The Metro Platform
Click on image to enlarge.
by Peter Glassborow
Description: Thousands and thousands of people take the Metro every day, and most of them get to their destination without any trouble. But a few never arrive. Have they been kidnapped? Run off? Or have they been taken by the Ghost Train. Rolfe, respectable accountant whose biggest excitement is Friday night dinner out with the wife, is about to find out what happens when he steps onto The Metro Platform. It's not your ordinary train ride.
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing/solsticepublishing,
eBookwise Release Date: August 2010
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [73 KB]
Reading time: 45-63 min.
The gusting wind blew rain straight into his face as he headed for the illuminated Metro sign at the station entrance. He had his return train ticket clipped by the inspector at the barrier just past the ticket office. Inside the foyer, he looked up at the map of the Metro system, tracing his route with one finger. "The West-East line is what I want," he told himself. Looking around, he found the correct red- and blue-striped tin-plate arrow high up on a wall, pointing towards a dim pedestrian tunnel.
He followed the tunnel as it led down below street level, curved to the right and out onto the platform. This part of the Metro system was old, and he noticed that a partial roof overhead allowed glimpses of the night sky as well as, he supposed, good air circulation. He saw about twenty other people there, some on their own, others in pairs. A few sat on a row of seats against the wall. There were two young men in sailor uniforms smoking on the other side of the support and Rolfe wondered if they were on leave to be this far from the sea. He looked round for a timetable and found he had a seventeen minute wait.
Something was puzzling him as he walked along the old flagstones and looked across the width of the station. He was using the West-East line, which he remembered as an island platform accessed by crossing from the ticket office on a sort of bridge and descending a metal staircase. The westbound trains stopped on one side of it and the eastbound trains on the other. Just now, he had walked down a sloping tunnel and was on a single platform with a solid brick wall behind him. Surely only trains running one way could stop on the single line of tracks that served this area.
He walked closer to the edge and looked out across the station. There was a series of three island platforms. The nearest was labeled City-East, the next Outer-Circle. Rolfe strained his eyes to see the third and furthest island. He could see the tin plate signs hanging from its roof. West-East. That must have been where he had got off this morning, because there was the stairway he had puffed up. If that was so then where was he standing now? Had someone swapped the signs around?
"Like hell," Rolfe muttered to himself. He looked round, but there were no signs telling him which trains stopped here. He walked back to the timetable. "West-East, there you go, Rolfe," he muttered, reading the heading. "Don't panic, man."