Prompt: Froth

The train station was busy. People rushed in every direction, uncaring if they run into someone on their way, rarely leaving muttered apologies in their wake. They were in business suits, in whatever was lying around, in carefully chosen outfits, in everything they owned. They were a boiling mass. Rising and falling and changing direction. Foaming and seething, but not fermenting, there was no time for that.

She was busy too. The girl in a half-buttoned coat, with every pocket filled with things to do. Her shoes were scratched with every stumble she had that morning. She left her gloves at home. Her ears were full of noise and complaints and betrayals. Small indignities piled up inside until they stopped at her clenched teeth. She needed to get out. Faster. Get all that anger under control. She found the nearest exit and run towards it.

The crowds were thick and impenetrable. There was a wailing child somewhere. Someone spilled something sticky and foul smelling. The exit didn’t seem any closer.

An old but sturdy woman run into her back, making her fall into the sticky puddle.

The girl clenched her fist and teeth and eyes, and none of it mattered. She boiled over.

No one noticed. They just walked and stumbled around her. She started frothing at the mouth. People muttered that she should get out of the way. Her jaw was giving out, it would open any moment now. Someone stepped on her hand.

No one noticed, at first. Her mouth opened and every buried emotion, every little snub and slap, every frustration and pain long hidden came out. The sludge was dark. Red and brown, black and yellow and full of lumps. It oozed between her hands, around her knees, and then it started to spread. She kept her eyes closed. She kept her mouth open. The sludge spread faster.

People noticed. People screamed. They tried to run but the crowds were too thick, too impenetrable. The sludge spread quicker with every person it consumed. It gained new lumps, new colours. People blocked the exits in their panic. It reached for feet and dissolved them until the head didn’t need to rush anywhere ever again. It swelled with the crowds until there were none left.

When the screaming stopped, the girl closed her mouth.

No one was blocking the exits anymore. The sludge moved on. Towards the city, onto the trains, into the drains.

When she was calm again, the girl left. She was busy, so many things to do.

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