MIND THE GAP • by Dawn Vogel

“Mind the gap,” the automated voice announced. An express train flew past, gusts lifting newspapers and other debris from the platform.

When the train was gone, the debris drifted toward the tracks. Chloe didn’t think it needed reminding about the gap, as junk left on the platform probably heard the announcement hundreds of times a day.

But when the first newspaper crossed the edge of the platform, it disappeared, swallowed by a darkness that wasn’t obvious until something vanished into it.

Chloe’s jaw dropped. She glanced at the other commuters, but they were all occupied with their phones, their non-discarded newspapers, their worn paperback novels.

“Mind the gap,” came the announcement again.

This was a local train, and passengers poured off, heading for the exits. The other commuters got on, leaving Chloe alone on the platform.

She folded a sheet of newspaper into a passable paper airplane, like the ones she’d made with her grandad as a girl.

The paper airplane skimmed through the air and into the void, exactly where the newspaper had disappeared.

She took a step back, made another airplane. She moved along the platform, tossing her creations into the gap, watching each one vanish.

As the platform filled again, Chloe glanced at the other passengers, unsure what to tell them. “Mind the gap, lest you disappear?”

No one would believe her.

Still, she thought she’d walk the rest of the way to work rather than take her chances with the gap.

Dawn Vogel’s academic background is in history, so it’s not surprising that much of her fiction is set in earlier times. By day, she edits reports for historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business, co-runs a small press, and tries to find time for writing. Her steampunk adventure series, Brass and Glass, is available from DefCon One Publishing. She is a member of Broad Universe, SFWA, and Codex Writers. She lives in Seattle with her husband, author Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. Visit her at historythatneverwas.com.

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