A Shadow Train Story: The Shadow Man

shadowtrain

It was night time. Krylion sat-up quick in his bed, startled by a nightmare. He looked out the window to see a full moon fixed in the sky, shining brightly. He realized he was sweating, and he was cold. Seeing the alarm clock next to his bed he saw that it was 12:30 at night.  His heart was beating fast, and he found himself to be shaking- but, he didn’t know why- for, as quickly as he woke up so did he forget what he had dreamt. Maybe he didn’t want to remember.

He laid his head back down to try to sleep.

Seconds before Kryllian woke up, startled from his dream- SO DID Flana! In his bedroom, right next to Kryllian’s- Startled, he sat-up in bed – scared at what he had just saw in his dream- no, not a dream, A NIGHTMARE! Flana too, felt his forehead and found sweat there. He knew right away he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep for a while. He thought to himself, that it would be a good idea to wait, for, what if he went back to sleep and ‘it’ was still there- what had scared him enough stir him awake- whatever ‘it’ was.
And so he threw his covers off of himself and went to his bedroom door, to go downstairs to ‘rustle up something to eat’ he told himself.

At the same time, in Kryllian’s room, Kryillian had come to the same conclusion- that, it would be impossible to think until he cleared his head-maybe went for a walk around the house.  He too, then, threw his covers off and walked to his bedroom door in his pajamas.
He opened the door, and looked up- to find someone standing there in the hallway.
He looked fast with a startle- to see….. his brother, Flana, standing there in the middle of the hallway, staring wide-eyed back at Kryllian.
“What are you doing up?” asked Kryllian.
“Nightmare,” replied Flana, “you?”
“Nightmare” Kryllian answered.

Then, suddenly they turn to look in the direction of a loud *BANG,* just as the door at the end of the hallway swings open and hits the wall beside it.
They both gasped and jumped closer to each other. Then watching in that direction, there emerged Thoran from his bedroom. Thoran then stopped in his tracks, noticing his two older brothers standing in the middle of the hallway before him, and both staring wide-eyed at him.
“yes? Can I  help you?” he asked the both of them.
“Did you just have a nightmare too?” Kryllian asked.
“Yeah- both of us had nightmares at the same time” explained Flana.
Thoran looked at Flana, then to Kryllian, and said “no, I just had a rumbly tummy and felt the urge to rustle myself something up to eat- I’m thinking along the lines of a sammich.”
“I was just about to go down to the kitchen and rustle a bite–up to eat myself!” responded Flana.
“Huh- imagine that! We’ll make a joint effort of it! Shall we?” Thoran excitedly suggested.
“WE SHALL!” replied Flana right before the two of them happily jaunted off toward the stairs and then down.
Watching them, Kryllian thought to himself “well at least they’re in good moods. A bite of food would be fine with me too. I wish though I could remember that dream—or rather, that NIGHTMARE.” Then at the thought, at the end of this thought  the terrible scene unfolded in Kryllian’s mind once again and he shuddered, and then felt a cold chill run up and down his spine.
A flash burst before him as he remembered a part of the nightmare!

There he was, in the woods- was fog rolling along on all sides of him amidst the dark looming trees. Just ahead of him, a pond illuminated by the light of the full moon. Then he heard it- the train sound- crackling along on the train tracks. Suddenly, just ahead, among the black forms of trees and pushes he saw motion. A figure emerged from the darkness. A man, standing next to the water, just a silhouette of a man, a shadow- Kryllian could see he was wearing a long coat and a wide brimmed hat. He walked directly onto the path ahead, stopped, and turned toward Krylian, framed by the light reflected off the water behind him he stood still, silently.  Kryllian could see the man had his head bowed at first, bet then, started to lift it up- and once he did, Kryllian could see- that his eyes were glowing red!

Kryllian felt panic! “Flana!” He yelled as he reached the stairs and made his way down, stepping very quickly.
He soon found Flana and Thoran in the kitchen, laughing as they chomped down on sandwiches they had just made, all the fixings spread out on the counter.
“Flana,” Kryllian appealed urgently from around the corner.
“What is it brother?” said Flana.
“In your dream, did you hear a train!?”  Flana stopped eating his sandwich, and swallowed hard while looking at Kryllian. *Gulp* “Yes,” he answered, matter of fact.

“Was it the shadow train?” Thoran blurted out abruptly. Flana and Kryllian quickly put their fingers to their lips and both shshed their younger brother. *SHHHH*
“Be careful! You don’t just blurt out that name like that Thoran,” reprimanded Kryllian.
Thoran was the youngest brother, and had not, at this point, been on an adventure deep in the Unknown Forest (which is where they lived), and therefore had not yet encountered the dreaded Shadow Train.

Kryllian and Flana were well acquainted with the mysterious mechanical supernatural force that had lived in these woods surrounding their house, for as long as they lived there.  No train tracks were ever discovered, or rather, no FIXED train tracks, in the permanent sense. The train tracks used by the shadow train had the tendency to come and go without a trace – to pop up and then out of nowhere; first they’re there, and then they’re gone.
Sometimes, how it happened, is they would stumble across these tracks that had seemingly appeared over night while out on a hike, or, if they happened to travel at night in their buggy they would suddenly come up on them. And then, other times they would be in their house and hear the train clattering along in the distance, as the sound reverberated throughout the forest. And yet still, other times, they would see the large plume of smoke erupting from the smoke stack of a train, heading in a direction- and even sometimes that smoke stack would be heading straight for their house!
Always though, the Shadow Train would appear and disappear just as it had come – without a trace. And always along with the Shadow Train came weird happenings- even weird creatures that would lurk in the forest.

It is for these reasons Krylian and Flana have made it their mission to be prepared, and learn all they can in order to be able to out-think the shadow train, or fight the demons the Shadow Train brings into existance.

They will someday, they had determined,  solve the mystery of the Shadow Train-  which is always trying to trick them.

“I don’t even believe in the shadow train- I think you two made it up in order to scare me,” said Thoran to his two brothers.
Kryllian turned to Flana, and said “I wish we did.” And then, for the first time noticing the sandwich fixings spread all over the counter,  decided to make one for himself.

As he took the bread out, he remembered the second part of the dream- the really scary part, about the man.
Flana continued to chomp, as Thoran, with a full mouth of sandwich continued to express doubt about the existences of such the supernatural mystery “How could train tracks appear and disappear? It takes a long time to lay tracks- a lot of workers have to lay out the ties- and then nail the tracks to them with big spikes, “ he elucidated.
“Flana!” Kryllian suddenly appealed, ignoring Thoran. This startled Flana, who jumped despite himself.
“What is it this time!?” Flana answered with slight annoyance.
Kryllian puts a butter knife down after having finished spreading some mayonnaise on his turkey sandwich, and puts the second piece of bread on top before picking it up.  Now, standing there, holding his sandwich after meticulously having constructed it, he turns to Flana and asks “in your dream, after the train tracks are you on a path in the woods?”
Flana looks wide-eyed at him, once again, and answers “uh huh.”
“And at the end of this path, was there a pond?”
Flana pauses…“uh huh”
“And was it a full moon? And the pond was lit up with the moon light?”
In response to this Flana just shook his head ‘yes,’ and started to shake visibly out of fright.

Kryllian then, sandwich in hand, and remembering the horrible scene, continued his inquisition by asking Flana the following:

“did you- did you see, ….” Kryllian pauses, trying not to show how scared he is “did you see, the Shadow Man?”

Flana’s face turns white, as he recollects his dream, and freezes.
Then, suddenly, breaking the silence, they hear three loud bangs on the door *BANG BANG BANG.* They all three turn in the direction of the abrupt noise- toward the front door.
Flana, unthinkingly drops his sandwich to the floor at the same time Kryllian does- as both sandwiches splatter all over the kitchen floor at their feet. Thoran lets out a miniature screech as he looks on with disbelief.
Kryllian swallows a gulp *Gulp* just as Flana does the same *GULP*.

Then again, at the front door *BANG BANG BANG.*

They look at the window in the front door, and they see a shadowy figure framed by the light of the moon, and he’s wearing a full brimmed hat.
TO BE CONTINUED….

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