everyone dies. well, almost everyone. may contain moments of insanity.
When the lights come on everyone’s on the floor. Everyone except me. I wait for someone to move but nobody does. No body does.
I wait. I wait for the longest time. It’s a joke, I think, it’s a joke. I’m going to reach down and touch one of them and they’ll all jump up and we’ll all laugh. Haha. Yeah, funny.
But...yes but...how would a station-full of strangers all decide to play this joke on me? Why? Are they all mind-readers? This is what I’m asking myself to believe: A rush-hour crowd of psychics all with the same fucking sick sense of humour. It’s never going to be the right answer.
This feeling, this whiteness roars up in me, spreading like spilled paint. It scours out all the corners of my mind like an insane cleaning-lady with a scrubbing-brush and a bucket full of bleach. She screams as she scrubs, totally demented.
I can hear myself breathing, but there’s no other sounds.
Some of them look like they’re sleeping, all curled up and peaceful. One man - from his expression you’d think he was having the best dreams. His head rests on his arm and he’s smiling. But some of the others don’t look so good. They look crumpled and strange, like they fell from much higher than just a few feet and broke every bone on the way down.
I open my mouth. I talk, I yell...I scream and shout... I demand. I bargain. I beg. This takes an age. And after, when I’m stopping, hoarse and exhausted with an aching throat, I feel like ten years have passed. No one is going to answer me. No one is going to explain. No matter how much I harangue them, not one of these people will ever open their lips again.
It’s like talking to a bunch of corpses. Which, of course, I am.
I don’t touch any of them. It takes me so long. So long to cross the floor and I want to run I really do. But if I run I’ll touch one, trip or something, fall on my face. Fall on a face. I want to run so much my legs are trembling with this internal pressure and my heart is beating so hard I think it’s going to burst. I don’t run. I walk, stepping over arms, going around bags and cases, negotiating this maze of flesh.
Before I get anywhere near the door I hate them. I loathe them - these dead-sleepers. But still I battle with my disbelief that any of this is happening at all.