armMature

I've got to get out of this place.  I head towards the exit carefully stepping over them as I go.  There in front of me is my doorway out of here, out of this nightmare and back to normality.  But the lurch of my stomach and the tremble of my hands hint otherwise.  The feeling intensifies as I near the automatic door as I see it open and shut forcibly, like a glitch in a film.  I know even before I get there the cause of this compulsive action, there on the floor sprawled between the doors lies a man. Clearly a commuter, the contents of his briefcase scattered about him as his head is repeatedly pummelled by the unforgiving action of the doors.  His face a broken, twisted mess, his features disintegrating with every impact; crimson seeping onto his neatly ironed shirt.  As the blood drains from this monstrous face, mine too grows pallid.  Panic blasts all hope from my mind as I stand rooted here, unable to tear my gaze away from this sickening sight; hypnotised by its incessancy.

A beeping.  Definitely a beeping.  It sounds like the high-pitched alarm of a pelican crossing.  It seems to penetrate my mind and bring me back.  My feet now free from the grip of fear I try aimlessly to get a better look at the street beyond.  The blasted doors obstruct my view and I can focus on nothing further than the scattering of bodies in the concrete square immediately outside the station.  I’ve got to get out there.  That piercing sound, so often unpleasant, to me now rings out like Verdi’s ‘Va Pensiero’ beckoning me out of this forbidding crypt.  Looking around me I know there is nothing else for it.  With nothing around large enough to hold the door open, my only option is to move the mangled corpse from its tiresome fury.  I pull the sleeves of my jacket down over my hands and, determined not to have to feel the coldness of death, reach for his ankles.   The body glides easily over the marble floor the blood trailing behind it, yet its weight forces the ankles to slip from my grasp.

The beeping stops and with that my sense of urgency resumes.  The contorted faces of the bodies all seem to stare eerily up at me, hundreds of eyes, reaching out for me.  The hair on the back of my neck stands to attention as tiny beads of sweat drip down my forehead.  F&%* this, I mutter to myself as I finally gather my thoughts, reach down and pull the body with one final heave.  It’s as I release him that I notice my left hand was gripping his bare skin. Flinching, I drop the leg suddenly, but the icy cold of that body seems to linger in the fingers of my left hand.  As I look down at it, I see how grey they are, I can almost see it spreading.  The cold creeps down into my hand and begins a slow crawl along my arm.  I turn it over and over in front of me but it doesn’t go away, the colour is draining from my hand, from my arm and I don’t know how to stop it.  What the hell is happening to me? Impulsively I tear a strip of material from my shirt and tie it tightly around my arm above the elbow.  Please let this £&%$ing work!  With that I charge out through the brutal automatic doors, desperate for this nightmare to end.

The End

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