The Train: Episode 3

May 16th 1938, 3:00 a.m.

When Michael exited the train station closing the door behind him, he found himself in a hallway, instead of on the street outside as he had expected. He looked down at the wooden floor and maroon strip of carpet running along its center. Gold trim lined the walls with lamps every few feet to illuminate the hallway.

“Where are we?” Michael asked the other passengers from the train who looked as confused as he.

He turned back to the door they had come through and opened it, only to find a closet full of mops, brooms and a couple of buckets.

“Wait a minute. This isn’t right,” Michael said.

“What happened?” Nicole asked.

“Where’s the train station?” Lucy asked looking into the closet.

“I’m not entirely sure,” Dr. Ricer answered.

Suddenly Michael felt a prickling sensation running up his back and resting on his neck.

“Something’s wrong,” he said.

He had felt this sensation in the past when he was in danger, usually before someone took a shot at him. It was a sensation he had learned from his father who called it the eventuality trigger. He could sense when someone or something would eventually threaten his life or safety.

“Everything seems okay to me,” Lucy assured him.

Michael tried to relax, but the tingling sensation wouldn’t stop.

“Wait,” Nicole warned.

Michael slowly turned and saw a vacant look in her eyes as she sniffed the air.

“What is it?” Dr. Ricer asked.

“Smoke,” she said with hesitation. “Maybe fire.”

The atmosphere all around Michael seemed to slow as his mind switched to high gear.

Step 1: Remain calm.

Step 2: Look for the nearest exit—window, door, fire escape.

Step 3: Keep low to avoid the smoke.

Step 4: Check doorknobs for heat, and use stairs instead of elevators.

Michael shook his head clear and surveyed the hallway. When he saw that one of the doors was ajar, he pointed to it and exclaimed,

“There! We need to get out of this building quickly. There should be a fire escape or a window we can crawl through.”

Not sure what else to do, Nicole followed Michael down the hallway with Dr. Ricer and Lucy right behind.

Reaching the door, Michael stopped before opening it.

“What’s wrong?” Lucy asked.

Michael sensed something different, something dangerous. After a moment’s hesitation, he slowly opened the door. Whatever was causing his nerves to tangle around his spine was inside that room.

When he peered into the room, he saw two men, one on his knees, hands cuffed, while a second man stood behind him pressing a gun against his head.

*              *              *

Nicole looked around Michael and took in the room. A man, bruised and bleeding, was on his knees, his hands cuffed behind him. Nicole saw that his right arm hung limply. “Probably broken,” she thought. Three teeth, bloody roots still intact, stained the carpet. Behind the injured man stood a cop holding a .38 Smith and Wesson Special to the back of the injured man’s head.

“Wrong answer, Easton,” the officer said.

He pulled the trigger and the .38 special bucked slightly as the combustion inside the chamber pushed the bullet out with a muzzle velocity of nine hundred and forty feet per second. The bullet punched through the back of Easton’s skull and exploded out his nose, spraying the carpet with blood as Easton’s lifeless body fell forward.

The cop turned away from the body, not bothering to check for witnesses, and hurried to the window making his way down the fire escape.

“Come on!” Michael yelled, running past the body to the fire escape.

Dr. Ricer covered Lucy’s eyes, hurrying her to the fire escape, while Nicole slowly walked past the body to the window.

*              *              *

When they reached the street, the hotel was engulfed in flames.

“We need to get clear of this!” Michael yelled.

Running across to the other side of the street, they turned around and watched the building.

“Where are we?” Lucy asked.

“Terminal Hotel. Housing seventy-five people. Atlanta, Georgia. May 16, 1938. A fire started in the kitchen, spread across the walls, and ultimately took down the hotel, killing thirty-four men, women, and children,” Dr. Ricer blurted out suddenly.

Michael looked over at him and asked, “You just knew that?”

Dr. Ricer shook his head, “I have no idea where that came from.”

“Mr. Bentley said that answers will suddenly come to you triggered by adrenaline,” Lucy said, repeating the conductor’s words.

“So we’re supposed to be in the past?” Dr. Ricer asked.

“How else can you explain our exiting a train station in the middle of a hotel fire?” Michael asked.

“Okay. Let’s assume for a moment that this is really happening,” Nicole said. “What are we supposed to do? The hotel is already on fire, and that man was already killed. We have prevented nothing.”

“So we’re stuck here?” Lucy asked.

“I don’t think that’s it,” Michael said.

He looked at the building, the flames reflecting in his eyes. “Tombs said that throughout time, crimes have gone unpunished, missing children haven’t been found, and outlaws have gone free. I don’t think we were supposed to stop the murder. I think we’re supposed to make sure that the cop doesn’t get away with it.”

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Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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