Writing Prompt: “A Train Station: One Setting, Four Genres”


Eleven-thirty on a dry and dismal night. The last train for the city had left almost an hour ago. The tunnel into the station was empty, hollow. The fluorescent lights overhead bow in and out, sending harsh, white light onto the tile studded walls, reflecting nothing but silence. In the ever moving world outside, the station stood outside of time, outside of the city it was imprisoned in. I leaned down, lit a match, squinted into the darkness. Faraday was right. The blood was still there, splashed over the stones on the track as if a kid had spilled some paint.


From the time it was built in 1937, the station had held and watched millions of comings and goings:  bright, bursts of hugs, friendly handshakes, heartwarming farewells. It had resonated laughter in its smooth, ochre tiles, echoed tiny whispers and fleeting footsteps and turned its bright, white spotlight on the delicate tears that were often shed here. It glimmered, as if each of its tiles was a photo frame, a thousand memories placed neatly on its walls, all lined up to tell a story. But of all these comings and goings, it most remembers one: the year Jacqueline met Hugh in the midst of the war.


The white sun glistened on the tiles, throwing beams through the tunnel so that it glowed and shimmered. A gentle hum rolled in from the distance and Pete knew that this was. In a few seconds, the train would be here, and he’d be gone from this planet, forever. The station clanked softly and began to revolve, spinning slowly around to line itself up with the appropriate track. One, easy, light-year ride and it would all be over. He wiped the fog off his gas mask and remembered the stories his father had told him of breathing fresh, clean air and of being able to see the sun rise and set each day.


It had been shut down for thirty years, sealed up and strictly out-of-order. None of us dared set foot in there. Even its echo breathed chills and shivers. The fluorescent lights were gone now, once bright and comforting, they had exploded in some dark moment, flinging glass in a hundred fatal directions. Or so the stories went. There was nothing left anymore to illuminate the splashes of cracked blood on the mosaic of stained, yellow tiles. Somewhere on the dark streets, somebody screams. It flutters into the tunnel and vanishes, as if this place is some kind of evil-driven portal that draws everything into its dead existence.

The Prompt: 

Imagine a specific setting. Describe it in five different ways, one each based on the genre of Crime, Romance, Science Fiction and Horror.

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