Phantom of the Subway

“What’s up, Doc?”

She thinks she’s so clever, smacking that gum around her tongue. If the train bounces the right way, maybe she’ll swallow it.

“I’m hunting wabbits!”

She mimics Elmer Fudd’s ear-ringing laugh, and it dances around my head inside my mask.

Shut up, shut up, shut up! This is New York. I know she’s seen stranger people on the subway — like the man lying by my feet. He looks like he hasn’t showered in weeks. He conspicuously hides a malt liquor bottle inside his faded army jacket.

“It’sss rabbit ssseassson!” she spits.

I check the running screen above the doors. Three more stops to Tremont. What are the odds she’ll get off at one of them? The train lurches forward and she slides off the edge of her seat, holding the pole in front of her to keep from falling. She’s so close to the doors; I think about kicking her off at the next stop.

“Say yer prayers, varmint!”

Maybe she should say hers. I raise my arms, grab the tips of the rabbit ears and pull the mask over my head.

She jerks back, coughs, pounding her chest. Yes, yes. She’s swallowed her gum. It sticks to her throat, preventing her from screaming at the webbed skin on one side of my face. To add fuel to the flame, I pop out my glass eye and toss it just as the doors open and she tumbles out onto the platform, my eye rolling behind her.

—Nortina


Benjamin Godard - “Catch Me If You Can”
Benjamin Godard – “Catch Me If You Can”

Written for VisDare, a weekly challenge to craft a story based on the provided photo in 150 words or less . . .

One of these days, I’m actually going to write 150 words! 😉

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