It's amazing how quickly something can snap you back into reality. One moment your eyes are slowly closing, your ears are ringing from the concert, your brain has turned to mush - and the next you're awake, standing up and... freaking out.
Events can take a turn extremely quickly when they want to. And sometimes, just one thing, one decision, can mean life or death. It had been the best day of my life. But it now looked like it could be the worst too. But I didn't care that my 'precious day' had been ruined. I just cared about surviving.
Something had hit the train. Something big, something person sized. Matty said he thought it was someone committing suicide. He meant it as a joke, because at first we carried on as normal. Danny said it was probably just a bird flying into the train. His tone of voice had been less than convincing, and the way his hands were shaking didn't do anything to reassure us. Whatever had hit the train had been propelled forwards, down the track a few metres. We ran over it a few seconds later, the train letting out an audible groan as it thundered over whatever had landed in its path. It was definitely something bigger than a bird.
Whatever it was did something to the train. I don't know if we were being derailed, or whether it had fucked up something on the mechanics. But we were undeniably about to crash. Some people were going crazy, jumping around and pelting down the corridors like children, tripping over as the train lurched right and left, threatening to topple over. Others, like myself, were completely disabled by panic, frozen in our seats. Dignity had long gone out the window, and it looked like sanity was about to follow for some. The air was alight with screams of terror and confusion. No one knew what you were meant to do in a train crash. On planes you had those safety talks about adopting a 'brace position'. Everyone laughed at those stupid videos they showed, but it was reassuring to know that they had a plan of action if your plane decided to malfunction. But trains... nothing. I hadn't thought about it before, but trains didn't even have seatbelts.
Was I going to die here?
The lights overhead flickered and then went out completely. People started shrieking shrilly, with ear piercing volume. Cracks started appearing along the walls of the carriage, bending the metal and plastic with horrible ease. I looked down the train and saw every carriage twisting and warping like it was made of liquid, or molten metal. My stomach churned and if I had had time, I would've vomited then.
At least my last day had been a good one.
That thought almost made me smile. How sick was that? In fact, part of me wanted to start laughing hysterically. I had to clench my fists and bite my lip to suppress the urge.
All of this ran through my head in seconds as the train finally gave up trying to cling onto the track and fell on its side, skidding across the rails in a spectacular flash of light, heat and electricity. There was a sudden moment when everyone seemed to realise this was the end of their lives. I expected to get the whole 'life flashback' thing that people say happens when you're about to die, but it never came. I couldn't look at my friends, instead I closed my eyes tightly. However nothing would blank out the deafening screech of metal on metal as the train grated against the tracks, the friction burning the carriages, quickly scraping away the walls. Nothing muffled the roar of the fire as it exploded into life, consuming half of the train almost instantly. And no matter what I did, no matter how loudly I screamed, nothing was going to help me escape. All my life wasted. I didn't even get out of school. I wanted to shout that it wasn't fair, but what use would that do?
I felt heat on my skin, first warm, then hot, before burning. Debris littered the air, cutting my skin, filling my lungs and accumulating in my eyes as I opened them for one last look. All I saw was fire, burning everything and everyone around me. And then I saw nothing, nothing at all.