Catch the Train, Chapter 1 (A Teaser)

Another story I’ve been playing with that definitely isn’t to the 10,000-word buffer, but since everything’s been a little weird with writing lately (I’m writing this on 4/20), I figure it’s something I know I have written and it’s, well – um. Here.  Have a chapter, let me know what you think.





Tumbling, the wind whipping in her ears, nothing around her but air, nothing below her, nothing anywhere.

Oksana wasn’t sure if she’d lost consciousness or if she’d somehow lost a bit of time, but she was falling, and before that she’d been… trying a narrow door in the university Library? 

The door had been made of old wood with dozens of little dents in the carvings dividing it into panels; there’d been a yellowed card reading Obscure Worlds in tidy handwriting, and the doorknob had been small, brass, and very cold. 

There was no way she could not open that door, even if she hadn’t been procrastinating on a very boring homework assignment. 

And then – 

then she was falling through the air.  This should have been more alarming, but somehow it didn’t seem to be as bad as you’d think being in free-fall with no bottom in sight ought to be. 

She shifted a little, getting a feel for her body. She was definitely falling. She was definitely still in gravity, and she was definitely still herself. This could be a dream, but if that was the case, she’d likely hit her head, because she wasn’t prone to passing out randomly and with all the coffee and soda she’d had – it was a really boring homework assignment – there was no way she’d be falling asleep until sometime past midnight, much less in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the library. 

Something in the distance caught her attention. Oksana rubbed her eyes – yes, yes there was definitely actually something there, off to the, well, to that direction, which was currently her left.  Those were – those were trees.  The tops of them.  And then over there, water.  Lots and lots of water, and what looked like some sort of bridge. 

No, not just a bridge, a railroad bridge.  Which seemed to vanish under the water after a very short distance.  That wasn’t alarming at all. 

She had bigger alarms, though, such as the fact that she was still falling rapidly towards the ground.  There was some more railroad track, vanishing into the forest. And there were two really big circles on the ground. Really big. They seemed to be to either side of a brick building, and one of them was coming up towards her really, really quickly. 

She screamed.  It seemed like the appropriate thing to do, and it seemed to let out some knot inside of her.  She screamed and squeezed her eyes closed, only to open them a moment later.  

The brick building had a slate roof; there was a train on the other side of it.  There were people, although none of them were on the big circles.  And there were other buildings all around, set into the edges of the forest. 

The brick building had a slate roof; there was a train on the other side of it.  There were people, although none of them were on the big circles.  And there were other buildings all around, set into the edges of the forest. 

There were people, who had at first been specks and now were looking more and more like normal people, although their clothing was brilliant and bright and some of them seemed very tall or very short in comparison to the others around them.

And then the last seconds of falling were on her. Oksana remembered belatedly that you’re supposed to go limp in the event of a fall and closed her eyes, trying to relax every bit of her body.

She landed, far more softly than she’d expected but with the wind knocked out of her, and rolled slowly to her feet. The ground — the circle — under her was squishy, as if it had been set here specifically to catch people falling, but it was just firm enough to let her get to her feet without much effort, the ache in her back and butt notwithstanding.

There were people outside of the circle, looking at her — waiting for her? Oksana stepped towards them.

7 thoughts on “Catch the Train, Chapter 1 (A Teaser)

  1. Because you totally need another portal fantasy in progress. 🙂 The locals being prepared for awkward drop-ins is a nice touch. Nothing going on yet, though.

    • Clearly I do! This was attempt one of four to write what I like to read.

      Nothing going on yet, no. Just falling. Shall I post the next 3 chapters?

      • I still have a soft spot for Portal Closed, but if it isn’t where your inspiration is, so be it.

        Are you invested enough in this one to make one of your regulars?

  2. What do I think? It grips me considerably less than The Bellamy and quite a bit more than The Girl of Many Names and Her Sand Cat. 😛

    The landing zone and the watching people are a nice variation on the basic portal fantasy theme, but I’m unsure if there is anything to base a continued interest on…

  3. I’d like to see more of this. From the perspective of someone going in expecting Alice in Wonderland: how will it be different?

    • @DialM – As for “different from Alice in Wonderland…”

      Almost as trippy, but slightly more internal logic visible to the reader.
      Definitely more adult, where adult means “there is a relationship between two+ people” but not sexual, or at least not in main text.
      Definitely at least as much magic, probably more.

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