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A young woman enters the underground subway at 5th and Center Station to catch the 3:15am train. Her fear of the late night ride has prevented her from working the graveyard shift in the past, but increasing financial struggles quickly influenced this exception. The silence of the eerie subway halls steadily discomforts this she anxiously awaits on the subway bench. Constant stories of horrific events involving murderers and thieves easily invades her mind.
Suddenly, a smirking gang of three appears. They seem to walk towards her but vanish almost instantly. “I’m really letting my fear get the better of me,” she states, attempting to calm herself. Vibrations from the oncoming train begin, which aid in a sigh of relief from the startled woman. Stepping into the empty car, she decides to rest in the closest seat. I’ve never seen the train so empty, she thinks while withdrawing her book.
Eventually, the passenger drifts asleep yet awakens to find herself at the same 5th and Center Station. What the...? she wonders, I guess we haven’t left yet.
The train then takes off. Within minutes, the same 5th and Center Station sign appears. What’s going on? she nervously ponders.
Quickly lifting her watch to verify how long it's been, the passenger is aghast to find that the time still shows 3:10 am. Fearing that she’s losing her mind, the wide eyed commuter uneasily watches as the train’s next stop appears. It is yet another 5th and Center Station sign. Growing more perplexed every instant, the panicked woman promptly begins running through each car to find others. Without warning, an unforeseen beam of light emerges. It embodies the whole train car and finally causes the confused woman to halt.
“Hello there, young lady. I’ve been waiting for you,” spoke a friendly male voice.
“What do you mean?” she asks, looking around dumbfounded.
A male apparition materializes and chucks her a newspaper article. The moment the female reads the title, a brutal memory instantaneously floods her mind. 'Young Woman Fatally Raped and Beaten in 5th and Center Subway.' Finally relaxing, her now saddened eyes look up at the elderly gentleman.
“It’s been four months, love,” he answers before she could speak. “It took you some time to reach me.”
“But why am I still here?” she says with a depressed frown.
“This train is a spirit trap, love. Those who ride here choose forgetfulness in order to block their gruesome deaths. I am here to show you the way.”
“Did you die here?” she asks, returning her eyes to the grim article.
The friendly man answered, “I sure did. My heading said 'Well Known Hobo Pushed in Front of Oncoming Train.' I refused to believe what had happened to me and ended up here just like you.”
Her mournful voice questions again, “Can I move on now?”
“Not quite, my dear. It’s your turn to be guiding spirit. I've waited six years for you to replace me. You’ll get your time.” As her eyes begin losing their relaxed disposition again he adds, “Now don’t worry, years don’t feel as long anymore.”
“Wait!” The young woman cries as she realizes her companion is fading, “You can’t leave yet. I don’t even fully understand what’s going on. How do I even know when someone’s coming?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” he smiles, pointing at the newspaper in her hands. “You get a new article.”
Alone once again, the young passenger peers out the train window to see the same 5th and Center sign appear. She is unable to disembark.