The wayward wheels of a trolley plunged into her ankles, causing her to stumble; shattering the isolation she had enclosed herself within. Pain seared up her shins and her thighs.
An alarm blared. Red lights swung lucidly, signalling a breach on the track. If the delays were not bad enough, the station now ground to a halt – an unnerving standstill. I crouched, ticket still in hand, and cupped my ears and winced as the alarm’s throaty call grew in strength.
Her knees cracked upon the tiled supermarket floor. The woman behind the wayward trolley rushed toward her; catching her as she fell. This strange woman seemingly lost in the midst of her food shopping. She was sat up gently and onlookers provided glances and smiles of reassurance before hurrying off, intent on saving her from any further embarrassment.
Finally, the attendant sprung into action and radioed for support. Commuters were becoming irate, stomping their feet and cursing how poor the service was today. I continued to cradle my ears in the commotion and breathe. My mother had always told me the best thing to do when in a panic was breathe; and I heard her soft voice now, talking me down from the proverbial cliff I had imagined myself to be at the edge of.
Prose: © Kristiana Reed 2019