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Slow Transit
by Michael C. Keith

I was aerating the soil in my garden in preparation for installing some tulip bulbs for the coming spring when my trowel struck something hard. To my surprise, the buried object turned out to be quite long and wide. After considerable excavation, I realized it was a door. How could that be? I wondered, since I had planted flowers in that very spot the year before and had found nothing.

When I had finally cleared the soil away from the secreted portal, I pulled at its brass handle and it creaked opened. I had barely lifted it more than a few inches when a gloved hand curled around its edge and pushed hard enough to knock me off my feet. Terror seized me and I screamed at whatever it was that was slowly emerging from what apparently was some kind of underground chamber. Strange metallic squealing sounds emanating from it added to my dismay.

”Excuse me,” said a proper-looking gentleman, shaking the dirt from his double-breasted wool frock and bowler. “Is this Chesham Station? I’ve been on the bloody Tube for what seems a century?”