• Alonzo Cortez

The 10th - Short Story

Bzzz. It was the most dreaded sound we heard—the sound of another posting. We do not know why or where, but we knew who. Dr. C shivered in fear from the unknown.


Three months ago, they all had disappeared on March 10th. Out of the teenage population, 10% have mysteriously disappeared. In a class of what used to be eighty-five people, there were now less than forty. Both Kevin and Amanda went, no trace whatsoever. The cousin of my family friend, Elijah, gone as well.


The police have been going on for months, in this case, without any substantial leads to go on. There was no trace with any of the numerous suspects, other than the fact they were all older than eighteen and younger than twenty-four. The victims weren’t connected, other than the fact they were all in Jersey. Even kids out of state going to college in other places were gone as well. It was the most significant question mark that hung on the heads of enforcement, not knowing what to do.


However, that wasn’t even the most unusual part. Their social media accounts, twitter, Instagram, Facebook, still updated with posts. The posts always went something like this: every 8:23 AM, right when class began, posts of both Amanda and Kevin’s account were being updated. However, these posts weren’t new. They were reposts of images four years ago, on an endless loop over the past twelve weeks.


Bzz. My phone rang again. This time was different. The image shocked the room, unlike the other times the notorious Bzz sound would vibrate across tables.


My jaw dropped, and my teeth clenched. Dr.C had almost shed a tear, and the entire class turned their heads towards me in dismay. The girl in front of me turned showed me her phone before I could reach for mine.


Looking at the image, I burst into tears, first shocked with a wave of disbelief and denial. Unlike the other posts of Amanda and Kevin, I was included. It was a post of us five years ago and marked the first post from the missing that included one of us.


The police couldn’t do anything but put me in WISTEC, and so they did and continued with the investigation, as they stationed me at a remote home. With every passing second, I became paranoid.


What if the police were involved in these abductions?

What if this was the home that Kevin and Amanda are in?


As the surge of questions rushed through my head, I passed out in the middle of the couch, sinking comfortably amidst the dire urgency of the abductions.

I do not know nor recall the time that has passed, but soon enough, I woke up in the middle aisle of two rows of chairs. With its blue-printed covers, along with the markings made on the floor, I knew I wasn’t in WISTEC anymore. As I gathered myself and woke up to the blinding lights coming from the large window panes, I realized I was on a fast-moving train.


Immediately, I tried to pry the door open with all my might, desperately hoping for the door to bust free. I turned back and ran to the door opposite of the aisle. No luck again.


As the train circled so that I could see the ending cars, I saw a glimpse of another person, with a hood covering the side of their face. It was unclear as to who that was, but that wasn’t the only one. There were more than fifty of them, hood-bound, secreted from my viewpoint almost too accurately.


A shiver went up and down my spine, for Kevin and Amanda came to mind. Attempting to escape, I tried to kick the windows open. No luck. I tried to look for a ceiling opening. No luck again.


Stepping over to the window, I realize I am right there smack in the middle of the city, like an abandoned train that no one has noticed.


After being in the outdoors for a while, the train stopped. As I looked for where we were, finding for clues that would lead to my escape, I realized we were at Broad St. Station. My heart dropped as I didn’t want it to be true. In an attempt to neglect my fear, I checked my phone, and it was the 10th. My heart dropped, and my jaw clenched in fear. Everyone else thought it was a myth. Then I remembered a story Kevin and Amanda always used to tell me when we were little, about the engineer who was killed by this exact train back in the late 1800s.


We would always quiver at the fact that on the 10th of every month, at midnight, that engineer would ride that train through Broad St. After leaving, and alone in the car, I heard the final Bzzz.

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About The Blogger

Alonzo Cortez is currently a student attending the University of Michigan and resides in Bayonne, NJ, but has lived in both Singapore and the Philippines. He is currently planning to major in the Ford School of Public Policy with a Ross Business Minor, hoping to move into corporate law and business ownership. He writes on a wide array of topics, like video game content on Moot, Sports Betting previews for the New York Knicks, as well as freelance work for Dade Group, LLC. Other than writing, Alonzo spends his time managing the re-establishment of the Phi Delta Fraternity as one of the founding brothers. Further, he works with fitness and health-based organizations as a brand ambassador for Loyal Fitness, a fitness clothing line, and Orgain, a plant-based protein shake.

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