Sunday, 23 January 2011
The day the unexpected happened...(A Short Fiction Story)
As the thundering noise increased, the lights came closer and closer. I tried to free my leg again, but the pain from my sprained ankle was too much. “Help,” I shouted but no one came to my aid. The rattling of the strong steel wheels chugging towards me, made me aware of the imminent misfortune about to befall me. I screamed. The train hurtled towards me at an alarming speed. I screamed again and raised my arm to shield my face, then everything went black.
It had begun like any other day. My ten minute shower followed by Special K with Semi Skimmed milk, a boiled egg and a slice of toast. To say I was motivated to go to work would be a lie. It was almost half past seven in the morning but it was still quite dark. I disliked winter mornings. It took twice the amount of effort to get out of bed and go to work. Once breakfast was out of the way, I fixed my long hair into a ponytail, grabbed my coat and bag and headed towards the door. Bluebury Park Station was ten minutes away which meant another gruesome walk in the cold.
Apart from two or three dedicated workers on their way to work, my road was almost deserted. The trees looked bare and bony as their leafless branches lay exposed with bits of fluffy white frost scattered around like an old man’s beard. The buildings had an air of gloom as their grey concrete walls hung almost lifelessly in the cold musty atmosphere. I plugged my iPod headphones into my ears and trudged along the road wishing I was on a Caribbean island somewhere.
When I arrived at the station, it was busy with people topping up their oyster cards and rushing to catch the next train. I glanced at the information board and realised that my next train was about ten minutes away. There was some kind of delay. What’s new? I thought to myself. With the kind of delays and overcrowding on these trains, they should have been letting us travel for free because we were certainly not getting what we paid for.
I gazed at the adverts that lined the sides of the escalators. I mused over the Biogut Plus an ad for a revolutionary yogurt that could do wonders for your immune system, the latest theatre shows, making a mental note, I need to watch something with the girls soon. My mind was brought back to reality as an overweight man with the most pungent smell pushed past me on the escalators, almost knocking me over. I sucked my teeth in annoyance but decided not to pursue it. I watched him as he ambled off onto the Westbound platform.
The train was still eight minutes away, so I found an empty seat next to two smartly suited gentlemen and sat down. I took out my bible and started reading Psalms. I read Psalm 88 right up to 91 and then I suddenly felt a strong urge to pray so I started praying silently. Shortly after, I decided to get up since the platform was beginning to get crowded and I didn’t want to miss the next train. I edged my way nearer to the platform and stood huddled up in my coat, trying to ignore the cool air coming from the tunnel. The train was now two minutes away.
Today was Treat Friday so we were scheduled to go out to some fancy restaurant for posh nosh with some of the office folk. Maybe I could –
It happened so quick I didn’t even have time to react. One minute I was thinking about gourmet meals and the next some burly hands were forcefully shoving me over the edge of the platform. As my body lunged forward and realisation of what was happening came to me, I screamed. My lungs deflated considerably as my scream sucked out all the air that was within me. I flew into the air face down and fell right into the middle of the track. I tried to get up but my ankle seemed to be having a game plan of its own. I felt the most excruciating pain shoot from my hip right to the tip of my toes. I had no idea what it was but all I knew was it was bad. I looked up and I could see people on the platform scurrying about and somewhat gasping at my misfortune.
“Help, someone help me!” I cried as I heard the rumbling of the train approaching. I remembered the scriptures I had read a few minutes ago in Psalm 91, “... shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty...He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge...for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
The thundering noise increased. The lights came closer and closer. I tried to free my leg again, but the pain from my sprained ankle was too much. “Help,” I cried as I tried to move my body on my stomach. The rattling of the strong steel wheels chugging towards me, made me more aware of the imminent misfortune which was about to befall me. I screamed as the train hurtled towards me at an alarming speed. I screamed again and raised my arm to shield my face. At that moment everything went black
When I came to I was lying on a stretcher and a group of paramedics were attending to me on the platform. I sighed in relief - I had not become a statistic.
“What happened?” I asked the female paramedic in a green uniform who was attending to me.
“You fell onto the train tracks and you passed out from shock but you’re going to be ok,” she replied.
“Am I injured?”
“You have slight bruises and you sprained your ankle but other than that you’re ok. You sure had a lucky scrape young lady,” the paramedic replied.
“That wasn’t luck! I saw what happened,” an elderly woman with a Canadian accent said, “It was a miracle I tell you. As you lay there, I saw a group of Angels standing over you with their wings shielding you. It was unbelievable but right then I knew that you were going to be ok. Then as the train approached, one of the Angels put out its hands towards the train and brought it to a complete standstill. It was like one of those things you see in a Hollywood movie but this time it was happening right in front of my eyes.”
“...a real miracle...” I mumbled as the sedatives started taking effect and I nodded off.
Later I was told that my attacker was a mental health patient who had a strong dislike for Christians because his father who’d been a Missionary, had been had been killed during a mission trip in the tropical forests of some primitive country. Irrationally he had blamed the church for his father’s demise. Seeing me reading my bible had somehow caused him to snap and decide to attack me.
As I recovered from my minor injuries and battled the trauma of the ordeal, I prayed in my heart that God would give me the grace to forgive him. It was hard and I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight but I knew that with God’s help I would someday be able to let go of the resentment I felt towards the man who had almost brought my life to a devastating end.