The chill from the strangers shoulders fell downward covering his back, arms and hands. He was paralyzed with fear from the overwhelming invasion of his senses. From the roof of the car the hole was ripped wider till it was wide enough for two men to jump through but it wasn’t a man that sank into the car. From the moonlight the stranger could trace the framework of a large bird. It’s two large feet curled with several large knuckles on three toes. Upon the toes were large triangular claws.

— leaving it here so I have somewhere to start from later. I don’t know what it is about this site but it makes me write awesome stuff.. 🙂

Stranger

You know about the Train, and the Engineer but inside the wooden train cars, within the think film of the spirits of the dead lay the living. Being alive in the Netherworld is not supposed to happen but it does. On the living world it was compared to a ‘dime a dozen’. In this world it is an advantage and a curse. The floor of the train car is slick with ethereal goo. The large wooden sliding doors are closed leaving only bars of early evening light. The stranger lays unconscious on the wooden floor of the train car. The thin film from the floor covering his face, arm and shoulders. It hides the dark uniform with the red sewed badges on his long arms. His attractive features, the sculpted chin and the military hair cut. Above his chin and past his sharp nose hides two beautiful blue eyes, hidden behind heavy lids.

Long Black Train

The netherworld has no cows so the train has no cow catcher. The large outward grill of an earthly steam-powered train is absent but the tall round-edge box on wheels rolls past slowly as the Narcissus’s forest approaches. Above the train and into the night shoots a tall cylinder of white smoke. Behind the smoke stack sits a taller box. Within that box sits the operator. The operator stands half in and half out of this world. A faint flicker of life trapped within a steel prison. Unlike the earthly steam-powered machine this black train runs on the essence of life.  This molecular essence of every living being on the train is collected within a steel-walled tender or coal car.  This car had a set of ledges, one on top and the second two feet above the train wheels.  The ledge on the top was merely decorative but the one on the bottom was two foot wide, barely enough room to walk across.  To help the engineer aluminum hand holds were placed at body length along both sides of the car.  In the center of the car, painted on both sides, was ‘Spirit of the Dead’.  The engineer stayed in the next car, a passenger car.  The car was black, with windows gray from soot from the engine chimney.  The soot contains the remains of the evil in men’s heart.  These remains forever pushed into the atmosphere of the netherworld.  Within the gray windows and inside the passenger car sits a steel chair and upon the chair is chained the engineer.  Like Charles Dickens fabled protagonist the chairs bind the engineer to his earthly sins till his penance is paid.   Following behind the engine was hundreds of caged cars. The cars wooden planks shake in small metal slots as the train moves forward over its iron track.