I never asked to be this way.
It’s kind of ironic really. I actually hate other people. Or maybe I hate them because of it. I can’t really remember, it’s become sort of a chicken-and-egg thing.
Of course, if you could see what I see, you’d hate everyone too. Every brush of a sleeve, every touch on the hand, every tiniest bit of human contact, and it’s all there before my eyes: the sadistic boss fucking his secretary in the boardroom at night, then verbally and physically abusing her; the loving mother going home and torturing her five-year-old son, cutting him with jagged pieces of glass; the innocent teenage girl seducing an old man in an alley, only to stab him to death just for the few measly twenties in his wallet.
The train is crowded and I hate it. It lurches as it pulls into the next station, and a man in a ball cap and dark sunglasses falls into me. There is a bright flash – that’s never happened before – and then I see it all again: her body tied down on the table, the fearsome array of tools on the tray, the blades slicing, her screaming.
The man looks me in the face and I see nothing through the dark glasses.
“I know what you did,” he says, “And I’m going to find you.”
He disappears into the throng of bodies and out onto the platform. I try to follow but cannot; the doors close with a hiss and the train pulls away.
I was so shaken it wasn’t until I got home that I noticed he’d taken my wallet.
I stepped onto the deserted train as a lone passenger stepped off, a tall man in a trenchcoat.
Immediately the train lurched into motion and I nearly lost my balance. Hurriedly I sat down, then realized in my haste I’d inadvertently sat directly across from the only other passenger aboard.
No matter, my ride was short. But as the silver vessel carried us through the twisting tunnels of the underground I began to feel uneasy. The man was staring.
I shifted uncomfortably, and played with the cuffs of my coat. I looked up again. Still staring. I cleared my throat. But he did not look away.
This was getting awkward. Why? Why in this giant empty train did I have to sit down across from one of the creepy ones?
I stole a glance up from my lap again. Still the awful stare, eyes fixated straight ahead on me.
This was unbearable, I had to leave. Still five stops away from mine, I hurried off at the next, praying to God he wouldn’t follow. Thank God he didn’t.
The train pulled away and I sighed a breath of relief on the platform; never again. If I was going to come home from the city this late, from now on I’d take a cab. I didn’t want to get assaulted or murdered by some sicko.
The next morning I was horrified to find the man’s face on the front page of the newspaper. But my horror was even greater when I finally realized why he’d be staring. The headline screamed the truth at me from the page:
SERIAL KILLINGS CONTINUE, ANOTHER FOUND DEAD ON TRAIN