“Below the Surface”

During the summer of 2015 many meteorologists forecasted several days in the month of August to be probably the hottest on record.  The last two weeks of the month would have at least ten days with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees hovering between 110-115 degrees.  However, the heat wave wasn’t so much the concern of many people, but the humidity at nearly 100% for several consecutive days was the biggest scare for most.  The heat wave was so fierce that it delayed, if not ceased, operations for public transportation by railroad.  Numerous reports were coming in throughout the summer of trains derailing and heat related illness and death soaring above record numbers.  Train derailments were the biggest problem in the northeast and in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Washington, D.C. and New York City both had their fair share of problems when it came to this unbearable weather.

Water restrictions spread throughout the region and it got so severe in some areas that the local authorities were called to handle domestic problems between neighbors and family members.  Those that did not adhere to the restrictions found themselves struggling to water their plants, take showers, and even to have a glass of water.  Air conditioners in many homes and business constantly went out and the repairs became so common place that people and owners were put on a waiting list.  In major cities across the nation, especially in the Midwest, saw violence spike out of control as people were fighting for control of the already scarce water supply.  The last time rain fell in these areas was almost two weeks ago and that alone threatened the reservoirs to nearly dry up if nothing happened soon.  Hospitals up and down the east coast saw a flood of elderly sick people who couldn’t bare the heat and would sometimes go into cardiac arrest.

On this particular day twenty commuters found themselves once again facing a day with record heat temperatures and train delays.  The most recent train derailment was in Philadelphia where nearly everyone died when the train jumped the tracks.  This took place about one week prior to the twenty train commuters boarding a subway train just outside of Washington, D.C.  The day started pretty smoothly just like any other work day with them boarding the subway train and taking their seats.  Some quickly found out that the air conditioning in their train car was not working and moved to another train car when the train stopped at the next station.  For some reason this particular day it wasn’t very many commuters boarding, but no one seemed to have paid attention until the unthinkable happened.  As the subway train pulled away from the last station before entering the tunnel no one paid attention that not one single person boarded the train.  At about halfway through the tunnel a loud explosion was heard above them that even got the attention of people who had earphones on with music nearly to the max.

Everyone began to look at each other, but no one said anything until the second noise was heard.  As the train began to speed up through the tunnel another explosion was heard that seemed louder than the first one.  The commuters on the train began to panic as they passed an underground station at a high rate of speed.  Just as they passed the station another explosion was heard and that caused the ceiling of the station they just past to completely collapse.  At least thirty people were on that platform waiting for the train to pick them up for work, but they never made it.  Suddenly the train switched on its emergency brake and sent everyone flying out of their seats.  Anyone that was standing during the train ride was flown through the air striking the poles that stand in the center of the train car.  The force of the braking was so intense that no one could get up or get their balance until the train came to a complete halt.  The lead subway car struck debris on the track and sent the eight car commuter train off the tracks and into the barrier that connected to the tunnel.  Everyone on board once again went in every direction inside the train as it derailed.

Minutes later after everything calmed down the lights went out and it was complete silence and darkness.  About five minutes passed before anyone said anything and that is when people started to help each other.  Majority of the commuters suffered injuries, but nothing was too serious at the moment or at least they thought.  Finally after everyone composed themselves they were able to get themselves out of the subway car and onto the tracks.  They all began to walk in pairs down the tracks towards the last train station they passed.  With only a few emergency lights on they were able to walk their way to the station, but to only find a huge wall of concrete and cement that totally blocked their path.  Knowing that they can’t proceed in that direction they made their way back to the train and saw that the path in front of the train was still clear.  As each one passed the front subway car they noticed and could see the lifeless body of the conductor sitting in the seat.  The static on the radio was loud, annoying, and echoed through the tunnel until one of the passengers turned it off.

One by one they ventured in front of the derailed subway cars down the tracks.  About halfway down the tunnel they could hear more explosions going on above them and high pitch screams echoing in the tunnel.  The fear of the situation froze everyone in the tracks and made everyone silent.  When nothing could be heard anymore they all proceeded forward with very high caution.  The closer they got to the next underground train station they saw a sight that they were not expecting.  Dead bodies strewed all over the platform and the train tracks they were on.  Some of the bodies they saw had skin melting off the bone as if they were grilled like some slab of ribs.  Others had clothes smoldering on their bodies and a few had limbs missing or detached from their core.  Up ahead they could see the rear lights of another train just several feet passed the station.  The body count at the station numbered in the high thirties, but the smell of burning flesh and the sight of the bodies were too much for some.

A few of the passengers began crying and acting hysterical while others vomited their morning breakfast all over the rails.  Two people of the group began making their way towards the stopped train while telling others to either stay put or head back.  As the two began to make their way closer to the train they saw two more bodies on the track that they had to maneuver around.  Once at the rear subway car they climbed up the steps to the rear door and attempted to open it up, but it wouldn’t budge.  Then they decided to go around on the side of the train and enter that way to see if any survivors could be found.  When they boarded the last subway car more dead bodies were found on the floor and in the seats.  At this point the fear of the unknown was just beginning to become overwhelming for the survivors.  They continued to make their way through the train car and entered the next one.  On this train car no bodies were found or even a trace of anyone that could have been there.  As they walked through the rest of the subway cars no more bodies were found except the train conductors.  She was laying face down into her panel board with her hat still barely hanging on her head.  Both of them then looked up through the front window and saw another large pile of concrete and cement blocking the path.

Finding that they couldn’t proceed down either side of the tracks they turned back to share the disturbing news to their fellow passengers.  When they arrived back at the station they got news themselves that attempting to go up the escalators and the steps to get out of the station was impossible.  All avenues of escape to leave the tunnel were blocked and that they are trapped.  Meanwhile as they all begin to panic once again more explosions could be heard above them echoing through tunnel.  With this particular explosion the cement-concrete ceiling that was above them started to crumble spiking the panic of all the passengers.  Some began to hold each other in fear of them being crushed to death like the people in the previous station.  Only a few pieces came down towards them, but no one was hit.  One passenger who suffered an injury during the train derailment began to suffer chest pains.  Another passenger saw him grab his chest and alerted to everyone that he was having a heart-attack.  Others attempted to save him by performing CPR when he passed out, but unfortunately he passed away joining the other decease.

With no water, no food, and no cell phone reception to call for help they are forced to rely on each other to get through this hellish experience.  The heat underground was only twenty degrees cooler than the surface above them, but no direct sunlight was their only saving grace.  The thought of knowing they could all die in an underground cave without anyone knowing was too much for some.  Suddenly as they all sat on the platform in silence one of the passengers heard a noise behind them.  She turned around to see one of the decease sit up and look directly at her with blood shot read eyes.  She froze in fear of what she was seeing and then saw another body rise up and also with bloodshot eyes.  She began to weep uncontrollably to where the guy next to her looked at her trying to console her.  When he couldn’t get her attention he turned around to see what she was looking at and he saw the same thing.  By this time three more bodies rose up looking at them with bloodshot red eyes.

He jumped off the platform grabbing her to hold her next to him.  The other passengers looked at them and were trying to figure out what was happening.  One of them turned around and saw the supposedly dead bodies rise back to their feet walking towards them.  They immediately began screaming and all ran back towards the train they were once on.  One of the passengers tripped over the metal beams on the tracks twisting her knee and ankle.  As another passenger attempted to help her out he found out it was too difficult to pull her.  She yelled at him to save himself and with several motions he took off running leaving her there.  As they all ran down the tunnel the woman’s screams could be heard echoing at a pierce sound that made everyone stop.  As they all stopped to look to see if they were being chased another group of the deceased popped up behind them.  One of the passengers turned around and screamed and when she did others began to run back in the same direction they just came from.  Within a few steps they saw the first group of the deceased coming towards them.  By this time they are trapped between the two deceased groups with nowhere to run.

Then within a matter of a few feet the two deceased groups stopped and just stared at them.  The passengers all huddled together terrified of what they were seeing and experiencing at this point.  They all kept looking back and forth between the two groups to see what will happen.  As quickly as the situation turned for the worse it got even more terrifying.  As the group of passengers stood huddled up between the two groups of deceased commuters, the emergency lights began to burn out above them.  One passenger looks up and saw the only light left in the tunnel flickering on and off.  Others look up and see the same thing and fear the worse might be upon them.  A few seconds later the emergency light went completely out and everyone stood in complete darkness.  One of the female passengers became completely hysterical and screamed “NOOOO!” at the top of her lungs before everything went completely silent again.



Filed under Horrors & Thrillers, SHORT STORIES

2 responses to ““Below the Surface”

  1. i’ve read this before, but still interesting.

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