After many years, Daniel wakes up to find that nothing has changed.... or has it?
Everything's the Same
The only sound is me, and my tapping foot. The silence wraps around me and squeezes and doesn't stop. I wonder what the world will look like after I'm out, I wonder how the people have changed. The room dings, like the old bells they used to stick on doors in the shops, and I look up to the clock. Bright red numbers scream at me: 00:10.
I brace my hands against the metal bench I'm sitting on. My momentum carries me to the shut door in the room. I wait. And wait. Sweat begins to travel down my neck. My thoughts race. What if no one comes?
I glance at the clock--it reads -00:01? What is happening? "Hello?," I yell. The strain on my voice makes me cough. "Hello!," I yell, pounding on the door, doubling over hacking.
No one comes. The silence, after all the pounding, is the only thing that bothers to let its presence be known. I sink, tears pinging off the metal floor, my body shaking, the walls closing in.
I pound the floor, again and again, hoping it will break, failing to notice how warm my hands are, how golden light creeps up them, taking over the skin; failing to notice the crack in the floor that starts at the end of my fingers; failing to notice the twin crack that starts by my other hand. I only notice when the ground rumbles--when it roars from its very depths. I look down, not to my hands, but to the cracks. I scream, backing up, up, the cracks chasing me, spiraling out to the other side of the room.
My back hits the door, and in an instant there's nothing behind me. I fall onto something hard. I can still hear the roar from the cracks, but I can't see them. I look up and gasp. In the middle of the door, there is a giant gaping hole, metal dripping. Red heat glows around the sides, the size of me. I stare at it, unable to move, unable to do anything but wipe the sweat from my eyes. And that's when I see it--my hands are the color of the sun; my hands that emit a glow, the color of rays.
I scream, a scream that rips my throat raw, a scream that bounces up from the ground and into space. I shake my hands--I want to throw them off. I want it to stop, just stop. I scramble from the ground, shaking my hands, running backwards and--I'm falling, twisting. There's murky water below me--water full of who-knows-what. I don't want to die and--A funnel of light slashes the water below me. Light from my hands! My glowing hands! The light morphs into a tornado, twisting, turning, carrying me up, up into the air. I scream again. I just want this to stop. I wish this were all a dream, wish I was still be in stasis in that room.
Most of all, I want my hands back.
The air that's carrying me up stops. I fall. Fall, scream, colors rushing past me--hard ground-- firecrackers--black.
My eyes crack open slowly. The world is a blurry mess. I am dimly aware of something wet coating the back of my head. I groan, rolling over, my head still full of fireworks.
My vision slowly clears, and I finger the cobblestones beneath my hand, finger each intricate crack.Slowly, ever so slowly, I sit up, the world spinning slightly. I glance around, and for a second I wonder if I wasn't locked up in a room for a 100 years. Maybe I'm crazy; maybe I escaped some kind of hospital.Because everything looks the same as when I left it. Exactly the same. Same cobblestone streets, same Target on the corner, same city, same Trader Joe's by the target, same giant apartment complex near a furniture store, and a clothing shop.
(I hope I'm not crazy.)
Why hasn't anything changed?
Memories come rushing back: visits with my sister to the clothing store, visions of my old life. Then I remember my hands. I remember falling. I bring them up to my face, scared of what I'll find. But they're normal . . . normal human hands.
Maybe I am crazy. (I can't be though, I can't be.]
I shake my head, willing myself to forget about my hands, my predicament, forget about possibly being insane . Maybe this is all just a dream. Maybe if I go to my house, my family will be there, and I'll wake up in my room, and my sister will be there asking me if I'm okay, because I was screaming in my sleep.
That's what I'll do then. I'll go home. I stand up, and the world tilts a little. That's when I see the blood on the ground where my head was. Slowly, hand shaking, I bring my fingers to my head, then to my face.
My hand is coated in blood.