The train approaches, the rumble of its engine rattling off my ribs.
People stand around me, solemn. No one speaks a word to each other, deep thoughts plaguing their attention. They will be wondering where the train will take them. Like me, they will be daunted by what might come of their fate. This train, run by magic, could take us throughout the immortal lands, releasing us in whatever territory it wishes.
I've just completed my sentence within Death's realm. Having led a humble life, I was consequently given a shorter sentence. Now, I'm left to live the rest of my days within the immortal world, after being taken so swiftly from the mortal one.
The train glides to a stop, the doors opening with a mechanic hiss. There are no guards to hustle us in. Just thick, concrete walls on either side of the station.
The only exit is on the train.
The group of us wanders onto the train. I see a seat away from everyone else, and take it. I'm not sure how long I'll be on here, however, I hope to get some sleep. The moment I sit down, the seat underneath me warms, before cooling again. It's registering who I am. My fate has already been decided by magic.
The immortal lands consist on many territories, all led by powerful immortals I'll never get to meet. As long as I am not delivered to Sinful's territory, which is cold mountain ranges, or Time's territory, which is filled with lawless evil doers.
My goal once I reach my destination is to establish myself and to find my older brothers, who left Death's realm before me.
They must be waiting for me somewhere.
As the train jerks, slowly crawling out of the station, I settle into my seat. I've theorised that it must take a few days for the train to make the full trip. Maybe a week even. Just as those thoughts consumed my mind, a small screen planted into the back of the seat in front of me flashes.
First Destination : Territory Of Fate
Time of Travel : 26 hours.
Sighing deeply, I settle into my seat. With no belongings aside from the clothes on my back, I peel off my jacket and use it as a pillow. A few seats in front of me, I hear someone's muffled cries.
We all have a reason to be scared.
Closing my eyes, I prepare a pray in my mind. I've always been a firm believer in the Moon Goddesses power. Even through my sentence of death. I pray beneath my breath for the first territory to be my stop.
I sleep through the rest of the trip, until I feel the train glide to a stop.
Through bleary eyes, I look out the window to where we have arrived. An almost blinding site greets my weary eyes. The gigantic expanse of a beautiful blue oceans stretches to the horizon. Golden sands line the water, many people standing there, clapping and waving at the train. There is some kind of festival.
This place is beautiful, like some kind of seaside village. The first stop. I look at my screen, hoping it would request for me stand and leave the station to start my life within a society of cheering people.
Instead, a giant red X comes across my screen.
Some people gasp, standing quickly. I watch them, envious as they clamber off the train. It's only three of people. The crowd outside the train cheer, throwing pink and green streamers into the air as the three fresh immortals come from the train.
They are embraced and handed cases. I assume it's the bare essentials to start a life. It was the last thing I saw before the train started up again.
Second Destination : Territory Of Thought
Time of Travel : Eight hours
At some point dinner arrived. It was some kind of stew that was delivered on trays controlled by magic. It was bland and tasteless, but filled me up.
The next destination was a station in seemingly the middle of nowhere. Green pastures stretch for miles, some growing produce, others holding animals. It's a bright, beautiful place in a small village. A small group of people greet the train, ready to aid the travellers. This must be a trend.
Excitement bubbles within me. I could live here. How pretty is this? A quaint village where you live off the land. Humble, like the Immortal Thought is. However, a large red X on my screen suggests this isn't my new home.
Disheartened, I ignore the screen until we reach the next station. Another two passed and I didn't get off. Both belonged to Sins — Immortals whose entire being is to sin — so I wasn't bothered when I was given an X.
Once we arrived to Karma's territory, I was over it.
Two days have passed, and my body aches. The station we arrive at is the middle of a city, however, all that surrounds it is red desert everywhere. A big crowd greets us, some getting close enough to slap the windows of the train. I flinch away. These people look wild.
Naturally, there was a large X on my screen.
Hugging my knees, I feel the need to cry. The crowd on this train is thinning, only a small group of us left. Tension is building. The two worst territories are coming up.
We pass through three more territories run by Virtues — the complete opposite to Sins. Now, there's only three of us left on the train.
We make it to Sinful's territory.
Snow falls atop the train as we come to a stop. A small village is visible only by the lights that gleam from houses as night has fallen. Only two people stand at the station, holding bright lights. Silently, I pray this isn't my home. It might be better than Time's territory, so I've heard, but I would much rather wait till the next spot. It's the last good one left.
An X graces my screen. I breathe in a sigh of relief. The last two people gasp, and one starts crying. Wait, are they both leaving?
Much to my surprise, they both get off the train, greeted by the people outside. Warm coats are placed over their shoulders.
The train leaves again.
Realisation hits me, once the train glides through the last good station, not bothering to stop. I'm the last one on the train, heading straight toward Time's territory.
I refused to cry. This can't be true. There has to be something wrong with this train. I can't be going to Time's territory...I know all I know from rumours, however, I'm certain this territory we approach is one of the worst to end up in. Finding eternal death would be sweeter than this.
Unlike other territories, we don't pass through any towns the deeper we go. There is only dark trees, all clumped together, letting no light in. This place is ominous, neverending. I was almost certain I would be dumped in the middle of these trees to die when finally the train glides to a stop at a small village, just as the sun starts to set.
No one stands at the station. The places looks deserted.
A giant green tick covers my screen. A lump forms in my throat, however, I'm granted no other choice but to stand, readying myself for the fate I've been dreading for many months.
My legs shake as I make the walk toward the exit of the train. I haven't stoof in quite some time, and my legs protest. Once I step onto the wooden platform of the station, the train begins to leave.
I watch it go, abandoning me.
Slowly, I turn around. This entire town sits quietly, unbothered by my arrival. What now? I have nothing to my name, and no idea of where I am. All I know is Time owns the land I stand on, and that is a frightening thought.
Making my walk down the dirt pathed main road, I wonder what my next move might be. That is, until I notice what looks like a couple sitting on the porch of a nearby house, enjoying a drink together under the setting sun. I approach them nervously, hoping for any sense of pity from these people.
A woman notices me first. She startles at the sight of me, nudging the man next to her to get his attention. He frowns at me.
"Excuse me, I've just come off the train, and was wondering if you could tell me where I am," I explain. At least I can be grateful the climate is fairly average, so the clothing on my back is keeping me warm enough.
The woman, a dainty looking women with raven hair and pointed features gapes at me. The man is rather stern looking.
"You came off the train? No one has come off that train in ten years," the woman says in disbelief.
I blink, unable to believe that.
"Can you tell me anything about this place?" I ask. I'm anxious to find a place to stay first, then hopefully I can attain a job. Then, I will leave this place to find my brothers. Who knows what territory they were granted access to.
"You should hide girl," the man says lowly. "This isn't no friendly place. We don't fear no one except the great master. If you want to live, I suggest hiding once the moon rises."
I swallow uncomfortably. "Why might that be?"
"Time isn't just any immortal. We are all trapped here, in fear he will kill us like he does to whatever innocent fool walks in here and makes a single mistake—"
The mans wife suddenly kicks his ankle violently. He yelps, looking at her for answers. "He can hear you fool. Shut your mouth."
"All I'll say is he doesn't visit here often, but when he does, hide," the man whispers.
Backing away a few steps, I let those words sink into my mind. I knew Time was a bad man, but how bad is he really?
And how did I end up here?