I saw it happen…then I saw it again. Dejavu, some might say. However, it wasn’t that really because the first time the details were confused and jumbled. There was a gap between what I saw and what I heard. I saw the glint of metal. And I heard the screech of brakes…or did I see the metal first and then hear the crunch and thuds? I felt something. A rush of fear, an instinct to flee, heat… It wasn’t clear. It was like I was imagining the events in my head and slowly I willed details into life. Add a little color here, a scream over there, a bit of fire, and absolute, deafening silence. That was 24 hours ago.
Now. 24 hours and 9 minutes later I see the aftermath of my vision. Hysterical crying, sirens, smoke, pain. Pain? I’m bleeding. Down my left arm a warm trickle of blood leads with reason, with gravity and logic. That’s what ought to happen. When people bleed, the blood flows down. When people imagine things those things stay locked up. Echoes of voices in the distance. The view tilts and jitters, shakes and grumbles. Hey. People still cry in the distance, people I didn’t know and now never will…Hey, girl, you okay?
I said, you okay? We’re here to help. Let me look at your arm.
Without assent on my part, he just grabbed my arm and pulled it close for examination. Wincing I pulled away.
“What the hell? It fucking hurts, dude.”
Sorry, I didn’t realize… let me see.
I let him. The colors are tamer. Settling into reality. He stops being a variable and becomes a constant again.
Do you know where you are?
“Corner of 1st and Paine…huh, how funny…” He gives me a side-long look and returns to applying some sort of disinfecting gel.
What’s your name?
“Yeah, you can check my ID. My parents are The Sweets. Cute, huh? But yeah, those Sweets. The multimillionaire clan that owns the last sur-hey watch it!” I pull my arm away with needle and thread dangling from some stitches. Sneaky bastard was threading an unknown material into my skin.
Woah, hold on. Don’t worry, I’m almost done.
“With what exactly?” I say edging away. “Who the hell uses thread in this day and age?! Just fucking zap it shut with your laser gizmo thing!”
I can’t do that.
“Uh. Why? It better be a fucking good answer.”
You’ve been selected. I can’t use any advanced tech on you until the director has seen you and has you tested.
“Bye.” And with that nonsense I ran. I ran my ass off. Tested, the hell? Past the holonews booth, past the security bot at the shopping center, past the most gorgeous man in the world, past my school, past that dude again….past Ms. Flores’ garden, past the cinema, past Mr. Gorgeous…into the ground. The man didn’t finish his job. There I was on my hand and knees, my head reeling, reality on its side and blood leaving a clear trail for fake nurse back there. And gray eyes peered at me beneath a fringe of black locks. I saw him so many times. How? Did I make him happen? Like the mess back there? Did I imagine him? Did I see the future? Three times?
“Hey….slow down. Breathe.” His hands are warm. But my head is too heavy for my neck, my torso too unstable for me to stay upright and the darkness eats at the corners of my present.