When Orally and Zander are trapped on a ghost train, it's down to them to find a way out. . .
Will they succeed?
Orally's head swam with thoughts that ducked, dived and eddied within her head. Her daydream was shattered by a male voice, "Ladies first," it stated, though a slight tremble had made an escape from his confident mask. Orally and her best friend Zander were in the queue for the ghost train. It was a starless night, yet the fairground lights acted as substitutes in the sooty sky. Though neither one of them would admit it, they were both terrified of ghost trains. Yet somehow they managed to smile, stop themselves from shaking and walk casually into the line.
"Hi Winston!" called Zander to a plump, elderly man who turned to see the two children, causing a broad smile to spread over his aged face.
"Hello Zander and Orally. Enjoying the fair? Oh, looks like it's boarding time.Have fun!" and with that the old man swirled round, opened the door to the control panel and flopped down heavily at his fully wired desk. Zander stepped onto the platform and followed the buzz of excitement onto the train and into his seat. Orally stiffly seated herself beside him, only to find the last passenger had spilt a can of drink. She could feel it soaking into her jeans, but didn't care a bit. The two of them fastened their seat-belts, lowered the safety bar and braced themselves for the dreaded journey that meandered and unfolded itself before them. It started with a jolt, sending everyones remaining nerves out of their mouths. Orally and Zander received a sickening wave of nausea and regret through their veins. It lingered in their hearts, making a grand exit via their brains. There it snagged on old memories, leaving shreds of it behind as memoirs. the train looped and dipped through what seemed to be ancient Egyptian pyramid chambers and haunted houses bursting to the seams with grotesque skeletons and blackened spider webs. Orally's long, silky red hair was whipped behind her whilst Zander's dark, messy locks were ruffled by the wind. Shrieks and squeals arose from the crowd and were tossed amongst the flailing arms of terrified passengers. Yet Orally and Zander remained silent as the stars. There was nothing to scream about, none of it was real. Fear, it dawned on them, was the only thing these people were afraid of. Yet fear itself is just a figment of the imagination.
Suddenly, the train stopped. Not gently, but with such force, it was as if the entire ride had had some sort of epiphany. A sudden realisation that, quite literally, stopped it dead in its tracks. They were trapped on a ghost train. It had taken a few silent moments to sink in. Those few moments, Zander decided, were the worst moments of his life so far. Orally stared in disbelief at her watch. It was way past closing hours. There was no point whatsoever in screaming for help. No-one would hear them. Whilst some sobbed, others remained as still as an antelope suddenly aware of a lion in its midst. The antelope was just as helpless as all the passengers put together. The only difference was, for the people on the train, it wasn't exactly a life and death situation. No-one knew how the train or why the train had so suddenly stopped. It was a mystery. Orally took her phone out of her pocket. "Fabulous!" she exclaimed sarcastically, "Its out of credit! But at least It'll produce some light to look by." Zander stood up.
"Has anybody got a mobile phone?" he asked. Everybody checked. There was now a hopeful atmosphere. Beams of light were thrown from wall to wall as phones were switched on, yet all there efforts had been in vain. There was no signal. None at all. Yet one spotlight reflected against something that seized Orally's attention. As if the lion had ignored the antelope and cut a rip, before being dragged away. Orally cautiously crept towards the crack and examined it, using her phone as a torch. "Everyone, shine the light over here!" she cried. There was something in her voice that made them all hopeful once more. "Gosh Orally, couldn't you have waited a tine bit longer!" giggled Zander, as he noticed the wet patch on her trousers. Orally rolled her eyes, pointed to her wet seat and then the abandoned can of coke on the floor. No more needed to be said about the matter as there, in the wall of the tunnel, was a gap. A gap just big enough for Orally and Zander to squeeze through.
People were milling around Orally as she explained her one step down from crazy plan. "That way," she concluded, "Zander and I will be able to find the source of the problem and get the train up and running.!" but then hastily added, "You'd better remain strapped in, so when it does start, you'll all be ready." They all agreed on it being risky, but it was the only way they would get out by morning, and so decided to let them go ahead and do it. Orally went through the tear with no issues whatsoever. But Zander was a different story. "Um, a little help please Orally?" he asked in embarrassment, as his cheeks flushed bright red.
"Congratulations, genius. Not only did you get stuck, but you managed to completely ignore me when I said to go sideways on, not straight through it!" was Orally's reply, before helping him out of his tight situation. Once they were out in the open, Zander heard a noise, "What was that?" he whispered in such an urgent tone, Orally couldn't help but feel scared.
"I don't know!" she said. They both stood and stared, becoming very stiff, like the antelope all over again. Only this antelope was aware of heavy breathing coming from the control room. The two of them crept silently towards the big red door, lifted the brass handle and observed it creak open. . .
Orally and Zander looked at the room, then at each other and exploded into laughter. Their monster was only Winston. A sleeping Winston to be precise. "To think we were scared! grinned Zander, once the laughter had ended.
"And look!" exclaimed Orally, "He must have fallen asleep with his head on the stop button!"
"That'll be why we stopped so suddenly." agreed Zander. Together, they scoured the place for the start button. Once spotted, Orally slammed it with such force, she was quite certain that she could see the ground vibrate as the train shuddered into action. They could hear the cries of passengers but this time, it wasn't caused by fear. No, it was caused from utter happiness that they were saved. With that, Winston awoke from his slumber. Orally explained as best as she could what had happened ovwer the last few hours. "I'm sorry." the old man said, "I think it's time this fair got itself a new late night ghost train controller." To prove his point, he gestured towards the dark semi-circles beneath his chestnut brown eyes. Once everyone was off, Winston unlocked the gates.
To make up for the commotion he'd caused, Winston gave everyone enough money for a bus home. The sky was lacking epically in the moonlight department, making it very hard for people to see where they were going. Yet somehow they all managed to find their own ways home. It was agreed that Orally and Zander were heroes.