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'service 18' part one

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Part One

Three more runs, and then bed. These last ones always seemed to drag on longer than the rest. It was also at this time, after 12 hours of almost continual service, that the whole make-shift nature of the emergency tram network began to show up. To be fair, they had cheated the odds by getting the thing up and running in the first place.

There was an unusual amount of slack as the driver pulled up at Point 7. They all got off, mumbling thanks, as tired as he and embarressed because they'd ignored the gratuties box. He wished they didn't feel bad, he quite understood. No one could afford to be so liberal with their money anymore, it was yet another one of the ways the invasion had stripped them of their humanity.

Just three got on. The man had to search all his pockets for enough coins. The little girl wasn't pretty, but her smile lifted the driver. Children are amazing, he mused, and lurched the thing back into gear.

There were one or two creaks, but nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly nothing that could have warned the driver of what was about to happen. The old lady talked to herself, not in a crazy way; she was definitely cogent, but just to reassure the soul. He too thought reassuring thoughts, and was almost cosy in his seat when it happened.

The tram crossed onto the next section of rail that supported it overhead. It was one of the longest sections on the track, a good two hundred metres between the pylons. The far pylon threw sparks downward, as the metal beam sheared off and sprung down with the weight of the tram. It did spring back up, but by the time gravity caught up the tram's momentum had carried it at least another hundred metres along the line, and beam drooped gutlessly, dumping the vehicle on the ground. The sparks flew as the front half of the tram rushed off the end of the broken rail. Again, though, the beam sprang back, and teh force was sufficient to break the link between the carriages. Just the front section carried on sliding it's way underneath the next section of rail, until it began to turn slightly, and came to a rest just as it tipped slowly over onto it's concave side.

The driver lay across his side window, the cold pane freezing his cheek. His was the disbelief of the beleagured, those who have endured so much that when something catastrophic happens again, they simply cease to believe it's true. After he had vanquished the feeling of nausea that his own fate produced in him, he got up. The duty he had for his passengers kept him going, long after he had given up caring for himself. Were it not for them he might of let himself sleep, and given the searing gash across his forehead, it would of most likely been a sleep from which he wouldn't have woken up.

In some respects he was lucky. The tram could quite easily have been empty at this time of night. The little girl lay there dazed, her arm was broken. Her face was motionless, the pain must have been comprehensive, but she was too afraid to cry. The man was weeping, however; he reeked of alcohol, though he was not drunk. Far worse; he had been drunk, and now the effect had deserted him. The old lady was also up on her feet, and trying to comfort the girl, with the skill only a grandmother can display. Blood was flowing from her left leg, though, a black trickle in the darkness.

He shook the man and told him to pull himself together. The girl had responded to the lady and they were now helping each other to get off the wreck. The driver kicked through the skylight, and with difficulty they all crawled out into the night.

They were in the heart of the city, almost equidistant between the two safe human strongholds. The monsters could not get at the tram network normally, they were too slow. The ones that turned up during it's construction were quickly eliminated by the marines. There hadn't even been a sighting for a while now, it was though they were massing for a fresh attack.

They may have been too stupid to know how to attack the trams, but the driver knew that there were now four people out in the open, at street level, and openly giving off the scent of blood...

He moved them as quickly as they could go off the street, and into the deserted shops. The old lady slowed them down, but she battled on, and besides she kept them all smiling. The man had even begun to act constuctively again, and the driver wondered how long it had been since that had last occured.

They needed to find medical supplies; he was sure there were still plenty around somewhere. They had had to leave fast when the invasion came, and he had forgotten what this part of town looked like, and where each shop was. It was dreamy, the memories of the centre brought flashbacks, and the sleepiness returned. He was concust, he would have to act fast, he was not sure how long he had left.

They walked passed a launderette. He was all set to pass it by when he started and turned back to look once again in the window. No, he had not imagined it, had he? No, it was there; on the counter, lying patiently. A shotgun.

The door was locked, he tried to smash the glass but failed and fell slumped against the shopfront. He looked forlornly at the man, and though nervous and quivering, the latter succeeded in breaking in. The driver got slowly to his feet, and, despite a headrush, charged purposefully toward the shotgun. It was there, loaded, and with two shells lying on the floor next to the counter. Someone had thought they could defend their property, but had been convinced otherwise ina hurry, it seemed. Three shots was not enough, he was sure there was a supply of ammunition somewhere nearby...

But he was weak. He explained to the others that they must find where the rest of the shells were. The old lady said she and the girl would look, and that the man should stay behind and tend to him, and make sure he didn't sleep too long.

And so he let himself go. The dream was of the farm and his parents. His grandfather was spoiling him and his brother, and his mother was inside cooking. Dad was laying the table outside the front, and the golden sun cast shadows over the expansive ploughed fields that surrounded them.

He giggled, contented. Grandfather was smiling. He turned and looked over the homestead; the glance took an eternity. But when he looked back at grandfather, the smile had gone. A frown the like of which he had never seen on the old man's face now occupied it, and he knew at once it was his fault. Terrfied in the old man's lap, the hairs on his arms suddenly stood on end as did the whole of his face. A sudden noise startled him further. On the porch stood a modern alarm-clock, ringing out four high-pitched beeps every second. It hadn't been invented in this time, and that somehow terrified him. It flashed 88:88, and the realisation crept over him horrifically. Something was wrong, something was very, very wrong. Grandfather's face had turned angry.

He woke up, gasping for air. What had happened? He jumped up before his body could catch up, and he fell straight back down again. As he flailed about the linoleum of the launderette like a crazed animal, trying to get back to his feet, he began to make out a soft whimper. He struggled round to the back of the shop, still tight-chested, and saw it. An imp lay at the foot of the wall, blood spattered all across the whitewashed panels above it. It had been blasted with the shotgun, but was not quite dead. It clung to the girl in it's dying moments, her clothes and skin ripping on the spikes as she squirmed. She was stabbing it repeatedly with something using her good arm, and the driver made out that she was screaming. The man lay shivering, gripped in a panic attack, the shotgun dancing on his frenzied body.

The old lady lay in a pool of ochre blood. The look of horror was preserved on the face of her head which now hung limply, as it was only partially connected to the torso. The imp had almost decapitated her.

That imp was now dead; it's arm fell, trapping the squirming girl next to it's slime-ridden body. The driver was violently sick, and as he gulped for air and got only the stench from the deacying body of the old lady, his senses were simply overloaded. He collapsed...

End of Part One. Stay tuned for Part Two coming soon.

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A very well-written story there, but there are a few spelling mistakes.

Good work pritch :-)

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This forum is suffering, so tomorrow I promise I WILL write a stroy.

Someone should be modded in here to edit the community story.

Well I kept my promise. It turned out though that I needed two parts as it just developed better than I thought.

Heh, and as for the mod, it should be you: you can go back and correct the spelling mistakes! :)

Bah, I might run through it and correct them in a bit, I did type it fast so I'm sure there are typos there.

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Heh, and as for the mod, it should be you: you can go back and correct the spelling mistakes! :)

I'd make a bad mod, besides, I don't always have the time to constantly watch over a forum like the existing mods on these forums.

Besides, I make lots of spelling mistakes myself :-)

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I'd gladly be the moderator of this place, if someone would turn into a mod.

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[sarcasm]And I'm sure that Ling would gladly give you Moderator powers[/sarcasm]

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