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The Man Behind the Train Station

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This is my account of the most terrifying thing I have witnessed.

I'd recently switched to a new job at a bank in the city center, and I was in a financial crisis at the time, so the notion of buying a car was only a thought. On the first day, I woke up and ate an apple before dressing and leaving for the new job. 

Reaching the train station, I saw a small shop behind the wall and walked to it, deciding that I would buy my breakfast here every day, after eating my apple at home. Looking down as I ate my sandwiches, I saw a homeless man sitting on a bench next to me, so I popped him a few coins and sat down next to him. Picking up a newspaper, I saw a headline that said, 'five people go missing in the city center' or something like that. It was surely not calming to think I would be working there.

"Sure is a lovely day," I said to him.  He didn't reply back and was silent for a while.  Then, a rather fat man hobbled past us, boarding the train that was due before mine.

"Pig," muttered the homeless man. 

A little overweight myself, I regarded this to be a rude remark. 

"Excuse me sir, but I hope that was not what it sounded like," I scolded.

"I can see it..." he mumbled.  I pretended not to hear him and stood up, boarding my train.

The next day, I did the same thing. I ate my apple and walked to the train station, where I bought some sandwiches and sat down next to the homeless man again. It seemed like routine, even only a day after going to my new job.

Recalling the events that occurred the day before, I sat quietly next to the man, not saying a word. Then, I saw an employee I recognized at the bank, by the name of David, walking towards us. He was well dressed in his suit and tie, with a pair of dazzling polished shoes that gave the appearance of a wealthy accountant, and didn't seem to notice me at all. 

"Human," I heard the homeless man say. Sure, that guy was human. What was this hobo thinking?  Was he trying to make up for the rude remark he gave the day before? Anyhow, I checked the time and walked off in the opposite direction, boarding my train.

Because of traffic disturbances and an accident on the railway, I decided not to take the train to work for the next week and take the bus instead.  It was a long and tedious journey, and I had to walk long distances and switch lots of buses. 

I woke up to watch the news, and it was just what I wanted to hear. The railway was fixed and the trains could be running smoothly again. Arriving at the train station after my morning routine, I found the homeless man sitting on the bench behind the station, snoring. Sitting next to him, he woke up and looked at me.  Just then, a young lady walked past us.

"Bread," said the homeless man.

Following her, a man and two young children walked past us to get food. 

"Rice, biscuit, doughnut," I heard the hobo say.  Just what was he getting at?  It sure seemed like a weird case of mental issues.

Every day after that, I heard him say a word, associated with everybody that passed us -

"Chocolate."

"Milk."

"Nothing."

"Noodles."

It carried on.  I was beginning to think it was some very strange case of mental issues, or just an attempt to creep me out or something.  Once, he said "Banana" as an old man passed, without even looking at him.  Looking up at the man, he had a few bananas in his bag.  Another time, he labelled a young student as "nothing" which I found to be equally disturbing.

One day, I woke up fifteen minutes late and ended up sprinting to the train station, where I saw my train leave just a little too early for me. Damn it, I thought. I'm gonna be late for work.

Just then, another train came in my direction. I was in luck! It was a train that would take me just behind the city, where I could walk to work. Walking behind the train station, I decided not to get my sandwiches, as I would obviously be late. I walked briskly up to the train doors and was about to step in when I heard a voice behind me say, "Apple."

Before I could think about it, I was in the train and the doors were shut. I looked out of the window to see the homeless man, flashing a hideous, terrifying smile at me. His teeth were bared and black, and his eyes were wide open, creating a horrifying image. Quickly turning away, I picked up a newspaper.

Then, I stopped and thought for a minute. The homeless man called me an 'apple.' I'd eaten an apple for breakfast this morning... How did he know? Had he said something before? Something about someone? I glanced at the newspaper headline - 'five people go missing in the city center.' I knew it all too well. Then, as the train approached the outskirts of the city center, I suddenly froze.

I was going to have a nice day with David at work today.

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