*Disclaimer: No small children were harmed in the making of this story*
I have always been afraid of the dark. Which makes the lights going out about 10 times scarier. And in the subway of all places at that. And then there’s my special ability. Yeahhhh, I’m not a normal 15 year old, I can sense a person’s deepest darkest secrets. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? WRONG! Oh, you should hear about half of the shit I have been put through over this. I mean it was SO delightful to find out my dad was cheating on my mom with her sister when I was 10 years old.
So then my family life went down the drain blah, blah, stopped a serial kidnapper when I was 12 and found out my best friend was gay for my other best friend. The whole friggin’ package. So life has been pretty eventful.
At least I can control when I use it now. Most of the time I keep it off. It takes a lot of energy to keep it off though. I had it off for almost three days straight though.
And then this happened. I mean, I can’t just keep my sense off when I’m stuck in a subway car with no power. I mean, the lights inside, and outside of the subway are off, what am I supposed to do? Scream with everyone else? I don’t think so. I mean, I have learned from enough scarring life experiences to know that isn’t the best course of action when you can’t see your fucking hand 2 inches from your face.
I can’t see what’s around me, all I can hear are panicked shouts and the squealing of the emergency brake. When my sense blinks on, I can suddenly see words in the blank space around me.
When my sense is triggered I can see words above people’s heads. I don’t even need to know their name, all I will know is their darkest secret, something they might not even know about themself. It makes me feel like a gatekeeper in an adventure novel, “Thou shalt pass until you spill the beans in front of your comrades, possibly sending you social disgrace.”
I can be such an evil genius sometimes. Sometimes it becomes similar to a sport to me. When I’m bored in the doctor’s office I will make a bet with myself about who will have the worst secret. Now when I look around me, it’s not a sport, it’s a survival tactic.
And there it is. There’s usually at least one crazy in the crowd. An escaped convict, a psychopath. It makes you fear what’s in store for the world.
This time it’s a child kidnapper. It makes me shutter. This world is harsh. Next to those words are another set of words. It has to be a child’s because it’s much further down. It says: Still Wears Diapers. Normally it would be funny, children’s secrets were usually so innocent, but something doesn’t quite seem right.
The child is crying. The person sitting next to the child- A man judging by the voice- is trying to hush the child’s cries.
Suddenly the puzzle pieces fit. He’s trying to kidnap this child. Shit. What am I supposed to do?
I stand up, pushing around the distressed people. I try to pick up the child, but there’s a tug. What the hell could go wrong now? The kidnapper is holding the child’s hand.
“Hey, what are you doing?” the man cries. Blood pounds through my ears and I pry the boy’s hand from the man’s sweaty fingers. And hoist the boy up onto my hip. Then I dart further down.
“Hey! Get them, they just took my son!” the man yells. I grit my teeth, dirty little perv. The train finally grinds to a total stop. The emergency lights come on. I try to hide the boy from the man’s sight but his cries have already alerted the man to my location, “Hey! Stop her!” He yells, pushing through the crowd in an attempt to get to me.
The doors of the car are finally forced open and people are all cramming together to reach the exit.
Someone nearly elbows the little boy in the face and I yell, “Hey! Watch it asshat!”
The people continue to surge forward. And upon turning around I see that the man is coming even nearer to my position. All he has to do is kick a few old ladies and he’ll be able to grab my hood. I push forward as well. I need to get this kid out of here.
The boy only looks about 4. This makes me even angrier at the man. How could you take someone’s child? The door is right there, only a few paces away.
Then I feel a tug and I’m stopped. I cry out in pain. He’s got my hair. This causes even more stir, “Hey! What are you doing?” I hear someone shout from behind me. I turn around to untangle my hair from his grip, and it’s just in time to see a woman who looks to be about 40 punch the man in the face.
He cries out and loses his grip on me. I rush forward and I’m out the doors. I would wish the woman well but the words above her head read: Puppy kicker.
We are all walking along the track, the nearest platform is only about 3 feet away, but the dim emergency lights aren’t doing much for my vision.
The line is moving at a sluggish pace and the boy is now whimpering, his head buried in my shoulder. I quickly turn and see that the man has finally made his way out of the car, his nose bleeding and I look with fury flashing in his dark eyes. I can’t help but smirk, Oh, I’m sorry for beating you at your own twisted game sir! Then for good measures, I flip him the bird.
“Hey little buddy,” I say to the little boy in a soft voice, “I’m not going to hurt you, I just want to take you back to your parents,” the boy looks up. His eyes are red and his snot is dripping from his nose. It’s pitiful.
“I’m Amy. What’s your name?” I ask him.
“Alright Daniel, I’m going to get you out of here and back to your parents as soon as possible okay?” he nods and buries his head in my shoulder again.
We reach the platform and I swerve through the people towards the exit. It’s unnervingly bright outside and I run up the stairs, my arms aching with the weight of the small boy curled against my body.
And then we’ve reached the light. It’s blinding and loud, but in a different way than the panic that had ensued below the streets. I breathe a sigh of relief and turn off my sixth sense. And then I quickly head off to the police station. I may be out of the dark, but it’s not over yet.