You, yes you, are walking with your friend to the park. It is that point in your day that you walk to the park. On the way to the park, you feel a breeze sweep along your calves and it makes the hair on your legs stand up. Suddenly, there is a loud sound that radiates from The Institute. Your friend looks at you and although their face looks calm, you can see the terror in their eyes. “Don’t worry,” they will tell you, “It’s just Wednesday.”
You do not think of this again. It is not permitted for you to think of this again. Stop thinking of this again. Time passes. Or maybe, it doesn’t. Time is not real and thinking that it is will not be permitted. Think back to your education. Remember what you were taught about time.
You are walking with your friend to the park, but this time things are different. Different from what? Or when? You are not allowed to remember, but you can tell that things are different. Your friend wears their outfit, it is the same as yours. In the process of strolling through the avenue, your hands briefly touch. It is not an unusual occurrence, touching is just a part of life. You will not be penalized this time. You look into their eyes and this time the look they give you is not found in the eyes, but it is written clearly on their face. You both are about to say something when the low growl begins, building, building, building until it reaches that terrible howl.
You both look towards The Institute and then back into each others eyes. The fear is back in their eyes. You cannot see your own eyes but you are sure that the fear will be found there too. “It’s not Wednesday,” your friend says, “Run.”
Without considering your training, you foolishly run towards The Institute. Your friend is running just behind you and is keeping your same pace, but you had a head start and now you see the reason for the urgency. The sky has turned a dark gray, almost black, and it is reaching down towards the earth. This is not something you remember seeing before.
Thankfully, you can see The Teachers and they are only a few yards away. They are calling to you, but you look back to see if your friend is close. They are not. They are standing in the park and staring at the black claw that is descended slowly from the sky.
You want to run towards them. You want to grab their hand, fully this time and with purpose. You want to look into their eyes again. You do not. You turn and run into the open arms of The Teachers and you know that you, for the time being, are safe.
Just as the door to The Institute closes you see the dark and mighty hand reach down and grab your friend. They rise, rise, rise, but then the door is shut and you cannot see them anymore, only the white walls of The Institute. You are home, but you feel lost.
You, yes you again, are walking to the park. You are walking with a friend. You feel different. Remember what you were taught about time. You look over at your friend and you smile. You look into their eyes, and your smile falls away. You see that they are different. You see but you do not understand. You walk to the park and this time the noise does not come. The noise does not come for what seems like forever, but what do you know. Your friend calls your name and you jog to keep up, you do not want to be punished. You make your way back to the Institute on the other side of the park and you feel the same.
This has been an all points bulletin for the following districts about the installation of Tornado Sirens in your sections of the city: Leashes-Only, Ghoulplex, New Brooklyn, and Gorp. Thank you for your patience & remember, the only way to know thy neighbor is to watch them.
This article was written by Nathan Ellwood, he does not believe in time. Follow him for more on Twitter @NPEllwood