Jessica sat down on a small concrete wall. There was a wall around the front of her school. She must have been at school because Rabbit was at school. He got in trouble. He needed her there because … why was he in trouble?
There was a strange sound behind her. Like it was raining outside. For a moment, she thought that she might be in her house and that it was the gentle sound of rain pattering on the windows. But it was so dark, she couldn’t tell if she was inside or sitting outside. The lights around Jessica seemed almost like stars surrounded by the blackness of the void of space.
A brighter light appeared in her vision, but like all of them it was haloed by pitch. The light flashed left and right. Back and forth the light moved before suddenly, it spoke to her.
“Miss?” the light said.
Jessica could barely hear the voice. It was trying to reach her ears through what must have been a cone of cotton gauze. Looking up, she tried to see where the voice had come from.
“Are … you … okay Miss?” the voice behind the light asked.
Okay? Jessica wondered if there was something wrong. The light wouldn’t ask if she was okay if there wasn’t something wrong. But Rabbit was in trouble. She had to find Rabbit and make sure he was okay.
“I need to take you back to the hospital Miss,” the voice said. “Are you okay? You don’t look good Miss.”
Hospital? Was Rabbit in the hospital? She knew he was in trouble, but didn’t know he was in the hospital. It was dark. That was it! He had gotten hurt during the game!
“Let me help you up Miss,” the voice said and a hand reached out to her from inside the light.
Sinking her teeth into the flesh of the hand, Jessica tried to relish the feeling that the meat was alive. She could almost feel the warmth, feel the way the skin and muscle moved. She could feel it jerking and trying to pull away from her. Where she felt numb, the hand felt real.
There was screaming, a shrieking scream in her ears. Was it another car? Maybe it was another car with lights made from gleaming fire and ice. No, that car made a different sound. As she considered it, she remembered, those were police cars that did that!
She was biting someone, biting a man on the face. She couldn’t remember how it happened. He must have attacked her! She had to fight back, she couldn’t let him rape her. Jessica tried to fight, but her hands felt weak and soft … she couldn’t even really feel them at all.
Lying on the ground, Jessica looked up and saw the gorgeous man with the hellfire blue eyes next to her. He was kneeling beside her and smiling widely with brilliant white teeth. What was that sound next to her? Screaming again?
“Good work,” the man smiled. His voice was the song of a gentle viola, “I’m very proud of you, but we need to get you home. You aren’t safe here.”
Safe? Jessica staggered to her feet amidst the pool of blood. In the distance, she could hear the cries of more police cruisers.
“This way,” the man with the blue eyes said, “We’ll get you home.”
Home. She was supposed to go home.
Watching the man through the darkness of her vision, she followed him through what seemed like bushes and trees, tunnels and drainage ditches. All around her, she could hear the muffled cries of police cruisers, more and more of them singing to the sky. Time seemed frozen, it wasn’t passing … or maybe it was passing quickly. Trying to follow the man made Jessica’s mind spin.
Putting her hand on the polished door, Jessica paused. Where … where was she? The only thing echoing in her head was the word “home”.
Staring at the door, she didn’t know what to do. What was it for? There was a brass knob on it, that gleamed out at her like a gem, a beacon in the darkness of her vision. It was pretty. Pretty. Pretty.
At the edge of her hearing, she could detect the muffled sounds of a voice inside the home, “Police are now saying that at least twenty people have been attacked in the last two hours. Currently, they have few leads and cannot identify the attackers. Police have stated that they are searching for one person of interest in this strange outbreak of violence,” one voice said.
The darkness was growing hazy. As Jessica stared at the brass orb on the door, trying to understand what she needed to do, the halo of pitch around the orb lightened. It was as if life and warmth were trying to push their way through the shadows in her eyesight. Gradually, the orb gleamed more brightly and the darkness transformed into a translucent haze.
Was it morning? Evening?
A subtle sound reached her hearing, but it didn’t come from outside, it was inside her head. It was a voice. A quiet and gentle voice that draped over her like a blanket.
“You’re late Jessica,” the voice whispered.
Turning slightly, she seemed to know where the sound was coming from. Next to her was a monstrous, gentle entity composed of countless tongues and eyes. It had four calm faces on its head that faced in the cardinal directions and drifted on a seemingly infinite number of wings.
“You were supposed to join me Jessica,” the calming creature said to her mind. “You have to let go.”
“JESSIE!!” a voice shrieked behind her.
Turning awkwardly, she saw a man and woman standing behind her. Who … who were they? They seemed familiar to Jessica, there was a special place in her memories for them.
Mom and Dad.