Beware of the Closing DoorsYou're running late for a train.
You push through the crowds, which cling like [[cobwebs.]]Pieces of them stick to you.
You hurry, but you cannot run.
When you close your eyes in panic, they're all [[smiling at you.]] You stumble down the stairs.
The platform is almost empty.
The platform alarm blares and buzzes.
[[The doors begin to close.]]You run, hard, and make it inside. Your pulse rings in your ears.
Breathing in relief, you look around, but the air is thick, and the train is empty.
You hear panting, and staggering footsteps behind you.
[[You turn around.]]
[[You don't turn around.]]Someone is running towards the door.
Their shape is dark, and blurry.
With mangled breaths, they reach out to you, inches from the door.
[[You reach to them.]]
[[You pull away.]]You hear the struggled breathing as if it were just behind you.
The final alarm buzzes, and the doors shriek on their metal rails.
There's a crunch.
The breathing stops.
[[You turn around slowly.]]You take a step back, feeling a metal pole behind you. You grip it and feel the vibration of the train engine.
The figure continues forward, its breathing labored.
It has just stepped over the threshold when the door alarm sounds.
The doors shriek along their metal rails, and they slam shut.
They cleave across the figure, elegant as a guillotine.
[[The doors have cut them apart.]] A mangled form lays motionless at the doorway. Its legs are missing.
The train begins to move, leaving the station.
Dark blood flows from the cleaved torso of the figure. Their hand lays on the ground, outstretched.
[[The doors have cut them apart.]]They manage to reach you, and grab your hand with a blurry, cobweb grip.
But instead of pulling them inside, you feel yourself drawn forward.
The final alarm blares for the train to leave the station.
You trip on the threshold, and the figure has disappeared.
[[The train doors close.]]The doors shriek across their metal rails.
They cleave your torso with the grace of a guillotine,
[[and divide you in two.]]You hear the train pull alway, and feel your legs taken with it.
Blood pours out of your upper half, the half still with you, on the empty platform.
You crawl away from the edge, [[and look up.]]The figure twitches, its hand outstretched across the ground.
Blood begins to pour from its torso.
As the train pulls away, its lower half is left behind, on the platform.
It lets out a gasp.
[[You cannot move.]]The shadowy figure has reappeared.
When you close your eyes in pain, you can see their shining teeth.
A gleaming smile, not blurry at all.
Slowly, with heaving breaths, the figure raises its head.
Your stomach drops, for it has your face, smeared with pain and blood.
[[But your face nonetheless.]] The face crinkles into a smile, with gleaming, sharp teeth.
Blurry no more. Blood gushes from its belly.
The train alarm dings. [[The next stop is approaching.]]
As the train slows, the figure claws its way towards you, its face, your face, twisting and convulsing.
The train doors open. You have but moments to spare. The figure gapes at you.
[[You try to kick it out of the train.]]
[[You bash its head in.]]Using your feet, you kick at the figure, your legs feeling thin and feeble.
It doesn't fight back.
It simply smiles as you kick it in the face, kick and prod it until it's on the platform and outside the doors.
The alarm sounds again. You turn to leave the figure, stepping back onto the train, and feel [[a pressure on your legs.]]You kick at the figure, turning its neck in odd directions with the force of your blows.
You pummel its hand into a sinewed pulp.
It smiles up at you as blood pours from its eyes, and the [[train doors open.]]
Cobwebs no longer. The grip is tight, and the figure beams up at you, draining blood.
The door alarm sounds.
You pull away in fear, and trip.
The doors close.
[[They close across your belly.]]You are cleaved in two.
Blood pours out of your stomach, in an empty train.
It pulls away, leaving your legs behind.
You close your eyes,
[[and smile.]] Double-click this passage to edit it.Waiting outside is a blurry crowd. They stare down at the figure, then up at you.
The figure has gone still. [[It no longer breathes.]]
A shadow parts from the crowd, and the rest follow.
They tread over the figure, a red carpet of blood.
One of them offers you a seat beside it. When you close your eyes, its [[shining teeth are bared.]]The train doors close.
You sit down, and smile.
c. Taylor Reynolds 2019 email@example.com