The Subway Man

Today I am not going to show you pictures of things I have recently seen and talk about my life and general musings. I am just going to tell you a story.

To give you some context, this is the short story I wrote for the Grade 12 QCS test last year, under the theme ‘who cares’. I finished it an hour early so decided to rewrite the entire story on some scrap paper so I could remember what I wrote. I stumbled across it tonight and I thought it would be kind of cute to put on my blog. Enjoy 🙂

The Subway Man

In a dusty, secluded corner of the London underground lies a heap of old battered quilts. The air is foul with the stench of decay and the flickering lights above emit sinister shadows from the dark. Hiding beneath the pile of quilts is the subway man. He had a real name once but it was forgotten long ago.

The subway man spends his days buried beneath those quilts, shaking a rusty tin and murmuring “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” but no one has a dime to spare for the subway man. No one cares enough to even spare a glance for that poor, helpless man in the corner. 

Over the years, this man has transformed, gradually reduced to a decrepit heap amongst the dust. With the change in the subway man, so too came a shift in the London underground. Once upon a time the subway was a place of adventure; an intersection of experiences and lives all coming together. Music from energetic buskers would breeze through the tunnels and sweet aromas of pastries and foreign delights blanketed the air. People of all shapes and sizes would bustle through, laughing, joking, and sharing the stories of their adventures. “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” People would respond to this cry, filling the tin of the subway man and sharing with him all the stories they had heard so he too could appreciate the vast variety of life. But no more. This time of celebration in the underground has ended. Something happened to that community and broke the delicate ecosystem of life.

As civilisation evolved and technology developed, lives became busier. The clothes of travellers transformed from arrays of bright colours and fabulous frocks to a mask of black and white. The air became stale with cigarette smoke and a shadow darkened the souls of those in the London underground. Their eyes became glazed over with a permanent look of disgust and despair. “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” The same cry can be heard from the subway man, but with something else. No more do people respond to his pleas. no more do people show interest in his life and his experiences, yet he is the man in the underground with the most beautiful stories to tell. Along with the end of this time of adventure came a change in his plea. The simple murmur of “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” transformed into a cry desperate for a response. “Money for the poor! Money for the blind!” Yet people are deaf to his pleas.

The truth is, that time of adventure is over. No one cares about the subway man. No one has any interest for the man amongst the quilts with the most stories to tell. No one will ever understand the life of the subway man. 

No one cares.

And that, friends, is the wildly depressing story of the subway man.
On that sad note,
Have a happy day and be sure to buy a sandwich for your local subway man.
-Alice

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