Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mind the gap

I wrote this for Sunday Scribbling 2 where the prompt is Hidden in Darkness.


Metropobia: a fear of underground trains.



I stand motionless as a moving stairway carries me down, down, down.

A gaudy tunnel taunts me, envelopes me. To my left and right, behind and before me, a silent hoard stands like a museum of statues seemingly unaware of others around them.

The stillness is disturbed by a sudden rush of wind. A distant rumble becomes a roar as a silver snake rattles to a halt before me. A row of menacing doors hiss open, like so many hungry gaping mouths. I watch as a surging mass makes its escape, buffeting me in its frantic bid for freedom.

'Mind the gap' commands  an unseen echoing voice.

‘Mind the gap’

I am carried forward by a throng seemingly eager to be swallowed up. We cram against each other like sardines in a can. A jerk. I grip a post. We sway as one, this way and that. Nobody speaks.

We are hidden in darkness deep underground. My body is here, but my mind is way above in a bustling street where folk are going about their lives oblivious to what is happening beneath them. I was there once. I break into a sweat.

Is this a premonition? Is this what it’s like? Is this the end?

‘We are now approaching Angel’ shrieks an amplified voice.  ‘Mind the gap’

‘Mind the gap’



My friend Rosey Pinkerton has also written in response to this prompt - a little racy, but then so is she! It's called I Didn't Know Where to Look and you can find it by clicking HERE!


12 comments:

  1. I loved tale of your trip to the Angel, Islington by tube, Keith. Having first used the underground when I was a sprat my love affair with the underground has never ceased.

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    1. Despite what I just wrote I too love riding the underground! It's also a great pace to observe human beings out of their normal environment which can be very inspirational for someone who likes writing about people!

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  2. I do hope heaven isn't a tube line...it's nice for a visit and to see people scuttling around like rats in a lab but i think a nice green field and no sweaty armpits would be a far nicer eternity...

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    1. I'm with you there! Having said that, I live surrounded by green fields on three sides and the ocean on the other so I use trips to London and travelling on the tube to recharge my lethargic batteries quite often.

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  3. Well, the metro rail here runs over the city (so far at least), so I've not experienced the metrophobia. But I could feel the fear through your words.

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    1. Thanks Vinay. I almost scared myself!

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  4. We have our subway here in Stockholm as well.. but I have never heard of metrophobia.. but I think I might have one after reading this.

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    1. ...probably because it's a made up word! Hope I haven't given you nightmares.

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  5. Nicely done! I haven't ridden too many underground trains, but if presented with the opportunity, I'll make sure to "mind the gap"

    betty

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    1. I'm glad you got the message betty!

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  6. I'm less about minding the underground part than being packed in with so many strangers and really strange people. One more strike against living in a city.

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  7. I'm not phobic about the Tube, but I always wonder at the instability of all those tunnels going hither and thither beneath large cities!

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