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The Runaway

by IamPrismElite

The Runaway

Terry walked steadily onto the dimly lit platform, the crisp, evening wind made his black Volcom jumper ripple in the air. His head sulked down as he walked along the platform with his hands stuffed in his pockets. His dark duffel bag bounced on the side of his skinny body. He sat down on one of the benches and took off his hoodie. He brushed his medium, deep brown hair with his hands. His bright kiwi green eyes shone in the dark of the dusk and on them was a pair of black rectangular glasses. Only a few others accompanied him on the long concrete platform. Terry was not in a good mood. He had failed yet another test and he knew his parents didn’t take failing kindly. Tension was starting to build in his mind, he was supposed to be home more than an hour ago and it was already five thirty pm. He could imagine the look on his dad’s face when he will walk in through the front door, “What took you so long?” He would sneer “Don’t you care about your family?”. Terry winced at the thought of how much his parents would yell and scream at him when he would get home tonight. “Honk, Honk” the sound of the now arriving train shattered Terry’s thoughts, he got up out of his seat and walked towards the edge of the platform. The train slowly came to a stop and the doors slid open. Terry walked into the carriage and up the stairs to the next floor and sat down next to a graffiti covered window. “This train will be stopping at all stations to Piccaniny” the animated voice said. Terry groaned, it was going to take forever to get home. 

Terry looked out of the big window into the stormy darkness as the train rattled along the tracks with the occasional screeching of brakes on the rusty tracks. He was now more than two hours late than the time his farther had told him to be home. He sighed as a thought popped into his head. Maybe he could run away from home and start a new life somewhere else. His parents wouldn’t care they would be too busy getting drunk, buying expensive things and looking after his spoilt older sister Lily. He could get move to Australia and live with one of the nice and kind families there. Terry was certain about this idea, when he gets to the train station he would get a taxi to the airport. He would pay with his life savings that he earned from years of working at the old car wash. Terry was very pleased with his idea. “The next stop is King Road, stop here for trains to City, Charleville and Dafton”, this was his stop but instead of going home he would be catching a train into the city to get to the airport. Terry went down the stairs to the door and waited for the train to stop. The brakes screeched as the train rolled into the platform. The doors sprung open and the freezing wind whipped into Terrys face. He walked out onto the platform with other passengers but instead of heading towards the exit he started off down the platform towards the bridge to the other platforms. As he began walking across the bridge he looked at his watch, it read 8:15. Now he was definitely late. 

He stood on the busy platform as the Amtrak train rolled in its horn honking and its bright lights shining onto the tracks ahead. It slowed down and came to a stop and its doors sprung open. Butterflies filled Terry’s stomach as he hopped into the brightly lit carriage. He walked up to the second floor and sits down. His mind started to object the plan as the door hiss close. Terry suddenly realised he had made a terrible mistake. Tears start to swell in his eyes as the train pulls out of the station. Then again another thought pops into his head. He’ll just get off at the next station and catch a train back. He felt satisfied with this idea. He waited a few minutes for the next station as the train rattled along the tracks. “Now arriving at Vinaden” the animated voice said over the loudspeaker. Terry got up and went towards the doors and waited. The train rounded a sharp bend as the brakes screeched. The train stated to slow and the lit up platform came into view. Terry breathed a sigh of relief but suddenly BANG!

Terry was knocked over onto the cold floor. He got back up onto his feet and looked through the window. Something was very wrong! The station was now out of view and the train was picking up speed at an extreme rate. Bright yellow sparks were now flying past the window and the train was shaking violently. All around Terry passengers faces lit up with surprise and fear, the carriage was very silent and the only sound was the rattling of the train and the engine. “The breaks have failed” someone yells in fear. Terry was frozen with fright, what was going to happen, will the train stop or will they crash? The thoughts made Terry even more frightened. He had to do something to help everyone. He had read heaps of books about people that landed crippled planes and stopped runaway trains so how hard could it actually be? Terry walked down the aisle and through the other carriages towards the front of the train. As he reached the carriage behind the engine, he saw some other people at the end door shoving jagged and rusty pieces of metal into one side as if the door was jammed. Terry walked towards the men

what are you doing” he asked them.

Go back kid were trying to open this door but its jammed shut” a man in a dark business suit replied.

Suddenly “SCREEEECH!” one of the men managed to open a side of the door with a rusty crowbar.

It’s no use” another man replied “no one’s going to be able to fit through that”

I would be able to” terry pipes up. The men turn to him and stare for a moment.

Hey, I think he would be able to fit” the man in the suit said.

No way” a women standing up said

You’re not letting a child go through there, he could get himself killed”.

Do you have a better idea” someone else exclaimed. The carriage erupts with protests and screaming, amidst it Terry sneaked towards the door where the men were standing. One of them was still holding the slot open using all his strength. “I can’t hold it much longer” he strained.

Let me go through” Terry stated

are you sure kid” the man in the suit asked. Terry silently nods and climbs through the slot and into the cold stormy night.

Freezing wind smacked against Terrys face as he looked at the engine in front of him. To get to it he would have to jump over the couples and land in the engines doorway. He looked down at the tracks whizzing past, one wrong move and he would be shoved under the speeding train. He took a deep breath and launched himself into the air with all his might. He felt as if he was in slow motion as he flew through the air. He landed on the doorway with a CRASH! He quickly grabbed hold of the open door and went inside. He closed the door behind him and looked around. He was standing at one end of a dark hallway, there was a light at one end of it coming from the cab of the train. Terry slowly walked towards the cab not knowing what to expect. He crept into the room and gasped. The small cab of the train was empty, there was no driver and sparks were fizzing out of the destroyed control panel. Terry walked towards it, someone had tried to destroy the brakes. Terry yanked the brake handle to see if it would do anything. “SCREEECH” Terry was knocked back again by the failing brakes. “It’s no use” he murmured starting to lose hope. Then he remembered what he had learned about trains in his mechanic’s class at school, all trains have back up brakes situated on each carriage. It was going be dangerous but he had to help these people.

Terry climbed a ladder on the side of the engine and onto the slippery roof. He started to run along the top of the train stopping at each carriage to put the brakes on. It was slowly working; he could feel the train slowing down. Once it was all done he ran back to the cab. As he walked through the door he collapsed with fear and exhaustion of what he had just done. He slowly got back onto his feet and walked towards the front of the train and again he gasped. A light in the distance was showing that the train was about the come into the busy main station. The train was slowing down but not quick enough, Terry yanked the brake to try to slow it down but it only made things worse. Something made Terry freeze still with shock and surprise. Sitting on the same track and waiting at the platform was another train. Terry could see a boy looking out the window of the train at Terry. Terry tried to get someone’s attention but the boy could not see him, so he did the only thing he could to get the boys attention. He pulled the horn as hard as he could. “HONK HONK” the people on the other train and platform froze staring at the speeding train coming closer. Suddenly the passenger started running towards the exits, Terry could see the boy on the train yelling at people to get off the waiting train. Terry got down under the controls and held on as hard as he could and braced for the impact. “SMASH” the train was flung into the air and onto the platform. Spark and fire flew everywhere as the engine and other carriages skidded along the platform. The only thing terry could hear were sounds off destruction. The engine suddenly screeched to a halt and after a moment everything was quiet.

Terry climbed out of the broken window of the now burning engine. Soot and bruises dotted his once clean face. The whole platform was in ruins, the trains were ripped and shredded, everything was on fire and luggage and pieces of clothing littered the floor. Terry limped towards the nearest exit. As he got into the busy terminal it was chaos, people were running and screaming, they were small fires burning and emergency sirens screech in the distance. Terry walked towards the exit but suddenly collapsed onto the cold tiled floor of the terminal. A bright light filed his vision then he blacked out. He went in and out of consciousness, he saw a man in a white uniform pick him up and put him in a vehicle, he was being pushed in a bed down a white lit hallway with people in masks holding a weird mask over his mouth. He was in a room with bright lights and people holding weird objects, he then fell asleep again.

Terry, Terry wake up please, please terry” Terrys eyes flung open, he was in a small hospital room with a window overlooking the city. His mother, father and sister were there, his mum who was in tears embraced him into a tight hug.

Are you okay terry” his father asked

Yes Dad” Terry murmured

Oh my son” his Dad pulled him into a tight hug as well. Terry looked over his parent’s shoulders, his older sister Lily was standing there with a blank expression on her face. Terry smiled at her and she smiled back. She suddenly pushes her father out the way and hugged terry. ‘What were you doing at the wrong train son?” his father said. Terry suddenly was filled with Guilt.

I tried to run away” terry blurted out. His father’s face was filled with concern. “Why” he asked. Terry shrugged.

just so you know Terry” his father started “no matter what you ever think or do or what you think about us and what you think we think about you; just know we always love you no matter what” Terry realised his family never hated or not cared for him, it was just his horrible and fake thinking. He felt very guilty and stupid. What was with him, he was going to run away from his kind and caring family and try and start a new life. His parents would only get angry at him because they were worried about him. Terry nearly fainted with grief “I am so sorry, I should have never have tried to run away, I was just stupid”

Honey you’re not stupid” his Mum said in a serious tone “don’t you ever think that, you’re our amazing and kind hearted son”.

I love you Mum” terry replied

And Just so you know Terry” Lily said “the news reporters and the mayor want to talked to you about how you to saved the train”.

I didn’t save anyone” he replied

But didn’t you hear, the news said that surprisingly no one was killed, there was only a few injuries” said Lily. Terry suddenly realised something he didn’t notice before. Who had broken the controls and brakes of the train and what happened to the driver. Did someone want the train to crash, was it a terrorist attack? What would have happened if he never got on the train? He was suddenly hit by dizziness from his confused and full mind. At least no one was killed in the whole ordeal, but how that would have to be impossible the crash was massive. Terry looked at the worried faces of his loving family and all his worries and thoughts were blown away. He suddenly felt proud of himself that he had done what he never imagined he could do; he had saved heaps of lives. He grabbed his family and pulled them all into a massive hug and decided to forget what had all happened and enjoy the time with his family, but only for now… The End

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User avatar
18 Reviews

Points: 607
Reviews: 18

Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:05 am
carlak2003 wrote a review...

This story relates to me.
I sometimes feel like running away from home as well, getting on a train and going somewhere I don't know.
The amount of times in which I walk out of my house and don't come home until late and my mum frets about it. She knows where I go because she know everyone in my village.
It is so realistic and heart-warming.
A few little questions
Is Terry unwell or just depressed.
Is this a true story or is it a made up one.

User avatar
55 Reviews

Points: 29
Reviews: 55

Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:12 am
SofieR wrote a review...

Hey there, Sofie here with a review!

You've got the makings of a nice piece here. I really the structure of the plot and all the twist and turns you wove in. I would be careful with the open ending, though. I feel like unless you were planning on a sequel, then it's better to just wrap everything up in a neat bow rather than pose questions that are never going to be answered. That's just my opinion, though, and if you were planning on a sequel then just ignore that whole sentence (lol).

I think first order of business is to just go through and do and do a basic edit. What jumps out at me immediately are the punctuation errors. Specifically, a lot of the dialogue is missing punctuation entirely. It looks like it could just be a word-processing error, but if it's not I'd recommend going online and finding some resources that can help with the different punctuation rules. Don't feel bad for using those, even the greatest writers need reminders on the basics every now and then. Another reminder;make sure there's a paragraph break after every line of dialogue.

So, for example;

“I tried to run away” terry blurted out. His father’s face was filled with concern. “Why” he asked. Terry shrugged.

A line like this one is much more clearer with the spaces if the right spots.

I tried to run away," Terry blurted out.
His father's face was filled with concern. "Why?" he asked.
Terry shrugged.

Secondly, be careful not to stray from the past tense. You've got a couple spots in there where you switch tenses. I do that all the time. I wish I had a little trick that helps, honestly you just have to be conscious of it while you're writing.

The last note I would give is to work on finding a rhythm. I would agree the comment below that says some of the sentences sounded "choppy". You find a rhythm by reading your work out loud, or even better, by having someone you're comfortable with read it out lout to you. In face, Microsoft Word has a "Read out loud" feature where a computerized voice can read your story to you. I use it all the time and simply cannot recommend it enough.

All in all, you've got a good story here. The plot is nicely woven. All the editing that needs to happen is mostly in the grammar and punctuation department, and that's the easy stuff. Go back, do a very careful re-read and a very careful edit. I'm sure you can get this pretty close to perfect.

Keep writing! Excited to read more of your stuff :)

- Sofie

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57 Reviews

Points: 548
Reviews: 57

Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:25 am
1nspire wrote a review...

That was a really cool story. I like the plot twist in the middle, and the way that it all seems to have happened for reason (Terry thinking about running away being the only reason that he is on the train in the first place.) I also though it was cool that the story didn't fully resolve at the end and kept the reader wondering who was behind the events on the train, this is the perfect way to set up a sequel or continuation if you were planning on writing one.

Now onto the review. My main advice for this piece would just be to change up the sentence structure a little. It seemed to me like a lot of the sentences, especially at the beginning had very similar wording and structure which made it drag a little. This is a really easy thing to change, just by rewording a little.

I would also suggest going through and editing a little more, because there were a lot of grammar mistakes; most notably, most of the dialogue, especially questions did not have any punctuation. Also, make sure you capitalize the beginnings of sentences, even when characters are talking.

Lastly, make sure you know what tense you're writing in. Throughout most of the piece, everything was in past tense, but in a few sentences, you switched to present tense. I had to re-read many sentences to understand what you were saying when this happened.

I really hope my review was helpful! This is a great short story, and I hope you'll continue to add to it; I really want to know who is responsible for cutting the brakes!!!

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Points: 236
Reviews: 1

Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:44 pm
voyager says...

Hey really nice storry? Are you a long time writer or did you just start writing?
I want to say few thing that could really help you!
Take words as (not cared) etc. and put them in other way for example careless or something more beautiful.
I would really like to see future from this story, maybe for example cut the part of hospital out and continue it in another way!
Although story is quite good, you could leave it that way without any problem!

User avatar

Points: 236
Reviews: 1

Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:43 pm
voyager wrote a review...

Hey really nice storry? Are you a long time writer or did you just start writing?
I want to say few thing that could really help you!
Take words as (not cared) etc. and put them in other way for example careless or something more beautiful.
I would really like to see future from this story, maybe for example cut the part of hospital out and continue it in another way!
Although story is quite good, you could leave it that way without any problem!

User avatar
8 Reviews

Points: 407
Reviews: 8

Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:03 pm
Psychotic wrote a review...

I actually really liked this story! It has an interesting plot and I didn't get bored at all! Your style of writing has a sort of poetic ring to it. Maybe it's just me, but it had a nice atmosphere.

If I was to point out anything, it would be your grammar. And typos. There were a few typos in there. Also, I believe that you need to work on building tension. During the climax of your story, I didn't feel as tense as I think I should have. A few more descriptive words might help. I could understand the gist of what was going on, but I couldn't quite picture it. I also have to mention how you repeated platform several times so close together. Whenever I have trouble thinking of a different word, I go to That website has helped me improve my writing a ton, so go check it out if you ever find you need it. I think a few metaphors also could have fit well with this story and given readers a better idea of what's really going on. I think a bit of background on Terry might help too. Like how he knew where the brakes were and how to enable them. Or how he was able to pull himself up onto the top of the train. Maybe those parts are actually normal. I could never get across the jungle gym when I was a kid. I just didn't have that kind of upper arm strength. So basically what I'm saying is was his dad a total train fanatic and just picked that information up, or does he just magically know? Does he work out? If so, what's his motivation? If not, then how did he develop that kind of strength? Of course questions at the end of a short story are always good, and I know that I'm practically telling you to write a book about this, but I think you could've given me more as a reader.

Overall, this was a great story, but it definitely could have been better. Anyway, I wish you luck in your future, and I hope you stick with writing rather than letting a few reviews get you down. You could become a great author one day. If you just put in the time and effort needed to reach that destination.

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Points: 186
Reviews: 2

Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:23 pm
xazraelx wrote a review...

Hi! Loved the plot and the ending, I realize that it's a short story but I wish that you continued it, the suspense of who tampered with the brakes is going to kill me. The protagonist of the story is actually really relatable and I kind of liked him!

Having said that let's get on with the review! Although a good plot with nice characters, a story also needs a strong handle over language and grammar; there were a LOT of grammatical errors in the story, which make reading it quite hard.

Let's start with the first paragraph-

"His head sulked down as he walked along the platform with his hands stuffed in his pockets. His dark duffel bag bounced on the side of his skinny body. He sat down on one of the benches and took off his hoodie. He brushed his medium, deep brown hair with his hands. His bright kiwi green eyes shone in the dark of the dusk and on them was a pair of black rectangular glasses."

The sentences are too short and choppy, so the flow of the story is broken in the first paragraph, instead of stating what's happening as separate facts, try to compound the sentences together so the flow is better. Something like this :

"He walked along the platform, his head sulked down and his hands stuffed in his pockets, a dark duffel bag bouncing on the side of his skinny body. He sat down on one of the benches and took his hoodie off, brushing his medium (length?), deep brown hair with his hands. Black rectangular glasses sat in front of his bright kiwi green eyes that shine in the dark of the dusk."

There should be a break in the paragraph after any and every dialogue, so after Terry wondering what his dad would say, you should start the next line in a new paragraph. The same after the announcement :)

The second paragraph was written well, but please start a new paragraph when you start a new line of thought, so the story is better organised!

The Third paragraph-

"Amtrak train rolled in, its horn honking " ...coma

"...down and came to a stop and its doors sprung open"
Rather than using "and" twice, which breaks the flow, you can just write:
"...down and came to a stop, it's doors springing open"

"and sits down." "sat" should be used since the story is in third person past tense.

"His mind started to object TO the plan as the door HISSED close."

" Tears start to swell in his eyes as the train PULLED out of the station."

"Then again another thought POPPED into his head."

"He COULD just get off at the next station and catch a train back."

"Terry breathed a sigh of relief but THEN suddenly, BANG!"

Most of the fourth paragraph is actually written well, there was only one error:

" “The breaks have failed” someone YELLED in fear."

Always start every conversation with a capital letter :D
“What are you doing” he asked them.

"“Go back kid we're trying to open this door but its jammed shut.” a man in a dark business suit replied. " ....apostrophe in we're and a period at the end of the dialogue.

"Suddenly “SCREEEECH!” one of..." I would recommend italicizing the sound rather than writing it like a dialogue :D

"“I would be able to” Terry PIPED up. The men TURNED to him and STARED for a moment."

"“No way” a WOMAN said, standing up."

"“Do you have a better idea?” someone else exclaimed." - question mark

"The carriage ERUPTED with protests...."

"“Are you sure kid?” the man in the suit asked. Terry silently NODDED and CLIMBED through the..."

The next paragraph was written really well, so no reviews for that one!

"He RAN along the top of the..."

"The train was slowing down but not quick enough, Terry yanked the brake to try to slow it down but it only made things worse." - I would recommend elaborating on how it made things worse.

" Terry's eyes FLEW open..." - flung is grammatically incorrect.

Almost everything after this was written well, although the dialogue needs some correction, I'm sure you'll see to that.

Almost every mistake you made in this story was of someone who is still new to writing, to improve your writing skills, I would recommend a LOT of practice and READING, since reading well written books gives you a nice framework to write with and you also discover new writing styles! :D
My last piece of advice for you would be to ALWAYS PROOFREAD before posting a story, proofread and edit, rewrite if you want, it actually really helps :D

Anyways, that's all for now, hope to see more stories from you <3

Just think happy thoughts and you'll fly.
— Peter Pan