A thunderous storm breaks outside the train as rain pummels it unforgivingly and the sound echoes throughout the coaches like a thousand bees hitting the windows at full speed.

“Welcome to ‘Speedy Trains’ this is your captain speaking, could all passengers heading for Portsmouth please move to the front four coaches as we will split from the other part of the train at crawley, could all passengers for Bognor Regis head to the back four coaches…thank you.”

The train moves along the rails steadily, Alistair walks down the different coaches until he gets to the front four, the train is unusually full of passengers, Alistair never did like much company, even from strangers.

The coach he has entered reeks, Alistair ‘s nose is by no means great but even he could easily smell the putrid stench flowing through the coach, the coach itself looked nice enough, speedy trains was a fairly new company so everything on the train was hi quality, comfy seats, clean windows and they even had automatic doors between coaches. Alistair scans the coach quickly for a spare seat and finds that the only one available is situated next to the window, opposite a Russian fellow wearing a ushanka who is quietly leaning on the well designed metal table whilst reading his newspaper, this man will probably cause him no harm, he probably doesn’t even speak English. Alistair walks quickly to his chosen seat, takes off his drenched trench coat, runs his hands through his un-kept long wet hair, throws his bag onto the secure silver shelf above his head and sits. As the Russian man realises he is now no longer alone, he retracts into his seat and continues reading. Alistair isn’t normally nosey, but on this occasion he was finding it difficult not to read the back of the man’s paper, not because he cared about the news, but to see if he was right about the foreigner. The man in question could at least read English as it was the same paper that Alistair read, “The Daily Rag”, either that or he just didn’t want to chance being disturbed. Alistair had to squint to make out most of the news on the back.


A Hope For H.I.V Patients

Scientist’s believe that they have discovered a way to prevent aids from occurring, they have found a way to block the enzyme that allows H.I.V to multiply and therefore slowing and hopefully stopping the transition into aids.

The Russian man felt as if he was being watched, slowly and carefully he peaked over his newspaper, Alistair was too quick for this old man though, he could see the paper slipping slowly below the Russian’s eye’s and looked towards the window as the Russian finished his slow process.

Alistair wanted to go back to reading the paper but thought it too risky just yet; instead he looked, just looked, the other passengers all had a guilty look on their face, as if they had all been watching him read the back of that man’s paper. What was the big deal? They can mind their own business as far as he’s concerned.

“Oi! Mate! Yeah you with the funny hair.”

Alistair turns round on his chair; between the gap of the two chairs there is now a boy of no more than 15 poking his shaven head through.

Alistair doesn’t like being mocked and immediately takes a disliking to this boy.

“What do you want?”

“Got some nice trainers ere for ya”

“I bought some yesterday, go bother someone else.”

The boy makes a horrible grimacing face at Alistair, but does as he is told and leaves him alone.

“Jesus Christ” Alistair mumbles to himself, “ everybody’s a crook”

Alistair relaxes back into his chair, puts both his arms up on the top part of the seat and looks up and sighs.

“What a waste of good money”

Not having noticed before Alistair takes in the unfortunate site of graffiti covering all of his immediate vision of the ceiling, again reading what this delinquent has to say for himself.

“Where are you going? With everything? Where is it taking you?”

This surprised Alistair, this wasn’t the normal territorial marking of some hoodlum, this person had something to say. With an extremely long journey ahead of him and hardly any sleep last night, Alistair began to fade, taking with him the thoughts of the graffiti. “Where are you going? With everything? Where is it taking you?”

And Alistair dreams…



A beautiful church looms and breaks into a perfect sky; a gold coffin is situated outside the church, a huge gravel path leads up to this magnificent building surrounded by wonderfully even cut grass. Strange chequered purple flowers grow in perfect symmetry all across the grounds of the church. A shadow of a man begins his long walk up the path and towards the church; his head down and his shoulders drooped. Shadows of friends and family slowly begin to appear in front of the church, they are crying.

The man stops, picks up a flower near the path and carries on walking…slower still. He looks up and sees another dark shadow just in front of the church doors, standing quietly behind the coffin. The man puts his head down, grips hard onto his flower, closes his eyes and continues walking. And all goes dark for now…

There is no longer a man walking down the path, the family are gathered around the coffin, they are no longer crying, but laughing, the manic laughs fill the entire grounds. The coffin opens and the man appears.

“Excuse me…I’m not dead”

“Give it time.”

“Why do my friends mock me so?”

“Give it time.”

“I can see you mum, why are you grinning so widely? You’re looking straight at me!”

The man however saw the error, they were not looking at him, they were looking straight through him, they could now see, and they know knew.

Alistair wakes from his sleep gasping for air, sweating from every pore on his face, he looks around frantically, slowly he begins to realise that he was dreaming and starts to breathe regularly.

“But why is nobody looking at me? nobody even seems to have noticed, they are all just sitting there… motionless. Something isn’t right, something has changed.”

“Snap out of it Alistair, get a grip of yourself man! It was just a dream, now everything’s…fine”

Alistair almost didn’t finish his own sentence as he begins to read the back of the Russian mans paper.

Don’t be so nosey Alistair, it’s really not your style.


Alistair can’t believe what he’s reading? The writing on the paper no longer in ink, ink doesn’t blotch and dry up like that, this is dried blood.


If Alistair’s chair wasn’t bolted down he would have fell off it backwards at what he saw next, there was no Russian man reading that paper, the plump finger’s of the Russian had been replaced with white chalk bone, skeletal fingers were gripping the paper tightly.

A cackle begins to erupt behind the paper, and slowly, creepily the skeleton hands begin to reveal the face behind it.

“Ha, ha, ha, what’s wrong Alistair?? Give you a bit of a fright? He, he, he, he, he,”

From behind the Daily Rag a gruesome skinless, muscle less, horror of bone and skull reveals itself, his eyes are but sockets, black and seemingly endless, his smile freakishly crippled and insane. A dark robe covers the whole of his Skeletal body except his abnormally long arms, a black hood conceals the back of his skull, what horrors lie there are unimaginable.

A pleasant woman’s voice starts to talk through the speakers.

“Could all passengers not wanting to travel to the fiery depths of hell please move to the back four coaches of the train as we are parting soon.”

“Hm, hm, hm, hm, guess where you’re going?”

Alistair wants desperately to comprehend what he is seeing and tries to get a hold of himself, he swallows hard and begins to realise that this dream isn’t quite over yet and refuses to let it get the better of him. Squeezing his eyes tightly Alistair starts to chant the words he used to say to himself when he was a kid.

“Come on Alistair wake up… wake up!”

“He, he, he, he…you can’t ‘wake up’ from reality Alistair.”

On this occasion the dream is too strong, Alistair cannot break free from this nightmare, but refuses to be intimidated, he looks at this ghoul straight in the eyes and sits coolly back into his chair.


“I would say I was surprised by this…reaction, or lack of, but I know you...”

Alistair cuts him short

“Is that right?”

“Yes Alistair! That is right…I can tell you exactly what you’re thinking”

“What am I thinking?”

The spectre sits back into his chair and laughs the kind of laugh you don’t open your mouth for.

“Hm, Hm, Hm, you think this is a dream.”

“I know it’s a dream, you think I’m stupid? The only reason you know what I’m thinking is because I’ve created you.”

“Don’t insult me! I’ll send you further into hell than Hitler went!”

Alistair sits forward and leans on the table, the spectre does the same, still very calm; he crosses his arms and looks into the dead eyes of the phantom.

“What’s you’re name?”

The ghoul sits back in what looks like surprise, he thinks for a minute and shrugs his shoulders. He enjoys the encounters he faces with these mortals; it amuses him to toy with them

“JAMES! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.”

The ghoul cackles at Alistair’s question with insanity and with that, Alistair relaxes back into his chair.

“James?.. Nice name”

“Hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, thank you!”

“Your pathetic, I have to say my imagination is lacking because you are…” Alistair sits for a moment and thinks about how to best sum up this joke encounter, the words come to him and he laughs to himself. “The least frightening dream I’ve ever had…ever.”

“You fool…” James shakes his head at Alistair’s stupidity “ Even by your own logic that makes no sense, if this was a dream your mind knows best what scares you! What kind of nightmare would this be?

“You tell me.”

Alistair and James stare each other out; nobody is paying any attention to what is going on, in fact, they can’t even see them. Without moving his eyes an inch away from Alistair, James slowly raises his bone hand and steadily clicks his fingers, and with that motion, time speeds up tremendously. The train turns darker, darker than before, it speeds through hundreds of tunnels, each one darker than the last, Alistair starts to realise that the train is now descending gently, what he is descending down he does not know.

“That should get us there faster.”

“I don’t believe in Hell.”

James’s mouth begins to widen into a freak smile, he realises he is slowly getting to Alistair, whether Alistair believes this is a dream or not, it’s obvious now that he is starting to crack.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“If I don’t believe in it, how can it exist?”

“If I stop believing you exist does that make it so?”

“No…I have things to do”

“ I know you do!”

“I don’t have time for this bullshit”

“TIME!! Hm, hm, hm…if only you knew one single thing about time, perhaps you could be saved.”


“Time Alistair, is a river of passing events, and powerful is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place.”

“And this too will be swept away?”

“Hm, hm, hm, not on your life!! Ha, ha, ha!”

Again James laughs manically at the simple-minded man in front of him.

Alistair starts to sweat, this is making him extremely nervous, but something hits him…the ceiling, Alistair looks up so quick as to almost break his own neck to reveal he was right! It is covered in blood, almost dripping, but Alistair doesn’t care about that, there’s no graffiti on the ceiling!

“If this is real… then where has the graffiti gone?”


“There was graffiti on the ceiling, now there isn’t! I am dreaming!”

“Oh that, I thought I’d put that there for you, I knew you’d like it! He, he, he!

“Hmm, clever but no, and I can prove it.”

Alistair frantically searches his pockets, they are deeper than before, he cant seem to find anything.

“Looking for something Alistair?

James reaches into his dark robes and pulls out Alistair’s pocket-knife, but instead of James’s normal manic laugh, this time he just stares, stares and smiles wildly at Alistair.

Alistair begins swinging punches insanely, his fist’s connecting hard onto his own face, but just as Alistair had predicted, it didn’t hurt a bit.

“You see? I didn’t feel anything!”

James laughs calmly at this rebuttal but there is a sudden change in the spectre’s attitude. The already sinister voice of James rapidly turns into a horridly high glass-breaking shriek as he bellows out in disgust at Alistair’s foolishness.



“Correct my ill fated friend. Now no more of this, I’ve had enough.”

James again slowly raises his steady bone fingers and clicks them three times in quick succession, the train is now moving faster than any human eye can register, the only thing Alistair can be sure of is that its getting dark, getting dark, darker, darker.


The train slows down tremendously, it is still beyond dark, a crack is heard in the blackness and James and Alistair’s face light up luminously, James pushes his twisted ugly skull towards Alistair’s face.

“What do you want…pig?”

“Give me a chance!”

“Ha! You don’t have a chance in hell! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!


“Find me Alistair”

“Find you?”

“Find me, and nothing more.”

For the last time James raises his bone hand and clicks his fingers and once again Alistair is spiralling endlessly towards the black abyss of hell.

The End

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