The old subway station was like an art gallery for abandoned rusty signs. Nailed across the grimy wall in one snaky line were “No littering,” “No smoking,” “No urinating,” “No magic,” and, for some reason, “No cameras.”
A herd of beggars set up camp beneath all this as they stubbed out cigarettes and pissed in a corner.
Wish I had a cellphone, thought Misha. I’d take a picture.
She had to wonder where all these beggars came from, what their stories were. They could be soldiers, crippled by a long-forgotten war, or men who had gone bankrupt and lost their jobs and families during the IMF, or even demons in disguise, just wanting to feel the slightest bit human.
Either way, she belonged to a different world: the edge of the platform, with the officer workers, the schoolgirls, the taxpayers who waited for the train and ignored the bums like a brown smear on the wall no one wanted to wipe. A drunk paced back and forth between the two sides like a confused bat, unsure of whether to join the birds or the mammals.
She decided to ignore him, oblivious as a blinkered dray horse standing in traffic. She just wanted to take the next train out of there, to get back where she belonged.
She sighed, and edged closer to the edge of the platform, an impatient child willing the train to come. The drunk must have thought she looked like a jumper -- he grabbed her arm and she let out a bird-like squeal.
A security guard shuffled along the platform with all the urgency of a just-awakened sloth. Lucky the drunk wasn't trying to kill me, she thought. She was just about to reassure the guard, to tell him everything was OK here, when he raised his finger like a schoolmarm about to scold a chile, then pointed at another sign, hidden in the shadows: "No Similes. No Metaphors."
Suddenly, Misha felt like crap.
Opening: Sylvia.....Continuation: Anon.