9 o'clock Subway

October 8, 2010
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It was a typical New York City Monday morning. It was the first week of winter and the white snow blanketed the streets outside of Michael’s apartment. The streets were fairly calm, most likely because of the terrible weather that had swept over the entire northeastern United States the past weekend. Michael had just moved here from his hometown in Michigan to pursue his long-time dream of becoming a businessman at one of New York’s largest banks. He left behind his mom and dad, which was the hardest thing that he had to do, fully knowing that they would be separated by miles and the only time Michael would get to see them would be during the holidays. He still would call them every day to check up on them and to tell them how much he loved them, but Michael knew this was a sacrifice that he would have to make if he wanted to pursue his dreams. That was something that his parents had always taught him to do.
Seven o’clock. That was the time that he had woken up for the past six months. Michael got up, rolled over in his bed and looked at his alarm clock. His eyes widened like a child who just opened their first gift on Christmas when he looked at what those red digital numbers read. 7:31. He jumped out of bed in a panic. “I’m going to be late!” He thought. That was a word that didn’t exist in his vocabulary, being that he had never been late to anything in his long memory. It was 7:54 now and he had about 10 minutes to spare before he had to leave to catch the subway.
As he exited the doorway of his room, he turned on the T.V. to watch the news, a habit that he had developed over the years. It was on CNN news as usual, the only channel he really watched with interest. There were numerous reports that scrolled across the bottom of the screen. His eyes moved along as he read about one in particular. It was about the dramatic increase of attempted attacks inside of New York subway stations. But Michael was in a rush to get downtown before the subway left at 8:45, so he didn’t pay attention to the news as he normally would. He just hit the power button, turned off the lights in his apartment and went out into the blistering cold and gloomy day that lay ahead of him.
As he rushed down the streets, he looked around at the city in awe, something that he seemed to do now every day. But he had no time to waste. As he looked down at his watch in read the time. 8:35. He had only ten more minutes before the subway would leave and he was still about twenty blocks away. He decided to call for a cab knowing that because of the fowl weather the streets would be fairly clear of traffic. He was so focused on making it on time that he lost sight of his surroundings. As he crept along he constantly counted down the minutes. 7, 6, 5. Almost there, he thought. 3, 2, 1. He jumped out of the cab, sprinted to the station, pulled out his ticket and said to the guard waiting at the entrance of the gate.
“One ticket for the 8:45 subway please.”
The guard replied in a cold, stern voice “just left a minute ago. You’ll have to wait for the next.”
Fifteen minutes went by as he waited for the 9:00 subway. He stepped through the sliding doors of the subway already feeling defeated he sat down in the hard seats and watched as the people came through handing there tickets to the guard. He assumed most of who were on their way to work as well. One man in particular caught his attention. He wore black baggy sweatpants and a black sweatshirt with a hood that completely covered his face. He also noticed that the man kept awkwardly grabbing at is front pocket. He noticed that that side of his sweatpants was drooping lower than the other as if it were weighted. The man set down next to him, pulled out a magazine and casually started to read it.
The subway was moving now, and it was dead silent. Only the grinding of the wheels on the ground was audible. Just as he thought that, he heard two loud pops that almost deafened him. He immediately knew what they were. Gunshots. There were screams everywhere. He soon realized that the man sitting next to him was not reading a magazine but instead holding a gun. “Nobody move,” he said in a commanding voice. Everyone was still. No one breathed. Michael was stunned. The reality of what was happening hadn’t sunk in. Then he remembered back to when he was just about to leave his apartment. He remembered how the reports said that there were numerous subway attacks in New York. Was this a sign? Could this really be happening to him?
Police sirens whirled in the background, but they seemed so far away. Michael knew something had to be done if this was going to end well, and it had to be done now. But he had his doubts. What if I don’t succeed? What if I get hurt in the process.
The gunman turned to look out the window as if he were distracted by the noise. Michael saw this as his chance. Suddenly a wave of courage swept through him like a raging river. He deicided doing something was better than doing nothing and being part of the problem. He leaped up, grabbed the man from behind and pinned him against the seat disarming him in the process. Seeing this, other by standing passengers rushed to his side to help.
As the police took the man away, a mob of people swarmed around him thanking him and telling him how grateful they were of him. He never thought this would happen to him. That he would be placed in a situation that seemed so unrealistic to him. And in the back of his mind he thought “at least I won’t have to worry about being late today.”





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CanadianRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm
The action seems almost passive. Try to add more urgency to it. Good story idea. I know you want to give background information, but prehaps starting a little sooner, perhaps when he enters the subway. You don't have to listen to me though. i'm just another amature.
 
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