Platforms & aisles (1)

The station was rammed with impatient thoughts commuting to and from every nerve ending in my body. Colossal screens blinkered with new information every two minutes or so; the fluorescent orange text stinging my retinas. Several delays had been announced and the transport centre was yet to decide when normal service would be up and running.

She had been stood in the fruit and vegetable aisle for ten minutes now. Her face was flushed beetroot and she twiddled her fingers and thumbs erratically.

Commuters continued to barge past; battering and bruising my shoulders as they went. The shrill whistle of trains in-waiting – the steam vacating and the pistons squeaking – called to me, urging me onward to a decision. I forced my feet to move, sluggishly, across the marble tiles towards platforms five and six.

“Scuse me, love.”

A gentleman reached around her frozen form to choose a cabbage from the shelf. He received no response and eyed her warily. Her eyes were like blown glass – glazed and swirling with colour. Her hands provided the only sign of life as they continued to twitch.

The signage for platforms five and six loomed above me. The numbers, the choice, staring down menacingly; baring polystyrene white teeth. The attendant stood alone, immovable, despite the tide of people clicking through the platform gates – feet stammering onward toward a train, a possibility, an opportunity. My fingers trembled as I withdrew the worn ticket from my pocket. They continued to shake as I approached the gate. This was it.


Prose: © Kristiana Reed 2019

Between the Trees UK

Between the Trees US

Available internationally

4 thoughts on “Platforms & aisles (1)

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