Sample of the short story ‘The Railway Bridge’ by S.J. Menary.
‘Mother always told me not to go out after dark.
Dark black streets, wet with cold hard rain, infecting the senses like a contagion. The full moon is out tonight. It’s hidden behind brown polluted clouds and illuminates from behind like bad stage lighting.
I hate full moon. All the weirdoes come out on full moon. Lurking under the railway bridge, down the lonely road, in the shadows of the train station. Desperate for blood.
I watch as the yellow windows blur past as the train rattles across the bridge. The noise fades away, and I hear the thin sound of lonely footsteps.
He’s walking fast. Young, 18 maybe. Just a kid. Rich Grandma paying for everything. Those extra strength glasses, pristine textbooks, brand new red hoodie. A kid like that is gonna be a doctor. Make the family proud. That is, if he can stay away from the wrong side of the railway bridge.
It’s raining. Just a bit. But Glasses pulls up his hood, checks his watch. He’s late. Probably has to get home to Grandma. Oversized town house, meticulous décor, shiny new car in the driveway.
Good little Glasses. He stops at the crossing, tapping his feet. He’s really late then.
The quickest way home is through that dark, deserted underground car park. A concrete forest of broken stairwells and abandoned shopping trolleys.
I watch him thinking weighing it up in his head. The cogs are whirring. It’s a faster route, but you just never know what’s hidden down there.
He takes that fateful step, and the shadows swallow him whole. All I can hear is the crunch of shattered glass under his expensive shoes.
Mother always said if I did go out after dark, always stay under the streetlights. Bad things happen in the dark.’