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Midnight in the Subway

Caroline worked overtime at her office job, trying to make some extra money. It was her first time staying past her normal hours, and she found herself locking up the company’s building late at night. Caroline walked through the dark streets when she finished, nervously searching for the train station. Despite this being her daily route, the neighborhood looked like an unfamiliar territory; trash was randomly strewn about, and abandoned buildings flanked the poorly lit roads. A wild laugh rang out from somewhere behind, making the hairs on the back of her neck stand, and her pace quicken.


But Caroline would not turn around.


Two green globes stood apart from each other marking the entrance to the subway system. Caroline hesitated at first, but then carefully made her way down the cold, metal stairs. Her high heel shoes clacked loudly with each step, but the welcoming light in the station mezzanine was more comforting than the dark streets above. Fumbling with her purse, she pulled out her farecard and swiped through the turnstile, taking her onto the platform. The train station had two platforms opposite of each other, with the tracks in between. One could see clearly to the other side, and all the way down to the end. Caroline looked along both platforms, and realized… she was alone. A sign caught her attention. It read “express trains” with an arrow pointing to an alcove with another staircase. She took a few steps towards those stairs, stopping at the sudden sound of a thud.


But Caroline would not turn around.


Clack… clack… clack, clack, clack. Her footsteps got faster as she neared the bottom of the steps. Looking around, she realized this level looked nearly identical to the upper platforms, but used incandescent instead of fluorescent lighting, emitting an eerie and dim glow. Caroline began to walk away from the staircase, slowly making her way down the lengthy platform. A large, grotesque rat ran out from behind a nearby trashcan, scurrying towards the tracks to seek shelter. Caroline paused and watched this, then cautiously made her way to the platform edge. She peered down the tunnel hoping her train was nearby, but nothing was in sight. Letting out a sigh of disappointment, Caroline stepped away from the edge and walked further down the platform, but was stopped in her tracks by an ominous whisper.


Turn around.”


Sweat poured down the back of Caroline’s neck and she nearly collapsed in a state of terror. Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Her heart beat furiously and it became harder to breathe.


But Caroline would not turn around.


Instead, she kept walking. With each step, her speed picked up and within seconds, Caroline was at the end of the platform. Still breathing heavily, she leaned on a leaf green pillar to rest. Seconds turned into minutes, and no train arrived. Caroline closed her eyes and pushed herself off the pillar, using every ounce of strength she had. But in an instant, the whisper came back, saying the same thing as before.


So Caroline finally turned around.


Her knees became weak and she felt faint at the sight before her. Nobody was there, nobody could be seen down the length of the platform. Not a soul in sight. Caroline came close to an outburst of tears, but instead of crying, she began laughing. The thought of her own brain tricking her was amusing in itself, and she laughed at the poor timing of her brain’s antics. Lifting her arm a little, she glanced down at her watch. It showed both hands pointing to twelve, indicating that it was midnight- the latest she had been out before. Another sigh came out, but this time one of relief; being alone was one of the greatest feelings to have in that moment.


Then Caroline turned back around.


The last thing Caroline saw was a tall male figure grinning from ear to ear. She let out a scream as he drew a knife, and raised it towards her neck...

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