Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Mothballs: Iron Path to the Black Forest (part 4)

It seemed as if every carriage on the train had been occupied by White Hoods, armed with thin hammers. With almighty swings, the White Hoods smashed the windows and picked up large pieces of machinery. Spinning barrels firing storms of projectiles sat on tripods, resting on the jagged frame that looked out at the darkness engulfing the forest. When the first Hood pulled their trigger, it was nothing but the ricker rack of gunfire for the rest of the night.
The Laurisden's were falling through the air, the Obscured Man's carriage far out of sight by the time they tumbled into the icy slush of the sloped sides. They rolled through the sludge, falling into a wiry net of brambles. They crushed a bushel of blackberries, spilling the inky juice through the snow. From a far, it may have appeared they'd been shot and killed, but they were very much alive. The three of them rolled to a stop and began to sink slowly into the new patch of snow they'd landed on, their bodies numbing in the cold. Bullets flew above them, pulling chips from the trees, but Aksel- who had studied the route the train took quite intently- knew any second the train would dip, allowing for more accurate fire. "We've got move into the forest. It's safer."
Septimus pulled himself up, Verity too, and they began to trek inside the forest, ducking beneath the spray of lead projectiles. The ground was tricky beneath their feet, at first crackly as broken leaves were finished off but then softer as their feet broke through the snow and the ice into the slippery mud  that lay beneath. The trees grew taller above them as they ran, their empty branches still blocking the last dregs of sunlight from the nights sky. The Laurisden's ran quickly through the dying light, kicking up globules of snow and leaf, scratching themselves as they raced through a bare bush, luckily not finding any bears inside it. It seemed to stretch on forever, the bush that is, until it spat them out. In front of a new pieces of railway.
The train raced in front of them, whipping up leaves and plastering the trees and bush behind them with bullet holes. The Laurisden's had dropped to the floor to escape the wrath, but they could feel it's rumbling penetrating the ground below them. The train seemed to go on forever until it disappeared beyond the trees, and the Laursiden's continued across the ever quivering lines and into the forest beyond. They delved further into the Black Forest, searching for separation from the loud clacking of the train, but it always seemed to catch up with them on tracks that Aksel didn't know existed. They'd passed endless tracks and dropped to the snow laid floor so many times that they were dripping wet and freezing, every inch of their dirtied skin prickled with the customary goose bumps that seem to travel with the cold like pilot fish with sharks. They collapsed and felt the snow beneath them soak in their clothes, freezing their skin. The three of them sunk down as the snow melted beneath their non existent body heat. A sharp feeling etched into Verity's shoulder, causing her to give a sudden scream.  Aksel and Septimus hurried over as she moved out of the way. There was nothing, no- what was that? It looked like a thin plate made of snow. And then it began to quiver and rumble, as vibrations raced through it. Little sheets of snow fell off and suddenly the train was in sight. The Laurisden's leap over the line and ran into the open beyond, their tired bodies struggling to carry on. The explosions of firing bullets remained present in their ears at all times and then suddenly Aksel screamed, falling to the floor. Liquid gushed from his right shoulder as he squirmed in pain. The snow was red, and it was't with squashed blackberry.

The Laurisden's will return

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