Sunday, 24 May 2015

A Short Story - Killing Time

                                     Killing Time

What was it that made me feel so uneasy? Something wasn’t right and I couldn’t put my finger on it. What was it? I had no answer to my question!
Night after night, I watch the same faceless people meandering about the station, mindless of time. Their expressionless faces as they purchase tickets, ascend or descend the escalators, or just stand around killing time. Could it be the incessant babble of noise made by people and machinery forever on the move? Or the unnerving silence on the now deserted platform that sent a shiver down my back? Was it my imagination or were the annoying flickering lights casting more shadows as they punctured the eerie stillness of the air. From a distance I could hear the rumble of the train approaching so I started to relax as with a blast of air the lead carriage exploded from the black tunnel with headlights blazing. Slowly and silently like a whisper the train came to a halt. As the doors opened I quickly stepped inside and gazed around the compartment. It was half empty as expected, four more stops and it was the end of the line. I made my way to an empty seat and sat down. I looked around and saw familiar faces that I see every night on my way back home. Like the little old lady sitting opposite, always sound asleep, her head slightly tilted back, her mouth wide open, swaying with the motion of the train., waking when the train stops and then drifting off again. There was the fidgety man constantly cleaning his glasses, and on the seat close to the door a young good looking lad with his eyes closed, oblivious to his surroundings listening to his walkman.
Gradually people left the carriage, I tried to read my book, but I couldn’t concentrate, the air had suddenly become thick and clammy making it hard to breath.  Suddenly my senses became heightened when I felt something or someone penetrate my mind. Without moving my head I slowly lifted my eyes and scanned the now silent compartment. A strange man sitting just up from me was reading a newspaper. He was shabbily dressed, wearing a dark jacket over a crew neck jumper. His hair looked long and greasy, and the thick stubble on his chin said that he hadn’t shaved in days. His body language said that he was engrossed in his newspaper. Except I knew different! I could feel his black, cold lifeless eyes probe my mind searching for any sign of fear. He turned a page and I averted my eyes. Returning to my book I pretended to read. The last stop was approaching; I looked up and caught sight of the big black headline on the front page of the newspaper. LUNATIC ESCAPES AND IS ON THE RUN FROM BROADMOOR. Police are alerting people to be vigilant and to not approach the man. My eyes drift up and I could see that he was staring at me. His face was contorted into a cold, vile sneer. Was I asleep, lost in a nightmare from the horror book that I was reading? Could it have been that I was just so tired that my over active imagination had gone into overdrive? Or was I looking into the eyes of a mad man.
Brenda Darling

No comments:

Post a Comment