I groaned as Jane called my name. “5 more minutes,” I moaned. It wasn’t bright outside, so it must still be early.
“Wake up you lazy sod!” she exclaimed. “We’re on a bloody train.”
“We’re at home,” I snapped back. “Calm down.”
“Open your eyes numbnut! We’re on a bloody train!”
I groaned and cracked my eyes open, quickly jerking awake as I realised she wasn’t being a turd, we were actually on a sodding train. “What the crap?” I demanded. “How the hell did we get here?”
“Good question, genius.”
I glared at her. Sisters were the absolute worst. “If you’re so smart then you tell me how the hell we ended up on some random ass moving train.”
Jane shrugged, her brown eyes flickering in frustration. “I don’t know how we got here,” she said. “I woke up here and you were snoring away.”
“I don’t snore.”
“You can’t hear yourself when you’re sleeping. You snore like a bloody freight train.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. Where’s mom?”
Jane stared at me. “We were alone when I woke up. I don’t know where she is.”
“So we’re alone on some random train? This is stupid. Who the hell brought us here? Who kidnaps two teenagers and plonks them on a bloody train?”
“Can you stop yelling at me?” snapped Jane. “I woke up like 2 minutes before you.”
A twinge of guilt passed over me. She was scared and I wasn’t helping alleviate her fears at all. I was the older sister, I had to be calmer. I couldn’t let her panic. “Sorry,” I murmured. “This is just bloody weird. Let’s see if we can get out of this carriage.”
I scooted out of the train seat and walked up to the door. It didn’t open automatically like train doors usually do. I tried to pry it open but it wouldn’t budge, we were trapped inside this carriage. I peered out the nearest window – none of the surroundings looked familiar and it didn’t feel like the train would stop anytime soon.
“There’s nothing in here,” muttered Jane. She was crouching by some other seats, trying to see if anything was hiding underneath. “We’re in our PJs and there’s like nothing in this whole carriage. Nothing belonging to us or anyone else.”
PJs? I glanced down at myself and swore. I just had to pick today to put on my bloody bunny pyjamas. How embarrassing. I sighed and stared at the abnormally clean carriage. “When do you ever see a train this clean?” I asked.
Jane shrugged. “Never,” she replied. “But there’s usually a heap of people around as well.”
“Exactly. It’s quiet, there’s no one else in this carriage and it’s clearly been cleaned remarkably well. What kind of train is this?”
“Not like any I’ve seen.”
I frowned, continuing to examine the small carriage. A vent was above the door, I wasn’t sure if it would lead anywhere but maybe it was worth a go. It was too small for me, but Jane was petite. She may be able to scoot through to the otherside.
“No way,” said Jane suddenly. “I know what you’re thinking and there’s no chance.”
“It’s our only way out,” I replied. “You have to go through and try to unlock the door from the other side.”
“You make it sound so easy,” she grumbled.
“Stop complaining. It’s either you scoot through that vent or we wait here to die.”
“You don’t know that we’re going to die.”
“Why else would we be on some random train with no tickets, no belongings and wearing our PJs? We were kidnapped in the middle of the bloody night and plonked on a fast-moving train. Something suss is going on.”
Jane hung her head in resignation. “Fine,” she muttered. “Boost me up.”
I grunted as I boosted her up to the vent. “You’ve gotten heavy,” I grumbled.
She shot me a glare. “Speak of yourself,” she snapped back. The grate was ripped off its spot and Jane tossed it to the ground before awkwardly shuffling inside.
“Graceful,” I said.
“I’d like to see you do better,” was the reply.
“Just get to the other side and try to open the door.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Her voice was echoed as she travelled down the vent. I hoped that it would actually lead to the other side of the carriage and not further down the train. Relief washed over me as I heard a grate clatter in the other room – she made it over there.
I heard some grunts and pressed up against the door. “Open it up,” I cried out.
“Help!” she screeched. “Michelle!”
Her blood-curdling screen echoed in my ears and I yelled as I pounded against the door. “Jane! Jane!”
I woke up with a jolt. My mother was gripping my shoulder, worry etched on her face. The train was moving slowly down the tracks, the clickity-clack made my heart beat faster. “You okay sweetie?” murmured my mother. “You were thrashing in your sleep.”
I looked around frantically, not spotting my little sister anywhere. “Where’s Jane?” I asked.
My mother looked puzzled. “Who?” she asked.
What the hell did she mean who? “Jane. My little sister.”
Her brow furrowed deeper. “You don’t have a sister, Michelle. You’re an only child.”
I shook my head. “No, no,” I said. “Jane. She was on the other side of the carriage. She screamed, I need to help her.”
“Jane, calm down.” My mother gripped me tighter, looking around the carriage herself.
A man came over to us, blocking us in our seats. “Delusions again?” he asked.
My mother nodded. “I thought this was over.”
“It’ll be a lifelong battle I’m afraid,” said the man. “We’ll sedate her for easier transport to the institute.”
Fear bubbled inside me. “No!” I screamed. “I have to find Jane! She needs me. You can’t make me forget her! I won’t!”
I felt a prick in my arm and the world started to haze over. “Don’t worry honey,” whispered my mother. “We’re getting you the help you need.”
“Next stop, Whitehaven Station.” echoed the intercom. It was the last thing I heard as darkness consumed me. All I could see was my little sister’s face as I finally embraced sleep.