Subway Stop by Kayla O'Connell

“What would you do if I gouged my eyes out? Right here in front of you?”

He adjusted his wool hat as he awaited an answer. When none came:

“It’d be reeeeeal messy. Prolly ruin your suit, you’d be all bloody on the subway, no one sittin’ next to you. No way.”

There was still no answer from the man who sat very still with both feet flat on the cement.

“Well...I’m gonna do it. So sorry. Right now, gonna do it, so, so, sorry.”

He hesitated for a moment, staring and then suddenly motioned with his fingerless gloves an action that implied the gouging of his eyes, followed by blood spurting out onto the man, and, careful not to touch the man’s suit, he mimed blood dripping down the man’s pressed pant leg and onto his shiny black shoes. He observed his tattered reflection for a moment and then, satisfied that the man was impressed, he sat back. Fingering a hole in his faded brown khakis, he carefully watched the suit and tie for even the subtlest of movements.

The man made no notice. He did not even attempt to further protect his briefcase which sat quietly between them.

Pushing further,

“I got blood on your briefcase, man. You prolly need a new one. Yup, definitely need a new one.”

He ventured to smear the blood over the leather with a dirty finger. After a moment of finger painting his name on the man’s briefcase, he sat back. He scratched his beard from cheek to neck while he waited for some sort of response.

“I got blood in your eyes. I got blood in your mouth. I got diseases too. You got my diseases now. You’re gonna go home and have sex with your wife and give her my diseases. Kids too. Whole family with my diseases. Oedipussss.” Excited now he endeavored to employ his fingerless gloves in another round of eye-gouging, twice as dramatic and with blood spurts unrealistically high. His long fingernails coming dangerously close to the mans clean shaven face as they followed the blood pouring down it.

Still no response came.

Confused, he sat back and chewed on the sleeve of his flannel shirt. In the distance he could hear the train approaching. They sat for a moment as the roar of the train grew closer. Saliva-drenched he continued gnawing on his sleeve as the noise became deafening, pulling more and more flannel into his mouth.

“They’re coming for you with your diseases now, they’re coming. Better hide, better hide they’re coming” he became frantic as the man made no movement. Ripping his flannel he stood.

Suddenly the man moved, methodically, as if through water.

He froze. The train was nearly here. The lights were growing bigger as the sound engulfed the tunnel.

The man picked up his briefcase with deliberate movements and faced it towards him on his lap, un-clicking it’s locks.

Still flannel-chewing he stared intensely. The man in the suit slowly opened his mouth and closed it around cold metal. He witnessed a small movement in the man’s eyes and thought to scream.

The train roared by, he felt the air push his hair around.

Then nothing.

He reached up to find his wool hat dripping with blood, absorbing into fibers and meeting his hair, wetting his scalp. Releasing his saliva soaked sleeve he muttered, “diseases. I got your diseases in my eyes goddamnit. I got em in my mouth, pants no good. Shit. Real messy. Sorry, sorry.”

He clamped his stained teeth on his sleeve once more and began to write his name in blood on the briefcase.

“Gotta get a new briefcase, need a new one.”

Kayla is a twenty-something writer/actor/yogi/bartender livin' the dream in big, bad NYC. Visit her blog if you know what's good for you: