"Well at least the week is nearly over, just one more day after this," Arthur smiled to his son Connor who was sitting opposite him on the train.
Arthur lived by himself with Connor. His wife had left a long time ago, the reason never quite made clear. Neither Arthur or Connor spoke much of her, they didn't need to. Together both of them were happy. Well, apart from every weekend where Connor would beat Arthur at football in the local park. It would be hard to imagine the two of them any happier, even if Arthur's football skills were no match for his 10 year old son.
Connor was i'll and had the day off school. Arthur had to take him into work as the child minder had failed to show up on time, not that it wasn't to be expected. Arthur often wondered why he even paid her at all.
It was 08.40 on the 7th of July, two days before Connors birthday.
Arthur had brought him a book, one that Connor had been going on about for ages.
"Spys and secret agents! Dad it's the coolest book out, all the heroes are so amazing!" Connor had often explained repetitively with great enthusiasm, always with the far away look in his eyes and ridiculously large grin that he wore whenever he talked about the book.
Arthur had discreetly picked up the book from WHSmith in Liverpool street station that morning when he went to go and get a paper. He kept it tucked away safely in his bag.
"Hey dad, how much further?" Connor questioned with both eyebrows raised.
Arthur noticed the smile of an elderly woman sitting two seats away from Connor, obviously amused by his question. Arthur smiled back with a slight chuckle.
"Shouldn't be too much longer now bud, try shutting your eyes. We'll be there before you know it." Arthur had to raise his voice to finish the sentence as the train entered another section of tunnel.
Connor nodded and smiled before shutting his eyes and resting his head against a pole to his right.
Arthur reached over and rustled his curly black hair.
"I love you son," he said comfortingly.
"Love you too daddy," Connor whispered. Arthur couldn't hear but it wasn't hard to read his lips.
Arthur reclined back into his seat and looked at his watch. Only a minute or so left to go now he thought.
An elderly gentleman sitting next to him asked for the time, but before Arthur could do anything he saw the mans eyes widen. Arthur had just enough time to turn his head before seeing a rush of flame and debris travel up the carriage. Shattered glass flew in all directions and sparks rained down from the lights above which began falling out of their places.
Arthur went to make a grab for Connor, engulfing him in his arms holding him tight against his own body. Just as he had grabbed Connor the whole train began to groan and creak as it seemed to ripple as it stopped, coming to a sudden halt. This caused Arthur and Conner to fly towards the wall of the carriage. They both landed in a heap, Arthur's arms still wrapped around Connor. Arthur heard Connor cry out, whether it was in pain or shock he didn't know.
The only sounds audible were screams and shouts from neighbouring carriages, the sound of glass being broken and faint utterances of prayer.
Arthur glanced around the carriage, which was becoming increasingly difficult to do as smoke was quickly filling the air. Arthur saw the elderly lady lying slumped on the floor in an awkward position, her leather handbag clutched tightly in her hand. She didn't move.
The last remaining light in the carriage flickered before falling and shattering only a few feet away from Arthur's head.
Arthur couldn't see, his ears were ringing and the only thing he could taste when he tried to breathe was smoke. Arthur's eyelids wavered and his vision failed, everything went black.
Arthur opened his eyes, there was not a single light around. He felt sudden shock when he realised he could no longer feel Connor beside him. He tried moving, but to no avail. This is the end he thought. With his arm he searched for Connor in the darkness. Only feeling broken glass and pools of what must have been blood.
"I'm sorry Connor, i really am," he cried, but no sound left his throat.
Suddenly a flicker of light cut through the darkness. Then came a voice.
"Dad,d..daddy, where are you?" the voice was faint and weak but just loud enough for Arthur to hear. Arthur felt a small hand fumble around his ankle.
"Connor is that you? It's me come here," Arthur choked, gasping on what little amount of breathable air there was left.
A light loomed above Arthur's head, It was Connor!
He sat crouched above Arthur holding his mobile phone. His face was smeared with blood and cheeks were wet with tears.
"Daddy i'm scared." he whimpered,
"Me too boy, are you hurt? Quick take my jumper and wrap it over your mouth and nose," Arthur managed to say before another outburst of violent coughing.
"Okay dad," Connor obeyed wrapping Arthur's (what would have been light blue and green striped) jumper around his face.
"I don't think i'm hurt dad, I'm just real scared!"
Arthur willed both arms to move,slowly he reached up to Connor and held him tight.
Both of them were curled up on the floor of the carriage in the darkness. They were all alone.
"Just shut your eyes buddy, it will all be over before you know it." Arthur spluttered.
He knew there was nothing that either of them could do, but he couldn't let Connors hope die.
"Someone will come and find us," Arthur said before everything went dark again.
The last thing Arthur remembered was seeing lights flashing and being carried on a stretcher alongside Connor. His vision was very blurred and senses dulled but Arthur made out the faint outline of two men in helmets that carried them to an ambulance.
He overheard them talking to each other;
"These two are lucky to be alive!" One man said.
"What's the condition of both of them?" Another enquired.
"A few minor injuries on both, the bid one took a hell of a battering but they're stable. Nothing a trip to hospital can't fix." Was the response.
Arthur shut his eyes, forget the spys and and secret agents, these were the only heroes that they needed.