Gabe closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the cool subway tiles. The pungent smell of urine and burnt electrical wires filled his nostrils as the loud roar of a passing train erupted in his ears. His social worker’s words replayed again and again in his head, “difficulties with home placement,” “a past filled with tragic incidents,” “more time needed to find the right parental candidates.” Gabe knew what that meant, after years of being shipped from one foster family to the next, it was clear what people thought of him. He was cursed. “And why wouldn’t they,” he thought. It was even obvious to himself.
The bustle of the station increased as the train squealed to a halt. Gabe grabbed his ragged black backpack and headed to the nearest set of open doors. He twisted and turned, trying to make his way through the thick crowd. A chill came over him, one that was all too familiar and Gabe found himself filled with dread. Coming to a sudden stop he looked around at the sea of people. Just steps from the train doors he was unable to move. He was staring and searching, his breath now shallow. The voices around him were instantly silenced as a pulsing white noise consumed his mind.
Gabe’s hands were clammy and he felt his legs weaken. “Are you getting on or what?” the man behind him shouted. The man was wearing a plain, tan trench coat and carried a briefcase. Gabe looked back at him, not able to hear what he was saying for a moment, still distracted by the deafening white noise in his head.
“Come on, some of us have places to be,” the man grumbled as he rudely pushed past Gabe and boarded the subway car. Stumbling to a nearby column, Gabe steadied himself, attempting to regain his composure.
As sounds came flooding back, he heard the buzzer warning that the doors would soon be closing. Gabe looked up and prepared to make a dash for the opening. Before he could make his move, he caught sight of a young woman standing in front of the subway doors. She was wearing a long, black leather coat that was cinched at her waist. There was an odd grey color that surrounded her, creating a halo effect around her entire body. He had seen this before, actually more times than he cared to recall. He even saw the same grey aura the night his parents died.
Gabe stared intensely at her back as she stepped into the subway car. She slowly turned around, her black hair was short, cut just above the chin, which she wore slicked back, tucked behind her petite ears. Gabe thought she looked as though she were trying to remove the femininity from her small frame in any way she could. Her skin was pale; the color reminded Gabe of milk.
He watched, frozen, as the girl lifted her head and looked directly into his eyes. She flashed him a small, wicked smile as the doors closed. He saw her eyes flicker a hint of red. A moment later, the train pulled away. Gabe slid to the cold floor as the crushing weight of impending doom filled him.
Gabe had been plagued by these feelings and visions his entire life. He could remember being sent to at least a dozen different therapists all over the city. Their diagnoses were all the same; however, ‘hallucinations brought on by depression caused by the tragic loss of his parents.’ Some had him writing his feelings in journals, but most of them found it easier to load him up on medication and send him on his way. He had learned a long time ago that the easiest thing to do was to lie about the visions.
Gabe wondered if the therapists were all right. Perhaps he was just crazy with grief. His parents had died when he was only five years old. He found it hard to believe such grief could plague a person for eleven years, but what did he know, he was no ...
A loud explosion suddenly interrupted Gabe’s thoughts. He reached out his hands to try and steady himself as the ground under him shook violently. He threw up his arms to cover his head, plaster crumbling and falling like rain from the high ceilings.