"Train Zombies": A short story

I was looking through my box of old (mostly unfinished) writing projects, and I found this short story that I wrote a couple of years ago, when I was about thirteen. It's quite different from the sort of thing I write nowadays (my writing style has changed a LOT over the past couple of years) but I think you guys will like it.

Fun fact: the people on the train who get up at the previous stop and barge out of the train are based on the people who get off at the station near my house. So there you go, this is based on a true story. (Well, not the zombies bit, but never mind.)

Enjoy.

                                                                                             

“What do you think I should wear to my friend’s party on Saturday?” my sister Hannah asks me as we walk down the road. “The pink dress or the blue one?”

I shrug. “Whichever one you want, I guess,” I reply. I’m really not into fashion. I don’t get why my sister likes to plan her outfits out in advance. It’s all a bit of a waste of time if you ask me.

Our parents are out and Hannah and I have just been to the supermarket to get something for dinner. Now we’re walking back home, thinking about what we’re going to do when we get back. To be honest, I’m looking forward to a quiet evening in: have dinner, do my homework, watch tonight’s episode of NCIS and go to bed. It’s been quite a long day and I’m pretty tired.

To get home we have to cross a bridge that passes over the station. Just as we’re crossing it, a train pulls up below us.

“Oh no,” I groan. The people who get off at our station are really something. There are loads of them, and they always barge out of the station, not caring who’s in the way. One thing that they do is they get up at the previous stop and wait by the doors, so that by the time they get here, they’re ready to jump out of the train and push their way up to street level. It’s better to be out of the way when they start coming up.

We’re walking quickly across the bridge when Hannah stops suddenly. I’m walking a little behind and I nearly walk straight into her.

She’s staring over the side of the bridge. “Hey, what’s wrong with them?” she asks, pointing.

I look to where she’s pointing and see the strangest sight ever. There’s people coming out of the train, but these aren’t normal people. Their skin is green, and their eyes are completely white. They’re walking slowly, shuffling along, and there are thousands of them, all crowded together.

“What the heck are they?” my sister whispers. We’re both rooted to the spot, staring at them.

The first few of them have gone up the stairs to ground level. More people have noticed them now, and everyone’s pointing, gasping, murmuring amongst themselves. Some are already beginning to panic.

The creatures swarm up onto the pavement. They’re actually moving surprisingly quickly. One of them touches a woman who’s standing in the street, and she goes still, shudders, and then her skin starts turning green. She’s becoming one of the creatures.

All around me, chaos erupts. Everyone’s screaming and running away from the creatures. More people get touched by them, and they, too, transform.

A few of the creatures start coming after me and my sister. “Run!” yells Hannah. We grab each other’s hands and then we’re running for our lives down the road. I glance over my shoulder and see that the creatures are chasing after us.

“The shop!” I yell. Our parents have a small shop near here, and it seems like the safest place for us to go to.

I pull the key from my pocket as we run, and the second we come up to the shop’s entrance I let us in before quickly locking the door, just as the creatures have almost caught up with us.

We put a chair against the door, just in case. The creatures start banging on the shop’s door and windows, trying to get in. Hannah and I back towards the back wall of the shop, watching the creatures, hardly daring to breathe. After a while, they seem to give up and move away.

My sister and I collapse onto the floor, panting. “What the hell are those things?” gasps Hannah. “They’re like zombies. Like in the movies.”

“What do we do now?” I ask. “We can’t go outside, but we can’t stay here forever…” I feel the panic beginning to rise inside of me. What if the zombies find a way to get inside here? I try and force myself to stay calm. We need a plan. I can’t form a plan if I’m panicking.

I glance around the shop. It’s tiny – pretty much the only things it sells are newspapers, magazines, drinks and snacks. There’s nothing that we can use to defend ourselves if we have to.

I dare to get up from our place at the back of the shop and move towards the front. Outside I can see that there are more zombies, many more than there used to be. They seem to be turning everyone they find into zombies, breaking into people’s homes and transforming everyone inside. I have a feeling of dread as I realize that it won’t be long before they find a way to get inside of our shop.

Hannah has gotten up as well and has taken a can of diet coke from one of the fridges. “I’m thirsty,” she says. “Might as well drink something.” She slumps down onto the floor again, clicking open the can.

I sit down next to her. “Diet coke’s bad for you, you know,” I say in an attempt to not think about the zombies.

“I know,” says Hannah, taking a mouthful.

I shake my head. My sister might be fifteen, two years older than me, but often it’s me that ends up acting like the older sister.

Suddenly we hear a sound from behind us. Then another, and another.

My sister and I look at each other. “Ruby,” she says quietly, “this place doesn’t have a back door, does it. . ?”

We stand up, and go through the door that leads to the small storage space at the back of the shop, just in time to see a single zombie shuffle in through the back entrance. It spots us and comes straight towards us, arms outstretched.

My sister and I scream and run back to the front of the shop. The zombie follows us easily. As we press our backs against the front door I realise that we’re trapped. If we stay here, the zombie will turn us into zombies too, but if we go outside we’ll probably just get transformed by the thousands of creatures swarming around. I glance at Hannah: what on earth do we do?

The zombie has gotten very close now. It stretches its arms towards us, ready to touch us with its green fingers.

Hannah does the only thing she can think to do: she throws her half-empty can of coke at the zombie. It’s useless, but it’s the best thing we’ve got.

Only it’s not useless. The can bounces off the zombie’s head, and as it does so, a few drops of diet coke land on its face. It stops suddenly, fingers centimetres from our faces, and starts to shake.

My sister and I watch in amazement as its skin turns a normal colour and its eyes turn into ordinary human eyes. In less than ten seconds, the creature in front of us has turned into a normal young man.

He stumbles back from us, looking completely surprised. “What? Where am I?” he stammers. “How did I get here?”

Hannah and I look at each other. “Don’t you remember anything?” I ask.

“I was on the train!” says the man, looking perplexed. “I was just on the train and now I’m here… what happened?”

Hannah and I quickly tell him about the zombies. He doesn’t quite believe us at first, but when he sees the zombies shuffling along the pavement outside, he has no choice but to accept that we’re telling the truth.

I pick up the can of coke from the floor. “It seems that diet coke turns them back into normal humans again,” I say thoughtfully. “Maybe it’s because of the artificial sweeteners that go in it.” I realise what we have to do. “We can try and turn back some of the ones outside.”

It’s scary to have to go outside again, but we know we have no choice. My sister and I arm ourselves with new cans of diet coke and open the door.

The second we step out of the shop, a bunch of zombies start coming straight towards us. I almost panic and slam the door shut again, but I make myself open the can and spray coke out at the ring of zombies surrounding us.

A few drops of the liquid are all it takes to turn them back into people. They’re all as confused as the man inside the shop, and none of them remember anything about being zombies.

We quickly usher them back into the shop so that they can’t be turned back into zombies by the many creatures that are still milling about outside. We explain what’s been happening, and how we found out that diet coke seems to be the cure for the zombies. They’re all eager to help turn the remaining zombies back into people, and we give them cans of coke from the fridges.

We all set off outside, ready to transform more zombies. More of the creatures come straight towards us, and we turn them back into people as well.

The more zombies we turn back into people, the more people we have to help us. Soon the whole neighbourhood has been turned back.

It’s well into the night by the time the whole town is back to normal. Occasionally a zombie that we missed the first time pops out from a house or from behind a corner, but we quickly turn them back into humans.

Everyone’s out in the streets, talking to each other, trying to work out what happened to them. Hannah and I bump into my best friend and next-door neighbour Sophie, and her dad.

Sophie looks really spooked. “What the heck happened?” she asks me. “I think I was a zombie for a while. Like, crazy.”

“It is crazy, isn’t it?” I say. I realise that everything that’s happened today is the kind of thing that happens in scary movies and books, not real life. It’s hard to believe it actually happened.

I know that Sophie’s dad commutes, and that he might have been on the train where the zombie outbreak started, so I ask him if he knows what could have happened.

He looks thoughtful. “While I was on the train, someone came down the carriage, selling some strange green berries. I didn’t buy any, but some of the people near me did. Then a few minutes later, just as we were about to arrive at the station, someone touched me and everything went dark… And then I woke up in the middle of the street.”

Someone near us overhears what he’s saying. “It could have been the berries, couldn’t it?” she says. “The people that ate them transformed and then they went and transformed everyone else on the train.”

Other people are agreeing. “I ate some of the berries,” says a man. “They were delicious, but then a little while later I passed out. I must have turned into a zombie.”

“If the berries are to blame, then we should try and find the person selling them,” says a young woman. “Though I guess that could be quite hard… he could be anywhere by now.”

“He was a strange person, wasn’t he?” says someone else. “All dressed in black, and he had strange eyes…”

“He could have been responsible for the whole town being destroyed!” says Sophie’s dad. “Maybe more than that, if the zombies had spread further away. If the cure hadn’t been found so quickly, they could have gone to other towns. By the way, who did find the cure?”

Hannah and I quickly tell everyone near us how we’d accidentally found out that diet coke transformed the zombies back. The story spreads, and soon everyone knows how we saved the town.

Since then, Hannah and I have been known as the heroes of our town. If it hadn’t been for us, the whole world could have been turned into zombies.

But the person selling the berries is still out there. Who knows where he’ll go next, taking his berries with him? Who know where there will be another zombie outbreak? It could be your town next…

The end?
Oh no.
This is only the beginning...

                                                                                                                                                                  

Hah, I remember feeling so proud of that last "the end" bit, I thought it was so clever of me, but now it just seems kinda cliche. Funny how that sometimes happens. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. If you did, well, you know comments make my day!

Catch you later,

-IndigoSky

Comments

  1. Its a beautiful story... And a funny one tooπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed. I remember having so much fun writing this πŸ˜‚

      Delete
  2. Wow, this is really good! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Glad you liked it! 😊

      Delete

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