The Underground

This story was inspired by my journey to NYC. The subway was filthy, on the tracks, walls, floors, EVEN THE CEILING. I would watch the people who lived there just sit in the subway, and look dead in their soul. Or at least that’s what I read in their eyes because that city drains you. Also, I hate calling the subway the, well, subway. For some reason, saying the underground is so much easier for me (Despite the fact I’m American).

I would warn you, I based this off of my NYC experience but this is highly fantasized. I do not mean any disrespect to anyone from that city. I just saw something, and let my imagination run wild. With that said, please proceed with caution. My experience lets loose the creepier side of my imagination I like to call the Haunted Wood. So please tread this path carefully. With that said, enjoy….if you can. MWAHAHAHAhahhahahaaaaa…..

I moved to the big city recently. It was new and exciting, and I had never been there before. I would have liked to explore my new home, but I needed to go to my new job in the center of the city, and I needed to start early as I lived in the far outskirts of town. I made my way down to the Underground station. I jostled down the stairs with my neighbors and as soon as we passed the ticket gate I felt a noticeable change in their behavior. They become calm and silent and pale as ghosts. I began to notice a terrible smell emanating from every corner of the station. The tiles were cracked and caked with filth, the tracks were nearly submerged in puddles with little mounds of trash making an archipelago in the stagnant water. The ceilings and walls were cracked and peeling, graffiti was written on the walls with spray paint and grime. The train clanked and rattled into the station and screeched as it came to a stop, nearly deafening me with its din. My companions seemed to loose all control over their normal walk as they shuffled and jostled each other for a position on the train. I watched them as we rattled away from the station. Their eyes became dull and completely void of life and expression. Their faces grew weary and tired as if the underground made them age. I switched trains, and as my companions exited the station, they became alive and animated again. I boarded the next train and noticed my companions’ entrance and exit of the train. They walked, no, marched out of the train in organized ranks like so many soldiers following a drill. I entered the train, nearly missing it as I hopped on after the ranks entering, and we rattled off. They sat down as one unit and stood stiff as a board standing up. But the more they sat the more relaxed they became until they nearly flopped out of their seats. It would have been comical if they didn’t have such a vacant face. They became rigid again and hopped to their feet as the train entered the station. I exited, with greater ease than my boarding, and waited for my last train. With this last train, the difference in these travelers was profound. I feared what would come out, as my experience told me the farther into the city I traveled, the worse their condition became. They were the color of ash, and they seemed to be shiny as if covered in a fine layer of mucus. They excreted an acrid odor as they slumped out of the train and brushed past me. I watched them depart up the stairs and saw their skin revert back to their natural colors, and loose their shine. I knew then deep down, that I should not have gotten on that train, but I told myself not to be a coward, that I was imagining things, and that everything would be okay. Besides they’re not that terrifying, they’re only slimy. So with that, I took a deep breath and stepped onto the train. We rode for about thirty seconds when (my companions were already turned ashy and wet) my companions began to change. They changed into monsters of terrifying description. Their skin began to have the effect of ink being dropped into a pool of water, spreading clouds of liquid darkness to every feature of their body. They began to do two different things. One set of wraiths began to shriek at each other in incomprehensible screams. Another group sank their heads in their hands and cry in the blackest despair. A shrieking wraith lurched with the motion of the train and jarred a crying one, started it looked up and I could see its eyes. Its eyes were lidless and rimmed with bright scarlet red, and it had been crying scarlet tears, leaving traces of color on its face and in its hands. Its eyes were blacker than the rest of their body, lacking any light, and it was if I was staring into a void, so soulless were these eyes. But then we pulled into a station and they reverted to their ashy selves, calm and quiet. I dashed out of that train and up the stairs, ignoring the ripping of my lungs and the fire in my legs. I emerged onto the sidewalk and I found myself on the opposite side of the street from a park. I dashed across the street ignoring cars and their horns until I reached the center of the park. I turned around and around surrounded by green things. I collapsed onto my knees and basked in the glory. I could feel the breeze brush my cheek, and it smelled sweet. I could hear the birds singing, the trees swaying and the fountains chatter and bubble. I opened my eyes and saw the glorious sunshine gleaming through the canopy of leaves over my head. I stayed there in the soft grass enjoying the life that surrounded me. I sat up about lunchtime to answer my phone. My boss screamed at me in no delicate terms my official termination at his offices. I hung up before he finished, not even caring after the ordeal I had just suffered through. I walked out of the park from the way I had come, but as I looked at the entrance to the Underground, I dread sinking down and welling up in the pit of my stomach. It stretched out before me, growing into a gash in the ground and looking at the entrance to the pit of Tartarus.  I crossed the street and grabbed the arm of a man who was making his way down the steps. I asked him,

“Do you not see the terrors down below?” He gave me a curious look and said,

“No, I don’t understand what you mean.” I told him of the terrors I had witnessed. He gave me a concerned look and placed a hand on my shoulder, “Do you need some help?” He asked. I flung his hand off my shoulder and asked harshly,

“How long have you ridden that….thing?”

“All of my life-” I ran away from him, not caring in what direction I ran, but I had to get away. How could I have been so foolish? He had never known about the terrors down below because he was one of its victims. In the name of progress and convenience, they hide away from the growing things and the sunlight. Eventually, their soul dies within them as they have locked it away for so long, away from the beauty of life. I began to walk home, never again would I enter the Underground.


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