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Adventure Friendship

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.


A week before…


The wind furiously howled, riding down the wrinkles of a barren land. The seemingly flushed clouds scattered across the vast length of sky. Somewhere near the end, a squint of eye might notice the blend between the blue and the brown. 


The perfect picture of the dry stretch could be captured from the window of the moving train. With a body of a large singular box, the train was painted blue with green stripes. The wheels rolled silently but at a surprising speed convincing the minds of the passengers to fasten their seatbelts tight and not move an inch. Except, the passengers on this train are already bound by seatbelts, unconscious and unaware what they’ve got themselves into. 


I woke up with a splitting headache boiling my nerves. After a few minutes of struggle, I was finally able to open my eyes partially. The world seemed to have been shoved in a dark corner as little light danced in front of me until it became a brighter ray. The blinking paced. Where the heck was I? 


In front of me, teenagers of around my age were tightly fastened to their seats, their heads unconsciously tripped over their shoulders. I tried to move but felt the same restraint. My hands fumbled around my waist, sliding through the thick material of the belt but finding no way to unbuckle it. Thick bile clogged the back of my throat as a sudden memory shimmered at the surface. The things I had convinced myself never to remember, never to speak of. It’s like a demon brewing inside of me, its darkness chaining me to the edges and I almost slip away to the cold. 


I admit I’ve built walls, taller and taller; every day laying strong bricks and assuring myself to never let it break down. I had been doing so well. The insoluble guilt inside me had already started to stir itself and dissolve into just a fragment of imagination. I would’ve forgotten all that, right? I wouldn’t be spending the rest of my life blaming myself. I had nearly opened my wings and jumped over the edge to soar into the open sky if it hadn’t been that call. That damn single call that had me convinced to keep a knife for the next day and make that my last. 


I shake off the bitterness in my thoughts and collect myself to the present. The knife. Yes. Cold desperate fingers travelled down the length of my jeans until reaching the hem of my black shoes and pulling out a knife. A screeching sound rippled through the silence when I finally cut off the harsh leather and set myself free. 


Being unprepared for the startling speed, my body jerked forward, hitting hard into the boy in front. Mumbled whispers of apologies followed and I rubbed my knees and elbows to let go of the pain. My gaze lingered up to metal chains hanging from the roof. Without giving it a second thought, I laced them between my fingers and firmed my grip on the ground. Just a couple of steps, when I heard a grunt from behind me. The boy I had just crashed into. He was wide awake now, the slick of his hair dropping down in front of his eyes as he struggled in his seat. 


A tiny voice inside warned me to keep on moving. No one could be trusted. You never know if this boy is going to grab your knife and slit your throat. No one would know, no one would care. I brought my feet up and walked towards the boy. The edge of the knife reflected the beautiful spectrum, something my eyes would widen at as a child. His eyes shot forward, for a second studying me from head to toe before meeting my gaze.


“Who are you?” The voice came out from gritted teeth. 


“Well, I should ask you the same question.” I replied indignantly. 


“Who are you and why have you brought me here?” He says still struggling. “If you’re the one behind my brother, I am going to fucking kill you. Just…once I get out of this.” 


“What are you talking about? I was chained myself. Listen, I was just trying to help you but if this is the case…” His eyes shifted between me and the blade before finally agreeing to it. 


“Fine. But if you do anything else, you should know I am much faster than you.” 


I replied with a roll of my eyes and bent down, grabbing his knee for support. Slowly and with a lot of effort, the knife finally passed through the belt. Same incidents repeat as the boy jerked forward but I was fast this time, stopping him by his waist before he could slam into the empty seat in front. Suddenly it felt like playing opposite roles in some cheesy romance novel. 


“The metal chains” I said, drawing my eyes up. He brought up his hand to grab one of the chains, the muscles in his arms flexing as his grip tightened. 


“Now” He said before clearing his throat “I know you are one of those people who were after my brother and I swear to god-” 


“What in the world is your problem? Can’t you see I just fucking saved your life? No, wait a second, you tell me, why should I trust you?”


“It is because I didn’t kill you already.” He says before grabbing another chain and moving forward. Oh Lord, I probably just made the worst decision of my life. 

I followed him. 


The long body of the train met a large glass door at the very end. My eyes shot up at the awaited surprise. It came hard; as if someone kept on drowning me when all of a sudden I could breathe underwater. Over the glass pane, slouched a figure my eyes couldn’t ever believe. Her blond hair, now dirty and scrambled towards the end. The end of her skirt torn and ragged. 


“Lisa!” The arrogant boy and I said at the same time then meeting each other’s eyes with equal surprise. Lisa turned towards us with a jump, her pale and sweaty face suddenly changed into a bright sparkle. “Tammy! Charlie! Oh my god, what are you doing here.” 


My body moved faster than my brain, scrambling and searching for chains as I moved forward, landing in the cozy embrace of Lisa. It’s been so long. No words could explain the exploding joy in my chest. Lisa’s words softened around a sob. “I can’t believe this, Tammy it’s really you! After so many years, I-” Her voice faltered, unable to find words. At last her face turned towards now-known-Charlie who's too busy gawking at us, his jaw unhinged and wide open. “You know her” He finally said, pressing on ‘her’ with powerful disgust. 


“Of course I know her, Char. She-she’s my sister.” She turned towards me. “Tammy, this is Charlie, my best mate.” 


Silence was all that was left. Words scratched at the base of my throat but none came out. I could smell the regret from here, Charlie’s eyes fixed on me, his face pale.


“But” Lisa’s voice had both of our heads snapped, undoubtedly with relief. “We have got bigger problems.” She said pointing past the glass pane. I ducked my head to the side to see what she was about. A hell of a problem, I agreed. 




A few minutes and all that had passed were nervous glances. No one knew what had to be done now. Not too far away, in the middle of the tracts rested a giant concrete rock, the size bigger than a crane machine. Lisa had been trying for the past half an hour to break past but not even a crack came through. 


“Maybe we could try with the knife?” I suggested. 


“No, that won’t do anything. The glass is too resistant and strong. Bulletproof too, I assume.” 


Beyond the glass, unlike any normal driver’s compartment, this one had only two large buttons placed at its either side - one with ‘START’ printed on its green screen and other with ‘STOP’ on its red screen. 


“How are we going to do it then? We have to stop it! Otherwise we are all dead.” Charlie says with a hint of frustration, looking over all the unconscious kids. There are not many, maybe seven or eight of them. 


My eyes studied all the girls and boys when a red thing captured my eye. “What is that?” I bent down to take a better look, holding Lisa’s hand in support. Just below my seat, laid a red toy. No, not a toy. A hammer, I think? I scrambled forward to get the little thing out. Definitely a hammer. That kind you might find if you travel through an old bus, screwed in a corner and a board by its side reading ‘in case of emergencies’. But this one seemed different. At the back of its side, there was a big space assigned for batteries. Batteries? Now where the hell- oh.


I spread my hand under the seat and there it is, glued to the ground, a set of batteries. I presented the new hope in front of the two eager eyes. 


“Let me try it” Charlie said, grabbing the hammer’s head but all of a sudden yanked his hand away. “It’s-”


“Electrified” I finished, judging the expression Charlie holds, it was pretty clear. Even a couple of his hair have stood up. 


“I’ll do it” I finally announced then swung my elbows backward. Taking a deep breath, I braced myself for the impact. I felt all the power in my body surge upwards and curl around my fist when with a sharp blow, I striked the glass. As soon as the hammer hit the glass, cracks appeared around the center, travelling its way all across. 


Lisa turned unbelievably. “That- that’s not possible! How can an electrified hammer break such glass? No, something is wrong. Something is definitely wrong. This is not possible!” 


“It happened, alright? It’s our only way.” Before Lisa could argue more, I pulled back and with another powerful blow, the glass trembled violently and at last shattered. Only minute pieces stuck out from the edges. 


All three souls exhaled the breath they had unknowingly been holding for so long. 

“Ok, I’ll go in and stop this thing.” Charles said but before he could move, Lisa stopped him.


“You know, the glass could still be electrified.” She warned. 


“Great, another problem.” he murmured back. 


“Unless…” my foot began tapping at a rapid rhythm, ecstatic nerves beating in and out. “Unless we use an insulator.” 


Blank voids stared back as my grin grew wider. I nodded excitedly, waiting for one of them to hit the guess but with no response, I finally blurted out. “The seatbelt! Rubber, insulator…get it?” 


“Of course!” Charlie agrees, swiftly grabbing the knife from my hand and dashing towards the back. Whew, he wasn’t lying. That man could have easily killed me. 


All that happened next was comprehended with fast footsteps, stressed and nervous voices when finally Charlie jumped to the other side and pressed the holy button. The train stopped with such force, my head crashed into Lisa’s, leaving us both rubbing our heads. I even thought I was bleeding. Charlie was lucky to have been holding the metal chains. I remember my eyes being so wide as the heavy stone laid just ten feet away from us. 


The gates opened. It took us almost an hour to free all the other kids and drag them out of the train. We tried to wake them up, gently slapping with our hands but that came to no use. 


As Lisa and I dragged a heavy boy out of the train, I asked her something I couldn’t hold in anymore. “How did you get free of the seat belt? I had to use a knife but you..” 


“I unfastened it.” 


I stared at her, my mouth opened wide. “What?” 


“There was a buckle and I unfastened it.” She repeated casually. 


“Oh uhm. So, do you know who is doing all this?” 


“I would’ve told you if I did.” 


“I just think-” I trailed off. 


Her eyes met mine. “What?” 


“Don’t you think it’s all too good to be a coincidence. Your seatbelt fastened. That hammer. The stop button. Only the three of us waking up. It just feels like it had all been set up. Like we were meant to do what we did.” 


Lisa just gave a thoughtful nod and neither of us spoke any word further.


Three hours later…


The faint glow of sun settled between the mountains, igniting the sky with a pretty shade of pink and blue. I gently cross my legs in front of me when I see Charlie approaching. 


“Are they awake?” I ask expectantly


“Nope, still unconscious.” 


“And did you look around?”


“Yes, as far as I could go. No luck. I don’t think anyone else is alive except us.”


“Don’t say that.” I stood up. “We’ll look again tomorrow.” 


“Yeah” Charlie came and stood beside me. Hands in his pockets. “Uhm Tammy, I just wanted to apologize for what a jerk I was. I just thought-”


“It’s okay” I sighed and sat down again. Charlie mirrors. “What were you saying about your brother?” 


He takes a long pause, making a little part of me regret the question but finally answers. 

“Are you sure you want to hear it? It’s not a pretty story.” 


I smile. “I bet mine is worse.” 



June 14, 2022 16:12

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10 comments

Rodrigo Juatco
10:00 Aug 03, 2022

This was so well written. "Lisa's words softened around a sob." Love that line. And "a squint of eye might notice the blend between the blue and the brown." So visual. Awesome job.

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Keya J.
12:15 Aug 04, 2022

Thanks a lot, Rodrigo. Really do appreciate the words :)

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Eric D.
16:02 Jul 27, 2022

Keya the prodigal daughter has returned for the finale! 😋 I was waiting for this and you did a great job it could almost work as a standalone too. I kind of like the ending too it's bittersweet knowing yeah a lot of horrible has happened but they're in it together, I admired Tammy's optimism.

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Keya J.
16:52 Jul 27, 2022

Lol, thank you so much, Eric! Really do appreciate the feedback :D

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Daniel R. Hayes
22:49 Jul 19, 2022

Hi Keya! This was fantastic! I was waiting for this 3rd entry, so I'm so sorry that I'm late in reading it. I went back and read the other stories in this series and wow, utterly amazing. I loved it and I know you're super busy, so the fact that you were able to write this at such a high level shows your true talent. Great job!! :)

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Keya J.
05:00 Jul 22, 2022

Thank you so much for the words, Daniel! Most of my time just ticks off doing school and the rest, reading books or watching Netflix 👀. I really do need to get back into writing!!! Needless to say, your comment definitely boosted me to pick up my pen. Thanks again :)

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Graham Kinross
11:33 Jun 15, 2022

Great story Keya. You can twist this to fit that prompt easily, you could have someone saying that line for any reason and meaning it or not. Anyway, well written and I enjoyed it. Keep it up and let me know when your next story is on reedsy.

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Keya J.
04:43 Jun 16, 2022

Thank you, Graham. Definitely would let you know :)

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Graham Kinross
06:26 Jun 16, 2022

Cool.

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Keya J.
16:56 Jun 14, 2022

This is the third story in 'The Four Survivors', although I believe it could be read individually too. It does not follow the prompt. Thanks :) Hope you enjoy!

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