Chapter 2: The Raid

Leah Moore Parson, Writer

The sound of chugging filled Marlie’s head. Strange… she thought to herself, knowing that it’s impossible to hear things when you are sleeping. Normally her dreams would drown out the noises, but she did not even have a dream, or a nightmare… just darkness. 


Marlie couldn’t even hear the cries of the children, only the chugging of the train. There were a hundred other noises that could be in this ‘dream’, but there was just chugging and chugging.


She knew that she was asleep but it felt like she was floating in an empty  void. The rapid chugging was making her go mad. Marlie tried to wake herself up to no avail. She just heard the sound getting louder and louder. Then there was a loud crash and Marlie woke up.


All the children in her cart just looked at one another and asked the trainsmen what was going on. Some of them just broke into tears. Marile then heard men talking followed by screaming. She couldn’t make what they were saying because of the thick blanket over her head.


“Don’t panic!” called out the trainsmen, “Everything will be alright. Just stay where you are and don’t call attention to yourselves”


And in an instant, there were footsteps coming towards the door. All the children panicked and hid under the covers in the bed and wept to themselves. But not Marlie. Her heart was racing and the smoke coming from her head became darker and thicker, but she didn’t shed a single tear.


The Trainman swiftly got every child on the cart to a bed and closed the curtains before the pirates got in. The door swung open and three huge pirates walked through the door. Marlie peaked through the blankets and curtains. She and saw three pirates wearing nothing but robes; their faces were covered, only their eyes were shown. The children softly wailed in fear as they walked past them towards the storage cart.


The children calm themselves down. Marlie got out of the covers and looked around. No one was injured. She was half expecting everyone in the cart to be injured. She grew up seeing so much violence, she was almost expecting it. The trainsmen looked into the window to see the men taking any valuables they could find. He collapsed on the floor and put his hand towards his mouth.


“No, no, no…” He whispered to himself in fear.


Marlie came close to the Trainsmen as he wiped his tears. The Trainsmen gestured Marlie to go back to her bed. Marlie sat beside him trying to make him feel better, but it couldn’t stop him from sobbing.


The Trainsmen heard the footsteps again and threw Marlie into one of the beds. The men came back and approached the Trainsmen. Marlie stood quite as the children next to her were whimpering. He then positioned himself in front of the door the men went through. 


They came back, towering over the Trainsmen. The pirates shoved past the Trainsmen and opened the curtains. The children screamed like banshees. One of the pirates tried to reach out and grab one of the children but the Trainmen tackled him and started throwing punches.


“Go! Run!” He cried as the other pirate tried to get the Trainsmen off of the other pirate. 


The children ran as fast as they could to the other carts. Marlie tried to run but there was a third man out keeping lookout. He saw them standing there shocked and scared. Every passenger there was scared of what the pirates would do to them. A young man stepped in front of the frightened children. Losing his patience, one of the men said, “I suggest you move or else I’ll make you.”  He stood his ground but the young pirates was swiftly pulled back to his seat by a woman he was sitting next to.


 Marlie and the other children heard yelling in the cart behind them followed by footsteps. They did something to him Marlie thought to herself. The door flung open and the men ran into the cart, with the loot they had gathered on their backs. Marlie was grabbed by one of the pirates as well as the two children next to her. 


“Take them and bring them to the Captain.” One of the pirates said. And so off they did. 


Marlie tried to struggle free for the grip of her captors but couldn’t. Then took them on top of the train. The worm sandy winds blowing on . Marlie and the other children were fastened to the side of the beast, unable them against the sunset.. On top of the train, three bird-beast hybrid. ‘Griffins’ they were called. Waiting for their masters to return to move their arms.


“If you struggle,  you’ll fall off this thing. Got it?” The children nodded their heads and looked around at the passing peaks and cliffs.


The men climbed onto the backs of beasts and with heavy flaps of their wings and a huge jump, they flew off the train into the sunset. Marlie thoughts of never seeing her family again horrifying her.