The train rocked through the tunnel and as much as I wanted to get off this hellish tin can, I dreaded reaching the station and having to flee for my life with this vampire practically on top of me all the way to the surface. She was still struggling with her breath and as the train pulled into the station and juddered to a halt, she let go of the rail too soon and stumbled and someone standing near her caught her before she fell to the floor. I heard her hiss and she pulled back violently, which only encouraged indignant curses from the man who had kindly tried to help her. I saw my chance and fled through the doors, hearing her howl of rage behind me when she realised I had gone.
I pushed my way through the people heading towards the escalator, muttering my apologies as I rushed forward. Halfway up I heard shouts behind me and saw the girl doing the same, only she was trying to push past someone who was walking up on the left, causing the people around her to cry out in alarm for fear she send them all flying down to the bottom. Her perseverance was terrifying and strangely hypnotising. She was like this whirling fanged dervish, hell bent on nothing but her prey and knocking out everything and everyone in her path and I suddenly felt as if I were moving in slow motion, unable to move as she spun towards me. Suddenly the escalator flattened out beneath me and I turned sharply, realising that I was at the top. In a panicked spurt, I charged towards the escalator reaching into my jeans pocket to grab my Oyster card and swiped it across the scanner. The barriers swished open and I ran through, only to get tugged backwards as my bag got caught between the barriers and I let out an anguished cry as I pulled and yanked frantically on the strap.
I glanced up to see the girl appearing at the top of the escalator, grinning as she saw me still stuck at the barrier. With one final desperate tug, I managed to free my bag but pulled it so hard that I tumbled backwards onto the floor, sending my bag flying and it’s contents spilling out onto the floor. I watched in horror as my lip gloss, iPod, purse and book flew across the ticket hall, followed closely by the penknife which spun and hit someone’s foot, only to skid off in the opposite direction. Scrambling to my feet, I chased after the penknife, finally managing to grab it as it hit the wall and rebounded. A woman standing studying the tube map, looked down just as I picked it up.
“Oh my god, is that a knife?” she cried out, just loud enough for others around us to hear.
“Someone has a knife?” I heard another voice shriek.
“She has a knife!” the first woman said again, louder now and full of alarm.
I looked around in panic, seeing shocked faces staring at me; faces full of fear at this girl scrabbling through the ticket hall with a knife in her hand. A rusty penknife mind you, but a knife all the same. I heard shouts and cries all around me and I wanted to shout and cry back at them.
You’re scared of me? There’s a bloody vampire in here and you’re frightened of me?
The vampire in question found herself stuck in a crowd of people gathering at the ticket turnstiles, some walking through unaware of what was happening and some hesitating when they saw activity buzzing around a rather jittery looking girl who was holding a knife in one hand and an empty bag in the other. I was vaguely aware of people moving now, backing away from me as I were some crazed asylum escapee running rampage through the underground with nothing but a rusty penknife that probably had more chance of giving you tetanus, than slicing open your skin. But of course they didn’t know that. To them; a knife was a knife.
I felt rooted to the spot, unable to get my feet moving as I heard the word knife echoing around the hall like Chinese Whispers as people began to realise that someone here had one.
“Someone has a knife?”
“That girl, that girl……..”
“Over there……the redhead…….”
I heard the crackle of a CB radio and snapped my head to one side just in time to see a member of staff talking into it, no doubt alerting security or the police to the fact they had a crazed monstrous red head brandishing a knife in the ticket hall. It was the impetus I needed to get my feet moving. In an act that would later knot my gut in utter shame when I thought about it, I flicked open the penknife and held it out in front of me, noting the way my hand shook as I waved it around, warning off those closest to me. I hard shrieks and shouts for me to stop as I turned on my heels and catapulted myself towards the exit.
My feet clattered against the steps as I bombed up into the subway above and having done this journey so many times before, albeit without security personnel and a hungry vampire on my heels, I automatically took the tunnel I needed and sped through until I reached the staircase that would take me up into the noise of Hyde Park Corner. A the bottom of the staircase I turned, feeling a shot of nausea sweep through me and saw that the vampire was still there and I knew this chase was far from over. Looking up I could see that the sun no longer lit up the sky in an undiluted dazzling glare and the evening was well and truly settling in. With an ear-splitting scream from my legs and lungs, I grabbed onto the hand rail and pulled myself up the stairs, knowing that I would find no refuge with the daylight that had now cruelly deserted me and I would have to keep running from this ghost of a vampire girl that continued to haunt my every step.
Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2012