The Train Ride

Below is a short story from My Haunted Life – Extreme Edition. It is one of two stories that are unique to the paperback that otherwise includes all of the content of My Haunted Life, My Haunted Life Too and My Haunted Life 3. At 200 pages, it is quite a substantial book and would make a great gift for anyone who enjoys tales of the paranormal and supernatural.

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His head dropped as he once again slipped off in to sleep. Of course, he immediately woke up again, mentally cursing his inability to sleep on a train. He opened his eyes and watched the monotonous eastern European countryside flash by without really registering any of it at all. The carriage reminded him of old black and white movies as it was so ancient and yet, being first class, it was, he had to admit, somewhat luxurious. It had definitely seen better days though, as the carpet was threadbare in the six parallel locations where travellers’ feet would usually sit. It was a carriage in which three people sat facing three other people except today, it was just him and five comfy looking, but very empty, seats.

As the train hurtled onwards he noticed that the carriage lights would occasionally flicker. Even the electrics were showing their age, he thought. Initially, he had searched for a power outlet to charge his phone, but the train must have pre-dated portable electronic devices and it had no power sockets. His phone had subsequently died about 4 hours into this 10-hour journey.

Kosovo-train-interior

He fought vainly to keep his eyes open as the rhythmic bumping of the train over the tracks rocked him to sleep. However, the train was beginning to slow and a stop appeared to be in the offing. He woke up a bit and peered into the twilight gloom out of the window. The train stopped briefly in what he could only think of as a village station, as there was just a station house and a few other buildings dotted around. As the train lurched forward again, he was surprised to see that someone had gotten on board. The man opened the carriage door and taking off a long coat and hat, sat diagonally opposite him registering his presence with a brief and perfunctory nod of the head.

The heat of the compartment and motion of the train began to work its sleep spell again and his head nodded occasionally as he dozed. From time to time, he opened his eyes and peeked at his new neighbor. The man was dark. Black hair and darkened skin like many of the indigenous population of this part of the Europe. His lips were pale and thin and a sharp nose jutted almost comically from a flat face accentuated by a high forehead. The man stared straight ahead. He didn’t actually seem to blink at all. As if aware of another’s gaze upon him, the man turned his head and looked over displaying small green eyes. At this, our friend closed his half opened eyes so as to not appear to be staring.

After a few moments, he half opened his eyes again. The man was again staring straight ahead and again, he did not appear to blink. He was dressed in a dark coat, which seemed to hide a suit underneath. He was clean-shaven and his hair was slightly oiled and clung to his scrawny head. An image of an Eagle came to mind. A tall, thin and unblinking, Eagle-like, man.

The heat seemed to be growing thicker as the train now hurtled through darkness, rocking and swaying him from side-to-side. His eyes felt increasingly heavy and more difficult to keep open for any length of time. He felt his head drop and the movement woke him again but only momentarily.

At first, he wasn’t quite sure what it was he was feeling. Was he sleeping and dreaming?

He was aware of a slight pain and wetness at his neck. He felt as if he were falling down into a long cavernous gap between rising peaks that looked like very sharp teeth. There was a strange lapping sound in his ear too. He struggled to wake up but was only able to open his eyes very slightly. The pale but swarthy skinned man was staring at him with those green unblinking eyes. There was a strange faraway look on his face. The man licked his lips. Was that blood on his lips? Strangely, at that moment, he couldn’t care less. He simply wanted and needed to sleep.

For a few moments, he closed his eyes again and began to drift off but then he suddenly and with growing horror realized that the man sat opposite him had two very long and very sharp-looking incisor teeth. He opened his eyes; suddenly this time and stared across at his neighbor. The man flashed a smile back. Those teeth! This time he caught sight of those pointed white teeth and the man’s reddened tongue and lips. Instinctively he raised a hand to his neck where he had felt wetness. He wiped his neck and looked at the dark red streaks of blood on the back of his hand. His heart was pounding with sheer terror as he watched the man float up off of the seat and across the gap towards him. The eyes, unblinking, stared into his, and he found he could not move nor speak as that mouth descended again upon his neck. He blacked out.

vampire

The jolt of the train woke him with a jump. It took just a few moments for his waking moment to become a scream as he jumped back. His heart was pounding and he was wet with sweat. In the next few milliseconds, he realized that he was alone in the carraige. The strange, Eagle-like, unblinking man with teeth had gone. His hand immediately felt for the wound on his neck. He wiped his neck with the back of his hand and looked but there was no blood. He checked several times with the same result. He then got up and almost ran out of the carriage and down to the bathroom where he could look in the mirror to check visually. No blood, no marks; just his pale, sweaty face staring back at him from the mirror.

A feeling of relief passed over him and he felt quite giddy for a moment. He began to chuckle and then to laugh as he realized the whole thing had been a bad dream. It had seemed so real though, he thought to himself. So very real!

He returned to the carriage and checked around. There was no sign of anyone or anything except for his own luggage, book and papers on the seat. It had been a dream and a bad one at that.

He sat down and relaxed feeling the heat envelope him and the movement of the train started to make him sleepy again. He let it take him deeper into sleep. However, the train was beginning to slow and a stop appeared to be in the offing. He woke up a bit and peered into the twilight gloom out of the window. The train stopped briefly in what he could only think of as a village station, as there was just a station house and a few other buildings dotted around. As the train lurched forward again, he was surprised to see that someone had gotten on board. The man opened the carriage door and taking off a long coat and hat, sat diagonally opposite him registering his presence with a brief and perfunctory nod of the head……….

my haunted life extreme (1)Over 50 true stories of the supernatural and paranormal – My Haunted Life – Extreme Edition

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