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  1. #1
    I am cow. Vivillon's Avatar
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    Default The Train

    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.


    Please give feedback! I love your responses.

  2. #2
    Registered User Airt's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Train

    Nice short! Great subject matter - I like how when the train stopped everyone inside stopped too. This old, retired train is like a micro-world, with the passengers "spellbound" inside, unable to leave and unable to help themselves.

    The ending also adds a nice sense of mystery - leaves me wanting more, which is always good!

    Le meas,
    Airt

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Train

    The passage starts off good, with nice descriptions and flow, but I feel once the first person narration starts, the quality slips.
    I think this piece would benefit from being a strictly expository story; a bit like "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas".
    I'm the essence of
    daydreamer. time-waster. black and white painter.
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    eyes closed. dreams unfold. ascending realities; open to me.

    Friend code: 1306-6423-3472 | Friend safari: Flying | Instagram: themuslimvegan|

  4. #4
    I am cow. Vivillon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Train

    Quote Originally Posted by farewell, friend View Post
    The passage starts off good, with nice descriptions and flow, but I feel once the first person narration starts, the quality slips.
    I think this piece would benefit from being a strictly expository story; a bit like "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas".
    Thanks for the advice! I usually just keep it similar to how it was to the beginning, although I guess I was just too keen towards making my story slightly longer than my other ones that I ended up changing the feel halfway through. Looking back, it sure does seem to just cut in there with no real reason to do so. I'll try not to do this in the future, and am glad that somebody caught it! Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas".

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Train

    You're welcome (:
    There's no reason why you can't keep writing in this style, or shouldn't keep writing in this style; I just think that you need to work on making that switch from description to first person narration more...flowing? Like there shouldn't be a huge difference between the two in the same passage, if that makes sense.

    Though I admit, I also have difficulty with making a good switch .-.;

    Oh no! You really haven't read it? You must! If you haven't already looked it up, it's seven pages.
    Here--> http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/dunnweb/rprnts.omelas.pdf
    It only starts to get to the point on page four, but you must read the pages before it. You might get a bit overwhelmed with the author's descriptions, though :p
    It's a little too descriptive, haha.
    I'm the essence of
    daydreamer. time-waster. black and white painter.
    in an upside-down world.
    eyes closed. dreams unfold. ascending realities; open to me.

    Friend code: 1306-6423-3472 | Friend safari: Flying | Instagram: themuslimvegan|

  6. #6
    I am cow. Vivillon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Train

    Quote Originally Posted by farewell, friend View Post
    You're welcome (:
    There's no reason why you can't keep writing in this style, or shouldn't keep writing in this style; I just think that you need to work on making that switch from description to first person narration more...flowing? Like there shouldn't be a huge difference between the two in the same passage, if that makes sense.

    Though I admit, I also have difficulty with making a good switch .-.;

    Oh no! You really haven't read it? You must! If you haven't already looked it up, it's seven pages.
    Here--> http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/dunnweb/rprnts.omelas.pdf
    It only starts to get to the point on page four, but you must read the pages before it. You might get a bit overwhelmed with the author's descriptions, though :p
    It's a little too descriptive, haha.
    I just read it, and I find it quite intriguing. The sheer concept of how pity and frustration can power a city to do so well and prosper peacefully is an interesting concept. I didn't get overwhelemed by the description, though. Oftentimes, I am highly tolerant of large descriptions, so it didn't faze me.

  7. #7
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: The Train

    On behalf of the Review Game:

    I was intrigued as soon as I began reading by this strange train in the middle of nowhere: it is a fantastic concept and I was wondering what the mystery was behind it and what was going to happen. Then it was only the length it was, and I will have to admit that I was a touch disappointed by how brief it was. I think with such an unique and intriguing story idea that you could have worked a longer mystery out of this: why did the train stop, why were the people not aging and unaware of what was going on, what was the mystery shadow? I think this story could have been a lot more intriguing and fun if you had turned it perhaps into a chapter story, or had just filled it with more content, like some added description. That may just be me, as I do prefer long, meaty stories, but the story did feel a bit rushed, namely near the end where he faints and then wakes up on his horse all in the same paragraph.

    You have a definite talent and an imaginative mind, but I do think you could have done a lot more with this concept, and I hope for your next story you aren't afraid to make it a little longer.

  8. #8
    I am cow. Vivillon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Train

    Quote Originally Posted by AceTrainer14 View Post
    On behalf of the Review Game:

    I was intrigued as soon as I began reading by this strange train in the middle of nowhere: it is a fantastic concept and I was wondering what the mystery was behind it and what was going to happen. Then it was only the length it was, and I will have to admit that I was a touch disappointed by how brief it was. I think with such an unique and intriguing story idea that you could have worked a longer mystery out of this: why did the train stop, why were the people not aging and unaware of what was going on, what was the mystery shadow? I think this story could have been a lot more intriguing and fun if you had turned it perhaps into a chapter story, or had just filled it with more content, like some added description. That may just be me, as I do prefer long, meaty stories, but the story did feel a bit rushed, namely near the end where he faints and then wakes up on his horse all in the same paragraph.

    You have a definite talent and an imaginative mind, but I do think you could have done a lot more with this concept, and I hope for your next story you aren't afraid to make it a little longer.
    Thanks for the review! I have actually been thinking about expanding upon this, as well as bringing upon the idea of a few chapters. A friend of mine actually gave me the idea, and now that you've given me the same idea makes me think it may actually be a worthwhile thought. I'm used to writing shorter stories, and have never actually put chapters into my stories, so it's a bit daunting. However, I think I may breach that barrier sometime in the near future. Once again, thanks for the review! ^_^

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