Your attention span…
Your attention span begins to shrink. You begin to grow. You grow very tired. Sitting on the sidewalk, leaned against the side of a bank, you find your eyes straining to remain open. The bank closes. You have nothing to do tonight, and you’re doing exactly that: nothing. The boredom is only fueling the exhaustion and you’re dueling the escape of consciousness. Through half-open eyes, you glance up and down the street. However, with nothing interesting to look at and no one to talk to, sleep begins to win.
“Got a light?” Yes, light. The streetlight seeps in and reality creeps in and sleep is defeated… at least for the moment. “What?” you hear yourself say out loud. “A light? Do you have a light?” The figure in front of you leans forward, down toward your face as he repeats the question. He has your attention. His stark white skin is offset by the blackness of his coat. As his words cycle through your mind and you grasp for the language to respond, it hits you that the person you’re talking to doesn’t look entirely human. He looks like a…
“Uhh, yeah,” is the phrase your mouth produces on autopilot. You find your right hand rooting around in your left inside coat pocket. There it is. You thrust your hand forward. “Thanks. Thanks,” he, the creature, repeats as the details of his features are revealed by the flame of the lighter. Brighter becomes dimmer, as you find yourself swimming in half-awake confusion.
Here? “Here.” What? Where? What do you mean, “Here?” You feel a slight tapping on your shoulder as the voice repeats that one word, the meaning of which still eludes your grasp. “Here.” As your eyes survey the scene and your mind gets back up to speed, you realize that you must have drifted off again. But for how long? “Thank you,” he says as he inserts the lighter back into your hand. Before you can say “You’re welcome,” you realize your eyes are closed again. You feel someone patting your arm. “Don’t stay out here all night. It isn’t safe.” More patting on your arm. More patting. More patterns. More repeating phrases. More looping words. “Don’t stay out here all night. All night. All night.”
All night? What time is it anyway? The thought forces you enough into consciousness enough to cause you to open your eyes and glance at your watch… or at least where your watch used to be. In front of your eyes sits your left wrist. Bare. You stare, unaware that the watch which was on your person only moments ago is now making its way down the street. The looping words. The repeating phrases. The patterns. The patting. Wait a second.
You leap to your feet, leaving the cold concrete beneath. Reality feels like a frigid breeze as you realize that the person you just let borrow your lighter also helped himself to your watch. Your eyes catch a shadow moving in the opposite direction a little way off. As it stops under a streetlight and is illuminated momentarily, you see the thief look back in disbelief, as he realizes his crime has been revealed. His eyes flicker, almost appearing to be lit by some kind of small flame behind them. An extremely mischevious grin makes its way across his face for a moment before he turns and runs.
You face reality and give chase. As the distance between the two of you increases he reaches his arm up in the air above his head, holding the watch up like some kind of trophy. Repeatedly, you see the bottom of his shoes. As if to mock you, the word “Lucky” is written on the bottom of them. It flashes over and over as each step takes him (and your watch) that much more out of your reach.
Suddenly, he stops in mid stride and makes a hard right turn, right into the doorway of a building. Above the entrance, the street number of the building declares “1111.” You arrive at the doorway and swing the door inward, still moving urgently. You hurry forward toward the elevators. The one he got into is already making it’s way up. Impatiently, you pace, waiting for the other one to open. You hear the bell, telling you the doors are about to part. As they open, you launch forward, and suddenly find yourself…