Life and Death on the Tracks

by David Bond

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Synopsis

Chilling in parts, bittersweet in others, 'Life and Death on the Tracks' is a dark short story that documents an ageing train driver's slow demise and the troubles of his anguished wife. Harold has spent his entire working life on the tracks and once his railway line runs into financial trouble, so does Harold. The decline of the railway line unnervingly and unceasingly goes hand in hand with the decline of the man. When the inevitable comes to pass and the line closes for good, the seriously ill Harold goes missing.

Mary struggles in the wake of her loss, unable to properly grieve. Adding to her distress, rumours emerge of a ghostly presence roaming the railway tracks in the days and weeks following Harold’s disappearance. Reported sightings of an ethereal figure standing on the footplate of a phantom locomotive cannot escape Mary’s attention, and although she initially attempts to dismiss the rumours as wild speculation, a product of vivid imaginations, an all consuming doubt remains. The story climaxes as Mary decides that she must know the truth behind Harold’s vanishing act. Mary’s last act is to head down to the railway line as she must investigate the supernatural rumours for herself.

Story Elements

Ratings Factors

Language: No profanity or censor words
Sexual Content: No sexual acts implied or described
Target Audience Age: Everyone (no target age)
Violence: Death, but minimal violence

Setting

Geography: England
Realism: World is similar to ours, but plot elements involve fantasy or magic
Setting Type: Pastoral (rural & small towns)
Time Period: N/A

Main Character

Age: Senior
Gender: Male
Race: Caucasian European
Religion: Irrelevant
Sexual Preference: Heterosexual

Styles & Themes

Humor: Moments of levity
Inspires Reader to Feel: Fear/Horror
Mysteries & Puzzles: Significant mystery(ies) are core to driving the story
Pacing: Moves quickly
Physical Action: Minor and occasional action
Political/Social Commentary: Story includes metaphors for social or political theme(s)
Romance: Significant romantic themes
Genre Horror
 
Mood:
  • Bone-chilling horror

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About the author

David Bond

Born in Stretford, Manchester, I am currently travelling around Australia doing odd jobs in return for accommodation, and I recently started writing short stories as a means of self-expression. Writing something that really resonates with people is the dream. It would also be nice if writing could support me financially, but that's a long way off yet! My first published story here on Scribl is 'Life and Death on the Tracks', a dark little tale that won second prize with the Darker Times fiction competition. There are plenty more stories in the pipeline, including 'The Sim Diary', which won an honorary mention in the Five Stop Story fiction competition. Thanks for reading! P.S. Check out my Smashwords page at 'http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dbond34'

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