Marching in the Fire, A Short Story

Marching in the Fire

I was about to get on the subway, buy a ticket, and head for the platform. Hundreds of people came rushing towards me in a crowd.

I barely managed to escape into a side aisle.
Why are there so many people here? A state of emergency had been declared. I don’t think I’ll be able to catch my train at this point. Everyone was walking normally. They didn’t seem to be in a hurry, but I couldn’t do anything about it because they were coming from one direction and one aisle at a time. I had no choice but to wait for a while and wait for the aisle to open up. But there were hundreds of people coming one after the other, and I couldn’t go in the opposite direction.

I wondered how long this would continue. I would not be able to catch the train, and I might not be able to make my appointment at the hospital in time.

There were children and adults in the group. They are walking without looking straight ahead or to the side. There is no one talking to each other. The speed is not that fast. There is no expression on their faces, but occasionally I hear a woman talking.

A child stumbles and falls. The child tried to get up, but the person from behind stepped on the child and moved forward. The kid from behind kicked the falling kid on the head with his right foot and smiled. He smirked and walked on. The fallen child lay limp, unable to move, but trampled one after the other, looking as if he were already dead.

There was no one to help him. I tried to get into the middle of it to help, but I could not get into the wave of people.

I knew I had to turn this tide, so I looked around. I found a baseball bat, took it, went into the stream and swung it around, knocking down a couple of people. However, as soon as I swung up, I bumped into someone coming from behind me and lost my footing and fell to the ground. My head was knocked off, my body was stomped on, and I couldn’t stand up.

I shouted loudly for them to stop, but the aisle was still full of people and no one was listening.

I thought we were going to die. I couldn’t even take out the phone in my pocket and call for help. A passerby kicked me in the side as hard as he could. My head was bleeding from being repeatedly stomped on by a shoe. It seemed that the child could no longer move. I thought the child was dead. I felt my consciousness slipping away, thinking that it was my turn next.

However, I was able to roll away from the group. The aisle was still filled with people flowing from one direction to the other. There was no one in the other aisle that I had broken out of.

I crawled to where the kerosene cans were. I don’t usually smoke, but I realized I had a lighter with me today, as I knew I would have a long wait at the hospital. I clung to the kerosene can. He uncapped the kerosene can and knocked it over so that it could reach the aisle, which was constantly crowded. The kerosene flowed into the aisle. I lit a fire with a lighter I had.

The fire quickly flared up, and I watched as it made its way into the crowd.

I thought the passage would be cut off. I thought the people would disappear as the kerosene fire entered their bodies and burned them out.

But the fire was burning and spreading faster and faster, but people continued to walk through the flames without feeling a thing. The large waves of people were still in the flames, but nothing had changed.

At that moment, I heard a voice saying, “What are you doing? I heard a voice saying, “What are you doing? It was a policeman.
“You’re under arrest for murder. He handcuffed me behind my back.
I begged him to save my child, but he was already gone in the fire.

I could not save the child. Moreover, I killed him by spreading kerosene. The cop were strong, but I rolled into the fire and threw myself into the flames. In the distance, the policeman looked at me. The fire was raging and many people were still walking in the flames.

Marching in the Fire

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竹 慎一郎