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 Post subject: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:30 pm 

you catch more flies with honey but you catch more honeys being fly

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"Continuing coverage of our top story tonight: a train car arrived today at Amersham station with all passengers missing. The train appeared to have been full when it left a station earlier in the morning and only one of the twelve cars was affected by the mysterious disappearance. Authorities have called it an act of domestic terrorism, citing an extremist group who are against the proposed demolition of abandoned South London streets to expand the Underground Rail."

Jamie drummed his hands in some manner of haphazard rhythm on the large stretch of desk in front of him, tuning in and out of the news broadcast and reclining in his chair. The most interesting part of his job was the fact that it was actually not interesting in the slightest. Libraries in the 21st century served little purpose, as virtually anything could be found online. Needless to say, they didn't see a whole lot of business, and Jamie didn't mind that at all really. No new check-outs meant that he could watch the small television at the end of the table, which he normally enjoyed quite a bit. But this particular news story made him uneasy, and between all of the news outlets online and on the air, he'd been hearing about it all day.

After the woman at the news desk talked some more, the scene changed to reveal a heavy set police officer in a crisp and pristine uniform, standing at a podium on top of some stairs. He grumbled from beneath his mustache and spoke into the forest of microphones which prodded out at him from the stand.

"These people have made it clear that they will stop at nothing to undermine the efforts of the municipal planning authority to expand the Underground Rail and now they have resorted to kidnapping citizens as they travel to work. The Metropolitan Police Service will stop at nothing to bring these criminals to justice and return the missing loved ones to their families..."

"Weird, right?" The only other receptionist at the desk, and his best friend by default, Sayid. A nice enough man for sure, but Jamie wished that he would stop asking that question every time the story came back on.

Jamie merely hummed in response, vaguely listening to the statement from the Metropolitan Police. "I wish you would change the channel. This is nothing we haven't heard a hundred times tonight," he said. He propped an elbow up on the table, cupping his chin in one hand and holding a pen in the other. The button was turned toward the table, and Jamie pushed it down and let it bounce back up only to fall back down to the desk with a small clatter. "I'm pretty sure you know that officer's entire speech by heart by now."

"I'm just saying-," Sayid started, and Jamie gave a rather dramatic groan of despair as he let his head fall to the desk. It actually did hurt a little, but he was fairly desperate to get the point across. He heard Sayid huff in agitation, but unfortunately that didn't exactly deter him from continuing. "I'm just saying that it seems a bit too weird that only one car was affected. One out of- what was it- twelve? Those cars hold a lot of people What would this group even do with them?"

Jamie lifted his head just enough to be heard. "Hold them for ransom? Kill them? Make them sit through another one of your insane theories?" he guessed, tapping a finger on the desk for each reason he listed off. Sayid disregarded his comment with a resigned tsk and turned back to the television. Jamie rolled his eyes and sat upright. "Right then. What does the great Detective Qadir think happened to the passengers, then?"

Sayid shot him a look that Jamie was sure was meant to be threatening, but it really wasn't. "He deduces the not-so-great Jamie McGuire needs to shut the **** up." Jamie laughed at that and spun his chair around to face him, gesturing with a wave of his hand for his friend to go on. After a moment, Sayid gave up the silent treatment, as Jamie knew he would. The man could never resist voicing his opinion. "There has to be something that they're not telling us in the news. I mean, they had to have found something."

"Except they didn't."

"They had to. It doesn't make sense. Say this group unloaded all the passengers on that car down onto the railway. Fine. But then what? Where’d they go?" he asked, waving his arms for a bit of extra emphasis. "They could march on the tracks for a bit, sure, but they could only do that for so long before they reached another station. And if they had reached another station, I'd like to think that someone would notice people taking the tracks on foot. And what about the cameras? Nothing?"

Jamie nodded slowly, much the way you would if you were listening to the nonsensical ramblings of an exceptionally annoying five-year-old. "So, what’re you getting at, then? That they actually vanished? Like, disappeared into thin air?"

"I’m just saying, you can't abduct an entire mass of people without someone noticing something."

Jamie rolled his eyes. "You're eccentric," he dismissed, shaking his head as if that could somehow repel neuroticism. "Look mate, there's still have a half-hour until close, please don't make me sit through this until then."

Thankfully Sayid relented, throwing his hands up in defeat and turning off the television. He disappeared into the file room and with a bit of reluctance, Jamie pushed his chair away from the table and stood, stretching his arms into the air with a groan as his back straightened and fell into place. He busied himself in organizing the papers that had been strewn across the desk throughout the day. He and Sayid were both very competent at what they did... they just weren't exactly neat about it. More often than not, by the end of the day they wound up with check-out logs mixed between order requests, and God only knew where some of the library's bills ended up. It could only be described as a miracle that they managed to get it all cleaned up and sorted out each night.

"...a train car arrived today at Amersham station with all its passengers missing. The train had been full when it left a station earlier in the morning and only one of the twelve cars was affected by the mysterious disappearance. "

Jamie jumped at the sudden sound and clenched his fists around a few papers, feeling his heart race and then slow down. Without dignifying it by so much as turning, Jamie closed his eyes, embraced zen, and laid the papers on the desk, trying to force them to lay flat where he had wrinkled them. "Very funny, Sayid, now turn it off. We don't have time for this." The woman's voice was cut off, and Jamie was greeted with silence. Which meant, of course, that Sayid had taken to ignoring him now, but at least he'd been courteous enough to turn the television off again. "Thank you."

"You say something, Jay?" Jamie spun on his heel, and saw Sayid poke his head out from the file room. "Earth to Jamie. What did you say?"

Jamie stared at him for a long moment, then turned his eyes to the television. He shook his head slowly at first, then quickly with dismissal. "Nothing. I think I'm just tired," he said, leaning backward against the desk and tapping his nails on the wood. He allowed himself to contemplate it only for a moment before forcing it to the back of his mind. “Right then, hurry up so we can get out of here."

Somehow Jamie and Sayid managed to ready everything for the next shift on time, a rare occurrence between the two of them. They stood in front of the large glass doors, Sayid digging into his pocket for his keys and Jamie drowning in a black coat one or two sizes too big for him. "See you tomorrow, then," Sayid said once he’d retrieved his keys, giving Jamie a firm clap on the shoulder as he passed by to get to his car. Left to his thoughts, Jamie listened to the car door slam and the engine roar to life, and just like that he was alone. He watched the car get smaller and smaller, and for a moment he wished for the world that he had asked for a ride home. He’d never felt uncomfortable taking the train home after work, but something about walking to Amersham station felt amiss. He really needed to stop watching the news.

When he arrived, the station was cramped, hot, and smelly. Even with a prepaid ten trip ticket, he didn't seem to get through the huddle any faster than anybody else, but before long he was standing on the platform catching the first train that had boarded. Any ridicule or complaint he was contemplating was rudely interrupted by the screeching of a halting train car pulling onto the platform. He, along with so many others on their way home from work, ambled and shoved onto the train where they would spent the next moments of their lives uncomfortably pressed against one another. There were women holding the hands of children tightly and clutching their handbags even tighter still. There were homeless men who occupied entire stretches of sitting space while they slept, and occupied even more space around them with their stench. A few people were like Jamie, just bundled up button pushers making their way to or from work. The last group Jamie could see were the perverts who slid their way like inky snakes to stand by women or children and press their bodies against them, rubbing themselves on the clean and unsuspecting with their eyes closed and perverse grins on their faces.

He hated the train.

The speeding train car rocked back and forth, jarring everybody around within its bowels. Occasionally it would breach the end of a tunnel and more natural evening light would break into the surroundings but more often than not it was dark with only the hum and bleak glow of halogen bulbs which lined the top of the car. Though even then, only a few worked and even fewer didn't constantly flicker. The train sped off from another station and into the darkness of the tunnel. Through most of this, Jamie had his eyes closed and was trying his best not to pay attention to the heat or the smell, but he could tell when the car lit up with each stop and he counted the minutes between each one. It was the same as the last time he'd ridden the train and it was the same the time before that and countless days before them still. It was the same as it would be tomorrow. Four minutes of blackness, then a stop. Six minutes, stop. Fourteen minutes, stop. The next one was four minutes away again. Four...




Blackness passed and passed without light. Jamie opened his eyes and looked around to see the windows of the train car still awash with the same black that permeated through whenever the train was between stations. Puzzled, he pushed his way to the window and squinted his eyes to see if he could see the subtle red lights that dotted infrequently on the walls of the inside of the tunnel. Minutes more passed and no red glow. Not even a flicker. It was around this time that Jamie noticed the train car wasn't rattling and bumping like normal, but rather gently swaying back and forth, rhythmically tilting from side to side though no one in the car seemed to shift. He pressed his face closer to the glass and used his hands on either side of his eyes to peer out and tried his best to focus. Perhaps the train had stopped and something was being serviced. It was strange that they wouldn't announce that on the intercom though.

A few more minutes passed before Jamie saw much of anything. The first movement was a distant blinking white light which swung back and forth out in the expanse of nothing. It drifted closer and closer with each fade, in and out, and was almost mesmerizing. Jamie blinked and it was closer again. He watched it carefully for a minute before pulling away and looking around the car. It seemed that no one else seemed fazed by the prolonged darkness and gentle rocking of the train. No one was even looking out the window except for one man. A homeless man had risen from his slumber and was peering outwards into the same deep blackness that Jamie was, and he was watching the swaying white light.

Then, as if from nowhere, the train car was illuminated from the right side by the swaying light. Jamie and the homeless man were the only two passengers who reacted to this at all, and the light violently jerked upwards to reveal something Jamie had never seen before. Right in front of his eyes was a gaping maw of teeth and tongues and eyes. He stumbled back and fell to the floor, disturbing passengers all around him. The maw in the window opened wide, and everything went black.

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