And This One Time…
Jack was frustrated, not only had his plans for the evening been shattered by his friend who insisted on going clubbing, but now he had lost said friend to the dance floor too. He had just said that he was going to get something to drink and waded through the crowd of happy, sweaty dancing people, "accidentally" rubbing himself against everyone he thought to be sexy, be it boy or girl. He was somewhat promiscuous, and never had a problem getting it with either sex. Jack on the other hand, was a little shy and had poor social skills, so he never really tried to flirt with anyone if they did not initiate the ritual. His friend was better built as well, tall and muscular with a very handsome and manly face while Jack had a small and skinny build with a very feminine face. This, coupled with his shoulder-length, dark-blond hair, made him look very much like a girl. He hated being mistaken for a girl, but he refused to cut his hair.
He looked at his watch. 23:59. His friend had been gone for a good thirty minutes now. 'Honestly, how long does it take to buy a couple of beers?' he though to himself as he sat down at an unoccupied table at the back of the locale. His feet hurt from all of the dancing he had done for the evening, and if that wasn't bad enough, the flashing lights and heavy bass from the dance floor were starting to give him a headache. It felt as if someone was banging a hammer on the inside of his head. 'Fifteen minutes,' he though, 'fifteen minutes and I'm leaving, with out without him.'
He had sat there fiddling with his cell phone for a couple of minutes when he felt someone coming up behind him. Turning around, he expected to see his friend, but an unfamiliar face stared at his. "Well, well, what do we have here? A pretty girl like you sitting around all alone at a place like this," the man said, his voice slurring from all the alcohol he had probably ingested that night.
Standing up, he stared the man hard in the eyes. "I'm not a girl, you idiot," he said and turned around and started walking away from him. The man didn't like this. He ran up behind Jack and grabbed his shoulder, hard. Jack turned and swung his fist around, hoping to hit the drunken man's left eye. His fist connected, but not with his intended target. Instead of his eye, he hit his nose. He felt it bend, making him sure he had broken it. The man crashed to the floor, holding his bloody nose and emitting small sounds filled with pain.
Aware of all the eyes staring at him, Jack turned around and walked up to the bar. The bartender pointed his finger toward the door, indicating that he should leave. He nodded and started walking to it, but turned around and walked back to the bar.
"Have you seen a guy my age, short hair, muscular, about yay high?" The bartender though for a moment.
Jack showed him a picture taken with his cell phone camera. Recognition dawned on his face. "Yeah, yeah I've seen him, he left half an hour ago with some a girl and guy. They were probably going to have some fun," he said suggestively. "Now, get out before I call the cops," he added with a sour tone and jerked his thumb to the door. Jack took the hint and left, painfully aware of all the eyes still on him. The man still lay on the floor, whimpering about how his nose would never heal and that he would never be able to smell again.
'So he left, huh?' he was not surprised. His friend had a tendency to do this, claiming that he was trying to help Jack learn how to be social. 'Guess I'll just go home then,' he thought. He was kind of happy, actually, since the hammer had grown into a sledgehammer, slamming against his head. The cool night air helped a little, but not much. His feet hurt with every step and the dark street was creeping him out. He had never liked this part of the city as it was never fully illuminated, creating terrifying shadows everywhere.
Few people came there during the day, but at night, they flooded there to go to the clubs. The particular one he had walked out was one of the more popular ones. There usually were many taxis around, but for some reason there weren't any. Now that he thought about it, the streets should be filled with people too, and at least some windows should have lights in them. The only things providing light were the streetlights, but the lamps were so weak that they barely cast any light longer than five feet. The moon was shrouded by a thick blanket of dark clouds. Jack had always had a bit of a phobia for the dark, and this wasn't helping at all.
He kept walking, but kept seeing what looked like movement in the dark alleyways in the corner of his eye. 'It's just your mind playing tricks on you,' he thought, 'stop it, you're being childish.' He kept telling himself this while walking towards the subway station, his only means of transportation since there weren't any cabs around. Despite what the rational part of his mind told him, his heart was pounding by the time he reached the stairs leading down into the station. Once he was inside, he let out a sigh of relief. He was safe. The fluorescent lights lit every corner of the station, not a shadow in sight.
There were people here too, he noted. A young man who couldn't be over 20 sat on a bench in the corner, reading a book. He was wearing an old leather jacket, black pants with a lot of studs and chains on it and big military boots. He couldn't discern what he looked like, for long black hair was obscuring his face. He could see a leather bracelet with spikes on it on the youth's right wrist. The book he was reading looked really old, its cover tattered and ripped, the title completely destroyed. Jack assumed he was a metalhead.
There were also a man and a woman standing and talking with the man behind the counter at the ticket office. It looked like they were arguing rather heatedly, the man keeping his voice barely under the shouting border. Deciding that he didn't want to wait for them to be done with whatever they were arguing about, he walked over the machines standing the corner. He inserted a couple of coins and out came his ticket. He grabbed it and was about to head down the stairs to the platform when he felt his hairs on his neck stand up. He had always had finely tuned sense of his surroundings. He turned around to find the source of his discomfort. The man and woman, who he assumed were a couple, were still arguing with the ticket man and the youth were still reading. Blaming it on his headache, he shrugged to himself and walked down the stairs.
The youth lifted his head and stared at the spot where Jack had stood a couple of seconds ago.
There were only a few other people at the platform. Mostly people wearing party clothes who were trying to get home and a couple of men in suits that were all wrinkled up. One of them was even wearing his tie around his head. 'Office party,' though Jack as he sat down on a bench close to a board showing departure times. Only one train and it was due five minutes ago. His head was killing him, he was sure of it. The sledgehammer had now grown into a jackhammer, filling his head with machinegun-like barrages of pain.
The reading youth had come down to the platform now and sat down on the bench next that was next to Jack's. He didn't see it, but Jack was sure the youth was stealing glances at him every now and then. Normally, he would ask if something was wrong, but there was something about him that made Jack uneasy. 'Okay, now I'm just being paranoid and silly,' he thought to himself and shook his, which he immediately regretted, since the machinegun intensified its rate of fire. He held in a groan as he leaned the back of his head against the cold tiles of the wall behind him. It helped a little. His eyelids felt very heavy, so he let them fall, hoping he wouldn't fall asleep.
He had just started dozing off when the rumbling sound that grew as the approaching train thundered down the tracks toward the station. He had run out of things to compare his headache to, but it grew anyway. 'It's like a damn tumour,' he thought as he sluggishly stood up from the bench. He swayed a little as his inner ear worked hard to balance him. 'I must be more tired than I thought.'
He heard a slight chuckle to his right and saw the youth standing uncomfortably close. "You know, people usually take a cab home when they're as drunk as you," he said and started chuckling again. His voice was low and soft, almost singing.
"I'm not drunk," Jack replied in a weak voice, "I'm just tired and I've got this real killer headache." It was strange, usually when strangers talked to him like this he would freeze up and stutter out a reply, but now he actually spoke a real sentence. 'I must be ill,' he though.
The youth stopped chuckling and smiled at him. "Sure, whatever," he said, patted Jack on the shoulder and walked away. He went up the stairs again, up to the ticket booths, which made Jack raise an eyebrow in curiosity. 'Why did he come down here if he wasn't getting on the train?' He didn't have time to think more than that, because the train emerged from the tunnel, screeching to a halt beside the platform. Rubbing the sides of his head, he walked on and sat down at the first seat he found. The train car was empty; the other passengers had walked on the others. The doors closed with a hiss and the train started moving again. Staring out the window at the platform, Jack could have sworn he saw a couple of military boots standing on the stairs.
Giving it no more thought, he sat and looked out the opposite window at the passing lights in the tunnel, the slight shaking of the train making his eyelids feel droopy again. 'No, I can't fall asleep on the train, I'll never get home that way,' he thought and tried to keep his eyes open, but a wave of nausea hit him, forcing him to lay down on the seats, trying not to throw up.
Once the nausea passed, he tried to sit up, but found out that he was far too comfortable lying right there and closed his eyes.
He was asleep within seconds.
To be continued…
Alright, alright. Don't worry, I'll update Kane's Field soon, but I need to plan a little ahead, you know, so I actually know what's going to happen myself, eh? This is just a small story I'm writing to give myself a break from sci-fi. Give me a review if you liked it and want me to continue it, eh? Sayonara!
NB: I originally intended to upload this yesterday, but fictionpress wouldn't let me upload a .doc file for some reason, and I didn't think of trying to use a .txt file until now, so sorry.