The Subway Hero

Today I was a subway hero, and I don’t mean the delicious sandwich fast food chain. We’re talking underground trains. I will write the rest of this post in 3rd person to make it sound more heroic and aggrandize my exploits.

A heavy rain pelted the dark, soaked streets of the city. His city. Tokyo. Man has never known a harsher mistress than this Eastern Babylon, rife with crime, death, drugs, and perverted dudes who rent used women’s panties from vending machines. His shoes struck the cold, hard, unforgiving, unyielding, spartan, rough, unfeeling, uncompromising, Procrustean pavement rhythmically, as he read his thesaurus. Laughing children gallivanted past him on the way to school, oblivious to the bleak  future ahead of them. Blind to the harsh bitch of a city that would rape their dreams and aspirations from their cold, dead hands. Unless he could stop it. Seeing the children steeled his resolve to save the damned city. This Sodom or Gomorrah would not burst into flames, but instead be delivered unto salvation by an impetuous hero.  An adorable little boy in high, checkered socks and shorts, sporting one of those cute little fisherman hats, bumped into the hero, and looked up with a regretful expression, ready to apologize, but our hero gazed down upon him not in anger, but with a priest-like expression of love and benevolence. The little boy shuddered, instinctively fearing anything related to priests, even figuratively, and ran away in fear. No matter, our hero doesn’t require gratitude. He will bear the cross  over 40 years of wandering the desert and being kicked out of pretty gardens….and all sort of other religious metaphors.

Frantic salary men, more worried about arriving less than 45 minutes early to work than disporting good manners, bumped into, and brushed past him, as they rocketed towards the train station. Filled with the fear of being chastised for no reason by an old bald guy, who can’t get promoted any higher than section chief, and appropriately takes out his frustration on younger employees, and probably his children, those hollowed shells of men slave 14-16 hours a day in the office-fields of the Tokyo mega-scape. Rows upon countless rows of open desk space with no privacy, and the Sauron-like eyes of their superiors always on them, making sure they stamp the pointless forms correctly. But he would save them. He would save them becau–who is that cute girl walking by? Don’t remember seeing her before. Wow, those are nice legs. Good sense of style, too. Oh, man, but her umbrella is covering her face, how can I tell if—No! No! You are a hero! Get your head back in the game. This is a bad, harsh city! She’s probably had her dreams crushed repeatedly, and she needs to be saved, too. Never forget–Oh! There it is; the umbrella moved. She’s pretty hot, man. Really? Yea. Oh, well, try pulling her over and getting her number as she passes. Nah, she’s got earphones on, probably listening to music. Well, damn. That sucks, dude. I know…anyway, you were saying?

The stark gates of Minami-Sunamachi station smoldered into view. Rough-looking high-school kids were drinking fruit juice and joking with each other outside the Mini Stop convenience store, checkered-pant wearing, hyper-tanned Cerberi guarding the entryway to the under-earth. The hero squared his shoulders and proudly walked past them, showing no fear until one of them staggered back in laughter and almost bumped into the hero, so he had to stop, and bow his head shyly saying “sorry”, and then shuffle past them quickly. He would save them, too, in time. Ser Sagremor shook the oppressive rainwater from his umbrella, and entered the subway.

The damp, rainy-morning air flooded his nostrils, assaulting his olfactory sensibilities. Streams of soggy sheeple fled past him towards the turnstiles, flooding onto the train platform. He swiped his super cool metro card over the turnstile scanner (it’s like the future!) and moved along the train platform, pushing past motionless shades, waiting to be ferried to their workplace.  Not a shred of hope could be found in this under-realm. From the darkness of the tunnel arose the screeches of metal and gears, plummeting towards the station. Eventually, the metal hell-tube slowly came into view, and unevenly ground to a halt. The doors slid open, revealing a train car packed to the brim with the squeezed flesh of soul-deprived humans. Black, gray, and pin-striped cloth filled our hero’s vision as he pushed himself into the busy train compartment, forcefully moving aside the yielding mass of briefcases mp3 player ear phone wire. A cheerful jingle resonated across the platform, signaling the impeding closure of train car doors. Disconsolate latecomers frantically tried to push themselves onto the full train. Oh no, they might have to wait all of 3 minutes for the next car! Impossible! Let them in! A chubby guy wearing a sweat-stained short-sleeve shirt tried to squeeze into our hero’s car, but as the doors closed Sagremor pushed him back out onto the platform.  He may be a hero, but he sure as hell isn’t riding a crowded train with a sweaty fat guy. Who sweats when it’s raining and like 15 degrees, anyway?

The doors hovered in a near-closed position, and everyone inside the train car collectively took a deep breath and sucked in their stomach until the satisfying click of the shutting hatch resonated in the car. The mass of bodies then re-expanded fluidly, taking up all the available space in the crowded car. The train picked up speed, and was soon on its way along the Tozai Metro Line, plummeting towards the evil city’s black heart. Suddenly, an elbow jabbed into our hero’s shoulder. He looked to his right, and some douche nozzle was sleeping while holding onto one of the hand holds. As the train swayed along its tracks, the asshole’s elbow would swing around and hit people. Like 6-8 different people were getting jabbed. What the hell! How can someone sleep standing up? That’s like what horses do. This is some farm animal shit here. The train continued upon its frantic course, and the asshat’s elbow continued to pound innocents as he slept away, safe in his nerdy dreams. As the train began decelerating upon its approach to the next station, his elbow slammed square into a marginally cute girl’s back, and stayed there as the train’s slowing motion pushed the sleeping man upon the poor little secretary’s back. Our hero watched the unfolding, horrifying events, and then, suddenly, a spark lit in his breast. This was his time. Sagremor would save everyone.

(Note: Regular font=embellished version/Italic font=what actually happened)

Sagremor tapped the dumb ass on his shoulder, in an attempt to wake him and reason with the idiot. However, when the slumbering jackass awoke, they weren’t human eyes he opened. It was an Oni demon! From the 9th layer of Buddhist hell, the demon had used the man’s dreams as a gateway to manifest itself into our world!

I tapped the guy on the shoulder, and said “please wake up.” He sort of opened his eyes lazily, and answered with a confused “huh?”

The woman he had been leaning on screamed in terror, and the demon swiped at her shirt with its wicked claws, tearing off a significant portion of her blouse, revealing a toned mid-riff. He closed in looking for the kill, but our hero jumped in front of the damsel, and warned the demon not to get any closer.

That ticked me off, so I shook him even harder and said “Wake up!”he sort of came to and said “Oh, sorry. I’m a little tired.”

The demon laughed haughtily in Sagremor’s face, and warned the mortal not to interfere until he had also ripped off the girl’s blue jacket, revealing her cleavage. Sagremor agreed that would be for the best and let the demon take another well-aimed swipe at the girl. The demon now professed he also wanted to strip her of her pants, but Sagremor thought that would be going too far, and that a stand had to be made somewhere. He charged up his eye-beams, and blasted the demon through the train car off of a cliff back into the 9th layer of Buddhist hell.

That made me even madder, so I said “You’re tired? Really? You know who else is tired? Me, and everyone on this train. This isn’t a bed; it’s a crowded train. Stay awake, and pay attention to your manners.” He then apologized again, and stood up straight.

However, Sagremor’s sweet optic blast was so powerful, it opened the hell portal even further, and whole armies of demons began streaming into the mortal realm. The now scantily clad maiden begged Sagremor to save everyone, and he looked back at her and said “you didn’t have to ask, babe” and gave her a thumbs up as he jumped down into the hell pit, while charging his blast. As he fell, he charged up with so much energy he exploded in the middle of the portal killing millions of countless demons and closing the hell gateway at the same time. The people on the train wept tears of both joy and sadness as they witnessed THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. When Sagremor next opened his eyes he was in heaven, standing before God on his throne of angels. God said “Sagremor, my son, why have you sacrificed yourself for such wicked, unworthy people? Never mind, now you will take your rightful place by my side forever.” But Sagremor shot God a sad smile, and answered “Father, I cannot. My protectorate lies below, as does my duty. Send me back to the mortals, whether they be worthy or not.” And God responded with “But why? Why do you fight for them?” And Sagremor badassedly said “Do I need a reason?” Then God smiled, and waved his magical hand to teleport our hero back to the mortal realm. These were his parting words: “My son, I truly wish that I, God, could be as awesome as you are. Now go; go and save the world from Buddhist demons.” And so Sagremor fell back to Earth, back to that crowded subway train.

The guy got off 2 stations later, and when he left, the 8 people around me said “thanks” and smiled.

The nearly wrecked train continued along its trajectory, and Sagremor dismounted at Kayabacho station, deep in the heart of the financial district, where rich people put their money into stocks to lose half their fortune. He left cheering and gratitude behind as he scanned his card on the cool turnstile reader (The future is now!), and ascended the steps towards the light of day. He stepped outside of the train station, out onto a Tokyo bathed in sunlight, rewarding its hero’s deeds. A chorus of angels sang his praises, and curly-haired cherubs gave him high-fives as he proceeded through the crowded streets to his office. The people he passed congratulated him. They clapped for him. They cheered for Sagremor, the subway hero.

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