Friday, May 25, 2012

Apocalypse Live!

Epilogue
It was too late already.  In a small wooded area, below the fall leaves, the air itself began to slowly thicken into a faint cellophane.  The coagulate spread out in a lethargic sheet towards the sky and crept unhurriedly towards the atmosphere, it’s edges curving in a wide arc to the south.  The initiating event was unrecognizable to anyone, even those who knew what was happening.  Not even the animals stirred at the blip on the screen of existence.  Had anyone been looking they wouldn’t have noticed the slow change, so imperceptible, as it was, it might have been taken as an invisible warm breath on a cold day.  This was how the end started.  It crept into existence with laborious sloth and yawned at the sky.
It took three months for the first subtle signs of a change to become tangible.  A slight shadow might appear out of the corner of the eye and then vanish when it came into focus.  A trick of the light mixed with an overactive imagination.  The air was a little stale for a moment, or perhaps it was a bad memory forcing it’s way up the nostrils.  Passing through the filmy air, time would bend, slow, and speed at random intervals.  It would take two decades for anyone to suspect anything.
Had mankind known, it wouldn’t have mattered, so it’s better this way.
1.
It’s the end of the World Charlie Brown
The air was colder than usual for early August, but still warmer than the summer had been.  It had been a colder than average summer, including the strange blizzard in the middle of July.  The snow had piled three feet deep overnight.
The whole area had become a bustling hub of activity all summer long.  Geologists dragged millions of dollars in equipment to search for magnetic and geological anomalies, nothing.  Meteorologists thought it was gasses and air pressure, they left scratching their heads.  Religious leaders and paranormal investigators hounded the area to find spiritual activities, everything was inconclusive.
Environmentalists blamed global warming.
That’s silly, Evan thought.  If it was warming wouldn’t we be sweating ourselves to death?  He pulled out his down coat and trudged down to the nearest coffee shop.  No driving today, the snow was too deep for even the plows to make it through and it would only get deeper as it poured from an only slightly cloudy sky.
Evan looked up, shielding his eyes, to see the sun beaming through the clouds.  It was strange to feel the hot summer sun on his acne scarred face while his ears froze in record low temperatures.  His long brown hair stiffened into a permanent ponytail as he walked.
The streets were empty now.  Only a few dared to go outside in the awkward weather, and only for a few feet in case they wouldn’t get back in their houses.
 He saw the open sign on the front door and his legs kicked up snow as he sped along.  He placed a hand on the ice covered glass door.  Warm coffee awaited him on the other side of the door.  A slight push and it swung open, heat pouring out like furnace.  It was welcome.
Once coffee was in hand he sat at a table far from the cold windows.  Alone with this thoughts.
Did he remember to leave the window unlocked?
Last time Evan went out for coffee the door to his apartment had frozen shut and he had to break the window and slide his big-boned frame through the tiny window.  Thankfully, the cardboard sealing the cold air from his warm home was flimsy and taped in place, it wouldn’t be hard to push in and tear.
Stupid landlord was going to take forever replacing the glass.  The heating bill would be astronomical.  Perhaps he should just fix it himself?

Somewhere, in the blizzard, Alex trudged down the street with her reusable grocery bag.  Her knit hat, complete with cat ears, slowly froze to her head.  Brooks had better appreciate this, she thought through her chattering teeth.
Tri-mittened hands clamping tightly on the handle she tried to take shallow breaths.  It burned to breath in too deeply.  The Gray scarf that had once tightly covered her mouth had fallen down around her neck and she was now sucking in the frigid air.
Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of the coffee shop sign.  A cup of coffee from the Green Bean sure would feel great about now.  She slowed down and looked at the warm “open” sign.  The red glow was beautiful.
She quickly noticed her plump frame in the glass and frowned, sticking her tongue out.  Tiny nose, tiny mouth, tiny all over mostly…why couldn’t she have been thin as well?
Evan laughed in spite of himself and swallowed the last dredge of sugary coffee syrup before standing and walking back into the cold.  8:00 am.  This weather had to stop sometime.
A red blur, with cat ears ran by him.
Alex?  She always wears that stupid hat.  Evan thought of stopping her a moment and walking her home.  Not that anything bad would happen today.  Thinking better of it he watched her walk away.
And then a thought tickled the back of his mind.  The thought wasn’t even an image that he could recollect but somehow it caused a noticeable blush to run from the tips of his toes all the way up his body to the top of his head.  The warmth was welcome but the bright red on his face was not.  Feet planted, he stood trying to concentrate on what his subconscious was telling him.
“Hey!”  An authoritative voice jerked him from his thoughts.  “You gotta go.  Hey!  Buddy?  You on something?!”
“Yeah,” Evan shook off as he swam out of the soup of his thoughts.  ”No!  Sorry!”
“You have been standing here for fifteen minutes buddy, staring in the same direction.  Either move on or go back inside.  It’s freezing out here.”
No way it has been fifteen minutes.  Evan looked at his watch.  It is now…8:17!  With a nod, and promise he was not on drugs, Evan ran down the street.  Won’t be late, can’t be late.
Between the panic, confusion, and speed he slipped.  Overcompensating for the forward motion he kicked back and his heels flew towards the sky while his head and back leaped into the air and began their painful descent.  Time stopped.  He knew the impact was coming.  This is gonna hurt.
The ground took longer to find him than he expected.  BAM!  He hit the ice and snow.  The pain was coming, he could feel it.  Any moment now.  Another moment, no?  Then a slight sting in the back and it was gone.  The Policeman laughed from where he stood, and Evan could only blush once again ashis brain was nudged by another thought.  He turned and walked quickly from where the Policeman called after him.
“Slow down Charlie Brown!  It’s not the end of the world.”

2.
Rayne, Sleet and Snow
Rayne peeked through her mess of blonde hair at her bloodshot blue eyes.  She hadn’t been feeling well at all today.  The blistering headache had forced her out of work for a second day in a row.  Not that it was going to be a big deal; who was going to work in this weather?
Her thin fingers found her temples and dug in to relieve the pressure.  So much pain from what appeared to be nothing.  Sleep was next to impossible with all the weird dreams, and the infection that appeared to be spreading into her mouth was making it hard to eat.
Gotta get to the doctor.  She promised herself she would when should could muster the energy later that night.
Opening her mouth wide she peered inside.  Just above her eye-teeth was a red swelling.  Smiling at herself she noticed an almost vampiric grin. Rayne drew back and hissed at the reflection.  It made her laugh, something she hadn’t done in days between the blinding pressure in her skull and lack of sleep.  Oh, how it hurt to laugh.
Gotta get to the doctor today.  No buses.  No cabs.  No cars.  A two-mile walk to Moses-Cone feeling like death didn’t seem like a great option.  Could call 9-1-1? No insurance, though.  The exercise would do her good.
Rayne began the process of layering up.  Stockings, leggings, yoga pants, slim jeans, regular jeans, snow pants.  Crap!   She forgot the socks and there was no way to keep the cold out if she didn’t keep things in order.  Off with everything!  Snow pants, regular jeans, slim jeans, yoga pants…  By the time she was down to her leggings the exhaustion hit and she collapsed onto her bed.
Why all the pain?!  After a brief tantrum and flailing feet, she rolled onto her side, trying to cut out the noise of her neighbors shouting all around her.  They had always been such easy neighbors, but now – no matter how kindly she asked – they would not be quiet.  What’s worse, they claimed to not have spoken a word.  Liars.
Rayne threw a pillow over her face.  Maybe I could smother myself to death?  
“Where is all this snow coming from?!”  Michelle, the girl who lived to her right, screamed at the top of her lungs.  Michelle lived alone.  Why was she shouting?
Rayne launched the nearest hard object at the wall.
Michelle screamed and swore on the other side of the wall. “What was that?!”
Swallowing a pill, shoving earplugs into her ears, and clamping a pillow around her head, Rayne kicked her blankets over her back and closed her eyes with an aggravated groan.  Sleep!  Sleep!  Sleep!  Rest…you need to.  The chanting did nothing to alleviate the din.

Brooks knew Alex would be freezing when she got home, and promised not to turn the thermostat down below seventy.  But why?  He was on fire.    He’d always had a high internal body temperature but this was ridiculous, the poorly constructed tent on the back porch was proof of that.  That’s where he’d been sleeping for the past two weeks since anything over forty degrees was blistering heat to him now.
This was becoming too much, but there was nothing he could do.  A perfect bill of health from every doctor he’d been able to see was no help for his night sweats, and his relations with Alex were becoming strained.
Now his hands dug deep into the snow and piled heaps of the white powder onto his fuzzy scalp.  In the cold his swim trunks were freezing solid, and it was glorious.  Snow shoveled into his ears, his nose, mouth, eyes.  The relief was invigorating and he wept at the comfort.
The familiar sound of crunching snow and boots on stairs reached his ears.  Alex was home.
“I’m in the back!”  He called out to her, hoping she’d hear before she stepped through the front door.  The front door closed.  One more quick roll in the snow and he could stand the indoors again.
When he stood up Alex was staring at him through the window.  Her breath fogged the glass.  She smiled and drew a heart in the condensation.  Brooks’s body heat fogged the other side and he traced her heart in the glass.
Alex giggled like a child and slid the door open for Brooks to step in, and inside he went.

    “DANG IT!  What is wrong with me?!”  The exclamation ripped Rayne from her dead sleep and launched her onto the floor.  Sprawled on the carpet, half dazed, Rayne listened to the lament.
The neighbors were going to get a piece of her mind this time.  She ran out and banged hard on Michelle’s door.  No answer.  She banged harder.  Nothing.
“Michelle!  Keep it down!”  She jiggled the knob and the door swung open freely.  “Michelle?”  No one replied.  Great, now I’m hearing things.
With a roll of her eyes she exited and returned to her apartment, searching for the source of the noise.  Outside!  With the last of her energy, Rayne pried her window open and stuck her head into the frigid elements.  Snow rained down from her third floor apartment into the street below.
Straining to see, she found the only inhabitant of the street.  A lone figure trampled through the snow at sloth-like speed.  Pick up a foot, set it down, pick up the other, set it down.  This was motion.  Whoever it was was talking to himself at ridiculously loud levels.
“Hey!”  Rayne shouted to the huddled mass.  This did not stop the monologue.
“Who is that?!  Who is shouting at me?”
“Up here.”
“Up where?”  Evan looked up at her.  Rayne felt a strange tickle on the back of her brain that made her blush.  She hoped he’d think it was her being sick.  Evan flashed a smile and then stared at her for a second before dropping his head and averting his eyes by staring into the street.
“Oh Hi!  How are you?”
“Not good.  You?”
“Cold.”  There was a pause.  “What does it look like crazy freak?”  Rayne bit her tongue and calmly replied.
“There’s no need to be nasty.”  Evan stared at her, slightly confused.
Didn’t mean to be.”

Rayne’s eyes went wide and her head shook, ”I’m sick.”
“Sorry,” Evan sighed.  Her face was bright red from fever.  The window frame supported her wobbly frame.  Her mouth was moving but nothing came out.  The bricks comprising the building seemed to move.  Life went into soft focus and the tickle on his brain brushed harder and he felt the full body blush coming over him.
“Evan!”  She shook him back to reality.  “You wanna come up?”  The thought had entered his mind, but he really didn’t feel like climbing the slick steps to the front door.  The promise of warmth in the bitter cold was too much temptation.
“Uh-huh.”  He mumbled.  While something else entirely echoed in his mind.
“Hold your horses.  Just trying to get you out of the cold.  It’s not that kind of invitation!”  He didn’t recall being overtly excited.  The blush rushed in again and he shook it off.  Must be getting sick.  
He plowed through the snow and felt the first step with his foot.  Wiggling his foot he found the top and shifted his weight onto the first step.  He kicked into the snow, found the top of the next step, wiggled his foot into place and shifted his weight again.  And so it went for the ten steps to the apartment door.
Rayne opened the door…
“Hi!  Nice to see…”
And walked quickly back up the stairs to her apartment, apparently leaving the door open due to the lack of latch on metal.  Crazy, rude…!
“I heard that,” she screamed from her apartment.  “Why is everyone shouting today?  Gone deaf?”  The door was definitely open.
“Nice to see you too!”  Evan peeled his coat off and hung it on a nail dug deep into the wood paneling.  No use getting snow and sludge on the carpet.  He kicked off his shoes and walked upstairs, carefully.
The thin purple carpet was fraying under the excessive use.  Nails caught on his socks.  The lights were dim at best.  Confetti littered the top step.  The apartment really felt more like a dorm than a place that adults should reside.
That was Rayne.  An eternal child, hoping and dreaming.
Evan pressed her door open and stepped inside, shutting it as he walked in.
Rayne was pouring a cup of tea in such a state of concentration he didn’t dare beg her attention.  She scooped out sugar and stirred intensely.  Should he sit on the couch or stand and wait to be offered?
“For crying out loud take a seat!  It’s not like you’re a stranger.”  Startled, he stumbled into the nearest chair.  I wasn’t sure if it was ok.
“Yeah, yeah.”  She mumbled a phrase or two.
You must be sick.
“Do I look that bad?”  Rayne’s hand tried to smooth her unruly hair down.
Do you want the truth?  Rayne turned and swallowed hard, apparently insulted.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”  She opened the cupboard above her head.  “Want one?”
“Sure,” Evan gritted his teeth in a smile.  Stop being so hard to deal with.  It was eight months ago.
Rayne turned and walked towards him, holding the steaming cup in her hand.  Her eyes were wide and unblinking.  “Something is really wrong.  I’m going crazy.”
You’re telling me, he thought to himself.  Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.  But then again…  His thought paused.  Rayne’s mouth opened in an eternal gasp and a squeak of fear came out.  What are you looking at?  Then her fingers slipped, and down fell his tea.
Evan watched it as it slipped silently through the air.  He could count the individual amber droplets that scattered from the scalding mass.  Time slowed til he felt as if he could walk over and pluck the falling ceramic from the air and catch everything without spilling a drop, and yet he found himself inevitably glued to his seat.
Time slowed even further when the mug shattered and he watched as the individual pieces scattered in all directions, yet he knew exactly where they were going.  It was almost poetic.  He had become so entranced he didn’t notice as Rayne flopped to the ground in the sticky mess.  She might have actually bounced once or twice.
Probably should have caught her.  Another voice in his head seemed to answer him,”Yeah, you should have.  Jerk!”

3.
There Wolf
Brooks couldn’t take it anymore. The heat. The nauseating heat. He had long since flung his blankets onto Alex, who accepted them and nestled closer into her tight nest of warmth and comfort. Brooks perspired.
It was that moment Alex pressed tightly against him, fully asleep. She was so tired from her day of work and the walk back home. Her body heat seemed to draw into him. It was smothering.
With all the stealth of a ninja with Parkinson's, Brooks flung himself out of bed, onto the cooler floor. The thud at the bottom, from his knee hitting the floor, echoed loudly. He lay frozen on his stomach, like prey in the presence of a predator.
The heat from the shag carpet was almost as unbearable as being under the blankets. Oh the sweltering heat. He had to escape the furnace. It was only five feet to the bedroom door and ten feet to the backdoor and outdoors where the sweet sub-zero temperatures awaited him.
“Don’t wake up,” he whispered. The silence answered him.
He stood up and tip-toed out and shut the door behind him. He sprang for the back door. With concern for the sleeping Alex, he opened the sliding glass door and shut it behind him.
The snow had stopped hours ago leaving heaps of white powder over everything. The cold rushed in on him like a frozen lover. It was wonderful, until he saw his make-shift shelter had collapsed under the weight of the snow. He’d spent several nights on a towel under that shelter. The cold was fine but he couldn’t sleep wet. Now he’d have to rebuild it.
Thankfully he had left the shovel on the porch, however the snow had piled up over the tool and he’d have to get it out from under almost three feet of snow. Great! Now to dig it out.
“Ha, dig out a shovel,” Brooks mumbled. The handle peeked from the mound of ice and powder. He’d left it out there all day, what did he expect? As if he could free the instrument in one pull he gripped the handle with two hands and, using all his weight and force, jerked towards the sky.
The instrument slipped out from it’s frozen, tightly packed, prison easily, throwing snow everywhere and nearly flinging Brooks into the glass door. He caught himself, with the aid of his newly acquired wood and steel appendage, just before his head might have plunged through the glass.
“Must have been more snow than anything,” he mumbled and went straight into work.
The moon shone through the crisp clear night sky and cast shadows on the landscape. Brooks watched this shadow slowly grow longer through his work. It was easy, quite possibly too easy. In less than two hours he had his tarp shelter unearthed and in another hour it was set up again and he laid under it, comfortable in the frigid temperatures.
Brooks had given himself a full view of the bright full moon as it went across the night sky. As he watched it the moon seemed seemed to stretch and warp into an, ever so slightly, oblong shape, he’d never noticed it before. It wouldn’t have been noticeable if he hadn’t been staring so intently.
Blinking, the moon returned to it’s normal shape. Brooks must have been exhausted and seeing things. His eyes grew heavy, and as sleep finally crept upon him he swore the moon turned into a muddy hue and dimmed.

Rayne’s eyes opened and then slammed shut. Her head throbbed worse than ever now. Even the light from her reading lamp was blinding and caused her brain to quiver. Her left arm was pinned under her body, limp and lifeless. She squinted against the light and scanned the room. He left me here, she thought to herself. Stupid jerk left me here on the floor.
Oh thank God she’s not dead. Evan leaned over her, concerned. “Are you ok?” He placed a gentle hand on her back.
Pain shot through Rayne’s entire being and escaped as a groan. “Too bright in here.”
Evan stood and began turning off lights, “Don’t ever do that to me again.” Thought I had lost you there a second and I can’t handle that.
Rayne pressed her right arm into the ground and with all her might, ground the heel of her hand into the ground to roll onto her back. The blood rushing back to her, now freed, arm washed over like a storm of broken glass. Her very marrow quaked in agony.  The pain made her chest hurt. Why does my chest hurt? Why is it so cold in here?
Evan switched off the last light, leaving only the dim glow of street light streaming through her window. You scared me there a minute.
“I scared you,” Rayne forced a laugh. The pain stabbed her left side, just near her heart, taking her breath away. A paralysis gripped her as she tried to catch her breath.
Evan knelt next to her, “It’s okay. Just relax. Breath normally.”
“You breath normally!” Rayne had never had a temper, but she had one now. “Why does my chest hurt?”
“You might have a cracked rib.”
“Why would I have a cracked rib?” She managed to lift her right arm to the source of the pain, as if prodding it would make her feel better.
Her hand met bare skin. This wasn’t right. Her bathrobe was still on, but now it was soaked through with tea. Had the pain really made her this numb to the sopping wet mass she was rolling in. Hadn’t her robe been tied before? Where was her thermal or her t-shirt? Why was she exposed from the waist up?
“The Ambulance is going to take a while in this weather?” Evan tried to coax her. You passed out? Remember?
Rayne found the torn edge of her thermal and t-shirt and sat up straight. “What happened?”
You passed out, remember? The voice was Evan’s, but twisted and perverted.  A sick image twisted in shadows in front of her eyes, like a trick of the light.
Rayne’s hand flew and connected with a violent thud. The flesh molded to the shape of her clenched fist. Cheek bones clicked against her knuckles, not entirely protected from the assault by flesh and fat. Tendons stretched to avoid snapping his neck and Evan’s head flew to one side, followed quickly by his body. Slowly his large figure twisted and contorted in space. His feet lifted from the ground. In the blink of an eye, he went crashing into Rayne’s wall.
“You sick pervert!” Rayne spat the words out. “What did you think you were doing?”
“God bless!” Evan grabbed his jaw in actual pain, “CPR.”
“Why the hell would I need CPR?!”
“You stopped breathing.” You crazy, mixed up, wack-job!
“And you had to tear my clothes off?!”
“Yes. You passed out. I put you in bed. You stopped breathing. I pulled you onto the floor. Called 9-1-1. Did CPR until you woke up and bit me.”
“Bit you?!”
Evan held up a hand, tightly bandaged, and still weeping blood, “bit me.” Rayne blushed in embarrassment, noticing a strange taste in her mouth. “You wouldn’t let me touch you after that so I just waited.”
Quickly closing her robe and tying it tightly, Rayne laid down on her bed. “I'm so sorry!"  CPR.  Se would have had to have been dead, literally.  "Sorry. I guess I am just sick. This crud is making me crazy. I’m seeing things.”
“Hopefully EMS will be here soon,” Evan clutched his wounded hand. “Any rabies I should know about?”
“No.” Rayne held in the laugh while Evan peered out her window down the street.
“Hopefully only a few more minutes.” He paused and looked at her, “Why did you pass out?”
“I thought I was going crazy.”
“We know that,” he laughed, “but why are you going crazy?”
“I thought I heard you talking to me. But you weren’t talking.”
“Like a voice in your head?”
“I saw you looking at me, but I heard you saying things. I guess I am hearing things. What causes that?” Evan sat down next to her and looked into her face feeling her forehead.
“You’re sick and you have a fever. Your brain is just tired.” Rayne smiled into Evan’s
gentle face. And you’re losing your mind you sexy little psycho.
Rayne heard his voice. It was Evan’s. The kind and concerned smile looked into her eyes. Rayne felt her eyes get bigger and she swallowed a scream. The black enveloped her and she was out again.

There was a snap, a tear, and the sudden smothering feeling. Brooks felt the weighted cold pile on top of him. It was like drowning in chocolate. A moment of bliss until the terror reached his brain. He began clawing at the wondrous cold, crying out for Alex.
“Brooks! Baby! Hold on!” Alex flung the door open, bundled from head to toe.
When Brooks had stepped out she found herself in desperate need of warmth. With the heat at a scorching 90 and her body wrapped in layers she expected to be warm. Instead she froze. The house was an oven where she couldn’t get warm.
Her thrice mittened hands went numb with the first contact with the snow. She couldn’t feel her feet. The scarf over her mouth didn’t keep the raging cold from tearing the inside of her lungs. She took shallow breaths and dug quickly.
Brooks found a hole and poked his head from the ice cage he found himself in. “Alex!”
“I’ll get you out,” Alex reassured Brooks’s exposed head.
Brooks breathed in the burning cold and sighed, “It’s ok! I’ll be fine. It just scared me.” Alex couldn’t hold back the tears. “Baby don’t cry.”
“I can’t help it,” Alex sniffed. “I told you it’s dangerous to sleep out here!” Brooks easily lifted himself from the snow and wrapped his arms around Alex. She shuddered at his cold skin.
“Go inside and get warm. I’ll cool down and try to sleep near the window.” A firm kiss on Alex’s forehead sent her shuffling inside. The heat clicked off and Brooks knew Alex was going to wrap herself in layers of blankets to keep warm. Now to start the process of cooling off. Brooks stuck his bare hand deep into the snow to find the t-shirt he had been wearing. He fished through the icy mess, warping his fingers to fit into tiny areas.
His eyes suddenly glanced at something. Browned by oxygen or time, there was a bloody foot print planted deeply into the railing on his porch, just barely out of reach. “How did I miss that,” he muttered to himself.
Brooks waded through his, once comfortable, camping spot, and peered at the print. Body heat had caused the snow to ice around the print and now congealed blood rested in the bottom of the impression.
It appeared almost human. It was human. It had to be. Five toes splayed out and balanced on the balls of the foot. The heel jerked upwards but was defined in the snow. Someone was running on their toes and apparently bleeding.
Brooks noticed something in the bottom of the pool. With a delicate hand he fished it from the bloody mess. The opaque, calcified film dripped gore. A toe nail. Brooks dropped it like a hot coal. The bloodied mess flew off the balcony and down into the snow, two stories below.
A set of bloody foot and hand prints led to his balcony. It hadn’t occurred to him that he was on the second floor. There was no way a person suffering from arterial bleeding just jumped that high. But the only print seemed to be the one on the balcony railing.
A strange howl ripped through the air. The thought that raced through Brooks’s brain was ludicrous.
A fearful giggle jumped from his mouth, ”werewolf!” He laughed to himself and walked out the front door to investigate. “This is so Scooby Doo!”

“Come on!” Evan applied more pressure to the gaping wound and wrapped it quickly. It didn’t hurt, it just wouldn’t stop bleeding. The blood soaked rag souring next to him was actually the second bandage. Now he was on his third. With a grunt he tightened the bandage. “That’ll have to do.”
He pulled a plastic shopping bag from Rayne’s cupboard and dropped the bloody mess in it and tied the top. No use creating a hazard.
Flashing blue and red lights were a welcome reflection off the wood paneling. Evan flung the window open and stuck his head into the cold.
“What took you guys so long?! I could have walked to you faster than that.” Evan shouted from Rayne’s window at the paramedic jumping out of the truck.
“Why didn’t you,” Josh asked, pretending to flip his blond hair. His long limbs were plumped by his thick coat to ten times their normal size.
“Nice coat,” Evan remarked sarcastically.
“Thanks. Tim says it brings out my baby blue eyes!” Tim’s middle finger protruded out of the truck quickly. Josh smiled and put on a serious face. “But seriously, why didn’t you walk?”
“I am not dragging dead weight through this snow,” Evan sighed. “Plus she can be a fighter. You’re only two miles away.”
Tim climbed out of the truck. “You try driving one of these through snow and ice three feet deep! We have to go around buried cars.” His short frame, brown hair, and brown eyes were in humorous contradiction to Josh’s fair features. “So she bit you! How deep?”
Evan thrust his hand out the window. Blood dripped through the bandage and fell into the white snow.
Tim cursed and pulled another bag out of the ambulance, “Josh can take care of Rayne. I’ll stitch you up.” Josh nimbly jumped the snowy stairs and walked through the front door. Tim, had a little more trouble as he slowly found his footing and climbed.
The footsteps were heavy up the wooden steps and in no time Josh burst through the door, “So how is she doing?” He made his way across Rayne’s small room in a matter of steps and opened his emergency bag.
“I don’t know. I don’t dare touch her,” Evan winced at the thought of her digging her teeth into the fleshy part of his hand.
“She seems okay,” Josh said, tapping her shoulders and shouting in her ear. “Rayne?! You with us?”
“Just let her sleep man,” Evan groaned. “She’s sick enough as it is.”
“How long has she been like this?”
“Since I got here. She passes out, stops breathing, and loses her pulse. I try CPR, she comes back and bites me. She passed out again and has stopped breathing once or twice.”
“A history of sleep apnea?” Josh asked.
“I don’t know,” Evan said, shaking his head.
“You dated for a year and...”
Evan cut Josh off quickly. “I don’t know if this is normal for her. We never slept together literally or figuratively.”
“No wonder you’re mad,” Josh giggled in his girlish fashion.
Tim banged his bag against the door frame as he walked in. “Let’s take a look at your hand.”

Something wasn’t right outside. Brooks had been standing on the steps leading to his front door like a frightened twelve year old, wielding a flashlight, for twenty minutes.
The air smelled funny, stagnant, like even the wind couldn’t filter the stench. Five years in the same area, and now, suddenly Brooks realized there was a faint displeasing odor that clung to his skin. It was revolting and he hadn’t noticed it until just now. But what was it.
Shaking the cold off he took a few deep breaths and ran down to the bottom of the steps. His feet hit the bottom and with a similar drunken ninja stealth, he slid along the edge of the foundation and to the back.
There were the footprints in the snow. He took a step out, leaving a hand pressed firmly on the wall. He let go of the wall for a moment, but a chill ran through his body, forcing him to grab onto the safety of the wall.
He shone his flashlight onto the bloodied imprints in the snow. They looked human. from twenty feet away. He’d have to get a closer look. Mustering his courage he ripped his hand from the wall and walked to the bloodied prints.
Shining his flashlight into the snow he saw the blood. Another toenail jutted from the pink and brown pools, and Brooks could only stare.
One print looked different from another, as if someone with different feet had taken each step. The pressure, was all the same though. Not that Brooks knew to observe this. He was merely fascinated by this natural anomaly.
At this moment his flashlight decided to shut off, “Stupid batteries!” Brooks banged on the side of the flashlight. He didn’t know why, this is just what you do in situations like this.
The light exploded into the darkness aimed at support holding his balcony up. There, etched into the the wood, were deep gashes. Whatever it was hadn’t had enough momentum to jump from the ground to the balcony above and was forced to dig it’s nails and bloodied hands deep into the wood, carving huge gashes into the wood and splintering it from the force as it launched itself onto the railing. Gore soaked deep into the wood and dripped down to the ground.
That’s why the snow had buried him so quickly. That was the snap.
“Werewolf,” Brooks tried to laugh. His throat went dry and he found himself rushing towards the bricks and sliding along the edge of the house. “Tomorrow I can look at the damage,” he coaxed.

STOP IT! The tube running from her mouth to her lungs made it impossible to make a sound and the ventilator pumped air into her lungs painfully. Someone help me! I’m drowning! There was a blurry vision pressing on her chest. The full body prickles let her know she could move.
With a quick snap she slammed her foot into the blurry assailant and sat up, ripping the tube from her throat. She gagged as the plastic slipped painfully past her vocal chords on it’s way out her taped mouth.
The air that entered her spasming lungs was violently sanitary. Her chest hurt again and now the wave of pain slammed into the weakened frame. It took all her strength to throw her head over the side of the gurney so she could vomit uncontrollably into the floor.
“It’s ok,” Josh’s familiar voice coaxed. You’re okay. You can seriously pack a punch. “Just breath normally, in and out.” Slow down, you’re going to pass out again. I am not shoving a tube down your mouth again. You might take my hand off. Rayne’s arm found Josh’s shoulder. Groaning and straining she pulled the dead weight of her limp body to look into Josh’s face. Josh’s eyes looked into hers with anticipation. What is it? What’s wrong? “Do you know where you are?”
“Shut up will you!” The bile surged back into her mouth and Rayne aimed for Josh’s shirt.  Vomit surged between lips that smirked with satisfaction at the sloppy slosh signaling impact.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thoughts through insomnia at 1 AM

I truly miss filming Is This It?  I miss crashing on a floor with a few good friends.  I miss the conversations and the stupid pranks and calling Allen names.  I miss Michelle.  She was like all the best parts of me.  She really did love Jake, a lot, hope she will rise like a phoenix from the ashes.  Sometimes it is hard to disconnect and boy has she been a hard one to keep down.  I will miss her when she is entirely gone.
Great cast and crew to work with Joanna Maye(Andrea), Allen Andrews(Jake), James McCray(James), Daniel Gonzalez(Fearless Leader), 

One more week of being Stella in A Street Car Named Desire.  I will miss her.  She's so amazing and wonderful.  I can't believe the amazing talent I get to work with: Betsy Henderson(Blanche), Jason Sharpe(Stanley), Jason Peck(Mitch), Mary Page(Eunice), Miles Snow(Steve), George Kaiser(Pablo), Doug, Nick Regina, and Page.  It's all too good and wonderful.  If you haven't checked it out yet, please do.  It's great!

Monday starts Boeing Boeing with Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy and with no break in between I hope I can keep up the momentum.  It takes a lot out of you.  I will be Gretchen.  After that I will hopefully be shooting Les Fleur Du Mal Very quickly and if not I will be looking for the random theater work I love so.

On a more personal note.  I had to continue to laugh, at myself mostly.  I love kisses.  Real kisses.  In my life, of my top five kisses, all but one have been by Jason(s), and of the plural J's, none of them have ever called me girlfriend.  So odd isn't it?  Oh I have probably loved them in some way, but we were never a real couple.  Which is funny, because as a name, I really am not partial to Jason.  I prefer Jay.  I remember 5th grade.  Jay Benfield, oh I had the biggest crush on him.  They seem to be my lot in life.  It's odd, on an average day in my life I always have at least 3 Jason(s) I am keeping in contact with.  Odd isn't it? 

I can make it one more month and then I am in definite need of rest.