The Disciple
and Other Stories of the Paranormal

Available NOW in Trade Paperback & All eFormats

She was finally able to stop running for a few moments.

She took advantage of the near wall shrouded in darkness, leaned against it, and tried not to pant out loud.

The place seemed deserted; then she noticed the man standing just outside of the small circles of light coming from the train station’s few lamps. He was dressed like a typical businessman — suit, heavy overcoat, gloves, bulky briefcase. She wondered for a moment why he was taking such a late train into the city, then froze, examining him carefully, in case he was one of them.

He was clean-shaven, his hair carefully trimmed and arranged. His clothes looked to be of good quality, but that was all she could discern. He didn’t seem to be doing anything other than waiting. That probably meant he wasn’t with them, was just here, waiting to go home.

She knew she had at least ten minutes before the train arrived, maybe more. She also knew she couldn’t stay in the open the entire time or they would find her. They’d assume she’d run here to escape, and she didn’t want to be a sitting duck.

* * * *

He’d noticed her before she’d reached the station, but had chosen not to react. He watched her out of the corner of his eye instead. She seemed like a frightened animal and he wondered what had happened to her. He assumed he knew, but then, he’d been mistaken once or twice before, in the past.

She moved out of the shadows, and now he could see she wasn’t wearing any shoes. He wondered if she’d kicked them off in her flight from whatever had her terrified, or if they were in the backpack she wore.

She tried to walk normally but he detected a slight limp. As she got closer, he could tell the dress she wore was extremely thin, not at all appropriate for the weather. He figured she’d had a coat but abandoned it somewhere along the way.

Her hair was tousled, her breath still unsteady, her face slightly streaked with dirt, her eyes wild. But she managed to give him a cavalier smile as she got nearer.

“Car broke down,” she said briefly. “Hope the train gets here soon.”

He nodded. “Give it about fifteen minutes. It runs late on the last trip.”

She grimaced. “Well, it’ll give me time to freshen up.” She laughed, nodded to him, and walked into the restroom behind them.

He looked where she’d been standing. There was a slight smudge there. Blood. He could tell even from a distance. He was never wrong, not about blood.


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