The Wolves

I took the train today,

an achievement…

Those around me stared,

sensing the smell of fear.

Burning eyes in strange faces,

pack wolves circling their prey,

in a forest of vinyl chairs.

 

I smiled a fear grin

because it was expected.

Some bared their teeth

and murmured platitudes,

before averting their eyes.

 

Behind my iPhone,

my pounding heart calmed

marginally.

Mimicking those around me,

my thumbs on the darkened screen,

pretending to engage with imagined friends,

occasionally nodding, smiling,

like the others did.

 

And so I sat for half an hour,

motionless,

cramped legs numb,

unmoving elbows,

hyperventilation tingled lips.

 

As the train approached my station,

anxiety surged anew.

To stand, and move between

the tangled web

and make my way towards

the door.

Proximity alert!

 

Teeth clenched, narrow-eyed,

fight-flight mode on,

I rose,

and those around me stirred…

following…

Excitedly sniffing my fear-sweat

drenched armpits.

Their scuffling feet and

humid rain-soaked musky

smell,

behind me in the aisle.

 

It was in those moments

before closed doors

opened,

and the throng of bodies

spilled onto the platform,

I perished.

 

Grabbed by the throat

by gnashing teeth,

my spilled blood

lapped up.

 

I was left dying

in darkness in the rain.

Their smell was gone,

their howling stopped.

Alone again.

 

Until my trip home.

 

Image:  clip art library
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