As I walked through the gates of hell I could hear nothing but their voices. I was alone, completely alone. There was not a soul in sight, neither living or dead, not even a bird that flew overheard, nothing. Everything in the world appeared to be at a standstill, including the last grip I had on my sanity and my humanity. When I stopped walking everything went quiet, but the moment I made a move I could hear their voices again. I knew could not turn back, there's never any turning back when you're being thrusted forward by something greater than you. I kept walking the railroad and their millions of voices only kept whispering, wailing and singing with every step I took.
I put my hands over my ears to block out the torturous sound but it changed nothing. They were still talking just as much and I still couldn't make out what they were saying. What were they trying to tell me? I did not speak Polish, Hebrew, Italian or any of the other languages spoken by the departed soul and even if I had, there were too many of them for me to understand a word being spoken. Maybe they were simply speaking gibberish, the language of the dead, one that the living could not comprehend. But they weren't just talking to each other, they were talking to me.
The overbearing sadness of the place lingered in the air and long after it had been deserted. I kept on walking in steady steps under the grey sky along the railroad as I felt the rumble of the train coming from behind me. I tried to step off the railroad but I couldn't, I could only walk faster but the faster I went the louder their voices got and I could not bear to hear them anymore. Although I could not make out what they were saying, having to hear it drained the very essence of my soul. As much as I walked I never seemed to get closer and I only grew weary instead.
"Stop!" I shouted back at the voices of the dead, "Just please stop!"
Their bodies were gone but their souls and voices remained. I was surrounded by barbwire fences and watch towers no matter where I looked and the building complexes never seemed to get closer. My heartbeat caught the rhythm of the approaching train and I fell to my knees in exhaustion, desperation and fear.
"Stop! Be quiet!" I begged the never- ceasing voices of the departed souls, "Please be quiet!"
It was useless to attempt to block my ears because it changed absolutely nothing. The ground underneath me was warm but the metal rails were cool. I latched on to them in an attempt to propel myself forward and reach the end of the railroad before the train caught up to me. Surely if it did, I would join the millions of voices speaking all around me. Their sound drained me and it became an ever-increasing struggle to keep moving forward. I grabbed on to the wooden planks below me, digging my fingers into the dirt and gravel along the way, and crawled forward.
"I'm begging you! Please be quiet!" I kept on shouting back at them.
The static noise only kept on getting louder and louder as I went. They didn't want to be ignored; they wanted my attention.
"Silence!" I cried out, "Silence!"
I could no longer lift my head up as I crawled relentlessly so I closed my eyes and tried to detach myself from the noise. Eventually I came to a halt in front of a pair of jackboots. I touched their smooth leather with my tired and used up hands and let my head flop over the other one. I had made it away from the train, I thought, but the voices were still after me. They destroyed me and I wanted them to stop. My heartbeat slowed down and I looked up at the man in the jackboots, it was Rudolf. Never in the history of the existence of the human soul did I imagine ever being relieved, or even thankful, to see such a man in front of me.
I did not know why he appeared to be alive like me amidst the realm of the dead but he also did not appear to be shaken or tormented by the voices. How could he not be after what he had done to them, and even remorsefully begged for forgiveness for his actions? Surely since he was the person in command the souls would be quiet if I asked him to make them stop.
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Lost Thoughts (Volume Two)Short Story
Take a roller coaster ride in this second volume of experimental short stories, each of about 2500 words, mostly written as writing prompts over the years. With all genres from mystery to humor to serious stories about important and relevant topics...