Murder on the Train

WARNING: Sensitive content.

I managed to squeeze through the tiny gap of the closing door of the train and nearly knocked over a man dressed in black standing right by the door. I mumbled a breathless “sorry” and walked around him to take the seat along the aisle in the middle part of the train. The old lady with a thick stack of pearl necklace looked up at me briefly as I sat down then went back to reading the morning paper. There was a distressed mother sitting in front of me trying to calm the toddler on her lap who was crying and kicking his short legs along the backrest of the seat in front of them. It was a normal day. The other passengers ignored the racket and continued working on their laptops, drinking their Costa coffee or catching a 30-minute nap as the train sped to central London. The man dressed in black ambled along the aisle. His hands were behind his back and a wide smile graced his young face. His hair was shorn close to his scalp and on the collar of his black polo shirt was a white band. Ah, a pastor, I thought. And as if to prove to us that he really was a pastor, he started preaching!

“Do not be afraid of death, for the Lord will take care of your departed soul”.

I whipped out my earbuds and firmly placed them in my ears to block out the noise and the preaching. The silky voice of Lady Gaga singing La Vie En Rose blossomed in my ears, muffling the goings-on around me.I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. 

“I am the way! I can help you see our Creator.”

For some reason, I think the voice of the pastor was getting louder. I raised the volume a little.

“Surrender yourself and find peace in death!”

There was a piercing scream. I sat up straight and when I opened my eyes I saw a man in a suit halfway off his seat, his laptop raised like a shield, two teenagers trying to climb over the tall backrest and a woman holding her arms out like she was warding off evil. For a half a second it was like a pause button was pressed and everybody was in suspended animation. Then there was more screaming as more people realised what had happened. The people around me erupted into chaos and they started pushing each other as they tried to get away. The mother in front of me stood up with her toddler cradled in her arms but she was mercilessly pushed down on the floor as two women ran over her curled body, she used her body to shield the child beneath her. Then the pastor fell over right on top of her. He bounced back to his knees, his big smile still in place. He raised his right hand and in that hand was a knife with a short wide blade. Blood coated it and big fat drops of red pool at the tip to eventually fall on the mother’s back. Every drop was like an electric shock and it made her jump with each drop making her cry even harder. 


“Close your eyes now, it won’t be long.”

At that moment, I felt somebody grab my arm. It woke me up from my trance. I saw the old lady sitting beside me looking at the pastor. Her eyes peeled wide and her mouth opened in a silent scream. My eyes fell on the loaf of bread on her lap. I grabbed it and threw it at the pastor who at that moment stabbed the knife down. The knife sank in the bread.

Task: Imagine you are on a train station when a murder takes place. Expand upon this scenario by writing a story of 500 words or fewer.