Here's just another short story I decided to write for no reason at all. :)
There was a road. It was a simple road, one made of planks of wood and steel bars. It stretched as far as the eye could see, constantly expanding across the rocky cliff. Upon this road there was a single train. It was not moving, nor would it ever. Made over one hundred years ago, it looked ancient. Inside such a train, one would expect to find cobwebs and dust; this was not the case.
Throughout the train, there were many passengers. These passengers were not ordinary passengers. They never sat down, nor did they stand still. They were always busy, rushing around to clean the already spotless inside. They were dressed in clothes that would be expected in the late 1800s; they matched the train perfectly. If you were to ask them their age, they would give an age equal to how they looked, although their real age is over one hundred years beyond that. The train had stopped, and in reaction so did their growth. The children remained children, and the parents never grew older.
It’s a sad sight, one might say. Passengers, spellbound by who knows what, are forever stuck in time, unable to leave, unable to consider a new life. They can’t leave, for what would they find? Outside is a barren and hilly wasteland, stretching across for miles upon miles with nothing but rocks, dirt, and a small river a couple of hours away. The train would not, and could not, move on its own anymore, for it had run out of coal long ago.
I usually went out for days at a time, taking only the essentials as I gazed upon the beautiful canyon. It was on one of these days that I stumbled upon this train. At the time, it had appeared to me as an ancient relic, a monument to past achievements and ingenuity. What I did not know is that it was also a prison for people who were oblivious to their own fate. Curiosity was getting to me, so I decided to take a little peek inside.
I immediately noticed the cleanliness. It was perfectly clean, unlike the dirty and dusty exterior. Then, I noticed something even more peculiar: the people. There were other people! I tried talking to them, but they just continued to clean the place. What they were cleaning was beyond me. The place was already spotless, so why are they cleaning it? They need to focus on actually doing something more productive, like perhaps making this train move. They should start working on their priorities.
I tried talking to them again, but to no avail. They still ignored me, going on about their “tasks” and just cleaning. Alright, time to take this to a slightly higher level. I tried pushing their arm, but to my surprise, my hand went right through! Are they… ghosts? No, they can’t be. Ghosts aren’t real, so how could there be ghosts on a train? They don’t look like ghosts; they aren’t transparent or even translucent! They look exactly like people. Now, unlike any sane person would do under these circumstances, I went into the next cabin.
In this cabin, the people were acting the same. This time, I tried to take my efforts up another notch. I sprinted across the cabin, in which there were a few people lined up in almost a perfect row. If they are ghosts, I should be able to just go right through them. It worked. Great, I am on a ghost train. I continued through the train until I got to the front. Perhaps the engineer is there and isn’t as mindless as the rest of the ghosts.
Once I got there, the cabin seemed empty. It was clean, like the rest of the train, but there were no passengers aboard that were cleaning it. However, in one little corner, I could just make out a few specks of dust. As I was nearing the dust, I noticed a shadow nearby. Looking back, there was nothing in the room that could possibly have caused the shadow, and this probably should have been a huge red flag for me. That, and the fact that I heard something that sounded like: “Get out. You are not welcome here.” Of course, I paid no attention to any of this, as I had become so obsessed with cleaning a little ignored speck of dust. Maybe this is how the ghosts feel?
Now only a few feet away from the dust, I started to bend down. The voice was much louder now, and I couldn’t help but to tell it to be quiet. My hand started to reach for the dust, and right before I made contact, I became extremely dizzy and had a large wave of nausea. After I had recovered, I realized that I was no longer inside the train. I was on my horse, with the train in the distance.
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