The tube train jolted as it rattled around a bend, business men and women who stood, swayed like seaweed on a coral reef. The platform appeared out of the dark and the speeding transport slowed. Newspapers ruffled, folded under arms, briefcases clicked closed with paperbacks and earphones stowed safe inside. All passengers sensed alighting at their chosen destination and were ready to ride the wave.
The sardined school of professional workers, flowed out from the train. Relieved to breathe cooler subterranean air than the stuffy borrowed breath of the carriages. They dispersed, as quick as a flash mob, down passages, along corridors, upstairs and out above ground. Left behind, the silence on platforms and farther rickety clacking in tunnels.
Sophie Brown, MP for Righton and Grove, shuffled behind the masses, not a dawdle but thoughtful. It was a big day. Her big day. The biggest big day of her political career so far. She had an appointment with the PM. A meeting of minds; her suggestion for success; a pitch for security, prosperity and sanity. It was a big day. It would be an encounter to remember. No doubt about it, a day to reminisce.
Clattering heels and leather soles echoed along pedestrian tunnels as the ocean of commuters passed onward to workplaces. Miss Brown’s black boots were no different: heeltap, heeltap, heeltap, shuffle tap, tap, was the rhythm. Pleasing to the ear, settling to the feet.
This young women’s idea, so secret she divulged to no one, except, and only hinted to the prime minister, held a solution to the countries woes. Suffice to say, a plan for non-exit from the EU, but to save face, to please the Germans, the French, and the exporters. Also, the importers, the Brexiteers, the Remainers, those who voted and those who didn’t. Such a sublime scheme all parties would support it, bar none.
She should be important.
She was important!
Detailed arrangements would change the UK’s future for the better and provide a glowing history for the leader of the government. A change in direction, in fortune, and a change which had surprised Sophie. Surprised her that nobody else worked it out.
This importance and drive compelled her to succeed. An unstoppable force. A tornado to sweep aside red tape, the awkward, the doubters. And the shifty characters loitering ahead of her in the curved underground passageway.
Big chunky trainers, trackie bottoms, Puffa jackets with baseball caps, times three. Bling flashing in the shadows.
‘Lady is steaming, boys,’ the first said. ‘Must be in a major hurry.’
‘She important, boy,’ the next added.
‘Wiv da heavy case, all shiny,’ the final musketeer said. ‘Wonder what’s inside, boys?’
But Miss Brown was on a mission, no time to waste, or squander arguing with these morons. Unless they stepped out and blocked her route, which they did. She stopped.
‘Lady, the case,’ the tallest in the group said, hand out ready to receive.
‘My case?’ Miss Brown said, and looked at the swinging silver flight case, borrowed from her boyfriend to bring her more gravitas, which bought only attention.
‘Pass that case over here to me and then you can help da boys out. Right boys.’
‘Yeh, man she’s well hot!’ The second guy eyed her up and down, arms wide, fingers pointing, slight lean backward in his torso. He mimicked is finger. ‘Psssssssh, owww.’
‘Mate,’ said the other, circling around her, nodding approval.
It wasn’t just the case they wanted, but her. In a public space on the London Underground, they wouldn’t, they couldn’t try such a thing. As she thought about her situation and their requests, they surrounded her. This wasn’t happening.
‘Do you not know who I am?’ A rhetorical question, which might save her …
‘Yeh, babes, you is the bitch that’s goin’ to be suckin’ on this package,’ one said holding his groin.
… but perhaps not.
There faces were showing and their clothes distinctive, how would they dare to?
‘CCTV,’ she said, looking up at the curved roof of the tunnel passage. ‘You’ll all be caught on camera.’
‘No we ain’t,’ another said. ‘Do you see any camera, girl. No one’s seeing nothing, ‘cept us.’
‘We’re in a blind spot see.’
And they were. She looked. No cameras.
The ground rumbled, as a tube train passed somewhere in the vicinity.
‘You really don’t know who I am, or what I do?’
‘Girl, we’ll know when you’ve done it.’
They giggled and laughed and stepped closer. One minute she‘s a successful MP due an audience with the prime minister, then she’s an unknown to these male members of the electorate, with a similar one to one audience, but primed to appease their sole primary urges.
This wasn’t important.
But, she was important. Too important.
‘No cameras you say,’ she said.
‘Just this one, bitch,’ the main man pronounced, as he held out his phone, tapping in a password. Only it was short lived.
‘How about a selfie?’ Sophie said, as she swung up her hard case, bashed it into his forearms, pushing phone and hands towards his face. But, it didn’t stop there.
The momentum continued on to his jaw where it swept passed with a crack, which was either bone or phone screen. The small but heavy silver case reached the top of its arc and with a hammer throwers twist she turned and pulled back on the handle to bring it in a circular direction around her. Perfect length of her arms and depth of shiny metal and wood changed the carry case into Thor’s hammer.
The slavering lapdogs, didn’t see it coming, too interested in rubbing their own egos and doubted her ability to pull off such a stunt. It caught them both square-on to their stubbled chins, with such force their heads swivelled inside their baseball caps and continued to turn as they fell to the ground.
The whirling hammer-thrower brought herself and her silver case to a halt, then looked down at the bloodied and shocked faces of her assailants.
They wouldn’t forget this encounter.
Edited from an Original Post on Scribblers Flash Fiction Thread 344 – The Encounter.