A Strange Twist of Fate

Four innocent people. Bystanders in a very unfortunate event.

Four people and one subway, stopped in its tracks. Everyone looks around in confusion and travel to the driver. Only to find no one; no conductor, no driver. A slow and rising panic rushes through their veins.

One of the four bashes on the windows. His only result was not a crack and bloody knuckles. No intercom, no phones, no service. Another furiously presses buttons that opens nothing and goes nowhere. She falls to the ground and cries her child's name. a faint voice comes to her. All four look out the window and see her son. He presses his hand to the uncracked window and finds his mother. She sees his red eyes and dirty body. He screams and calls for his mother, but silence exudes from his mouth. The mother sprints towards the window and drenches it in tears and fear. One last tear slides down her son's face. This time his mournful scream blasts all of their ears. Then he is pulled back; pulled by the unknown into the unknown. Now it's the mother's turn to try and break the see through barrier. Again, met by blood painted knuckles.

The other man strips her away from flattening her hands. She tries to resist but his cautious strength wins her over. She crawls into a seat and cradles herself, whispering her son's name over and over again.

The others look for possible exits but grow frustrated at every denial. The other woman yells at the mother, annoyed by her shock. She knows she is really afraid of witnessing another spine shivering event. Her worries are soon confirmed. This time on the right side of the barrier; or is it? She quickly recognizes the stocky figure. The familiar limp she is responsible for. Only she knows that this paleness doesn't belong to him. The other three stare in utter confusion. The bloody knuckled man asks who this limping figure is. She tries to answer calmly that this is her husband, forgetting to mention he is deceased. The lights grow dim and lose power. The mother is cradled in a seat again, this time praying.

The man who appears most calm finds a flash light. He switches on the button and is surprised by the body lying on the floor. The mother screams and exteriorly calm man notices the uniform, the hat: it's the conductor. Everyone discovers that this conductor's vacant eyes are forever asleep. Dead. And the question is instantly applied to the four: How much longer until their fate becomes the same? Either find a way out or get the subway moving.

The four travel in a pack throughout the underground train to find other passengers. Every cab they see ahead is lit and inhabited. But every time they arrived to the door the lights would give out. The man shines the flash light to reveal nothing, no one, emptiness. When they decide they're alone, the four turn around to head back. The other man opens the door to the previous cab and steps in, but not on solid ground. They've been in here and found no one, no life, and when they lights turned on it approved of no life- only people who once had beating hearts. Lifeless people.

At the end of the cab the woman's husband sits up. Same abnormal paleness and same raging stare. The woman shakes in absolute fear. Her husband stands up with his axe. She asks him if he killed all of these people and he smirks. He answers:

"No, silly. You did." And the lights give way once more.

The man turns on the flash light just in time. The woman looks at the other three with tears. She knows now that this is her punishment. What she deserves for killing her love. She mutters that she didn't mean to kill so many people, so many children. She said that the axe is so unused anymore and her husband wouldn't stop chopping down her trees. So, to solve the problem, she chopped him down. But so many people got in the way. Too many people saw what wasn't supposed to be seen, and it quickly became more then covering up a crime. It became a game. Now it's her turn to be chopped down. The other three knew what was to come but couldn't leave. The man shut off the flash light and they listened to her punishment. They figured out that her husband didn't start with her head, either. He liked to start from the bottom of the tree.

When the noises and flying blood stopped the man flipped the flash light back on. There she lay, in more than one place. Her heart resting in her husband's hands. He lay there officially motionless, where they belong, with their children and together. The mother ran to the other cab and skidded to a halt, finding no bodies or risen lovers, she continued on- the two men trailing behind and the one with bloodied knuckles closing the door behind them. Hoping to never open that door again. Closing that door, that chapter, forever. What more unread chapters await the remaining three?

The man with sore hands grows more and more antsy, anticipating his punishment. He becomes violent, only to himself; repeatedly beating himself with his hands and against the walls. They arrive to an already searched cab, but he knows they missed something here. He sees a girl sitting on the floor, clothed in darkness and keeping to herself. Can even the mentally insane save lives? What if they are the world's only hope for survival? A test failed here and he knows it. When the girl looks up she looks straight into his crazy soul. Her insanity is evenly matched with his. She wields a well used jack-knife that has been recently applied to her once gorgeous face, now hideous with her sin. When he sees her bottomless eyes, the two portals into her soul, he knows this isn't a punishment. It's a second chance, another opportunity to rescue a lonely soul from a terrible fate. He knows the fate everyone holds for themselves: the decision to bring themselves to an end or not. The girl finds out his history of attempts to put fate in his hands, but every time someone shows their care, God's mercy, every time he reaches a new level of graphic violence. A new chapter of suicide, a stronger walk through insanity.

He can clearly see her similar history, as well. Again, the girl is trying to firmly grasp fate, except the one who is holding it is the man standing in front of her, the insane. The girl pulls out a gun, so stunning and so deadly. She strokes it as she looks at the man. He stands there contemplating. He knows this isn't the answer. Is watching someone kill themselves, and not stopping it, considered murder? He has one more chance to prevent more depression, but he can't decide and the girl notices it. The other man and woman try and talk to the girl, talk her out of what she is about to do. But she can't see them, can't hear them. Only the crazy, the mentally ill. For one last time he has the power to save a dying and dark soul. His mind asks him: who is left to save him if he lends the girl her deadly fate? Is he meant to kill only himself or prevent a chronic suicide that enters countless people's lives every day? If this girl makes her fate her own he knows she has made his fate also.

The man shuts his eyes tight, letting all fate float into the space between them. The girl's heart sinks low, seeing one more person who won't try to save her, won't show her care, love, or even God's mercy. She looks down at the gun and finds the man's second chance dissolving into the bullet. The girl who simply wanted someone to care lifts the smooth weapon to her hooded head. The other man and mother shout pleas and orders. Right when she pulled the trigger she finally heard the screams and pleas of the other two. The longest split second in all of their lives. The failure of a man opened his eyes just in time to see her blood mixed tears roll back in her head with her dark eyes. The other man jumped to stop her but was too late. Her fate was given to her, a deadly privilege, and a dangerous wish.

The most dangerous thing to ask for is fate, yet it's the most powerful. Something this lunatic has desperately wanted his whole life and for once he was granted fate, but not his own.

Another's life was thrust upon him and he threw it away. He sits there staring at the empty soul he could have filled. The others lift him up and escort him through the other visited cabs. When they reach their cab the fate wielder sat down again. Staring at the floor like a zombie, imagining the girl's body. He wants a second chance but that was his second chance. The mother sits as well, trying to catch her breath through her wet sobs. The other man paces the cab, muttering plans and ideas to himself.

The zombie redirects his gaze to a window. He notices his dry blood on the see through barrier and thinks about the blood seeping from the girl's body. He knows he has been given one more privilege: his fate. Now that he has it he knows exactly what he needs to do with it. He encases his hand on the previously used pistol, still staring at his failed attempt to escape; because that's what he is, a failure. He ventured onto this subway today expecting to be delivered to his desired location, but fate boarded the subway with him today. Not just his fate, everyone's fate. Today, fate came to punish, judge, and give opportunities. All the lunatic knows now is that the girl isn't taking her second chance to save him- he took it from her. The thief shoved the cold gun to his head and pulled the trigger with no hesitation. No more second chances. The mother and the man didn't get a chance to save the lunatic, he stole that, too. A giant pop then a silent drop, as the man fell to the floor. The mother's screams follow and the man lifts up the failure. He knows this crazy is gone but a part of that crazy's insanity vicariously entered into the man, trying to revive the failure.

The woman kept repeating, "We're all going to die. We're all going to die."

The man leaves the failure in his new pool of red and grabs the mother by her shoulders. He shouts assurance and guidance into her frantic mind. He won't give up and she can't either. When she mildly calms down the man grabs the too often used gun and enters the conductor's cab, the mother following closely behind the man sits in the driver's seat and examines the buttons. He finds an emergency button and presses it in hopes of salvation. Creaks and moans from outside, they both take a sigh of relief. Safety coming back into their pulse racing hearts. Suddenly a jolt hammer's the subway to a stop. Fear finding its way into the two again.

Faint whispers and an olfactory stench of death fill the cab. A small but bright light appears from a distance, then a small body slams into view. A familiar face, the woman's son crammed against the window. He falls out of sight but comes back into view. It looks as if he is floating or held by strings like a puppet. Again, he cries his mother's name and it causes the woman to go into a panic. The small boy asks why she never came back, why she left him with an abusive father. Guilt and regret pours from the woman's sad eyes. She apologizes countless times and tries to explain her reasoning, but she can't find an explanation. She had no reason to dessert her beloved son. The only answer was selfish desires. She ran out of her toxic medicine so she had to flee, had to acquire more of the lethal monster. She thought she could love nothing more than the injections and the addictions. When she ran out of money, pills, and sinful desires she found her true love, her true belonging. She need to find her alone and confused son. This short ride was intended to take the mother and reunite her with this young boy.

Well, here they are: together, but still separated by this sheet of glass between them. She doesn't waste time hopelessly pounding her fists against this strong glass. She snags the gun and aims at the window. Before she realized what she was really aiming at, she fired the pistol. The cracks shatter the glass. Little does she know, she has shattered more than the barrier. She opens her eyes to find a gaping hole in her son's chest. It's not like he had anything in there, though, right? His mother sold his heart to the monster that is running through her veins. She knows deep within you can never completely flee from the monster's tight grip. A loud and high pitch scream breaks loose from the emotional mother. She killed her son out of impatience- just like when she smacked him whenever he misbehaved. She never thinks things through, always acting first before thinking. For the first time in too long and for the very last time she cradles her son in her hasty arms. Apologies that can never be confirmed as more real leave the mother's mourning mouth.

One last sentence emerges from the fragile boy's lips, "I forgive you, mommy."

Right when he finished, the darkness sucked them away together. Too bad this darkness doesn't forgive. One last painful scream and a grotesque snap echoes throughout the tunnel.

Now the man sits in utter shock alone. Now is the time to give up. Now is the time to try and make a great escape from the evil clutches of death. So, which is it going to be? Before he could even consider his options and influx of hands and arms come flying though the broken window. Razor sharp claws gnaw at the man. He flees from the cab before they grabbed him and he slams the door shut behind him, finding himself alone, again. The man almost likes the disgusting hands better than this silence that is flowing through his ears and into his heart. He anticipates that he won't be alone for too long. Whatever this terrible being or darkness is, it will catch up to him. Why it has saved him for last, he'll never know. What does the broken subway, the darkness have against him? This man has never murdered, ran away, ingested drugs, or attempted suicide. Nothing lethal and nothing seriously dangerous has haunted him. He sits in wait of what is to come. Hours upon stressful hours pass. The man sits in what patience he can conjure up. No more plotting or running, no way out except to cease this terrible causer of misery.

There comes a click of a door and a flinch from the man. Standing up, ready for death to walk through the door and greet him with its brother, pain. Who knows? It's possible compared to what has been witnessed here today. A tall, lengthy, skinny being enters the cab. Its body disproportionate and the eyes glowing bright orange fall onto the man. Its long, black trench coat drags behind it. A glimmer of yellow and jagged teeth stretch across the being's face when he sees the man's expression of horror. The man poses strong and waits in terrible fear for this being to speak. Fear isn't felt from the man on the outside, but on the inside his organs shake vigorously in nervousness. The being explains itself and tells the last living man who it is. What it is.

The being is the dark-side of fate. It broke loose in these people's lives and makes all their fates backfire and explicitly kill them. This side of fate shows no mercy, no forgiveness. For this short time, fate has conquered the bright side, contorting the balance of fate. Now that it's set free for a short time it's trying to cause as much chaos and mayhem it can. A fugitive and a serial killer that has never been arrested can't be caught and sentenced for life. This dark being has run into a dilemma, however. A small enigma he is having trouble solving. It can't quite figure out what this man has done. What his fate should be. The eyes of all the putrid hands marvel from outside the window, peeled wide and ready to eat this righteous meal.

The man still stands in his exterior calmness, reaches behind him and pulls out the gun. He points it at the dark being, taking fate into his own hands. One quick pull and… nothing. No loud shot, no one lying on the floor in a heap of bodily fluids. The dark being smirks. Empty, just like the man's heart now. All the victims' eyes are still on the man and the dark fate. The being takes a moment to decide this clearly innocent man's fate. He finds a sore spot in the man's history and solves the conundrum.

The darkness reminds the man of this sinful event in his life. Profusely beating a man to a bloody pulp, all for some money to get the man more chips, more time to waste his life on slot machines and rigged card games. But it's more than the gambling, more than striking a stranger for some petty cash. It was throwing away his dignity, his pride. This man that appears to be so confident and so real is more cheap and fake than the plastic these seats are mad out of. Crumbling up his manhood to try and get the jackpot. No one can buy or win their pride back. When you throw it away there's no way in getting it back. An addiction so deep, the only cure is to keep on playing. Continue to spend and waste away more and more.

This man's life was thrown away to the wrong side of fate. By chivalry, he tries to save someone's life but he doesn't have the pride to do even that. This man stole another man's pride to throw it away. All for chance, all for luck, all for fate. This man played for the wrong side of fate and he knows it, now. The being slithered its way up to the man and drove its slender arm into the man's chest. The being retracts and is holding the man's heart. It then says in a sharp hiss:

"You threw it away years ago. You shouldn't feel a thing."

The falsely innocent man gasps for air, for life, but collapses to the cold metal floor instead. All the eyes are still pressed against the glass, watching the new victim, the being stores the man's stolen heart into its jacket and exits through the door once more, without a word. It left the last victim in a puddle of red.

The man's life goes dark and suddenly bright again. His clock reads AM and he feels the sun's warmth on his face. An obnoxious buzzer sounds and wakes a regretful mother from a deep slumber. She quickly jumps out of bed to get ready for one of the biggest days of her life. A news reporter indicates a time for an unstable man in his hotel room. The road calls his name and he heads out the door. Ten minutes after hitting the snooze button a woman crawls out of her lonely bed into a bathroom built for two. Just an hour later a bell beckons passengers to board the eight o' clock subway.

Four people are very hesitant to take this underground express; four strangers faintly recognize each other but can make nothing of this odd recollection. People board the subway today to be rightly delivered to their desired locations. Four people silently question if they will arrive safely; or arrive at all. They all look at each other hard and ask themselves: was it a dream; or is this merely fate bringing four criminals together this morning? As soon as all the four decide that they want to leave, fate closes the doors and moves the train. Now, where will fate take them? No one knows.

That's purely up to fate's devious imagination.