Friday, May 8, 2015

empty lightning

Soft wind-driven rain cascaded like crashing waves of silver static. The parking lot was empty and poorly lit by orange lights swaying drunkenly in the breeze.

The last drag of the cigarette burned her working lungs as she powered ahead, but Jen’s hungry chest demanded more. Her purple poncho’s hood was shield enough to lite another. She quickened her pace as thunder rolled somewhere in the distance.

Everyone she passed at this hour was suspect. Most, however, seemed concerned enough by the rain to hurry. The empty-eyed never hurried, until they tried to turn you.

Still, she flinched at every silhouette and every echoed footstep. Jen stayed home whenever she could, but somebody saw a crack in the sky above Alabama Ave. Somebody had to check it out, and Cassandra couldn’t be in two places at once.

So Jen found herself jogging out of an alleyway near Alabama and Green at nearly midnight with a thunderstorm on the way. Her stomach dropped down to her feet and her pulse pounded through her temples.

Almost involuntarily she looked up. There it was. A blue-glowing fractal gash was ripping its slow way into reality. Jen felt a slimy pressure building behind her eyes.

With almost automatic movements she tore the cigarette from her lips and smashed the burning ember into her own wrist. That bright point of pain bought her enough time to collapse onto the sidewalk.

It was all she could do to turn away from the light’s surreal insistence of observation. Foot by foot she haltingly crawled away. The uneven concrete tore through her sweatpants and skin. Each new abrasion became another point of herself to hold onto.

Finally she crawled into the dim alleyway. She tried to catch her breath, but without the light’s suppression adrenaline was suddenly flooding her system. At some point, despite her mounting panic, Jen dared to glance down Alabama Ave. Perhaps 20-30 people were staring emptily at the jagged light above them.

With shaking hands she barely managed to call Cassandra.

“It… it’s still here. It’s fucking growing, Cassandra. It’s staying, and it’s growing. What the fuck do we do now?!”

***

Referencing this and this.

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