‘Oh, this suitcase is heavy!’
Tommy stopped walking and turned around. An old woman was still on the Tayworth to Dilling train, trying to push a suitcase out of the train’s door. She was wearing a green hat, a green dress and heavy green shoes. All around her, train doors were closing and people were walking along the platform, busy on their phones or talking to their friends, not looking at her.
But Tommy’s mother always told him to be kind to others. He walked back.
‘Excuse me. Can I help you?’ he asked the woman.
The old lady looked him through her thick glasses. Tommy saw that she had one green eye and one brown.
‘That is so kind of you…’ the old lady said.
‘I’ll pull and you push,’ said Tommy, climbing onto the train. He took hold of the suitcase and together they pushed and pulled it. ‘It’s heavy,’ thought Tommy. ‘What has she got in here?’ But soon they got it onto the platform.
‘Thank you so much. Er…What’s your name?’ asked the old lady.
‘Thomas, but just call me Tommy.’
‘Oh no!’ said the old lady, putting a hand to her mouth. ‘I think I left my other bag on the train. Can you watch my suitcase, Tommy?’
Tommy wasn’t in a hurry. ‘Sure,’ he said. ‘No problem.’
‘Oh, thank you so much,’ the old lady said. ‘I don’t want someone to steal it – there are so many thieves around these days!’
Tommy smiled. ‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘I’ll take care of it.’
Tommy watched her go inside the train again. He stuck his hands in his pockets. It was a sunny Saturday morning and he was just back from staying overnight at his uncle’s house in Tayworth.
‘THE NEXT TRAIN TO TAYWORTH WILL LEAVE FROM PLATFORM 4,’ said a oud voice and a crowd of people began pushing their way past Tommy. It was always the same: adults were always walking into him or telling him to watch out or get out of the way. He was fourteen years old – nearly an adult. He took out his iPod and chose one of his favourite songs. ‘I need some music while I…’
Tommy jumped in surprise, nearly dropping his iPod. A woman with a white face was looking at him. Others were too. ‘What’s the matter? What’s happening?’ he asked.
‘BLOOD!’ screamed the woman. ‘There’s blood coming from that suitcase!’
Tommy looked down: big red fingers of blood were moving slowly across the ground next to him.
‘It’s coming from his suitcase. It’s blood. It’s blood,’ the woman was shouting.
‘But…’ began Tommy.
‘OUT OF THE WAY!’ A policeman with a radio to his mouth shouted, pushing his way through the crowd that was now around Tommy.
‘But…’ continued Tommy.
‘CATCH HIM!’ called the policeman and two tall men tried to catch Tommy – but he was too fast.
Under their arms, then through some legs and down the platform Tommy went, running as fast as he could. No one could catch him and he didn’t look back.
A platform (n) = A place in a rail way station. Trains stop next to it.
An uncle (n) – your mother’s (or father’s) brother.