Mind the Gap

Prompt: Write about a childhood fear you got over.

When I was a young boy, my father took me into the city of London. I vaguely remember seeing the sights but my major memory is of catching the tube.

I remember because I got freaked out.

Not by the tube, or being underground, or by the sheer number of people. I liked those things, I loved all the different people and I thought the tube was ace. I still do, as public transport goes it’s quick and well designed.


No, what freaked me out were the escalators.

I must have seen and been on escalators before, and I might have been freaked out by them too, but I don’t remember being so.

I do remember seriously freaking out in London. I’m not sure why, and I think I didn’t imagine getting mangled in the machinery. I was a kid, so I probably imagined getting squished.


Going down was bad, but going up was worse. Going up you could see the join, see the steps disappearing. See that thin, menacing slit that threatened to suck you in.

To avoid potential squishing I developed a habit of bracing as I neared and then leaping for safety. I must have looked a proper moron, and been thoroughly embarrassing to be with.

Luckily my dad is a patient man and doesn’t embarrass easily so he probably just shook his head as his son dived like he was avoiding lava.

Of the entire trip it’s the thing I remember most. That and my cousin’s Iron Maiden calendar which I had to turn around as Eddie was freaking me out.

I was such a wimpy kid.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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