It was a hot, sweaty Monday, as the January sun beat down on the city of Sydney. It was five thirty, so the worst of the heat was past, but it would be a couple of hours before the weather became tolerable. At Central Station it was peak-hour, Jason Digby stood on platform 19 along with what seemed like ten thousand other commuters, all packed like sardines on the platform. His friend Mark stood next to him as they waited for a train, having come into the city to buy a DVD.
"Well this was some shitty timing," said Jason. "Should have gone earlier."
"Yeah. Would have been even hotter then, but." Mark wiped sweat off his face. "Fuck, I feel sick."
"Eat something dodgy?"
"I think so," replied Mark. "Had some old chicken for lunch. Uuurgh." He held his hand to his mouth. "Bloody hell, I'm gonna spew."
"Don't do it here! There's so many people around, people'll end up stepping in it."
"Better here than on the train." He made a gagging noise.
"Do it off the edge at least, onto the tracks."
"Yeah, I guess I-" Suddenly Mark lurched, clutched his mouth, and ploughed forward through the people standing in front of them. As they reluctantly parted to let him through, he ran to the edge of the platform and leaned over it. Jason stepped through the gap in the crowd to see Mark bent over, standing right at the edge. Straight away, putrid globs of spew started spraying out. The people around backed away, pushing the teeming crowd back. Mark stood there, gagging and heaving, as chunks of spew flew out over the train tracks. The crowd watched, sympathetic but repulsed.
At this point, Jason heard a noise coming from the left. He turned and looked past the mass of people to see the train they had been waiting for hurtling towards the platform. It bore down on them, getting ready to stop but still going fast enough to knock Mark's head clean off as he leaned over the edge of the platform. The driver had obviously just noticed this, as the wheels of the train suddenly started to squeal. The people on the train were thrown off their seats as the train rapidly decelerated, sparks flying off the tracks. Mark, meanwhile, was too busy hurling to notice the danger. The surrounding crowd stood, motionless. The train continued on, slowing but still moving fast.
"Fuckin' hell!" yelled Jason, and lunged forward. He grabbed Mark, who was just about to let another load of chunder out, and grabbed him by the shoulder. Moments before the train screamed past and took Mark's head off, Jason yanked him back. As he did so, Mark let out the spew, which sprayed up in the air. It seemed to move in slow motion, flying through the air, glistening in the sun. Then time sped up again, and the stuff landed all over the windscreen of the train as it went past, spraying tiny flecks and chunks of spew on everyone in the vacinity.
Mark, regaining his balance, suddenly realised what had happened, and turned ghostly white. The same could not be said for the vomit covered crowd, who mostly turned green, some starting to throw up themselves. The train, meanwhile, came to a stop after travelling another fifteen metres or so.
"Holy shit..." gurgled Mark.
Suddenly two security guards appeared, looking decidedly not happy. "Come with us," one said.
Later, Jason and Mark stood on the platform, silent. It was now almost seven thirty. After having to go to the security office to explain themselves, they learned that the driver of the train, upon seeing vomit spray all over the windscreen, had been sick himself, all over the train's controls. The service had to be cancelled, and the ever-growing crowd of commuters had to wait for later trains. About twenty people had thrown up on the platform, and so the whole platform had to be evacuated so the spew could be cleaned up for safety reasons. Eventually the thousands of commuters were dispersed, and normality was resumed. The head security officer turned out to be a good natured bloke who, after giving Jason and Mark a talking to about platform safety rules, saw the humour in the situation and sent them on their way.
A light breeze blew over the platform. By now the sun was low in the sky. The peak-hour commuter rush was gone.
"I can't fuckin' believe what just happened," said Mark.
"It'll make a hell of a blog post," agreed Jason. "And besides," he added, "it took our minds off the weather."