Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Roland Yeomans would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

HORROR ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

By Roland Yeomans All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

Chapter 1

The Orient Express slowed as it rounded a sharp bend in the shadowed rails that snaked through the tangled forest.

"I am the Cowboy now, Nein?"

The Nazi guard beside me grinned at his two friends on the bench opposite me.  My black Stetson on his blond head, he admired his reflection in the private compartment's window.

"Mein Gott!"

"What is it, Hans?"  frowned Staltz, the Nazi opposite me.

"A little girl out there in the freezing night!  And those deer didn't even see her!"

“So?”

“Her eyes.  Her eyes!”

“What about them?” snapped Staltz.

The other Nazi, Hoffman, stood up and stared out the window.  "I see nothing."

"She was out there I tell you!"

Hans was regarded with silent sneers.  He slammed the Stetson back on my head as if I were somehow at fault.

He glared at me.  "I hope the Führer tortures you to death, swine!"

I thought about saying "Oink" but remained silent. 

Obviously, the silver cuffs on my wrists and the iron hobbles on my ankles lent him courage. 

The Orient Express rocked its way for hours, luring my three guards to sleep.

Hans' eyes kept going to me.  Had he imagined growing up to be a sadistic killer when a boy? Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate.

Everyone has it within his power to say, "This I am today, That I shall be tomorrow."  The wish, however, must be matched by deeds. 

Hans' eyes flicked to the mirror behind me.  Elu? No, my blood brother who dwelt in mirrors was angry at me for surrendering to Major Strasser to spare the lives of those gypsies captured by Captain Reinholt.

He reached out and roughly shook Hoffman by the shoulder.  "Wake up.  Wake up!"

 "What?" Hoffman sleepily muttered.

"Do you see her, Hoffman?"

"Her?  Her who?  Where?"

"In the mirror!"

As if compelled, I turned about and froze just as still as Hoffman. 

A little girl's face wavered like mist in the mirror's depths.  A young face but not innocent.  Something old, reptilian, and not even remotely human gleamed in her eyes.  They were like a snake’s … but without as much warmth.  They studied the Nazi as a red hawk would size up a field mouse.

Staltz was now wide awake, his face pale in the cold caress of the moonlight.

Staltz frowned.  "Sh-She is saying something.  I - I can almost hear her."

He got up and leaned his ear to the mirror as Hans rasped, "No, Staltz.  No!"

But the Nazi only leaned closer.  He suddenly stiffened.  His shoulders began to shake. Hans edged away from him.  Staltz's shaking grew more and more violent.

Then, Staltz started to shriek in insane laughter.  The sound of it pealed higher and higher and higher.  It grated on my very soul.

He bent suddenly to Hans who tried to squirm away but the window stopped him. Staltz whispered into Hans' ear.  The blond Nazi went stiff as if his friend's words were venom in his mind.

His face twisted so I thought the flesh would tear loose from the man's skull.  Hans reared back his head abruptly as wild shrieks of mad laughter burst from his lips. His peals mingled with those of Staltz as if in a chorus from some asylum. 

Hoffman hesitated a moment too long in shocked stillness.  Hans seized him. Though Hoffman twisted his head frenziedly still Hans managed to whisper into his ear. He froze but for a moment then became a tittering lunatic like his two friends.

The three suddenly took notice of me.  Eyes locked on mine, they laughed the louder, reaching out for me. The spacious compartment was suddenly too cramped.

"You boys get any closer, and I will knock you into the next Reich."

Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble. It sounds great when you read of it, but it's hell when you meet it face to face in a dark and lonely place. The compartment's door burst open, 

Major Strasser stood outlined in the doorway as if he were expecting a standing ovation. 

Hoffman, still pealing in mad laughter, wheeled to grasp Strasser.  The Major drew his Luger and shot the man in the throat. Hans and Staltz stumbled over their fallen comrade to attack Strasser.  Knowing what I did of the man, I was rooting for the lunatics.

As with much of my life, I didn't get what I wanted.  I watched them bleed out on the floor, laughing with bloody spittle on their writhing lips.

Strasser growled, "Mein Gott, McCord, what happened?"

I thought of all the true answers to that question that would result in Strasser shooting me.  "I believe they were ... poisoned."

From down the hall, a nervous voice rang out.  "Are you unharmed, Major?"

Strasser snorted, "Yes, Lieutenant.  It is now safe to approach.  But do stay where you are.  Captain McCord and I will come to you."

"Really?" I asked.

"Yes.  I have a mystery, and you are a detective."

"Texas Ranger."

"The same thing."

No, it wasn’t.  Hell, I wasn’t even human anymore.  And that kind of thinking was what would lose the war for Hitler.  You must see your enemy for who he is if you are to defeat him.

Strasser tossed me the keys to the cuffs and the hobbles.  I tossed the hobbles and kept the silver cuffs. The revenant (think vampire but without as many morals), Strasser, glared at the silver. 

I shook the silver cuffs.  "Hitler's idea, right? He knows me even less well than you."

As the Lieutenant stayed far to our rear, Strasser and I walked through the empty dining car. Obviously, the regular troops were sitting in the third class compartments.

"What's the mystery?"

"Captain Reinholt has disappeared from this car.  One moment he sat next to me.  The next he was gone.  Do you see any clues?"

The Lieutenant yelped from behind us.  We wheeled about.  He was gone. 

The room was empty.  But there was a figure in the mirror on the still swinging door. The little girl ghost had added a bloody knife to her wardrobe.

"One," I drawled.

There was a wild splatter of gushing blood that smeared the mirror ... from the inside.  And screams hollowly shrieked from the now obscured surface.  One hand, bloody fingers clawing at one final gasp for life, slid down the mirror to disappear.

I spun to Strasser.  "You lied to me!  Reinhold killed those gypsies, didn't he?"

Strasser sneered.  "You are an enemy of the Third Reich.  What is a lie to you?"

"A mistake," I snapped.

I took one silver cuff, snapping it on the sizzling flesh of his right wrist and locked the other cuff on the flesh of his left ankle. He toppled like the House of Cards he was. Due to the silver, he could no longer turn to mist.

I snatched the Luger from his holster. I ejected the shell from the chamber and dropped the clip from the pistol.  I tossed the Luger to the far corner.

The little ghost girl blurred in the mirror's surface, but I could tell she was motioning for me to come closer. 

I walked slowly to the mirror ... very slowly.

"Nein, McCord!  Are you mad?  She will drive you mad or kill you, and I will be left alone and helpless!"

"As a revanant, I thought you knew: Death is always a door one-man wide."

Though the little girl faded, the room within the mirror still showed, and it was smeared in the Lieutenant's and Reinholt's blood in wet, red letters over and over all across the walls:

“NO ESCAPE.  NO ESCAPE.  NO ESCAPE.”

The unseen little girl spoke softly, and I leaned in towards the mirror

"Nein, McCord!  Do not listen.  Do not!"

At first I did not hear her.  I heard only the sound the wind makes as it moans from an empty crypt.  It was the sound of Time.  What does Time sound like?

It sounds like different things to each lost soul.  To me it had sounded like water running across the wall of a dark cave and frightened voices weeping and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids. Maybe I would even see Time tonight.

 Time like snow dropping silently across a bleak landscape or like a silent film in a theater of the dead. Time as 100 million faces falling like those New Year balloons, down, down, down into nothing.

Then, I heard the little girl.

The little girl's whispered voice said, "They ripped out Grandmama's teeth ... for the gold."

Strasser screamed, and I turned around.  Well, merde.  Her mouth dribbled thick black blood.  There were strange slivers of bone jutting up from her bloody gums.  There were strips of wet flesh hanging from them.  I wondered if the Nazis had tasted bad?

Grandmama was standing over a terrified Strasser, and I drawled, "Grandmother, what sharp new teeth you have."

The little girl ghost from the mirror behind me giggled, "I have a sharp tooth, too."

I snatched the flashing tiny wrist holding the blood-smeared butcher knife that darted for my throat. 

"Darling, I've fought Apaches.  You're a mite slow compared to them."

Speaking of Apaches, Elu appeared behind the little girl ghost and thunked her on top of the head with the hilt of his own knife.

As she dropped from sight, Elu grabbed me with both hands and pulled me into the depths of the mirror as Strasser screamed for mercy behind me.

Strange how those who never give it ask for mercy.

I sputtered as I rose from the shallow waters of a frigid lake's edge to which Elu had transported me. The Orient Express clattered away from me into the night mists. I looked down on a scowling Elu who shook his head at me from the reflection in the water.

"Dyami, not everyone the Nazis arrest is innocent."

The screams from the Orient Express lasted long after the train disappeared from sight.


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Roland Yeomans
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

skippybash12: This story has engaging characters that you care about and a plot that is unpredictable and exciting. It is well written with a believable voice. Great weekend escape and if there was a sequel available I would buy it today -

Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

reads4fun: I like how the characters are in this story, Death seems sporadic and fun, while Dimitri seems to be more focused but they will argue over the littlest things.

Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...

nightdrummer: Best story ever. The characters are real, flawed, people I relate to because although they have unbelievable talents they also fail, and get stuff wrong. This should be a series. Alpha is the most interesting hero and Martel's scary/real. I love Sunday.

gunter1987: I just want to say here that this is my first review, but I really wanted to review this story. I apologize if I don't write English to well, I am French.Reading through the many science fiction stories posted here and other places in the world, I started to see a few linking themes: heavy-hande...

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

Kayla Wentz: This book had me hooked from the beginning! I kept coming back for more. It only took me a day to read! I couldn't put it down! Absolutely A-Mazing! This book keep the story going and there's never a dull moment!

Bradley Darewood: I really really really liked this. I just voted for you!The voice is flawless-- I can't write men as well as you do and I have a penis. Maybe I'm narcissistic but I particularly enjoyed the moment where he muses about how artists would do better in such a solitary job. But my favorite moment ...

More Recommendations

E_W_Hemmings: First of all, sorry this review took so long: I've had science mocks recently and then when I came to read this, I made notes to put in the review like I usually do... but then I deleted them. Well done me. As a result, this review is a bit more general than most reviews I write, but hey ho, let'...

Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."