This is a piece of a draft … but I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve really been able to come up with anything.
It started with the email screen.
“What … What do you … Do you want?” It spluttered through stalled clicks and flashing screens.
It’s happening again.
Without another word I scooped my jacket from it’s resting place and headed towards the door. A pair of heels clicked quickly behind me.
“Hi, where are you going?”
Fuck. “Look, something’s come up. I just have to go.” The lights in the hall flashed as the rain started pouring over the asphalt outside. “I really just have to go.”
The heels clicked impatiently. “Fine. I hope you feel better.”
The rain pounded against the leaves, beating them from branches and sending them spiraling through the wind. Their colors changed rapidly, red, orange, brown, red again, as they jerked from one spot to another.
No choice. I broke from the safety of the covered patio to race raindrops to my car.
They won of course. They always win.
I started the count down in my head.
10 minutes. 5 to get home. 5 to not mess this up.
The engine roared to life, giving only minor feedback.
Don’t do it old girl, don’t give in.
As we barreled through the wide avenues traffic flashed in and out of view. How I wished I could simply move through them but I learned some time ago: these obstacles are real.
I couldn’t be sure when the mainframe gained that sophistication.
Anything to stop me. You should know by now … I shook my head as the traffic light sputtered then blinked into darkness.
The sideways rain parted for a matter of seconds to reveal a clear path ahead.
Is it possible? I have help?
There was no time to wonder. I laid on the horn, a lame duck noise barely enough to warn off the oncoming wind escaped, but it worked. I could speed ahead.
The obstacles were of course meant to slow me down. Anything to keep me from saving the world again.
Not this time. Not anytime.
My foot fell heavy on the gas, confident in my path. They may slow the journey but they still would not win.
I made it to base with mere seconds to spare.
Part B must begin immediately!
The door hinges let out their tell-tale squeal as I hurried through.
“I understand. I think he just came in.”
I could just see the reflection of my old confidant, my partner, strolling the rooms.
Is it possible? She’s been compromised?
My stomach sank at the thought of what would inevitably come next. There was no way to maintain our partnership if she was influenced by the mainframe.
Flashes of light tore across the skyline.
There’s no time! I have to go!
“Josh? Is that you?”
I scrambled from my hiding spot, lurching down the long darkened hallway.
“Jesus.” Lydia tapped the psychiatrists number into her cell.
“Hi, Dr. Smith, it’s Lydia. Yeah, he’s home now … No, he hasn’t said anything. In fact, he hid. Mmhm. Then he, like spider monkey ran down the hall. Now he’s holed up in the office banging away on the computer.”
Lydia circled the kitchen looking for anything her husband may have dropped.
“I don’t think he has anything and I don’t think he was hiding anything.”
Finally her eyes fell to a full bottle of pills on the counter.
“It’s done!” Josh emerged from the office, hands in the air but as his gaze fell on Lydia his face contorted in rage.
“You … You’ve become a glitch!” Her husband jabbed her shoulder. “You’ll just disappear like the rest, it’s what glitches do.” His low growl echoed off the kitchen walls then he was gone, leaving the walls shaking from the force of the door slamming shut.