Stations of Death

A story by Damien Smethurst

Prologue

It's just after 4pm, and if things go according to plan, I am going to take another persons life in a few minutes. It won't be the first time I kill someone. In fact, a few weeks ago I killed someone else just a short distance from where I am standing now, watching the commuters as they mill around the train station.

That killing was different though, justified. This killing will not be. It will be nothing more than the taking of a life, an innocent life, at random.

I can feel the adrenalin start to pump through my system, my senses becoming more alert by the second. The noise of the station is being filtered out as I psych myself up for what I am about to do. Just a few moments ago, I was stood here wondering if I would be able to actually go through with my plan, trying to work out if I will be able to live with what I am thinking of doing.

Now I am wondering if I would be able to live with the consequences of backing out.

It's an almost foolproof plan and has been successful for years, even when people were watching out for it, still it was used over and over again. I know I am about to enact a near perfect way to get away with murder.

It's almost time, and the train from London is due to arrive in just a few moments. I debate whether I should move towards the platform now, but decide it isn't worth the risk. There are a lot more cameras around these days than there used to be, and I can't take the chance that I might be picked up on them. It is much better to wait a few minutes, wait for the inevitable crowd to form, and then I can start to make my move.

I look around, seemingly casually, trying to see if there are any cops hanging around, but can't see any. That doesn't mean too much, not these days. They will be in the station somewhere for sure, but I'm not too bothered about them being around somewhere. As long as they stay there long enough for me to do what I came here to do.

I can barely make out the station tannoy as it announces that the train I am waiting for has been delayed. This is not good. The longer I stand here the more chance there is that somebody might remember me later. I can't really take a chance on moving though, as I know I am in one of the few dead spots for the cameras on the main concourse, and the longer I can stay out of sight of the cameras the more chance there is I can walk away from this afterwards.

The sensible part of my brain knows that I should just turn around and walk away now, before it's too late. But in reality I think it became too late a long time ago. I am on a set course, and nothing is going to make me turn back from my plan of action. I have come too far to turn back now.

Another announcement, this one saying the train is approaching the platform. This is it, the time almost here.

I scan around again, looking once more for any sign of the blue police uniforms, but there are still none of them around. This is lucky for me, but not so lucky for one of the people who are about to get off that train.

As people start heading for the platform I join them, head down, face covered by the peak of my baseball cap. I am glad that it is winter, as it means that nobody is going to give my gloves a second glance. I can't afford to leave any fingerprints behind. That would be a stupid mistake and one that would be sure to get me caught.

Joining the throng as they make their way through the ticket barrier and down the platform, I look ahead to make sure my escape route is still open. The escalators I am looking to use are running smoothly, which in fairness is usual, although there are occasions when they are down and closed off for maintenance.

If that were the case, I would have no option other than to turn around and think about coming back another day.

The train is alongside the platform now, just coming to a halt, and In a few seconds the passengers will start to disembark, although to do so they will have to battle with the mass of people waiting to take the places they have just vacated. In some ways it resembles a cattle market, although I have noticed that cows and pigs tend to be better behaved and more dignified than your average commuter.

Still, I am relying on that jostling to make things easy for me.

As the train stops and the doors open, starting to disgorge hundreds of tired businessmen and women, I prepare myself for what I have been thinking about for weeks now. Reaching across my body with my left arm, I touch a stud under my jacket near my right elbow, and this releases the knife, allowing it to slide down into my waiting hand.

I have practised this repeatedly until I can get it right every time. If I miss the knife as it leaves the holster I am done for. The best I could hope for would be that nobody would notice it drop until I was far enough away to just keep on walking. There is no mistake though, and I continue along the platform by the train with the knife held down by my side, scanning the passengers as I walk.

Then, right in front of me, the perfect opportunity. A man, taller than me, although that was no big feat, talking on his phone as he pushes through the crowd, his back towards me. I am just a few feet away, moving at a brisk pace to catch him up, and then I am past him and continuing down the platform towards my target escalators.

I have gone another four paces before I hear the first gasp behind me, followed quickly by a scream. I lower my head and keep walking along. This is not my problem, I have somewhere to go. As I get to the escalators I glance back, just once, to see what the fuss is about, trying to make it look natural.

I can see my victim, the guy on the phone, lay on the floor, with my knife sticking out of his back, blood pooling around him where he lies. Even from this distance I can tell that I have done as intended. He will be dead within minutes.

Looking down at my gloves, I notice some blood on the right hand one, so, taking no chances, I take them both off and put them in my pockets. I have made the kill, now I just have to make my escape.

I am smiling by the time I reach the top of the escalator and continue on my way. This has been surprisingly enjoyable and cathartic, and I find myself thinking back to how I came to be here in the first place....