The counterfeit silence that had fallen seemed, he thought, to mock whoever should find themselves in this cavern, lulling them into feelings of calmness. Of course that tranquillity was fleeting; the streams, bodies coming again in intervals, the warm air, lingerers - like the sort-of apparition he’d witnessed - who stayed for just a little bit longer than they should have done, or for a bit more time than seemed normal, those spirits that were on the radar, and then, like fast-moving stars, off it just as fast.
But he was still in the in-between point now. That altered phase, where very little stirred. Wait! What was that flicker? The pitter-patter of a thing coming from off the tracks? It had to be... no, there was nothing, save for a residual gust generated in an invisible place. An ambiguous half-shadow on the walls.
Upon being met with such nothings, he realised there was a growing, terrible sensation emerging deep in his chest: in reality it had been there for ages, and he probably felt it before, but now he acknowledged and succumbed to it. He’d nailed a description to it, that low-frequency chugging somewhere, maybe just below his ribcage and behind his belly button, that aching that represented a slow-building but constant crescendo.
A foreboding. Slight horror was creeping in now – a shadow exaggerated because no through-train of people had broken the silence, a movement that might have chipped away at some of the doubt. That moment he dwelt on - if it had really been just that in the flash of existence - was shrinking, fading as the realness of it was becoming less plausible, and its sheen, completed by fresh smells, lights and closeness, was superseded by other, more powerful, visions and aromas.
© Copyright 2016 John Maher