An Empty Train By Keith Asada

Instruments: 2d6

Game Description 

You remember the station, the people, the departure, but you cannot remember what happened to make you wake alone. Explore the cars, uncover the mystery, and avoid that thing that hunts you.

Game Content Warnings 

These are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.

Playthrough Content Warnings 

These are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.

Game Playthrough

Word Count: 2,025     Played: Nov 14, 2023

An Empty Train by Keith Asada 

Instruments: 2d6, Created Map, Token

The Train

Name: The Silver Zephyr Express


Dark wood paneling trimmed with a faux gold paint and tiny chandelier light fixtures. There is a dark green carpet and dark green plush seats that have been maintained to be stain free. The tepid lights make everything seem yellow and dim. There is an attempt to make the train look classy, but almost everything is fake in some way. 


Car 1

The Conductor’s Car

A hot mess of metal spaghetti; hot tubes running every which way, levers and pulleys, gears, dials, knobs, each rusted and tarnished, brass turned green and knobs hanging on with string. 

The levers tied back with belts, the furnace smoking and sputtering and sending out waves of heat and ash. 

It shouldn’t look like this. Touching anything might make things far, far worse than it already is assuming my hands wouldn’t melt off from being near it. I can’t stay in the room too long or I might melt. 

Car 6

The Caboose 

Boxes and suitcases, hatboxes, purses, clutches, shoeboxes, giant wooden crates filled with hay, a wardrobe locked with a chain and padlock, a mirror bound with ripped canvas already cracked, and hundreds upon hundreds of small ring, earring, necklace, watch boxes. 

Everything looked out of place, some were new, some were old, dusty and moldy, some looked like they were priceless and some looked like trash. All of these were personal objects, hats, clothes, rings, things that should be on a person, not necessarily in storage. There were six umbrellas bound together in a corner with a padlock. 

After searching through the older wooden crates I came across a crowbar. I took it with me. 

Car 4

The Dining Car

This car was filled with seaweed and barnacles and stinks of rotten fish. I kept the lights off as I went through to the caboose so I thought it was dinner gone bad, but this whole place looks like it was dredged from the depths of the ocean. 

I didn’t see any life other than the barnacles and I could not even tell if they were still alive. The padding of the seats has rotted away and I could see the springs poke through what remains of the cloth. It was uncomfortable but still better than the rotten floorboards. 

Car 5

The Mail Car

Something felt wrong, but I could not explain it. It looked normal, completely normal but my stomach lurches each time I see the envelopes stacked into their cubbies. I could not bring myself to touch anything. The nausea is too much and I could not stay for long. 

Car 2 & 3 

Passenger Cars

There were indents on the seats as though there was something invisible but heavy sitting on them. Like a ghost has taken residence upon the seat but I could not see nor interact with it. 

Everywhere there were indents in the backs of chairs and on the seats--the idea of people persisting though there were none. 

I even touched one, and it was though nothing was there at all, simply an indent. 

There is only one empty seat, and so I take it and try to look out the window, trying to see any hint of light, any sign of life other than myself, any hill or tile or tunnel dirt. 

I noticed it then for the first time. A tap tap tap, a creak, a groan, the sound of metal compacting, the sound of rust scraping against rust, and the jagged crack spindling across the top of the car and down towards the sides. It slices clean through the wood, the window, and the curtains as if they were all made of newspaper. 

I know that it is coming for me and I race to the outer doors. They were rusted shut, immovable and made unbreakable even through the smashes of the crowbar. 

I fled down into the conductor's car where I hid myself carefully so as to not burn myself on the pipes.

The Game

Conductor’s Car


First roll: 5 Temperature + 5 Soft = 10  

Terror: 10

What must you do to free yourself? 

The heat of the car was still as bad as the first time I was in here. It’s sticky and I could feel myself immediately become drenched in sweat. 

I touch one of the only pieces of equipment that isn’t metal and steaming. It’s a small lever towards the door, and as I do so, it melts into my hand and onto the floor before resuming its shape. 

I run my hand across the wall and it too molds and reforms in a way that I could not properly interact with it. I could not grasp anything in here, and it continues to re-mold around me. 

This train would run forever unless I could do something to these devices, and if I could not stop it, I could not leave. 


Roll: 3, Texture + 3, Old = 6 , Lower 

Terror: 16


I could not stand the heat of this car! The pipes were blowing steam into my face and I could not see. I could hardly move for fear of touching one of the red-hot pipes. As I watched them, studying for more answers they seemed to rust before my eyes. Each pipe burst steam from small fractured cracks, belts split and tore, the strings snapped and knobs turned before re-molding anew. It aged and was remade with old parts flying askew and nearly hitting me. 

Nothing in here makes sense and I could feel my breath quickening as I started to overheat. I need to leave. 

Car 2, Passenger 


Roll: 5, Temperature + 3 Old = 8 Higher 

Terror: 24

Sacrifice the Car -12 Terror

Terror: 12

The temperature drop was enough to make my heart seize. The sweat against my skin froze in an instant and I began to shiver. 

Frost started to creep through the cracks in the wall and that tap tap taping sounded as the metal contracted from the cold. The wood began to splinter and age, cracking and malforming its colors. The entire car seemed to shrink and compress, metal groaning, windows cracking further as their frames squashed the glass. 

The decanters from the servers’ trays still contained the alcohol they were serving and I hoped it was a high enough proof. I poured it over the seats and lit one of the matches from the tray. It caught fire quickly, and only seemed to slow the shrinking enough for me to escape through the door.

Car 3, Passenger 


Roll: 1 Sight + 6, Overwhelming = 7 Lower

Terror: 19 


Every light in this car was burned, or broken, and the only light came from the dim windows. It took longer to adjust than I would have liked, but I was able to sit on one of the seats in the meantime. 

When they finally adjusted I could see out the window and there was nothing but spindling cracks through the darkness. Each one a fractal on a fractal cracking and moving through an impossible space until it clinked and tap tap tapped on the glass of the windows. 

I did not stay to see if it broke. 

Car 4, Dining Car


Roll: 2 Smell + 4 Enticing = 6 Lower

Terror: 25 

Sacrifice the Car -12 Terror 

Terror: 13 

Something smelled different in this car. The stench of brine was still there, but deep in the kitchen, there was something so wonderful. 

The water soaked double doors eventually gave way after pushing and I was in an immaculate kitchen. I know a little about fancy kitchen tools and  mandolins, juliennes, bottles of every type of oil and everything shone clean and nearly sparkled. 

And there upon a small table meant for the chef’s meal, three salmon steaks, plated and set upon the table with white wine and a candle. 

This was for me and I sat at my place. I don’t know why I hesitated with the fork in my hand, but when the train jolted, and the candle flickered I saw for just an instant, a rotten kitchen, bloated with seawater, dripping with kelp, and the salmon on the plate was riddled with puss. 

And in an instant it was back to its immaculate form. With all the spices and tools, sparkling and clean. The cooking oil also proved to be flammable and I fled deeper into the train. 

Car 5, The Mail Car


Roll:  4 Hearing + 4 Enticing = 8 Higher 

Terror: 21

Sacrifice the Car -12

Terror: 9 

The nausea resumed when I entered the mail room. Each letter looked disgusting to me, like it was filled with viscera instead of words. And when I approached to get to the other side of the room, they all began to hum and whisper. 

They wanted me to open them. They wanted me to see their vile words and touch the paper with my skin. I wanted to as well. I needed to know, but the contents of my stomach came up through my mouth and onto the floor. 

I couldn’t stay and mail too proves to be flammable. 

Car 6, The Caboose


Roll: 5 temperature + 1 Sharp = 6 

Terror: 17 


It was cold again, like in the passenger car. I searched through the crates looking for something warm, something that would fit. I found it: my favorite coat, the black one with the dark blue stitching, with me for this long trip. 

I had put it in my suitcase in the alcove above the seat, but it was here, lying on a pile of other discarded clothing. 

It brought me little comfort in the dropping temperature and so I piled other clothing upon myself and nestled into the hay of one of the crates. 

I was tired. 


Roll: 1 Sight + 6 Overwhelming  = 7 

Terror: 24 

Sacrifice the Car -12 

Terror: 12

The darkness came creeping in again. Cracking through everything, warping everything it touched. I saw it through my eyelids like the veins through my skin, but it was still there when I opened them. 

That tap tap tap and the cracking of glass and steel extended down through the roof and the bound mirror and approached me on the floor. 

I began tossing everything I could into the crack, hoping to fill it, to stall it, and it seemed to work for a time. The clothing, boxes, hats, umbrellas, all seeped into the crack and were caught, clicking around, half inside and half outside of the train. Like all the other cars of this damned train, it too was soon on fire. 

I scrambled out of the door, into the next cart. 

Car 5, Mail Cart

Roll: 6 Instinct + 1 Sight = 7

Terror: 19

Continue running 

Car 4, Dining Cart 

Roll: 1 + 1 = 2

Terror: 21

Continue Running 

Car 3, Passenger 

Roll: 1 Sight + 5 Soft  = 6

Terror: 27 

Sacrifice the Car -12 Terror

Terror: 15 

This car had remained dark like before, but I still had plenty of matches to use for sight. Inside everything was melting, like it was made of soft wax, like it was the same as the conductor’s car. 

I could barely move as I sunk deep into the floor through the ooze. I could see the cracks spreading behind me, tap tap tap. 

I threw the match at the carpet and crawled towards the next car, where I could see the light from the flame still burning. 

Car 2, Passenger

Roll: 5 + 2 = 7

Terror: 22

Continue Running 

Car 1, Conductor’s Engine 

There are no more cars to burn and you cannot run. 

The Terror Consumes You 

I can’t outrun the taps. I can’t out run the taps, I’m pressed against the heat of the pipes and the steam and I can’t see and I can’t breath. 

My legs are coming undone as it reaches up and splits me like paper. There’s no blood. There’s no bone. There’s nothing, I am simply torn like a sheet. 

And it’s on my hips and on my chest and in my 

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