It’s four in the morning and Emily is heading home on a London Underground train. But the Night Tube is running slow tonight – delays caused by a signal failure, as usual.
The train stops again, stuck in a tunnel between Tube stations. And then the lights go off. The motors cut out. Silence from the driver.
All the doors slide open at the same time, exposing the passengers to the tunnel.
To let them get out?
Or to let something get in?
Signal Failure is a 12,000-word short story set in the London Underground. It is a standalone story and also a prelude to the forthcoming novel Under.
Cover image: copyright © tubesnaps 2016. Reproduced with kind permission.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The London Underground gets you from A to B via fast trains, frequently crowded, and dark tunnels, frequently with hints of divergent tracks disappearing in the gloom. If you ride in the middle of the day you can’t see past the other passengers. But if you ride at night… in the dark… and the lights go out… David Wailing’s Signal Failure takes everyone’s nightmare of a stalled, dark underground train, then opens the doors. Claustrophobic, with scares that pile up, recede, and pile back up again, it’s almost a novel in a story. Answers are never completely revealed, and the scares don’t vanish after all, but the story feels complete, with that scary, what-will-happen-next feel that can't be forgotten when the reading's done. I think there's a novel coming... it should be good. Disclosure: I had just ridden an underground train. I couldn’t resist!
Nice mysterious story.