Ruby was standing very still, brow furrowed, deep in thought. She did not react when Carol approached, walking carefully and slowly towards her.
“Hi,” said Carol. “My name’s Carol. I’m a police officer. Who are you?”
“I’m Ruby,” said Ruby. “I’ve just realised what everything below us means.”
Carol looked down. She saw railway tracks glistening in the sun. She saw trains trundling in and out of the station. She saw hundreds of commuters rushing to and fro, a few of them now pointing up to where the two of them stood on the station roof.
Ruby stretched her hand into the air in front of her.
“Don’t jump!” cried Carol.
“Oh don’t worry,” said Ruby. “I’m not trying to end it all. But that’s what the trains want, that’s why they screech and scream. They’re in pain. I have to save them.”
Ruby slowly rotated her outstretched hand. The world around Carol clicked and crunched and slid away, and another rolled in to take its place.
The sky had turned a light shade of green. Carol looked around her. The pair of them were still standing on a slanted roof, but the skyscrapers had been replaced with trees that towered high above. The building shook through her feet. Carol looked down, and saw a bird the size of a bus trotting out from the building below, spreading its wings and taking to the air, passengers strapped to rows of seats upon its back.
“Where are we?” said Carol.
Ruby smiled. “Clapham Junction,” she said. “The morning flights are on schedule.”
“Where are the trains?” Carol shrieked.
Ruby raised her eyebrows.
“What are trains?” she said.