Owen sat in the empty common room watching the news on an old television set. The picture was fuzzy, colors bleeding into each other, and the audio was crumpled.
He had arrived too late for the first assembly of term, so while all the other students were learning about the school and getting to know each other, he had been left in the musty, dark room to wait.
“A freak weather incident here on the high-speed rail link from London. We are sorry to report the tragic deaths of two passengers. All other travelers are accounted for and were unharmed. Police and emergency respondents are on the scene.”
It was not true, none of it was. Owen had seen the two men standing on the roof of the train, had seen them shoot the passengers. But the police had said it was in his imagination, there were no gunshot wounds on either passenger.
He had told them about the third man as well, the one in brown corduroy. Their response had been that only four people had booked tickets in that carriage and they were the two victims, Owen and the businesswoman.
She had not been any help either. Once she eventually stopped hyperventilating into her smartphone, all she had said was that the wind ripped open the train and they all nearly died.
The only part of Owen’s story the police had believed was about the plumes of cloud hitting the side of the carriage. That was where the news report had come from, a freak weather incident.
Owen took the silver pocket watch out and began to turn it over in his hands. That was the only proof he had that what he had seen was real. Without the pocket watch, he would not have believed it himself.
It was too valuable to give to the police. They would not believe him any more for it anyway. But to Owen it was proof that the man in brown corduroy had been there. He was a murderer and an escaped prisoner. Owen was going to find out who he was.
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