The Subway

The+Subway

Rory P., Student Writer

In the streets of the city there lived a rumor. 

One that told the tale of the subway, the underground labyrinth of tunnels and tracks, the dank smell of mildew and the hot, stuffy air. The trains that roared through the tunnels; the people that stood at the platform, waiting, coming and going, night and day. 

The young, the elderly, the middle-aged. The exhausted college student sipping coffee, just trying to get by. The polished businessman, impatiently checking his watch, waiting for the train to come. The eccentric elderly woman, feather boa wrapped around her neck, jeweled earrings dangling from her earlobes. 

All of them were targets. 

Lurking within the very air of the underground was an entity borne of the subway itself, of the cracked old stone walls and the dirty concrete and the rotting wood planks that formed the tracks. It sustained itself on shadows; it was not hard. Shadows were everywhere underground.  

But one could only live off them for long enough. It much preferred a different type of food. 

And so there came reports. Lifeless bodies strewn haphazardly on the tracks, the victims with no signs of harm upon their bodies save for the horror-struck expression embedded upon their faces, seeing something that only their glassy eyes could see in death. 

The cases couldn’t be investigated for long; the trains needed to keep moving. So the bodies were cleared off the tracks, the incidents chalked up to accidents or even suicides. Though there was no evidence suggesting that their deaths came from blunt trauma that one would surely suffer if they were hit by a train. 

And so the tale was spread, through whispered descriptions and extravagant theories proudly declared at dinner tables, through investigations conducted by curious minds. Of course, they never found anything. 

Hence the story became even more mysterious and even more popular, and more people wanted to solve the mystery once and for all. 

They even gave it a name. Lurker. 

It was merely amused. Let them come, it thought. Let them play their little games. There is nothing they can do against me. As long as this subway exists, I have a host to inhabit. 

The host. The spirit of the subway had existed far longer than the Lurker could ever know. And it had watched, and it had remained. As the stories about it had spread, more and more people grew curious. However, none of them knew the true dangers. 

They didn’t take it seriously enough. They laughed it off. 

A bedtime story, they said. Just a fairy tale. 

But the subway knew. 

It knew that the people should be afraid.