Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Underground


The hunched shade propped himself against the graffiti-coated wall. He tightly grasped a coffee-stained copy of the Sun and stared unconsciously at the cracked polystyrene cup that sat before him. A small, giggling child approached and dropped some coins into it and he grunted his thanks. The girl then ran back to her father’s loving and caring embrace. The man could only express his resentment inside.

The next train arrived and sent a gust of air blowing down the corridor. The doors squealed open and a flood of people spilled onto the platform from the grime stained locomotive. She stumbled out of the train and advanced toward the cafe. Three minutes, she thought referring to the time of next departure, her friends would be awaiting her inside the carriage. She glanced around to gain her bearing; but saw the chilling sight of her train leaving and her friends laughing.



He stood, grasping the utensil inserted carefully back into his pocket as he left the platform. He stalked through the dark tunnels gliding on a seemingly aimless course. He glanced at a map and a self-satisfied look crossed his face.

On her empty platform, the woman was panicking. There was no-one there. She walked with a drunken demeanour. She glanced through the grate at her feet. She saw a sign saying 6. There was no one there. The lights were flickering. Adrenaline rushed around her body as she made for the flight of stairs. The intercom blared, “Next train in 6 minutes on platform 6, remember to stand clear of the gap."

The woman relaxed from the soothing message and placed herself on a bench. She began her silent wait. Meanwhile, the man navigated the corridors with an uncanny expertise. He weaved his way slowly laughing at his own diminishing footfall. He took a wrong turn and cursed as he backtracked. His face was woven with grimace and beads of sweat rolled down his cheek despite his horrific grin. No-one was around now and the lights were beginning to dim as he approached the abandoned platform. The lights still methodically flickered.

She rose to her feet as fear really began to kick in; she had waited the time for the train, but to no avail. A shadow darkened her posture. She glanced back and saw nothing.

His prey was there. She looked to check her makeup in her mirror. Her heart went cold. She saw the devil-like grin approach her. The lights continued to flicker. The recording played again; “Next train in 6 minutes on platform 6, remember to stand clear of the gap."

by Stephen King