Late-Night Rush Hour

Late-Night Rush Hour

I sat perfectly still, trying to hear any kind of sound coming from anywhere in the station; I expected to hear the squeaking pick back up again. Instead, faint breathing reached my ears.

Part of me knew something weird was going on when the station was empty and nobody was around. Another sign was when there were no station workers in sight and not even any notices or work signs were placed anywhere. And the final hint was the extra dark lighting on the station platforms. Something in me was shouting that I should have went back up and taken a taxi home, but I didn’t listen.

The breathing was slow and steady, high-pitched as if something big was struggling to take in air through its nose. The squeaking returned, this time coming from right in front of me. Something was nearby, most like a large rat that hopped up onto the train platform. Not wanting to be anywhere near it, I brought my legs up onto my seat and reached into my purse for my phone. I turned on the flashing option and aimed it straight in front of me.

I held my breath when I saw what was in front of me.

Large black eyes stared directly at me. A red snout for a nose sniffed the air and massive gray whiskers moved with it. Dark gray fur all over, slick and shiny from rummaging through dirt and filth. Giant claws the size of human hands with gnarled nails kept it clutched to the station wall.

My entire body locked up at the sight. My hand continued to grip my phone and flash the light straight ahead. I couldn’t help but tear up in fright, fearful for my life from seeing a monstrous rat climbing the wall. If I tried to run it would no doubt catch up to me in no time. Screaming for help would only startle it, most likely making it lunge straight at me. There was nothing in my purse that I could use to try and distract it long enough for me to get away. I honestly didn’t know what to do.

My seat started to rumble underneath. A new kind of screeched slowly faded into the station: metal scrapping against metal. A faint light grew brighter in the corner of my eye. And with that, the rat reacted. Its mouth opened wide, bearing its oddly shaped fangs as it screeched at me. It lunged from the wall with all of its force in its giant legs.

My lungs filled with air and I let out a piercing scream, shutting my eyes and swinging my purse in an attempt to try and hit the giant rat. I could hear the contents of my purse falling out. I didn’t care if my make-up kit or my water bottle came flying out. Those were items I could easily replace. My life and safety were one-of-a-kind, and I was willing to lose my personal items in order to keep myself safe. I kept swinging and swinging until my arms got tired. I no longer heard the rat making any kind of noise. Hoping that I somehow managed to scare it off I opened my eyes and gagged. The rat’s severed head landed right in front of me. A couple of steps behind it awaited the train. One of the windows had as large smear of blood painted on it and bits of black hair stuck to it.

“The final train of the night has now arrived on track 5. Please board the train.”

I didn’t look back when I dashed into the train.

Copyright © 2020 by Luka Tatsujo

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