Late-Night Rush Hour

Late-Night Rush Hour

There’s usually the loud patter of footsteps rushing all across the station, hoping to catch their train before it left. Voices shouted to one another and some were still in business calls while on the go. Station workers responded across their radios and guided people to the right platform if there were any route changes or delays. It was all part of the typical scene of working in a major city. With all of that gone, the station was nothing more than just a collection of empty hallways and corridors. Walking through alone was actually a bit if an intimidating feeling. I couldn’t help but feel on edge as if something was waiting for me to come around the corner.

Trying to push the feelings aside, I overheard the loud screeching of metal grinding against metal. The intercom system for the station came on, announcing that the train heading into midtown had just departed the station. Right after that another announcement came, informing that the final train headed for the suburbs will arrive on track five in ten minutes.

The entire train system typically ran on a twenty-four hour schedule, only slowing down on weekends and off-peak hours. The fact that the final train was announced must have meant a major system-wide maintenance must happen been occurring, at least I assumed. Regardless, hearing that I will be catching the final train was a blessing in its own. I went down the corridor and went down the steps that lead to track five.

I was hoping to be rid of that feeling of being on edge. The platform on track five just made it much worse.

The platform was barely lit, only a handful of overhead ceiling lights flickering just enough to see where the platform ended and where the track rails began. The air grew much colder, icy wind touching against my skin. I could barely see down to the end of the platform. My footsteps echoed with intensity as I walked down to the seating area. I kept my purse around my shoulder and placed it on my lap, making sure it was constantly keeping it near me. I couldn’t hear anything going on, but I had this constant feeling that I was being watched by somebody. Or something.

The intercom came on again, announcing that my train will be arriving in five minutes.

“Just a few more minutes,” I whispered to myself.

Though my little chants to keep myself calm, I jumped when I heard squeaking coming from the train tracks. Those damn rats must have been loving the quiet and the unusual darkness of the station. The squeaking picked up, becoming louder and louder by the second. I tried my best to ignore it, secretly hoping the train would come charging in and running all of them over with ease. And then, it suddenly stopped.

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