's 2016 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Sam P.

A steel coffin rolling inexorably through a pitch-black tunnel towards its destination. Not the best way to describe a subway train, but it seemed very fitting sometimes, particularly when it was late at night and the damn train you needed to get on still hadn't arrived yet. You'll probably be tired, frustrated and annoyed, maybe tapping your foot impatiently on the ground in an attempt to take your mind off of your impatient boredom. It's not like there's anything else to keep your attention; nobody else is on the platform and no trains have shown up. You would find it eerily quiet if you weren't so focused on your own irritation.

Eventually, a train will arrive. You'll sigh in aggravation and get on without thinking about it. You'll take a seat, and then you'll finally notice how empty the train is, how unnaturally quiet your surroundings are. There should be something. An automated voice droning on about the next destinations, maybe. There is nothing. You are alone in the silence.

Before you can think to stand up, the doors will close and the train will start moving, drifting into the dark. There will be light, of course. Lights in the train. Buzzing lights. They were quiet before, but now there's a hum. A dull, droning noise, filling the silence. Perhaps you'll be comforted by this, by the presence of at least some noise: the knowledge that there is something here aside from you. It won't be a comfort for long, because the noise will get louder. A constant buzzing sound, drilling into your head and pulsing against your skull.

Soon you'll clasp your hands to your bleeding ears in an attempt to block out that horrible sound. Doing so will not help, but it may feel comforting. Regardless, your attention will soon be diverted, since it's at this point that the lights will start getting brighter. You might've learned by now and will immediately try to clench your eyes closed in an attempt to block out the searing glare. Doing so will not help; you can feel the lights shining against your skin, stinging and burning. Worse, you can see the light through your eyelids, no matter how tightly you try to close them; it is like trying to sleep with the sun shining on your face, if the sun was trying to force its light into your eyes with clawed, burning hands.

Finally, desperately, blindly, you will stand up and rush to the nearest door and attempt to pry it open, forgetting in your fear and pain that the train is moving. It doesn't matter though. If your eyes still work, you might press them to the glass, trying to see if there is any escape from your torment. There isn't.

Outside, there is nothing. No tunnel walls rushing past. No dim lights. Not even a hint of train tracks. No, you are in a bright, burning, screeching coffin of steel and glass, rushing through a pitch-black void to a destination you couldn't see nor understand.

At this point, you may want to scream, fall to the ground, and clutch your head in your hands in a vain attempt to block out the all-consuming agony of light and sound. You may clench your teeth until they break, you may scream until your throat bleeds, you may simply try to smash through the glass to escape into that void, as whatever is out there has to be better than this pain. None of this will help. All you can do is wait for it to end.

And it will end.