Speeding Trains

Manuel loved driving the subway, almost as much as he hated people.

He was always happy to be able to close the door to his little cabin, shut out the world around him. He needed to listen – almost constantly – to the ethereal voices on the radio, but they were not people. They were just the foibles of others, or the commands from on high. That he had not made mistakes, delaying others or damaging equipment, did not speak to his work ethic so much as to his desire not to have to deal with actual people.

It was, though, his daily mission to toy with the commuters on his trains.

He would speed up or slow down suddenly, trying to make them stumble. He especially delighted in those with the hubris to think they didn’t need to hold one of the bars running from floor to ceiling. He would accelerate, then immediately brake, just to make them reach out. He awarded himself extra points if he could make someone fall.

Still, he made sure not to be too zealous, lest he have to meet with HR.

A psych exam in his younger years had revealed a certain predilection for cruelty, and, though he he had avoided the trap of torturing small animals, Manuel fit the overall profile of a sociopath. He didn’t publicize this when he was offered the job, but his superiors – and psychiatrist – would all have agreed that it was the right fit for him.

So he played his games, balanced his driving, and delighted in his trains, faster and slower, forward and stopping. The people grumbled, but it was little different than the daily grind.


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