listen to the voice

Get out of here. Get out. Get Out. GET OUT!

But get out where? Why? He couldn't see a door, couldn't recall the existance of one. They were going...somewhere. To a destination. Everything was vague and he didn't seem to be able to make himself care very much. Where were they going? Did it matter? We'll get there someday, he thought. And all these other people can't be wrong.I know where I'm going, I've forgotten is all.

Get out, get out, get out, get the rhythm of the train as it ran over the tracks.

He was comfortable. The seat was yielding and soft, cradled his body. The movement of the train was lulling, soothing. He liked journeys. He dozed.

You useless piece of crap! Get out I said! Don't you listen?

Don't scream at him.

I'll do what it takes.

Shhh. Open your eyes.

He opened his eyes.

See, it's stand up. Go on.

He stood up. His legs felt weird, as if he had been sitting a lot longer than he'd thought. No one around him moved. They seemed unreal to him suddenly, paper-cut-out people, facsimilies of reality. Their skins seemed thin as a dream. If a strong wind came through the train they'd blow away, dust on the breeze.

Oh I can't stand this! Walk! Walk, you fool! You remember how to do it now, don't you? One damn foot in front of the other. WALK!

...get out get out get out get out get out get out get out...

The train swayed and went smoothly on, rattle rattle rattle over the sleepers.

Get out? He thought. He stared out the window and the sunlight flickered on his face, light and dark, dark and light. There was nothing. Nothing but the wide wide expanse. Gray and flat, rising and falling gently, more as if it was an ocean than land.

He walked, one damn foot in front of the other. One step at a time. His head was spinning as if he'd taken a bath and stood up too quick. He lowered his head and something glinted at him from the floor. A necklace. It was gold, the clasp broken, a thin chain with a pendant in the shape of a cat. The cat had two diamond eyes.

...get out get out get out get out get out get out get out...

There's the door. Put your hand up. Open it. There, that's the way.

There was the door. He wondered how he could have missed it. He held the cat necklace in one hand and with the other turned the round brass handle.

The door was instantly snatched out of his hand, slamming back into the side of the train. There were three steps but the ground underneath them was a blur of grey and brown, a knot of rushing speed.



JUMP! ...get out get out get out get out get out get out get out...

He jumped, flew for a long long moment before the ground smacked him from below, smacked him and rolled him, tumbled him down. Hard, sharp and merciless it battered and shattered him, cut him and bruised him. Knocked his teeth together and snapped his head back, lashed his arms and scraped his face.

...get out get out get out...

The voices faded with the receding sound of the train until there was really nothing.



The End

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