McQueen's Train Station was packed early Sunday morning. People were busy shuffling around to get to their train's on time and reach their destinations. People seemed awake and much more productive. I, on the other hand, had my head in my hands as I sat on one of benches, snoring away peacefully with my carrier bag at my side.
I nearly jumped out my skin when my best friend yelled my name into my ear, shrieking loudly as I managed to fall sideways onto the bench, catching the attention of a few bystanders.
"God, Emery be a little louder why don't you?" I snapped, rubbing my eyes and sitting back properly. I couldn't help the yawn that escaped my lips as I tried to go back to sleep.
"You can't go to sleep now, we might miss our train!" Emery said, stepping in front of me.
I looked up at her. "Our train leaves at ten o'clock. We've got time."
Emery checked her watch. "It's nine-fifty two," she informed me.
I groaned. "Well why didn't you say so earlier?"
"I did!" She crossed her arms. "You kept falling asleep!"
Stretching my arms, I stood up from the bench and grabbed my carrier bag. "I'm sorry, I'm just really tired. We better get going, yeah?"
She nodded, putting her handbag over her shoulder and grabbing her own carrier. "You've got your tickets right?"
I nodded. "In my bag."
She smiled, before looping her arm through mine. "Well then let's go and catch our train."
It all still felt surreal to me as Emery and I walked down the platform in search of our train. We had been planning a trip across Canada for months, and now during our junior year summer vacation we were finally going to accomplish it. My parents weren't reluctant at first, but after a few months of begging and earning a little money of my own, they finally got me a train ticket and allowed me to go.
Originally, Emery had planned this trip months before. She had a huge passion for travelling, and at some point managed to drag me along with her. Her parents were more reluctant than mine, so she was always ready for this. Me, on the other hand, felt like I was still in dream land.
Our first plan was to get off at Toronto, the capital of the province. From there we would head off to Montreal, and then Quebec City. After that we would head over to the Maritime Islands, before finally taking a cross country train ride all the way to Vancouver before coming back. It was a few weeks worth of a trip, but it was all done and paid for. We were ready, and although I was sleep deprived and tired, I was excited.
Emery managed to locate our train without a problem. We stopped at our train compartment first and dropped off our all our luggage, before going over to the actual seating area of the train where everybody was. It was a pretty big train, and there was a lot of people already on it.
"Isn't this exciting?" Emery asked as we took our seats.
I nodded, sharing her excitement as all sleep suddenly left me. "I can't wait to get to Toronto. I want to see the C.N. Tower, see Ripley's Aquarium, visit the Toronto Islands-"
"We'll get through all of that, don't worry!" Emery laughed. "We've got two days to spend there and we are not going to waste them!"
"I still can't believe we're doing this," I said, shaking my head. "This is beyond what I ever thought could happen. I didn't even think my parents would let me go if it wasn't for you!"
"Aren't you glad I'm your best friend?" she asked, giving me a grin.
I laughed. "Sure."
"Henley don't be mean to me!" She pouted, leaning back in her seat across from mine.
I rolled my eyes and began looking around at all of the other people on the train. There were a few families, some seniors, but mostly adults looking like they were going on a business trip. I was so glad that I had no work to worry about, I mean it was summer vacation! School went out three days ago, and I was free!
Looking around with a smile on my face, my eyes suddenly stopped at a man sit right behind the seat I was sitting in. And he wasn't just some ordinary man, he was pretty large. All evidence of excitement left my face.
Emery raised her eyebrows when I turned back to her, obviously trying to contain her laughter from the look on my face. There was a thing between me and large people- I was horrified of them. And I know it sounds crazy, but when I was young, a lady sat on me when I was eating ice cream on a park bench.
Needless to say I was deprived of oxygen for a good minute or two before she realized the squirming child underneath. It was a pretty scarring experience, and ever since then I've had a phobia of big people.
"Don't look now," Emery said, leaning in close so her voice was almost a whisper. "But I think he's secretly plotting ways to kill you."
I glared at her. "Shut up."
My friend laughed at me and I glanced back at the man, who was staring intently at a magazine and didn't seem the least bit fazed by all the noise of people getting on the train. I let out a breath and relaxed back in my seat.
"I think we're good," I told her in all seriousness.
Emery shook her head at me before standing up from her spot. "I'm going to grab something to eat from that lady over there," She nodded towards a lady pushing a cart full of sweets in the other aisle. "Want anything?"
I shook my head. "I'll just steal some of whatever you're buying."
"I'm buying a Twinkie," she said, raising an eyebrow. "You hate those."
I rolled my eyes. "Fine. Get me some Kit Kat then?"
She shook her head. "You owe me a buck," Emery said as she began making her way to the lady in the other aisle.
"Like you need it rich girl!" I called after her sarcastically, a grin on my face.
Emery came from a pretty rich family, which is probably why this trip even happened. Her parents mostly paid for everything, which I was really thankful for. I didn't think losing a dollar would make an impact on the thousands of dollars her family has and earns.
A few minutes later she returned with my treat, which I immediately thanked her for.
"How's the Twinkie?" I asked, nodding towards her candy.
She smiled. "As amazing as always."
She took a huge bite and some cream came out of it, getting on her nose. She gingerly wiped it off and I couldn't help but to laugh at her.
"Attention passengers." The intercom suddenly went off and I immediately knew that the conductor of the train was talking. "The train will be leaving in one minute, I ask all passengers to now take a seat and relax for our three hour journey. Also, I would like to thank everybody for choosing McQueen's Trains as your source of travel, and we will make sure to give you our best service."
I zoned out after a while as the conductor kept talking, and waited until the train finally began moving. Emery's face was glued to the window as we left the station, and I couldn't blame her. When you were on a train there were so many things that you could see on your way.
About ten minutes into the ride, I was finished my Kit Kat bar. I played with the wrapper in my hand as I sunk back into my seat, bored already.
"Emery it's not that exciting to see everything that we pass through the window," I told her.
"Says you! I think it's beautiful." She looked back at me with a smile.
I frowned. "I'm so bored, " I told her, and she rolled her eyes. Grabbing her Twinkie wrapper, she threw it at me.
"If you're so bored then go and find a trash can to throw out the wrappers," she told me.
I scowled. "Why do I have to go?"
"Because you're the one complaining," she said, "now go and quit bothering me." Then, she resumed looking out the window.
I let out a loud and obnoxious sigh to purposely annoy her, but either she didn't hear or didn't care because she gave no reaction. Getting up from my seat, I began making my way down the aisle of the train. Gripping the candy wrappers in one hand and keeping my balance by holding onto random seats with the other, I was making progress on getting somewhere.
In my line of sight, I could see a trash can at the very front before the start of the next train compartment of seats. Picking up my pace, I quickly walked over and threw out the wrappers. Another job well accomplished.
Turning around with a triumphant smile on my face, I began heading back. There was another boy, around my age or at least a year older, who was also up and heading down the aisle. He was talking to his friend, who was lugging a suitcase behind him.
Doing my best to avoid them both, I looked away like I wasn't paying attention.
"Be careful or it'll blow," the one in the lead hissed back towards his friend.
His friend glared at him. "Well excuse me. You try hauling a twenty pound bag down a narrow aisle and we'll see how it goes, yeah?"
The other one looked ahead and rolled his eyes. His eyes caught mine for a second as they passed by me, where I had to stop and make room for them.
"Thanks," the boy with the bag said, giving a tired smile.
I nodded as they walked passed, and I watched them take a seat not far from where me and Emery were sitting. When I sat back in front of Emery, she gave me a confused look.
"Did you see those two?" she asked, nodding her head towards the boys I had just passed by.
I glanced up ahead at them. "Yeah, I just passed them. Why?"
She looked at me. "They're lugging a bomb on this train."
I nearly choked on my own spit as a few heads turned in our direction. She said that pretty loud, along with everyone on the train being quiet.
"Emery you can't just say that on a train!" I said to her quietly, scowling. "Do you want to get thrown off for being possible terrorists?"
She raised her eyebrows. "Henley I heard them talking when they passed by, the guy said to be careful or it'll blow."
"It doesn't mean they have a bomb!" I told her.
Someone cleared their throat, and we both snapped our heads to the side where a man stood in the aisle holding a small hole-puncher.
"Your tickets please?" he asked, holding out his hand.
"Sorry," I muttered, grabbing my bag and digging into it, looking for my ticket.
I pulled it out and handed it to him right after Emery. He examined them and punched in a hole before handing them back.
"You never know on trains like these," Emery said as soon as he left for the next person.
I rolled my eyes. "Quit over-reacting."
She narrowed her eyes at me. "I am not over-reacting."
I opened my mouth to say something, but was immediately cut off by the sudden screaming of people from other train compartments. There was suddenly a loud 'bang', and I whipped my head around just in time to see the man collecting the tickets immediately cowering back into an empty seat.
"Everybody stay in your seats and nobody move!" a man yelled, pointing a large gun around.
I held back a scream as my heart nearly jumped out of my chest. Looking at my friend I saw that she shared the exact same horrified expression.
"I said nobody move!" another man screamed, running in from the seat compartment ahead of us.
He shot at the ground to make people stop screaming. I flinched at the sound and Emery shrieked, startled like the other passengers. Another man suddenly walked in with a gun as well.
Now there were three men, each with guns. They were standing at the front of train compartment, staring all of us down.
"Alright now listen up!" the first one yelled. "Nobody does anything stupid, and nobody gets hurt! We clear!?"
Nobody said a word, most likely because everybody was too terrified to do or say anything . He looked satisfied by this and kept talking.
"This train is being hijacked, and nobody is allowed to get off until we get what we want," he yelled. "If anyone of you even think about trying something funny, then I can assure you that you will be shot and killed on sight!"
My heart dropped at his words. He and the other two men had guns, they were not kidding around. I never thought that I would be part of a hijacking, but here I was caught in the middle of a freaking hostage situation.
"You only see three of us here," the third man started, "but we have more men on this train. Some of them are passengers, so you won't know who is who. They catch you doing anything, and they will kill you!"
There were more? And they were posing as passengers? I looked around, suddenly cautious of everyone around me. Anybody could've been a part of this. My mind suddenly went to the fat man seated behind me, but as soon as I looked at him I noticed he was fast asleep with his magazine covering half his face.
Yeah, he was undercover alright.
"No one's allowed to talk, cry, scream, get up, or anything!" the second man yelled.
Everybody was quiet, nobody dared to make a move. Even all of the kids, who I was sure would've been crying right now were deadly quiet, like they were afraid to even breathe. I couldn't blame them.
I looked at Emery who looked about as horrified as I felt. I searched her eyes for something that would make me feel better, anything at all, because she was always the braver of us two. But not this time, this time she was so scared that it put a sickening feeling in my stomach. We were so screwed.
"Put all of your cellphones in this bucket!" the first man was saying, as he walked down the aisle with a bucket. The other man walked down the other aisle, and slowly everyone was putting their phones and other electronics in the bucket.
"Hey, this guy's dead!" the man said to the others as he reached the fat guy behind me. I grabbed my phone from my bag and gripped it in my hand, ready to put it in the basket he was holding.
His friend came over and removed the magazine from the man's face. "He's not dead you idiot, he's asleep!"
"What do we do with him?" the first one asked.
The other shrugged. "Leave him for now." He walked back to the front of the train as the man walked up to our seats.
I immediately tensed up as he stopped in front of us and held out the basket, raising an eyebrow.
"All your devices," he told us, and I quickly dropped my phone into it. Emery did the same thing, dropping her phone and her pager.
The man looked at her and smirked. "You're a pretty thing," he told her, running his fingers down the side of her face.
Emery immediately flinched away from his touch and I was ready to throw up. Thankfully after she did he just scowled and moved onto the next seat, making me sigh a breath of relief. Emery looked like she was ready to cry then, and I wanted nothing more than to comfort her. I was too afraid to get up and sit beside her to give her a simple hug, so I decided better.
"It's okay," I whispered to her quietly, almost mouthing the words. She managed half a smile that I knew was forced before nodding at me.
After they were done collecting all of the phones they walked back to the front. "Now I want everybody to move back. Fill up the back seats and stay there!" the third man yelled.
At first nobody moved, I was too afraid to even breathe right now. The man glared and stepped up, forcefully grabbing a woman and pulling her up. She screamed and I saw the tears roll down her face as he pushed her down the aisle.
"I said get moving!" he yelled, shoving her again.
The poor woman almost toppled over, but the boy I had seen with his friend when I went to throw away the candy wrappers immediately stood up and caught her. I was a bit far to see but I saw him glare at the man who smirked back.
"Are you alright?" I heard him ask before everybody began getting up and moving.
From where I was sitting I could see that him and his friend helped the woman to the back of the train. Everybody was out of their seats, cautiously walking towards the back seats.
"That's right, everybody sit down!" the second man yelled, walking towards us.
A kid began crying and his mother immediately shushed him as they took a seat together. My heart broke for all the children on the train, they must've been terrified. Emery stayed by my side as we took a seat together in the farthest row at the back that wasn't empty.
Everywhere else was full as people tried to get as far away as possible. The two boys who had earlier helped the woman took the empty seats that were right beside ours, the only thing separating us was the now vacant aisle.
"What do these people want?" I heard Emery ask from beside me.
"I don't know," I whispered back. "Just stay quiet and we'll be okay."
The sound of somebody letting out a strangled cry made us turn our heads to see just in time one of the hijackers roughly pushing somebody down onto to a seat.
"And stay there!" he snapped, glaring at the cowering man.
Emery looked at me. "I'm scared," she whispered. I knew how she felt.
I looked around again and my eyes landed on the windows of the train, the sight of us passing barren land as we traveled at speeds probably more than a hundred miles per hour. Just like that, only one thing was going through my head.
How were we going to get off this train?