Down The Road by C2C
Under the light of the blood red moon there slipped a shadow from tree to car to van. A tall pole extended upwards from the van with a dish at the tip. Bright light shined on a young woman standing with a microphone in her hand. A man with something upon his shoulder aimed it at the woman’s face.
It looked like he was aiming some sort of weapon at her face, making her do something against her will.
Seen peeked around the opened rear door of the van and watched for a moment, evaluating his next move. Take out the man with the weapon first? That would make the most sense.
Then he heard the tone of the woman’s voice, after the man counted backwards from five. She said, “Hello, this is Trish Tocker for KFUK-TV, which is now being carried on the excellent and wealthy Cable Unlimited News system. Hi there CUN! Unfortunately, no one in our lovely city of
will be able to see this news report.
Allegedly, the power has gone out…”
Seen shrank back into the shadows. He thought for a moment. Her voice was not stressed. She seemed calm. She was talking into the weapon. And then he made a connection. This was the other end of the magical television box that had hung from the wall of the hostibal. She was on TV.
He was not in danger, but they were.
He walked out of the shadow towards the woman. She said, “Oh, wait, hello! Excuse me sir, are you a resident of this neighborhood?”
Seen said, “Hell there Miss Tocker. I do not live anywhere. I am timeless.”
She said back to him, “Sir, what do you mean by that?”
Seen walked right up to her and grabbed her microphone from her. She screamed and jumped back, and he turned around to look into the TV weapon on the man’s shoulder. The man kept doing his job, for that was his training under duress. Record everything.
Seen laughed into the microphone. He said, “This is the beginning of the end. Stay tuned.” Then he threw the microphone at the camera man. He lunged at him and shoved the heavy thing from the man’s shoulder and the man fell backwards onto the street. He smacked his head hard and lied there.
Seen turned around and looked for Trish Tocker. She had looked tasty to him. But now she was gone. Where did she go?
He grabbed the stand with the hot white light pouring from its front and swung it about, shining it over the cars on both sides of the streets. He stopped when he caught movement. She was running off to the side of a building in the dark. Seen threw the light to the ground and the bulb smashed. Now there was only the light from the moon and from the headlamps of the van.
As he ran off towards the small building, his eyes got used to the red light from the moon above. The small sign on the front of the building read, “Public Utilities Water Division.” He screened the further end of the structure but could not make out any movement. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Someone was observing him. He resisted the urge to see if the man with the camera was following him. He didn’t want to turn his back on what was before him in the dark.
He bent and crept along the side of the building, but it is difficult for a large man to hide himself all that well. His nerves screamed that something was about to attack him. He bent quite low and grabbed for something, anything on the ground to toss ahead near the rear corner of the building.
His fingers closed on an empty soda or beer can. He snuck further along and then chucked it down the alley. It tinkled and echoed as it passed the edge of the building and then a tree branch swung around the corner. It smacked the side of the building at the approximate height of where his head would have been had he simply walked on down there.
He saw her face look about the corner. Then she screamed. He leapt up and grabbed her shoulders and looked her right in the eyes.
He said, “You could have hurt someone, you know.”
Trish Tocker felt urine seep down her legs. She whispered back in halting breath, “Please, please don’t hurt me. I have money in my purse back in the van.”
Seen said, “Thank you for your money. I shall take it as a gift from you.” Then he swung her against the side of the building.
She slumped to the ground and whispered, “Is it on? Are we live?”
Seen picked her up and threw her against the building again. She made no more sounds. Seen pulled the knife out of its sheath from his side and began to cut away her clothing.
She murmured, “…cut. We have to do this over…”
Seen said, “As you wish.”
Non Photo-Blue by Pinback
A tiny light blinked into her field of vision. She could not make out anything in the void except for that light. It called to her. She moved towards it and felt its warmth. It was comforting, in this vast eternity of black. It was some sort of opening. It was an entrance.
She knelt down and to look at the tiny spark. It winked out a bit and was gone. Then it came back again. She grabbed it and brought it up to her face. She could see someone inside it. It was like a tiny window. She was looking through this tiny spark into another place.
And then, the light enveloped her. She felt the light wash over her, into her, throughout her whole body.
She immediately felt a sharp pain throbbing at the back of her head. The world spun a bit. The ground was hard underneath her back. She opened her eyes and looked up.
The red moon overhead glared down at her. Trish Tocker had walked in to the unconscious camera man lying there in the street. She had no clue about anything at all. But she felt a powerful hunger in her belly.
She rolled over and got onto her hands and knees. Her head pounded. She felt at the back of her head and it was hot, wet and sticky. Great. She had a head wound. She eased her way up on her trembly legs and braced herself against the side of the van.
The van was still running, powering the lights, camera and microphone. But those were all on the ground. What was going on? Where was Jeff? He wouldn’t simply drop all of this expensive equipment and run off. Something had happened to him.
She set about unplugging the wires to them, starting with the camera. That thing cost a year’s worth of wages. She placed it gently into the hard case and snapped the latches shut. The microphone was next. The lamp looked to be broken. That would come out of Jeff’s wages.
When she got everything put away, she considered what to do about Jeff. She couldn’t just ditch him and bail. She wouldn’t want someone to do that to her. But she considered the situation. She woke up on the ground, bleeding from the back of her head. Jeff had deserted her. All the equipment was lying there on the ground, unprotected, just like she had been.
She needed medical attention for her head wound.
As she closed up the back of the van, she turned towards the front of the van, this time on the driver’s side. She would drive this van now. She looked over to the side of the street at the building there.
Something flickered in the back of her mind. Why was Jeff gone?
The building had a sign on its front. She could barely make out what it read. Something bad had happened. Something very bad had happened by that building.
In the back.
Her skin crawled as she made her way to the driver’s side door, steadying herself against the van with her hand.
Something bad had happened to her. She was beginning to get a picture now.
“Is it on? Are we live?” Her own words echoed back from beyond a tiny entrance in the void, in the spark.
She felt fear pour through her veins.
She was in danger.
God Help You.
God Help Us All.