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Grade
12

Step-By-Step

 

CHOO - CHOO

 

*Gasp*

 

I hear my own gasp from being scared awake by the loud screech of the train’s whistle. Mid stretch, I hear the subtle buzz from my phone. Someone just messaged me. Only one word, “Duck.” My heart skipped a beat as I couldn't believe the text sure, but what really caught my attention was the number from which the text was from. At first glance it looked identical to my own. I moved my face closer to my phone as my eyes were still waking from my slumber and still blurry. Only seconds pass with my head bent down looking at my phone, my eyes following each number, closely counting them off to see if they matched my own, when a loud crack rings my ears. I turn in my seat to see the feathers once in the backrest of my seat floating through the air. Petrified, as I was smart enough to recognise what had just happened- someone just shot at me. And this very text just inadvertently stopped it from hitting me. But the stampede of people had already begun to try and get off the cab to get away. So I lift my head and stretch my torso up just enough to lift my head over the minced seat. I froze as a man about 7 seats back standing in the aisleway was pointing a handgun at me. He was in a leather jumpsuit with a motorcyclist’s helmet on. Every piece of his wear was pitch black, as if he was planning to emerge from the shadows. A red laser was coming out of his handgun almost blinding me as I ducked down so quickly. It was as if I was gopher from a whack-a-mole game. Another loud crack leaves the tip of the gun. He shot again. This man came to kill me and only me. I then jump over the seat ahead of me and then into the crowd in one swift move as he misses again. I shuffle through the crowd like my life depended on it. And it did. I reach the front of the cab, through the doorway and outside between the previous cab and the one I am in. They are only being held together by the lock between them. I was hesitant to jump to get away, but not for long. After thinking on it for no more than 3 seconds I got another text from my own number that read, “Jump.” So I did. The screams of the petrified passengers behind me rattled my ears as my foot left the floor of the metal cab and onto the next. My landing revealed imperfect as my feet bent before my body causing me to tumble uncontrollably into the first door of the new cab. Nevertheless, my bumps and scrapes were irrelevant to my current goal; survival. So I swung open the cab door and closed it behind me. To my surprise this cab was one of the train’s main kitchens and it was absolutely filled with the kitchen’s staff. I begin to make my way through the crowded kitchen, shuffling what felt like an endless amount of people to my currently adrenaline filled mind. It was when I reached just about the midpoint of the kitchen when yet again, I feel the low buzz of my phone. It read, “Look to your left and dump all of those dirty pans and dishes onto the floor. Then look in front of you and knock over the cart of food rolling towards you.” The fact that these messages have already begun to grow larger and more detailed scares me deeply, but seeing as the most recent text is most likely to slow the shooter down, I’m all for it. So I do exactly as the text instructed. All kitchen staff in the area grew angry with the dumping of dirty pots and pans, and even angrier when I knocked the cart over. This whole chase is growing ridiculous, but my consciousness is far too scared to question it further. The shuffling continued. I turn my head and shoulders to look behind me to see if he is still in sight. And to my frightening surprise, he is no more than 15 steps behind me. The only thing stopping the man in black from shooting me at this distance was the immense crowd before us. And as if it was instinct, I start shuffling through the crowd faster. It was as if my mom was pulling my through a crowd at the mall like she used to do when I was a kid. I find a break in the crowd- enough for me to break into a sprint and open the next door into the seating area. As the door was nearing shut, two loud cracks of his handgun ring my ears even through the door as he just misses my arm. Luckily, the two shots was enough to scare the crowd and enough to provoke them out of their seats. Another stampede I thought to myself. But this one I was especially grateful for. The reason being because there was no getting past an open straight away like the one that was in front of me before he let off the two shots from the kitchen. That would have been the end for me.  I quickly become part of the crowd. Using their bodies as cover from my biggest nightmare. The shuffling ensued. I was fine with shuffling through a crowd of train-riders again, but my number had other plans. “Climb through the open window in front of you to the right,” was the next text. This was it. I was sure it wouldn't work because he would have an open shot at me trying to get through. As he was gaining on me, I decide to trust my phone number as it had gotten me this far with no complications. Not to mention, I needed to think quickly. I lunge at the window with everything my calves could haul. Out through the window, I hung on it's sill and rested my feet on a second sill that ran the length of the cab just under the window, giving my legs something to rest on. I hung between the open window, and the one next to it as to not give the man in black a line of sight. The cold winter air rushing at my face was enough to make the hairs on my arms stand up, and my face wince in discomfort. Thankfully, he took two shots as I was climbing out but missed by the hair on my chin. I was amazed that such a professional looking killer could miss twice from 10 yards out. I hung there ecstatic that I was alive. I was so happy, I was able to crack a smile in a time like this. It didn't last long, as a terrible thought came to mind. He could shoot me through the wall. Scared stiff, I hung there holding on tight as possible, just waiting. Any second he could shoot through and stop my life short. When he took the first shot I flinched, As anyone would when getting hit by a bullet. Except, I didn’t to my everlasting, joyful surprise. The wall of the cab held up. I was safe from demise. The man in black continued to empty his whole clip into the side of the cab. All the ammunition was enough to dent the wall so deeply, that it was visible to me on the outside of the cab. The man grew vexed. I could hear his wrathful yelling through the open window even as the howling wind passed my ear. Then I feel the low buzz of my phone yet again. Holding the top sill with my left hand and checking the text with my right I pull out my phone to see yet another message. It was my number once again. It read, “Leap to the next ledge. Now.” The man loaded a new clip. I quickly realized the magnitude of the situation and in one swift move slid my phone back into the pocket of my suit pants and jumped passed the window as the man finally broke the wall of the cab with his next shot into the dent. I grabbed the ledge safely and got my footing before jumping again. Only this time he shot at me as I passed the next window. Cracking it and leaving it with a bullet hole in the center. My phone buzzes again. “Climb atop the train,” it read. As I hear the sound of a loud thud followed by the broken window fissuring further, I quickly make the connection as to why I should obey. He is breaking the window with his gun. I begin the scramble to the top of the train. The man in black finishes breaking the window he once shot, and peeks his torso through it but he is just too late to shoot as I make it to the top of the train in time. I took my first stand on the top of the train only to be nearly blown clean off by the strong winds. I am forced to my knees. Until, once again the fear for my life takes my by the collar and brings me to my feet and I begin down the top of the train. The train veers right, again knocking me off my feet and causing me to lose balance. I look back down the cab to see the man in all black pull his head. then his shoulders up over the side of the train. He reaches his right arm up and fires two shots while only hanging with his left arm. The shots both hit the ceiling of the cab just at my feet, enticing me to keep moving to get to the end of the cab which is not much further. I reach the end of the cab and jump down in the space connecting it to the cab that supersedes it. I lean my back up against the door to catch my breath, but I know I can't for long. I then turn to open the door only to find that it's locked. My heart stops. So I jump to the next cab and try to open it's door, but it is also locked. I think to myself that it's over. Everytime i have been unsure of the next move to save my life up until this point, the number, my number would text me giving me guidance. Then it happens. *BZZT*. I had never been so happy to feel my phone buzz than in this moment. I reach to my pants and pull out my phone to receive my new instructions on how to survive and get away from this hitman nightmare. But my heart sunk. It sunk deeper than it ever has before. My phone read, “Wife: how’s the train ride honey? You hangin in there?” My face stared blankly at my phone. The person texting me from my own phone number helping me escape the man in black has abandoned me. Not to mention I had just been reminded of everything I had to lose, but I couldn't give in. I had to think like my whole life depends upon it. As it did. Everything that had happened in the past 25 minutes being chased by the shooter was racing through my mind as I desperately tried to figure it out. How had this number, that is identical to my own had known everything that was going to happen and how to keep me alive? Then it clicked. Everything I have been doing as a scientist for the last 3 years reminded my of what I needed to do. I set the date in my phone back 3 minutes, to before I jumped down between the cabs. I booted up an app in development me and my colleagues had been working on at university. However, due to the current circumstances, I knew it couldn't be in development anymore. My phone sparked with electricity as the app launched. I went to my messages and composed a new message, and entered my own number as the outgoing. The message I composed read, “Jump the gap. Do not drop.” My cold numb hands made it extremely difficult to type, and just as my finger was reaching for the send button, I heard a bang from above me, and my phone dropped out of my hands. I felt a weird sensation in my fingers of my right hand. But it quickly turned to pain. It hurt even greater when I realized my hand had been shot clean through. I looked up to see him and his motorcycle helmet looking down on me from atop the cab, hand outstretched and looking down the barrel. He muttered, “It's over. You and your colleague’s studies will cost the world great misfortune, but not after I pull the trigger.” It was truly over I thought to myself. This time he couldn't miss, but once again the fear for my life drove me harder than I ever thought it could. Without thinking, I reached for my phone with my left hand, grabbed it, then ran to jump off the train, down the cliff below. He continues to pull the trigger just as he had been unafraid to do so before. I get hit once again in my right bicep. But the adrenaline rush is too much for one bullet to stop. I take my leap. He hits me twice more in the leg and once in the left wrist, as a result I drop the phone out from my hand as I purse in pain. “You bastard!” I heard him howl. Lucky for me I don’t need my legs anymore for I have already become airborne. Falling to earth my legs and right arm limp as I plummet. My phone falling parallel to me and just out of reach. The dim light of the screen was guiding me through my dark misty fall. Im reaching as far as my left arm would let. The ground was growing closer I could tell. Just a little closer. I’ve surely reached terminal velocity. Just the send button is all I need. I finally grab hold. With just seconds to spare I'm no more than 100 yards from ground level. I hit send.

 

Message Sent

 

CHOO-CHOO

 

*Gasp*

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48323