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16+ Mature Content

The Train to Heaven

by ShallowHouse


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

     "Hello? Is anyone there?"

     Everything was dark. I talked to the abyss until my throat went sore and only the echoes of my voice replied to me. When I started walking, the wailing of a baby reached my ears and I searched for the source. At the end, there was a white door that stood but had no walls. It permeated a hint of lavender and milk. I turned the doorknob and found a woman cradling a baby on a train. Her eyes were dark and her skin was like copper. She bore a smile that emitted a certain warmth that only a fellow mother would know. My gaze went down from her face and onto her child who was softly asleep.

     I stepped inside and she looked at me. Surprised, I tried to go back but the door was no longer there.

     "Hello." Her tone was polite and welcoming. "You're on your way there too?"

     I was still stunned so I didn't turn to face her. The train was moving and I could see hills and the bright sky outside, even the overhead poles that passed by.

     "On my way where?" I was still enamored that I leaned on the doors to see a wider view.

     "To Heaven."

     "Heaven?"

     I snapped out of my trance, confused by what the mother said. The train was entering a tunnel when I turned around to face her. When I did, I found the train filled with passengers. The mother and her child sat where I saw them but the mother's eyes were swollen and red and tired. Her face had dirt and ash and her clothes were tattered. Her smile was gone, now replaced by a dry, chapped frown. The child was not moving and looked thin and malnourished.

     "Oh god…" I walked towards her and knelt in front of her. "Is your baby okay?"

     She didn't respond. She only kept cradling and paid no attention to me. Maybe she was just distressed so I put my hand on her shoulder.

     "Ma'am, are you-" I stopped speaking as soon as I noticed my hand passing through her like mist. "What in the world?"

     I looked at my hand and flicked it.

     "Ow!" It hurt, so it must not have been me.

     I turned around and looked at the people. I only noticed now that everyone else were shadow people- mere silhouettes that were of no importance whatsoever. That is, until I was pushed to the side by two boys. They were teens, probably about sixteen and wore clothes that I could only dream of wearing. The both of them stood in front of the crying mother with their backs turned to her.

     "This car is so noisy. Why don't we move to some other place?"

     "Nah, the other places are too crowded."

     "This place stinks though."

     "Yeah, I think it's coming from behind us."

     They took a peek at the mother.

     "Well ain't that a bunch of bones in her arms?" One of the boys' voices went louder.

     "Keep your mouth shut. We ain't here to cause no trouble." the other boy turned around and took out a bunch of cash. "We're sorry for the trouble, ma'am. Here. Something to get your kid some food."

     She didn't respond. The same as what happened to me yet the boy didn't let up. He slid the money into her hand and left with the other boy.

     "Seems like there are still some good samaritans, huh?"

     After a minute, the train shook and everyone, the mother, the child and even the silhouettes, all of them were thrown off their seats and off the floor. The lights went out and everything was in utter chaos. People screamed for only a second until everything ended with the car upturned. Some people survived but the mother and her child did not. I watched her as she hit her head on a bent pole with an extremely sharp corner and pierced her skull and brain. She landed on top of her child and the child was squished under the weight of the mother. Their lives and the lives of many others, were snuffed out by a broken rail.

     "I'm not happy with how it ended." I turned around and saw the mother, now back to how I saw her initially. "But I am happy with what we had."

     Her child was no longer in her arms, rather, holding her hand. He looked just like his mother and his smile was just as heartwarming.

     "Are we in Heaven?"

     I looked around and saw a city filled with people, clean streets and clean air, everyone was going about their own business with a smile on their faces.

     "Well yes." She looked at her son. "And no." She looked at me. "To me, it's the end. His end. Our end. And our new beginning. To you, it will be just a dream. A just dream. A dream that you will forget when you open your eyes to the warm caress of the sun."

     "So I'm dreaming?"

     As soon as I asked her that, my eyes opened as my ears welcomed the chirping of birds. I tried to recall my dream that gave me so much sorrow, so much… loss, but only ended up with nothing. 

Maybe it was all just a dream.


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Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:17 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello, RandomTalks here for a short review!

This is such an interesting story. The title gave me an idea of what the story might be about, so I had all these thoughts in my head when I first started reading this story. Except, I forgot all that before I even reached the end of the first paragraph.

' "Hello? Is anyone there?"

Everything was dark. I talked to the abyss until my throat went sore and only the echoes of my voice replied to me. When I started walking, the wailing of a baby reached my ears and I searched for the source. At the end, there was a white door that stood but had no walls. It permeated a hint of lavender and milk. I turned the doorknob and found a woman cradling a baby on a train. Her eyes were dark and her skin was like copper. She bore a smile that emitted a certain warmth that only a fellow mother would know. My gaze went down from her face and onto her child who was softly asleep.'

This was a killer beginning. It pulled me into the story and made me go on until the end. Your descriptions are so simple, yet you create the scenes and the emotions so concisely. There's a different kind of allure to your words.

I loved the way the character was so clueless about everything that was happening. We got to discover and experience it with her. I did not understand the bit with the teenage boys and the cash, but maybe that's just on me. Everything else, was just perfect. The environment you created with your words, the feeling of hopelessness and all that confusion - it was to the point.

The only nitpick I have here is,

' "On my way where?" I was still enamored that I leaned on the doors to see a wider view.'

Here, the word 'still' and 'that' does not really work in succession. Maybe you could change it to, "I was so enamored that I leaned on the doors to see a wider view."

This was a really great story, I just wish it didn't have to be a dream. You created this entire scene, the characters and their feelings; and to know that none of it was real was a disappointment. Otherwise, this was awesome!

Keep writing!




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Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:58 am
TheBlessedCat wrote a review...



Hey Shall, it's been a while since I've read your work. It's always something, isn't it? I sure loved it. It was pleasant.

Everything you've written, every word you've used. It's just all so simple, but the way you've built it, it feels so animating and special. Especially the first part of this, you know?

"Hello? Is anyone there?"

Everything was dark. I talked to the abyss until my throat went sore and only the echoes of my voice replied to me. When I started walking, the wailing of a baby reached my ears and I searched for the source. At the end, there was a white door that stood but had no walls. It permeated a hint of lavender and milk. I turned the doorknob and found a woman cradling a baby on a train. Her eyes were dark and her skin was like copper. She bore a smile that emitted a certain warmth that only a fellow mother would know. My gaze went down from her face and onto her child who was softly asleep.



This part itself is just so rich in description with the fewest of words. It's because of this that in spite of being a short story, it took quite a while to actually read it. I think it's like @Traves said. The descriptions are exactly what made me slow down. I had to stop to live that description, and it's just so vivid and dark in there at the same time. I think the "dark" is because of the way the story started, and that's another great thing about this story. I felt that the entire tone of the story was influenced by the way it started - which was;

"Hello? Is anyone there?"

Everything was dark. I talked to the abyss until my throat went sore and only the echoes of my voice replied to me.


There's this constant darkness in the background of all the pleasant. I think the way I see it, it was just the end that just gave me this pleasant kind of satisfaction, but the story itself was in a way that I was vague about what I felt. It's strange. The strangest of all was the woman - the mother. She was the heart of the vaguity in the air. Reading it felt like a dream. You live it, but when you're done with it, it all appears to be that thing in the back of your head that you just can't remember. It's similar to some parts in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Magic writing, is it called? I can't remember.

This was a pleasant read Shall. I hope to read more soon.

Keep writing.

Yours sincerely,
Myth




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Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:22 am
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legolas1122 says...



hi it's legolas

and wow no mistakes and it was pretty nice !really and i enjoyed the story i like short story's and it was nice i liked how you wrote it and no mistakes !




ShallowHouse says...


Hi, legolas!

I'm happy to know that you like my short story! ouo <3 <3 <3



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Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:57 pm
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LewisPencastle2 wrote a review...



Hi, first and foremost I want to say that above all I enjoyed the story. In almost every aspect from setting to character it was interesting and thought-provoking, and (at least for me) leaves the reader thinking about some of what was left unanswered. I also have some comments and critiques on certain parts that you can take if you want.

"I was still stunned so I didn't turn to face her." The sentences leading up to this imply that she was already facing or looking at the mother, and didn't seem to add up in my opinion.

"[...] But the mother's eyes were swollen and red and tired." The use of and twice makes the end of this phrase a bit choppy, I'd recommend a comma or "swollen red."

That's it really, nothing with the actual story or anything, just things to do with wording and such. Otherwise it was a good read and thanks for writing it.




ShallowHouse says...


I'm glad you enjoyed the story!
In all honesty, I based it off of a similar dream and upon waking up, it left me with questions that I, unfortunately, will never know the answer to!
And yes, I will gladly take the critiques to heart as they are always welcome~!
Thank you so much for the review!



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Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:06 pm
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Starve wrote a review...



Hi ShallowHouse ! Traves here for a quick review.

Straight of the bat, the descriptions made me slow down a bit and construct the scene in my head as it changed. If they were tacky or poorly designed that would be bad, but I think the ones you used are the strongest parts of this work, and I enjoyed them. There was a surreal, psychedelic feel to it, especially in the beginning. It later became, more dream-like.

You seem proficient at pacing too, and how punctuation, paragraph size and dialogue modify it.Talking of the dialogue and the plot till before the end, they are all pretty much consistent and prop each other up, so no issues on that part at all. It meshed together really well as one scene melted into another yet I had a clear image as to what was happening and who was where, without much direct telling involved.

I do think that the ending "it was all a dream" was a cliched deus ex machina. You set everything up, made me intrigued about the MC and worried about the mother and her child, and then, it felt like it was all for nothing. Why did you not build upon a plot and go the conflict/resolution way? I was hoping for more meaning to be read into the sudden destruction and revival of the mother-child pair's vitality, but for now what I gathered was that they were approaching the ghastly end of this re-enactment. Probably more from the boys too, given their uncharacteristic good nature.

To me, this feels like the beginning of story, the set-up for the grand reveal. It was intriguing and had me hooked, I read straight to the end. The end left me wanting more though.

Keep writing and sharing!




ShallowHouse says...


Thank you for the review!
I am very sorry for the lack of resolution! I really didn't know what I wrote until I published it! ;w;
But yes, I agree that it felt like a prologue to something. Which I might do (No promises though, I'm really bad at keeping promises!)
But really, thank you so much for the review! <3 <3 <3



Starve says...


@ShallowHouse Haha no need to apologize for sharing your work! And no worries about posting the next draft of this, but do tag me if you do.



ShallowHouse says...


I'll definitely do that! >:3




For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
— Audrey Hepburn