Focus on me.
Her eyes big as the moon and full as the sun.
Focus. On. Me.
She shook. Fingers pulling through her hair.
Grey, you need to focus on me. You are chaos. Now focus, or I will make you focus.
I had not quite pulled her through to our side of the parallel. All this violent, directionless energy was tying her to her thoughts, and I could not help her to find her physical location. My mind had found her’s easily. We were sitting, knees touching, on opposite sides of a train car. The cabin was closet-like in size and lit only by candle. A stark contrast to where our bodies sat. Though we still sat knee to knee, the bright light and the white of my lab coat were the antithesis of the frenzied train ride. Bullet proof glass surrounded us, small speakers methodically stationed to allow for sound to completely envelop anyone inside the glass room. Two techs in the same white coat as myself stood at the door, ready to enter should I feel endangered.
On the train, I focused on Grey. I lit a cigarette, making sure to blow the smoke away from her wan face.
Glazed expression, hands trembling.
I need you to focus. We are going to get off the train soon.
Her head shook in reflexive disagreement. Fingers, fidgeting against her right leg.
It’s not optional. Look at my eyes.
A shadow cast across the window, and her eyes darted to catch the movement.
Grey, focus on me.
Her gaze made the slow crawl back to my face. And I held her eyes, irises gleaming with soon to fall tears. I sat calm and still. I flicked my cigarette to the ground and crushed it beneath my right boot. Smoke curled softly off the ground, bringing the smell of burnt polyester. And her breathing slowed.
Focus on me.
And her hand began to reach for my own.
And the weight of the room shifted. The change in atmosphere derailed us. Men in white entered from the door to the cabin.
Her eyes, wide open, deep and full as the ocean.
Her hands pressed against her ears.
Fear pouring off her skin.
And screaming. Shrill, never-ending screams. Her mouth flung wide. A noise somehow deep and high pitched all at once. The windows burst. Shards of glass flying in all directions. I watched, impassive as the men in white tried desperately to save themselves. But the caterwaul burst them as thoroughly as the glass. Eyes and ears bled. Hemorrhaging stomachs and bursting veins. The skin around the eyes all broken blood vessels with bruised throats and limbs.
In the lab, I lit another cigarette. A cool voice played through the overhead speakers.
Did it work? Are you ok?
I bent down making a show of it. The question ludicrous. I checked pulses, though one could clearly see from the amount of blood that I was the only survivor in the room.
Aside from the fact that you sent these two in to fetch me for no explicable reason that I can see, the small detail of this young lady still being lost in her own mind, and the massacre of blood lying on the ground in front of me...we’re ok.