People of the Underground

People of the Underground

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Summary

Ellie's life seemed to boring and predictable. One Helloween night turns it upside down.
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Summary

Ellie's life seemed to boring and predictable. One Helloween night turns it upside down.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Coming Under

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 29, 2017

Reads: 31

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 29, 2017

A A A

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The yellow tube train slowly approached the dimly lit station. It was almost midnight, so the platform was completely deserted except for the homeless man, who was sleeping on the bench, covered with piles of dirty newspapers for warmth.

‘Serves you just right,’ gloomily thought Ellie to herself, reluctantly leaving the warm and noisy carriage. ‘No one will pay you for overtime anyway’.  The train was filled with skittish witches in extremely revealing capes, drunken mummies, noisy priests, two extremely sad Frankensteins and a variety of other magical creatures. The town was celebrating Halloween. People gladly fell into the chilly hugs of the bewitching party night and happily surrendered to the universal joy, forgetting about the work week routine. Ellie was not in the mood to celebrate, she had just spent twelve hours in the office, proofreading the latest manuscript of the horror novel, which was due to be published in just three weeks, so all the text grooming procedures needed to be completed as soon as possible. The book was rather plain for Ellie’s liking: too long, too predictable, too banal. But proofreaders don’t get paid for enjoying fiction, so she meticulously checked every single line and every single word in the manuscript and sent it to the editor for the final verification. Now her neck was hurting, her legs were dumb and she felt dizzy and disoriented, lines of text still jumping in front of her tired eyes.

The carriage doors closed behind her back and the uproarious train disappeared in the dark tunnel. Ellie wrapped her coat tightly around her and headed towards the exit of the station. The deafening silence on the platform contrasted with the merry drunken atmosphere of the train and this, combined with the previously read horror story, made her feel rather edgy.

 She went up the dirty stairs from the platform and started walking through the underground tunnel leading to the station’s exit hall. It was rather chilly so Ellie paced fast, her steps resonating loudly in the motionless air. Normally she would look at the numerous advertisements on the walls as she walked past, but today the tiled walls of the corridor seemed naked without any posters or banners on them. ‘They must’ve started renovation already. It’s about time really, but I do hope that they won’t close the station altogether. Going to work by bus would be intolerable,’ thought Ellie. The corridor seemed longer than the woman could remember; it seemed that she had been walking for good five minutes already. She sped up, almost breaking into a brisk trot, but still couldn’t see the exit. The yellowish walls bore no signs or notices and there was not a soul around. Ellie helplessly stopped trying to catch her breath. Perhaps she has mistakenly chosen the wrong tunnel after the stairs? Maybe they’ve closed this station altogether for the renovation and have forgotten to place any notices about it? It was actually rather strange that there was nobody on the platform, and no one even got off from the train. But she’d used this very station in the morning, going to work and there were no announcements about the upcoming changes, in fact it looked as usual buzzing with people and trains. Perhaps she should go back to the platform and try to find some member of staff who could help her out, or just take another train and go to the next station. It would take quite a lot of time, and she would need to find the bus or take a taxi to get home from there, but at least she could get out of this empty tunnel. It was really starting to give her creeps, being so silent and motionless.

She quickly headed back to the platform. Still no one there, no sign of staff, no announcements through the loud speakers. She definitely needs to get out of this forsaken place. Ellie started pacing impatiently along the platform. Sooner or later the train is bound to come and she will get home and finally take her boots off and lay her dizzy head on the pillow. She looked at her watch. Strange, she remembered winding them in the morning, but they stopped. And she’d forgotten her phone at work, hurrying to leave the office. It’s a pity she doesn’t smoke, people normally light a cigarette in such weird situations. It seems to calm them down.

‘Are you real?’ A sudden tap on her shoulder startled her so much that she nearly screamed.

‘Are you real, tell me!’ It was the tramp who was sleeping on the bench as she left the train.

Wonderful. Never ending corridor, unexpected station renovation, and now she has to wait for the train in the company of this drunkard. Ellie tried to ignore him but the man continued to poke her asking the same question.

‘Yes! Now please leave me alone. I’m sorry I’ve disturbed you. I’ll be gone with the next train,’ and she tried to move away from him.

‘Oh my God!!!! I thought I was starting to hallucinate!!!’ and the looney hugged her. In fact she squeezed her in his smelly and dirty arms.

‘Get off me! I’ll call the police!’ screamed Ellie and pushed him away.

‘I can’t believe it. Oh my God. …For real… Gosh….’ rumbled the homeless smiling madly and reaching his hand out to touch her.

‘What do you think you are doing?? Stop it!!!’ Ellie desperately tried to think of something that she could use as a weapon to fight with this bum. There was nothing. She considered running from him back to the station exit, but it was too long and the man was obviously bigger and stronger than her so she had no chance to defend herself. He was obviously crazy so maybe the best way was to calm him down so she could make it till the train comes, hop into it and be in safety again.

‘What do you want?’ asked Ellie trying to steady her voice.

‘Just to make sure that you are real. I can’t believe it. I can’t,’ the man studied her attentively. ‘I knew that someone would come for me in the end. But lately it was hard to believe in it. I started to fear that I’ll die alone here.’

‘What do you mean? Are you in pain? Does someone know you are here?’ Ellie desperately tried to sound as natural as she could at the same time trying to check if the train was coming.

The tramp started to calm down. ‘No, I am ok, if it’s possible in this situation. I’m just so happy that you’ve come for me!!!’ and he smiled.

‘Humph… I didn’t actually come for you. I don’t know you. Maybe you’ve mistaken me for someone else. I’ve just got off the train, didn’t know about renovation.’

The man stared in her in disbelief. ‘What? So you are not from officials? Are you serious?’ he was almost shouting now. ‘Why are you here? How did you get here???’

‘By train. I got here by train. Listen, I think we just need to calm down, okey? Maybe I can help you? Maybe you are hungry?’ Ellie tried to sound reassuring, simultaneously stepping back from the tramp.

‘You? How on Earth are you going to help me?’ the man still sounded angry, but at least stopped shouting. ‘Oh.. you don’t get, right? We are stuck here.’

 

 


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