The wind was steadily building up in velocity now as it blew with autumnal force along the platform of Carfax Abbey Station. A newspaper salesman tried with difficulty to set up his stand amidst the building gale, his stack of newspapers was being ripped and torn and pelted with a barrage of fallen leaves that the wind periodically whipped up into a vortex and then cruelly discharged at him.
Placing a house brick and a small cash tin containing his float on top of his printed paper tower he finally sat on a stool next to his mobile magazine rack and checked the clock at the far end of the station; it was ten o’clock; he had about ten minutes before the next train was due to arrive.
Seconds later a raucous mob of teenagers, mostly boys came running down the platform from the bridge end and raced past the newspaper stand towards the railway tunnel. The newspaper man watched with disgust as they shouted a flurry of immature abuse towards the tunnel with cupped hands, maybe they were angry with the way the tunnel had swallowed up so many young lives, maybe they were just out for a bit of a cheap thrill. Some of them were hurling stones into the mouth of the tunnel.
The newspaper seller got off his stool and walked down the platform,
″Git outta there! Ave you got no respect! Clear off or I’ll get the Bill on to you I will!′ He shouted angrily. The gang shouted a stream of colourful abuse as they ran back along the platform towards him, one of the mob picked up the cash tin and tossed it onto the tracks below the platform, the newspaper man was livid and he picked up the house brick in a gesture to threaten the mob, as he did so the wind carried away sheet after sheet of newspaper to the delight of the mocking gang. Quickly he replaced the brick and the mob took themselves away up and over the bridge, and soon the baying laughter was replaced by the lamenting wind.
The newspaper seller stood on the edge of the platform; he saw his cash tin lying upturned on one of the sleepers. Glancing at the clock he decided to chance it and dropped down onto the tracks. Quickly he retrieved his cash tin, suddenly he stopped. From somewhere in the station he could hear a squeaking creaking sound, his heart froze and he spun around searching for him, after all that’s what the legend always said, shout his name, call for him and he will come. The yobs were shouting his damned name he thought. And then he saw it, and relief flooded through him. The newspaper stand was being rocked by the wind; its metal locked casters were creaking under the pressure. With relief he pocketed his cash tin and started to cross the tracks. Without warning the ten past ten came dashing out from the tunnel, he didn’t have time to move, caught in the beam of its lights like a startled rabbit he was cudgelled to a pulp beneath its steel wheels, an ear-piercing metal screech filled the air as the driver applied the brakes. The train came to a stop. The driver climbed out and ran back along the platform, he saw the mess on the lines, the old man bore away by his train. He shook his head,
‘Damn crazy suicides’ he said out loud, and he turned to look at the dark tunnel which somehow gave him the feeling it was mocking him, it was then that he decided and realised that there is truth in all those dark lonely places