KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Micro-Fiction: 273 words

Public Service

by Amanda McLeod

I am used to watching people scurry along. They move like tiny ants, into the trains, out of the trains, across platforms and up and down escalators. I stand, unmoving, as they swarm around me. Most of them are nameless faces, swallowed instantly into forgettery, but tonight there is one who stands out. While the others are in constant motion, he is still. His face is fixed in the present, the only one not distracted by his destination or his smartphone or thoughts of his mistress or what might be for dinner. I know what he wants to do. I have seen it countless times, in countless other faces. The details change but what lies beneath is always the same. I tug down on the front of my uniform, take a deep breath, and step forward. He sees me coming. Our eyes meet and we talk without speaking. I feel his desperation and he sees my fear. I edge along the platform towards him, poised and ready to pull him back from the brink but trying to look casually purposeful and nothing more. He glances towards the tracks and the oblivion that waits just a step away, then back at me. I meet his eyes again, and almost imperceptibly shake my head. Don’t do it. For a moment I think he is going to step forward anyway and so does he, but then he turns and joins the scurrying horde, walking quickly along the platform and stepping onto the escalator towards the surface. With a long exhale, I become a rock again, letting the faceless ants swarm around me once more.


Amanda McLeod
Issue 8, Fall 2017

is an emerging Australian author, a recent graduate, and an avid traveller.

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