Three days ago, the world I knew came to an end.
My name is Sam Johnson, and I was trapped underground in the subway with a handful of others when the world around us shook and the lights of the train flickered before fading completely. Everything was dark around us as we continued to zoom through an enclosed tunnel underground. The world jostled again, this time with much more ferocity, and the tunnel began to crumble. We couldn’t see it, but we could hear it, and at first there were just tiny pebbles, and soon fair sized stones crashing against the metal roof. And just as suddenly we were stopped, the walls around fell and crumbled, we were thrown, I ended up against a wall towards the car ahead of us, but I could hear others scream as the twisting of metal and breaking of glass overtook them, and then all was quiet.
I don’t know if I was sleeping, or knocked out, or if I was just awake with my eyes open in the darkness. Time stretched forever in the darkness, and it seemed as if it had been hours until I finally heard someone moving. I was relieved that someone else had survived. Finally I reached for my cell phone as I called out to them.
“Hello?” I said. No one responded, but I could hear movement, and it was heading towards me.
The way sound worked here was eerie. I could tell even without the light that much of the train car had been crushed, and only a small section had survived. The air was growing stale, and I could smell what I believed to be human remains. Mind you I didn’t know what that smelled like, but it was wet, it wasn’t chemical, and it was vile.
As the person continued slowly moving towards me, the slow dud of it crawling was a dead echo throughout the confined area. I could hear it pulling the rest of itself along the once smooth floor, and I could hear as it put it’s hands into the broken glass that was littering the ground all around. I wanted to call out again, but if they were dying I didn’t know of anything I could do. I was just a college drop out, no special skills, and no particular knowledge to deal with anything of merit.
Suddenly the body inching towards me stopped. I heard as it’s hand hit something wet, that sick splatter I knew must be the remains of one of the other passengers. And then I heard the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life, the sick fuck was eating. No, I thought, it had to be someone’s groceries, maybe a candy bar from someone’s purse. But it was a wet chewing, and whenever it smacked I could hear the disgusting chew of something meaty. This…person, they were eating another human being. It soon moved from chewing to a much more sloppy ravaging. They were really getting into it, and when I finally heard the snap of bone as it dug in even further I decided that it was too much, and I finally held up my phone and illuminated the area towards the horrible sounds.
He was pale, and their skin looked drained as it stuck tightly to them and each vein underneath poked through. He stopped eating as the light hit him, and he slowly looked up to me. I could see eyes looking upon me, but I didn’t recognize them as human. They looked dead, had lost all of their coloring around the iris’. His face was cut up pretty bad, and it looked as if some of them went all the way down to the bone. His mouth was smeared with the dark crimson of a fat woman that had been impaled on some loosed metal structure from the train, and I was thankful that she hadn’t been alive when this sick person began eating her. He began moving towards me again, crawling, his hands ripping in the glass around but he continued on undaunted, and then I saw he wasn’t dragging his body behind him, as he had lost the half below his waist.
I wasn’t sure if it was parts of his own body or if his stomach had ripped open as well and the chunks it was trailing from it were just from the lady it had been eating. It didn’t matter though, it was coming for me, and I finally decided it was time to move from this spot.
I aimed the light around me; to my left were crushed windows and a wall of collapsed concrete barricading me from the outside. But to my right was the door to the next car. I pulled myself over the mangled benches and plastic seats. The door had been crunched from above, and it wouldn’t budge as I began to push on it. Harder and harder I pushed until finally it broke a little towards the bottom and a small crack opened. I could barely see to the other side of the window but it looked like there was enough of a car left on the other side, still I couldn’t see anyone inside stirring. I looked back, and the crawler was still coming towards me, and it had gained a few meters as I had been trying to open the door.
I had pushed the lower area of the door further inward, and the top had begun to bend. The crawler’s hand gripped at a bench piled just behind me, it would come over in just seconds. I put my back against the jagged plastic of piled seats and metal and pushed against the small crack with every ounce I could muster from my legs. It felt as if something sharp was stabbing through me, but finally the door broke and I shot through as the crawler came over the small lip and collided into the still closed area of the door.
I had to get the door closed, couldn’t let him hurt anyone else possibly still clinging to life here. I grabbed at the door, and from the top it broke again coming down as the crawler’s hand had shot through the opening. It struggled, and tried to grip anything on this side in order to pull through. I pushed harder and finally I pulled it back and kicked at the hand until it was back on it’s side and slammed the door down where it seemed to stick back into it’s rut. I looked through the window again, and watched as it struggled to get the door open, but it just fumbled along the smoothed area. It wouldn’t be coming through.
“Hello,” came a weak voice from behind me, “Is…is somebody there? Please, oh God, help me!”
I turned quickly, excited that someone else had survived this mess, but I wasn’t ready, I just wasn’t ready to see anything like this.
He was old, and he looked so happy to see me he started crying. But the front half of his body was all that I could see, the rest was somewhere underneath the crushed part of the car. Next to him another person moved to look up towards the oncoming light. She was somewhere in her thirties, and her head had taken a bad couple of scrapes from glass and she was bleeding badly. But the cuts didn’t matter as she had been pressed into some of the metal structuring of the frayed car wrapped around her, and from the blood pooling at the floor, through her as well.
“My God, please, help us, my baby…my baby is somewhere by my feet! I can still feel her moving! Help me, please!”
“You there, get me down from here!” came another voice from behind me.
He was just a kid, and apparently he hadn’t realized he’d been separated from his arm. I could see it looped in one of the handle straps above still, and he was a good six feet from it now facing the other direction. The car on his side had sort of come to a point, the bottom pushed up and the top crunched down and here was this kid in the middle of it.
There were others too, some were dead, and judging from their end I was thankful they were. Others were wrapped up in the car in various ways, most of them bleeding badly, and those that weren’t had thick chunks of metal passing through them keeping them alive for now. I looked at all of them, listened as they all asked for my help, unwilling to tell them that there was nothing I could do. I kept the light off of them as much as possible, I didn’t want them to know how badly they were trapped.
“No!” The lady screamed. “He stopped moving, I can’t feel him anymore! Please hurry!” She began to cry. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t do anything for them, but leaving them. How do you leave so many in such a state?
“I’m…I’m going into the next car. Find someone to help. I’ll be right back.” I said trying not to let it sound as if I had given up.
“No, don’t leave!” Someone shouted.
“Please, help me now, I’ll help you free the rest!” Came another.
“No, I should be helped first, I’m in really good shape!” Came the voice of someone else I’d yet to see.
“Everyone, calm down, please. I’m just going into the next car, if I can’t find someone I’ll be right back.” I said sounding as persuasive as possible.
“My baby! Please hurry!”
“I’ll just be a second.” I said as I began to move toward the next car.
“Promise me! Promise you’ll come right back!” Came a shaking voice from behind.
I hated myself when I said it, for I knew when I got to the next car I would not come back. I saw a few more dead people, one decapitated, his head nowhere to be seen, and then there was another on, but this one was still whole for now. It stared back at me as I shone my light on it. The same dead eyes as that crawler from the car before. It was trapped beneath a few mangled benches and the caved roof, but it had found a way to escape unlike everyone else. It was tearing into it’s chest, ripping skin off, breaking it’s own ribs, and as it saw me it tried even harder to free itself with one hand while stretching the other toward me, trying to pull me to it. I was just out of reach, it wasn’t a threat to me now. But it would soon be free, just as the other one had become, and these people…They didn’t deserve something like this. If they were going to die, I just couldn’t let them die like this, not before their time.
My hands shook uncontrollably as I lifted a chunk of loosed metal, held it over the man’s head. I could feel the tears edging over my eyes and just as they blurred, I thrust the piece down fully.
God, I just killed someone…I just fucking killed someone!