This month, it’s all aboard the Furious Express, as we invite you to enter an original story with the following criteria:

  • Your story must take place on a TRAIN.
  • Your story must include something FROZEN.
  • Your story must include three 3-word sentences in a row.

That’s it! If anything appears open to interpretation, then it’s because we wanted it that way. 

As if public transport wasn’t bad enough. You can kiss your basic human privacy goodbye. Bunch of guards sniffing around with a chip on their shoulder so big it was making them hunch, all garnished with the faint but persistent smell of piss. A diverse selection of miserable wankers united by the same bleak, gormless expression, each in quiet reflection on when it went so horribly wrong. I was no exception.

You could say I was disenchanted. And to top it all off, I had some porky twit in a dressing gown sat next to me who was determined to talk my face clean off.

“It’s very exciting, I never thought … well, mother always said, I had a … gift,” the kid rambled on, to the back of my head. 

“I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this, but I assure you, I do not care,” I said. My quite literal attempts to pivot away from the conversation had proven futile. I looked around at the carriage, hoping to share my discomfort and perhaps negotiate some sort of rescue. Nobody took any notice.

“I know, I’m talking a lot, I’m just nervous, it’s very exciting,” the kid said again. “It’s rather exclusive, you know.” His obnoxious, pudgy face was beaming with pride.

“Mmhmm,” I said. “So exclusive you dressed in a bathrobe? Are you getting shipped off to an asylum?” 

For a second, he faltered. “I can’t… I’m not supposed to say.”

“Sounds about right. Which asylum they got you in for? I’ve often thought about checking myself in. Seems like a cushy gig.”

I could tell he was getting flustered. “No, you don’t understand. It’s a sort of, higher learning,” he said. He kept opening his mouth, then closing it, obviously wrestling with something in his thick, swollen head.

“Spit it out, beef cake.”

“I’m. I’m going… I’m going to learn… magic,” he stammered, as if he couldn’t actually believe he was saying it out loud.

I let out an extremely long, loud groan, which drew the brief attention of several people.

“I knew it. Completely batshit. I swear, I’m like a magnet for crazy.”

The kid tapped his foot impatiently. “I’ll prove it,” he said.

“Ha, go on then, see if you can disappear out the window.”

“No, really,” he insisted. He reached inside his gown and pulled out a dirty, gnarled stick. 

“Oh boy,” I said.

The kid screwed up his face in intense concentration, held up his stick and muttered something under his breath. 

At first, nothing. The passengers murmured. The tracks clacked. And then …

He began to rise. Slowly, but surely, until his fat little legs were hovering a few inches above the seat. He looked at me triumphantly, before slowly lowering himself back down.

I stared blankly, utterly speechless. My mouth was hanging open, frozen in an O shape.

“I’ve just noticed something,” the kid said finally, glancing around at the blissfully unaware passengers.  “I think I’m on the wrong train.”