IN TRANSIT

“Hidden in the hot mist of movement, a shadow.”

 

The steam rises.

Hidden in the hot mist of movement, a shadow. Tall, lumbering in fact and yet unnoticed in the bustle of another rush homeward.

The conductor, maybe. Or a commuter perhaps. Gaps of humanity filling in the mass of mindless flesh passing in unfamiliarity. There is no clarity in their thoughts. They are traveling from here to there.

Successful ventures brought him to the big city.
But, a failing marriage and an equally futile affair brings him to board this behemoth; through the fog.

The platform clears. All that remains is the shadow and the clacking of heels on the iron stairs. She’s missing her train. Again the steam rises, and the heated hiss surprises her. He stands unmoved by it. He has heard it thousands of times. It has become his insanity. He had released vanity years ago.

The tracks are empty for a moment. The steam dissipates. And as she nervously reaches for her cell phone, she feels a hand in here pocket that is not hers. Whipping around for a glimpse, she see nothing at all. A new arrival on track 3. More steam, ominous orange neon flashes and whispers.

“Get on the train” It fills her ears. More hiss than whisper. Was the locomotive beckoning her?

“Get on the train!” it repeated.

Mindlessly she walked, her trance compelling and telling her to proceed cautiously. She felt sick. Unsettled. She felt the rush of movement behind her as instinct and fear worked in tandem. She stepped to her right behind the concrete abutment.

The shadowy figure lay mangled on the track. He has come to his end the way it had been explained to him. The voices called and whispered. More hiss than whisper. He was helping the lady, he was convinced of it. Only it was she who was helping him. She was his insanity; a figment of his wild ramblings. He gambled with the idea that whatever was following him, wouldn’t survive the jump in front of the train engine.

She was gone. It was unsure if she even ever was. The investigation found his missing hand on the platform. And they never could explain the clacking noise deep within the train tunnel. It just kept moving deeper into the void. An eternity in transit.

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