Death Toll 10
He has been in Skout for more than 3 years now. He’s met a number of people there too. He’d do it off classes, between breaks or during commute. Tonight, he used the LRT as it is quite late. He had to update his class record and did some powerpoint presentation for next week’s classes.
He rarely took the train heading home. It is usually Uber or Bus. Tonight, he just felt the need to do one more Death Toll, his series of elaborate demise. He needed the environment for his last story for the series. It should be his best.
Armed with his Note 5, he began his character development and started working up his settings. The train isn’t as packed as it is during 5pm. The last trip allowed him to sit comfortably well. A good way to write, he thought to himself. There he saw many characters inside the train car. A pregnant woman, a salary man dead tired sleeping while standing up, holding the railing and some students who clearly took evening classes and are still as lively as they are during mornings.
He passed Pureza station, a few people went and out. Mostly students from PUP came in. He stopped writing and went to check out the new faces. Nothing worth writing for here. He overheard a two-way radio from one of the guards who was sitting across him. The guard went pail.
Saan? Papuntang J. Ruiz?!
J. Ruiz comes after V. Mapa station, which comes after Pureza. What’s wrong with J. Ruiz? He pondered on this when they were halfway to V. Mapa.
Just then, a PA system blared announcing that there will be a mechanical check-up for Line 2 and requests for a 15 minute down time. People who would wish to alight at V. Mapa without being charged.
In V. Mapa station, a good eighty people left and headed toward the exit. It’s a bad place to get off and hail a cab or even a bus at this hour. People who will be leaving from SM Sta. Mesa will surely be looking for a ride there. So he decided to stay and wait. Another PA ran and requested those who stayed for another 15 minutes of down time. Whatever, he thought. I won’t budge.
The lights went out. Emergency lights kicked in. You can hear the engine dying. Crap. He stopped working on his Death Toll and looked around. He moved from one car to another. Looked at the around the darkness and the people looking bored, tired and some, oblivious to the darkness around them. He saw some lights moving and figured those are guards checking in on the passengers.
After 10 minutes, the lights went back and he can hear the engine revving. He also heard the people air a sign of relief. Some even cheered. He chimed in and sat on one of the seats near the exit.
They left V. Mapa station and he breathed out a prayer. He was itching for a smoke. They passed the giant mall and the schools below. Once at J. Ruiz, he noticed nobody went in. Figures. Maybe they stopped allowing passengers to come in at the thought of a malfunction, he thought.
Leaving J. Ruiz, he noticed a peculiar speed the train is moving in. There is a loud sound under them. As long as they are moving, one of the passengers trailed off. Then something snapped.
The car jerked violently like someone carrying them tripped over a huge hump.They heard a loud clanking under and they can see metal sparks at outside the window. A bad odor came from under and he assumed it’s from a burning mechanism below. The metal friction sound grew louder as the train moved faster. He noticed how one basketball of one student moved sideways. And not to forward nor backward.
A loud crackle from the back came and he saw that the joining hinges that connects two cars wobbled and disconnected and that the only thing holding the two back were the accordion tarp covering the adjacent cars. It ripped off eventually revealing the horrifying view that the last is actually drifting on its side. He can see the horror in the faces of the passengers as one fell of and was eaten under, blood splattering the once magnificent advertisement of a high end phone from Star Mobile.
Then came the second car, it moved the opposite direction, creating a jerking motion among the remaining cars. It broke and hit the entirety of Gilmore station. He was expecting for an automatic break but it didn’t. He saw the car that destroyed Gilmore broke free and fall below Aurora Boulevard. He ran toward the emergency break. Somebody shouted not to. As another break would cause another car to derail and fall.
Fuck, he cried. This isn’t how I’m supposed to die.
Only two cars left before theirs. He noticed some commotion from the connecting cars and with that, the train jerked again, a lady working for a BDO was crying, an elderly was in the floor looking for glasses while everything seemed to unreal. He heard a loud metal snapped in the opposite direction.
This can’t be?! The Tarp tore off and revealed faces from the car before them. Some shouting to jump to their car. One student broke free from his girlfriend and made a run for it only to catch the railing with his face. It burned. Blood splattered on his once white long sleeves. It smelled of charcoal and he vomited.
Their car swiveled and toppled. He found himself tangled with some of the had railing for standing passengers. He broke his arm. He heard lots of screaming, in chorus with his own as a burst of flame penetrated the three cars like floodwater.
The burning sensation was the last thing he felt not to mention his phone exploding in his pants that made him pee before he lost it.