a mini-fiction story by Miles H. Rost
5 steps. Two platforms.
That’s all it is. You tell yourself that as you walk around the corner. Looking up in the midnight sky, there it sits. It calls to you, beckons you to cross underneath it’s latticed metal and rusted rails. The area underneath is totally dark. Very few lights behind you, and in front of you, if any at all.
You’ve taken a deep breath, imagined this moment for a long time. The time when you would have to cross underneath this potential death trap. The red staining on the rails, mixed with the gray metal, reminds you of a mouth with teeth full of silvery-gray fillings. Decayed teeth coming down upon the jaw of the ground awaiting the tiny morsel of sustenance that is you.
You’ve put your foot in front of you, the sound of your foot landing on the paving stones echoing down the seemingly long corridor. The sweat on your forehead is starting to rain down lightly upon the bridge of your nose. A bridge, not unlike that of the rails that are threatening to consume you, heart and soul.
Getting up your last milliliter of courage, you quicken your steps and blaze quickly down the brick-lined tunnel of buildings. You look up at the grey and red metal steps, the five steps in between two platforms, those steps that you think will be eating you momentarily. As you pass under, you look forwards to the other side and you see what looks to be freedom.
At last, you reach the corners of the building. You’re made it past the gauntlet, the metal mouth has not eaten you this day. You breathe a sigh of relief as you turn to your right. That is when you realize the horror is just beginning.
You have now stumbled upon a maze of paths, with jungle-like trees in the middle of it, the door of safety that you have to reach so far away. As you look at the next task at hand, the many possibilities of danger flood into your mind like meat into the mouth of a velociraptor, which may be in those trees there.