I awoke with a start… what was that? A faint tapping sound from somewhere out in the darkness. It was pitch black, and I had no way of telling what time it was above, outside. I scrambled around for the torch but paused before turning it on. I whispered to Charlotte who I hoped was still there across from me on the other side of the train carriage. I received a slight shushing noise in response. I felt her hand gently touch mine and she pulled me down to the floor.
We kept quiet and listened, barely daring to breathe. The tapping sound continued… louder… closer… what was it? Then the clicking started. The same clicking noises of those things that stalked the streets at night. It was ‘them’.
I heard Charlotte stifle a whimper and felt her hold on my hand tighten. The clicking sounds continued followed by a high-pitched series of chirps from the other end of the station. There were two of them, at least. It sounded like they were talking to each other.
We couldn’t stay hidden for much longer. They would find us for sure. I didn’t know how they had tracked us down here but somehow they had. They were coming. I reached into my jacket pocket and grasped something hard – my trusty Stanley knife. It had saved my life once before, perhaps it would again.
Then I remembered the hole in the glass barrier on the other side of the station – our way out. But we would never make it, unless… we needed a distraction.
I quietly felt around for my bag in the darkness and pulled out a second torch. There was no way to communicate my plan to Charlotte, but I squeezed her hand and hoped she would keep up. Then, I switched on the torch and threw it with all my might down the far end of the train carriage. It hit a metal pole and spun wildly, flooding the station with its beam and making a resonating clang where it struck. In one swift motion, I pulled Charlotte to her feet and we both darted out, hand-in-hand towards the opening in the glass, or at least to where I thought it was.
The instant the torch lit up, the two were upon it, shrieking with angry shrill-like cries. The plan had worked though and they were distracted long enough for us to reach the other side of the station. I felt the hard glass of the barrier. Where was the hole? Desperately I fumbled for my torch. A moment of light was all I needed. I switched it on and turned right, then left. There!
Another loud shriek emanated from the darkness. They had seen us! I pulled Charlotte towards the gap in the barrier and heard something wiz past my shoulder. As we plunged through the gap, the sleeve of my jacket caught and tore on the jagged edge and a stab of pain shot through my arm. We landed heavily on the tracks below and ran.
Behind us I heard the things howling in frustration at their eluded quarry. I didn’t know if they would follow us but I wasn’t about to take the chance. I followed the tracks, blind and bleeding, spurred on by the nightmare we had just barely escaped. I ran until their cries were but a distant rumble and then I kept going. It was only once I collapsed from exhaustion, my lungs burning and heart hammering in my chest that I stopped.
It was then that I realised I was alone…
to be continued…