NIGHT TRAIN

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

The train was late. Not exceptionally late like an hour or so but it was ten minutes late creeping towards a quarter of an hour.

            Sid stamped his feet impatiently and impotently on the concrete of the platform.

            He debated over lighting up another cigarette but he’d just finished one and the crushed pile of butts at his feet was starting to look as though someone had gone and dumped an overflowing ashtray there.

            He moved away from the butt littered section of the platform. They weren’t all his anyway.

            It was cold and dark on the platform and as far as Sid could make out he was alone on it.

            He shoved his hands deep in his jacket pockets and exhaling a misty plume of vapour out into the chill night air he cursed the public transport system.

            Then just as he was about to delve into his knapsack and dig out his timetable to see if he’d misread the arrival time of the train, he saw approaching lights in the tunnel.

            “’Bout time,” he muttered to nobody in particular and approached the edge of the platform.

            The train neared. But for the few lights it appeared to be completely dark inside the train. It looked like a ghost train and Sid would have thought it was powered by ghosts had he not seen the bored driver at the fore of the machine.

            The train stopped and sets of doors on each carriage glided open with a hydraulic hiss.

            Sid stepped off the platform and into the carriage before him.

            There were a couple of lights on, enough for Sid to see that he was the solitary passenger in this carriage.

            ‘Well I can have my pick of the seats,’ he informed himself gleefully and carefully walked down the steps to the bottom section of the ill lit car.

            “This one,” he said, and sat down in the first seat.

            Empty chip packets and Coke cans littered the floor under his feet.

            “No, not this one,” he said aloud, again to no one special.

            He vacated that seat and took up residence in one about half way up the carriage.

            A graffitied slogan scrawled on the back of the seat before him advised him to ‘Fuck Off & Die.’

            He took the first bit of advice and went off searching for another seat.

            Finally he decided on the very back one, facing away from the direction he was going.

            This felt like the right seat. He settled back to enjoy the journey, watching the outside world rush by, the tiny pinpricks of light from the city like a frantic horde of fireflies.

            Then the train glided to a halt and he heard the doors open again.

            He gazed intently outside at the seemingly deserted station.

            But it wasn’t quite as deserted as he had first surmised.

            Walking up, or rather shambling, up the aisle towards him was a massive man shaped bulk, like a giant piece of granite carved into a rough human figure.

            The man mountain approached.

            Sid waited for him to take one of the plentiful seats but he didn’t. He walked to where Sid sat sprawled ungainly in his chosen seat and stopped alongside him.

            Sid looked up at a dark craggy face with an unkempt beard and greying eyebrows atop rheumy watery eyes.

            A mouth cracked open in the hairy forest covering the individuals’ lower face and a rumbling deep voice issued forth.

            “You’re in my seat.”

            “What?” Sid asked pleasantly.

            “I said, you’re in my seat.”

            “Look, there are plenty of seats in here. Take two of them,” Sid replied.

            “You are in my seat!” The incredible hulk almost roared.

            “Well,” Sid said in what he thought was a genuinely sarcastic tone of voice. “I don’t see your name anywhere on it, bud.”

            “You don’t? You’re blind then!”

            A huge meaty black finger jabbed at an indecipherable scribbles crawled in sky blue on the ripped seat next to Sid’s denim-clad leg.

            “There! That’s my name right there! My name, my seat!”

            Sid gazed down at the scrawl next to him.

            “That’s my name,” the hulk warned him with a black browed scowl and a flash of yellow teeth. “My name, my seat. Now get out! GET OUT OF MY SEAT!”

            As he stared at the blue scribble Sid was amused to find that he could actually read what the slogan said. It said ‘MULL UP, BONG ON’.

            Sid managed to refrain from letting loose with a guffaw.

            “Is your name really ‘Mull Up, Bong On?’” He asked nicely.

            The ugly look on the mountains face was getting uglier by the second and Sid could almost see the evil promise of painful violence being inflicted upon him if he didn’t vacate the seat.

            “Yes. Yes it is. That’s my name. AND MY SEAT! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SEAT OR I’LL RIP YOUR FUCKING THROAT OUT!”

            “OK, OK Mull, calm down,” Sid held up placating hands. “I guess if you say so, that’s all the proof I need.”

            He stood up slowly, gazing wistfully at the seat as if he were bidding a fond friend a sad farewell.

            He took his right hand out of his jacket pocket.

            “Since it’s your seat Mull, feel free to make use of it.”

            The blade jumped straight out the end of the switchblade handle in his fist and glinted in the meagre light.

            He stabbed the hulk in the bulging stomach, once, twice, three times and then stepped out into the aisle as the goggle-eyed man slumped onto the seat.

            Sid boosted the mountain right up onto the seat so he lay parallel on it and then for good measure slit the prone figures throat.

            Then he wiped the blade of the knife clean over the guys’ filthy overcoat, depressed the button and tossed the handle back in his pocket.

            He gazed for a second at the slumped mess and then strode away back up the aisle to find another seat.

            One day it would happen. One day.

            One day he’d find a seat with HIS name on it. HIS name. HIS seat.

©2013 Jim Goforth

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Comments
  1. Nice Jim.

    I just noticed out sites look remarkable similar. We have the same design. lol

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