You’ve got that feeling again: someone is watching you. It’s a busy train full of people, but nobody else seems to care. You glance around, eyes skirting over the gaze of strangers. Opposite your seat, and a few rows over is a little, pale face staring back. Forest green eyes leer out of a dirt streaked face, a tumble of bruise splash across her cheeks. You hold her gaze for a while. Until, you can’t take it anymore. With a head shake you return to your paper, lying idle to on one side.
The train rolls on, stops called out and people are leaving. It goes on until you are hit with the crushing realization. It’s just you and the little girl left. You rise from your seat, to settle opposite her. She makes no move to respond, just stares straight back. It’s disconcerting, you think, downright creepy. Something isn’t right.
But you remember her face. You saw it every day on a two-year-old wanted poster, right by the hotel you stay in. It was the same girl. Rumored to have run away, and taken a train. But that was two years ago. And she looked exactly the same as the glazed image. Exactly the same.
You reach over, to touch her hand. Yet you recoil at the touch: not soft skin, but cold bone. Glancing into her eyes you see only holes. This isn’t the girl. No, it’s her skeleton.
Leering backwards you flee to your seat, both frightened and disgusted. Alarm bells ring as you remember, you haven’t had your stop, and it never takes this long. Moving to the window you can see only dark shadows, flirting through the night. This train isn’t stopping and you? You aren’t getting off.