We scattered like rats racing for the nearest drain. But there were too many people and there was nowhere to run.
We were near the front, clutching our seat reservations, when the panic began. We turned as one of them ripped a hole through the roof, showering glass and metal onto the concourse below. The crowd surged towards the train.
I was the last to stumble into the carriage. Doors close thirty seconds before departure.
Sometimes, I still see you, pale and white, tight against the window as the crowd forced you forward. Your neck was at a strange angle and your eyes had lost their colour. Maybe you were already dead; you didn’t react when the silver threads began to snake across your face, covering your nose and mouth as they wrapped around your head.
The train pulled away from the platform as you were yanked into the air, up through the gash in the ceiling. The crowd behind you collapsed and bodies tumbled against the metal carriage, vanishing below the window.
There were six of us at first, watching as they plucked indiscriminately from the crowd; a maze of thin vines which scooped up the screams while the crowd crashed up against metal barriers and glass partitions.
They stumbled, tripped and chased us down the platform. An old man holding a briefcase tried to flag us down.
We travelled through the night, staring across the fields of burning orange, silently picking the flesh from the bones of the buffet cart. We spoke in cities. Reading, Coventry, Birmingham; the glowing reds beyond the horizon. The driver only spoke to us once. After York. It was an apology, but we understood. There would be no refugees waiting on the tracks down the freight line, he said.
Hours later, we silently stepped off the train. The dawn air was cool and northern. You would have found it quaint; a tiny sandstone building on an old, worn platform. I looked down. I was still holding our tickets.