Author Topic: Tunnel of Death by Davidrb6  (Read 5638 times)

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Tunnel of Death by Davidrb6
« on: February 19, 2016, 10:44:48 am »
                  

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story features Laura Rowley who appears in "An Excellent Taste In Women". Both stories are set in England during the Victorian era.

       The hard metal rail pressed into Laura Rowley's spine and the cleft of her buttocks. Her arms hurt as they had pulled over her head and tied behind her. Her legs were also bound to the same rail and the balls of her bare feet dug into the gravel. Laura was naked: a final humiliation from the kidnapping she'd undergone.
       Laura had, by chance; come into an inheritance from an uncle of her's who'd been in Parliament. It had been made public when she'd entered society at eighteen: young, beautiful and eligible for a husband.
   Others had only been interested in the money.
   One evening Laura had been visited at her home by a man who'd claimed to know her uncle. The next thing that happened was that a laudanum soaked handkerchief had been pressed into her face and she'd lost consciousness. On waking Laura had found herself in a room lying on a sofa; bound hand and foot, and surrounded by several well-dressed men. They were holding her hostage they told her, and if she wrote a ransom note and co-operated with them then she would be released.
       Laura had said no and had told them of a suitable address they could move to.
   She'd then been taken by carriage out into the country at night. The carriage had stopped and Laura had been taken across fields and down a cutting at the bottom of which a railway line ran into a tunnel. There she'd been stripped and tied to one of the rails inside the tunnel mouth. Then her kidnappers had left her.
      Laura had been tied with her head facing into the tunnel and her feet pointing outwards. Hidden in the darkness, she knew the driver and fireman would not see her. The wind blew against her bare skin and the smell of smoke and soot filled her nostrils. She sniffed but didn't cry. There was no point. She was far away from the road. She'd seen no houses nearby and no one would hear her cries for help. She'd been bound tightly to the rail and couldn't move. Opposite her she could see the manhole that the railway workers would shelter in whenever a train went past. She could also see puddles and patches of mud within the tunnel that had not dried out after the recent rain.
       "There'll be a train coming soon," Laura thought.
    She was surprised how calm she was. No point in screaming or crying. Prepare yourself for death and, maybe in the next world, God would forgive the men who'd crushed out her life.
       Looking up at the curved tunnel roof Laura felt she was already in her grave. The way its brickwork was sculptured reminded her of the overwhelming ornamentation of the cemetery tombstones. It seemed appropriate she was lying in a hole in the ground where ashes were scattered.
       The train would come soon.

               ****

       It was coming now!
       Laura felt her body shudder as the rail began to be pounded by the huffing, snorting engine, and its shrill whistle echoed through the tunnel. She heard the wheezing of the engine's pistons and the metallic grinding, singing of its driving wheels. She opened her mouth to breathe her last, and with her head tilted back Laura saw over her bare arms the engine's rounded, black-faced front bear down on her with its heavy, flanged wheels.   

               ****

       It was not until after the engine had pulled its train into the terminus that a wheel tapper noticed the splashed blood and ground skin tissue on its wheels and those of the carriages. The traffic was suspended and an inspector and several platelayers searched the line. In the tunnel mouth they found Laura Rowley, but as another train had run over her body there wasn't much that was recognizable.

                  THIS TRAIN TERMINATES HERE!

 

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