He’s so excited that he almost runs face-first into a yeti. One of many yetis, the hair of their backs dyed silver and blue. Gang colors. He whips his head to the left, pretending to be interested in ads for musicals and vodka as he skirts away from them. They can’t know. Nobody could be dumb enough to clue in the yetis.
The fattest of the yetis stares at Lo. He swallows, and arches his posture, and intensifies that sudden and acute interest in garish posters promoting musicals. He sticks his hands in his pockets, fingering smoke bombs and shaking his head. A musical set in a slum. Man oh man, what will they think of next?
Except the fattest yeti isn’t staring at him. He’s relieved for exactly two thirds of a second. On the third third of that second, he notices scaly bodies of lizards in trench coats descending the stairs. Smoke billows from their mouths and only two have cigars. God-damned Firebreathers.
As he shifts like he suddenly needs to pee, Lo is uncertain. Is he most anxious that someone tipped off the Firebreathers? Or most anxious that he’s stuck on the platform between glowering gang-yetis and Firebreathers? He flinches around too quickly and errantly catches the gaze of the fattest yeti. In the moment, he certainly needs to pee.
“Uh. Ha, man, right?” He gestures forward, to the adverts. “Musicals. Best thing about the city.”
The yeti produces a pair of brass knuckles, which is ridiculous since his paws have no use for them. They are for show. Lo thanks all available gods when it becomes evident the fattest yeti is showing them off to the cigar-chopping lizards.
“A love story. In a slum. That’s so… groundbreaking.” He realizes his position and immediately dreads. He is half a car-length between the Firebreathers and gang-yetis. He will have to enter through one of their cars when the train arrives, if they’re all alive by the time it rings in.
He casts his eyes down, briefly entertaining throwing himself onto the rails. He casts them down in time to see a black-clad hand clutch the concrete. Five more do the same, and six black-cowled ninjas climb onto the platform before him. He backs away until nearly falling onto the adjacent tracks.
The ninjas rise. They eye him. They turn around, awaiting the train and checking their iPhones. One of the Firebreathers murmurs a curse in liz-speak, and Lo doesn’t have to turn around to recognize the sound of a yeti cocking a shotgun. He doesn’t have to turn around to recognize the sound of the train pulling into station, either. It is going to be a long night. As yetis jostle him forward, a furry torrent carelessly herding him toward the train, he realizes it is going to be a very long night. He wonders if the conductor will let him ride on the roof.