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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Am I on the run?

My eyes feel as though my head is stuffed with sand. I'm currently drinking a luke warm cup of muddy brown liquid that the surly young woman with many facial piercings assured me is coffee. Late last night I arrived at Crewe station, the memories of many uncomfortable nights spent huddled up in the warmth of the waiting room awaiting the late train to Carlisle rushed back as soon as I stepped off the truing from Banbury. During my time in the Navy I would travel from Plymouth to Carlisle, my parents lived nearby for years, often making the decision to travel at the last minute either at the start of leave periods or occasionally Friday afternoons. I would hop onto any train heading in the general direction of my goal changing when the route diverted from my goal or when the train terminated at a station. Crewe was a nexus of many train routes, I would often end up on the platform having missed the last train that stopped at Carlisle and would have to kill time until the first early train, usually around 4AM. I was seldom the only mate lot in the same boat, as it were, there were usually a few of us, particularly around leave periods, all huddled up to our kit bags fruitlessly attempting to snatch some sleep before our chosen train was ready to board.

Last night I arrived just before midnight, I had indeed missed the last train North but this time it wasn't necessary my ultimate destination, I would have happily boarded any train going anywhere, my only aim was to put some distance between me and the unpleasant occurrences of the past forty-eight hours. The mutilated animal corpses left at the house where I had been staying with friends had left me tremendously unsettled. I had left almost straight away and as the final minutes of the day ticked away sat on the empty, cold platform at Crewe. Since my eyes had been opened to the very real existence of supernatural entities I had grown to like empty stations, without the constant press of humanity the parasitic hunger of the shadow-men had to look elsewhere for sustenance. I slowly focussed up and down the length of both the platform I now stood on and the one opposite, they were both devoid of any otherworldly beings, or at least any sign of them. I remember feeling that under the current circumstances this was probably the safest I could get. The cafeteria was closed but the associated waiting area was warm and welcoming. A single fellow traveller sat on the edge of a padded bench rolling a very thin and sad looking cigarette. He looked up, his eyes barely visible through a matted set of blonde dread-locks, he raised the half finished roll-up in greeting. I nodded but didn't engage in conversation, I have to admit that I was suspicious of everyone.

The night passed slowly, I awoke at every noise and didn't get much sleep at all. The grungy youth left around 4AM, but as I had no idea where I was going and as such what train I had to catch I stayed in the waiting room dozing on and off until daylight at around six. More passengers began to arrive and occupied the space around me. I remember hovering at the edge of consciousness as a tall blonde woman with a large black backpack sat on the bench opposite where I lay on my side. I blinked and was greeted by a bright yellow glow which flared as she made eye contact, my heart felt icy and cold, she seemed to look straight through me. I forced myself to remain calm, I sat and stretched feigning a dullness I certainly did not feel. I stood, grabbed my back and started for the exit, all the while I was so very aware of her eyes upon me. I know I was walking slowly but it felt as though I was running, making myself stand out.

I have often supported the theory the worst and seediest pubs in the country are those closest to railway stations this morning I proved that emphatically. As the early morning commuters and ad-hoc travellers began to fill the platforms so the swooping dark shadows appeared, they always did. I the station aiming to find some quiet greasy spoon where I could catch breakfast and call Patrick to see if had any contacts in the area. As I walked through the streets, the growing sunlight warming my face, I sought out the nearest pub, force of habit I guess. A small pub nearby was swarming with shadowy figures, flowing in an around the establishment like malicious thick treacle, perhaps I am being unkind but from my experience the sub-human scum that normally inhabit these all day drinking dens are perfect for the attentions of the petty and malicious shadowy wanders that have made my life a misery. I moved on quickly and found a small cosy cafe which served a wicked FEB (full English breakfast). I stayed for hours drinking many, many cups of tea and managed to, finally get hold of Patrick. What he said was not pleasant.

After my initial text he had been on his mobile, hence my inability to get in touch, talking to as many of his friends and associates as he could. There was very little information at first but Patrick built a picture of a growing concern among certain factions, a certain and immediate interest in me.

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