Impact: Chapter Five

The Bean in Chicago
I lay there wondering if I would ever be able to breathe again. 

We moved faster and faster.


Then suddenly everything stopped.

There was a look of horror on the man’s face right before I connected with him, knocking the air out of my chest. The seconds of weightlessness just beforehand seemed like an out of place dream sequence in slow motion, especially with the startled screams going on in the background. 

I looked down at the man I had landed upon. His nose was broken, blood pouring from it. He wasn’t breathing. It wasn’t my fault, this whole thing, but I felt guilty nonetheless. I saw an arm beside me, impossibly bent with shards of bone protruding from it. At first I thought it was his arm, then realized that it was my own.

Whimpers. Cries for help. 

I could not move. 

What to do next?

I shrugged it off and stood up from the plastic seat, slung my bag over a shoulder, and exited the train.

On the platform people stood waiting to board, avoiding eye contact with everyone else around them… I wondered how many others were having these same images?

The truth was that death followed me. These intrusive scenes popped into my brain at the strangest times. 

What if that taxi cab hops the curb and takes me out?

I used to wonder what was wrong with me. It wasn’t that I wanted to die. One day I realized that maybe it was the opposite. That I wanted to live so much my brain was preparing me for survival by throwing scenarios at me to work through. So I stopped being afraid of it.

I walked the remaining few blocks to my apartment. It was dark and only few people were on the street. Some people were afraid to walk at night in Chicago… the most violent city in the United States. 

My apartment was lonely and I tried to avoid it as much as possible, instead lingering at the hospital for hours after my shift so I could stay around people. 

The key turned in the lock and I moved around flipping on lights. While heating up some ramen with cheese and frozen mixed veggies I paused to check email on the new phone I had picked up on the way home. An alert popped up to say that my password was incorrect. I reentered it and the message popped up again. 

Well. That was weird.

Probably just a bug since the phone was new. It would probably sort itself out in the morning.

I flipped open my laptop and tried to log in that way. No dice. 

Maybe hotmail was down for some reason?

The microwave dinged.

I tried to pull up a movie on Netflix, only it said my account didn’t exist. Hulu and Amazon were the same. I tried to call the hospital, but my phone said no service.

I decided to eat and get some sleep. Tomorrow was another day. I would have to sort it out then. 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four


48 thoughts on “Impact: Chapter Five

  1. Sinister. Hacking is truly scary and I wonder to what she awakens. I like the part about walking at night in the city. My boss is trying to dissuade me from taking a job downtown, citing a lack of safety. It can happen anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is too good! I’ve been following since the beginning. On a side note “I wanted to live so much my brain was preparing me for survival by throwing scenarios at me to work through” sounds so familiar and I’ve been wondering if advancing age has anything to do with this phenomenon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had these things happen to me since I was a little kid, but then my father always terrified me with “the world is going to end” stuff so much that I am sure my brain got wired for it. Age may have something to with it, too. Perhaps age brings us closer to our own mortality and we understand how much we really do have to loose. Interesting thought!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not that I’d wish these types of thoughts on anyone, it is a bit of a relief to know we aren’t alone. Like you, this kind of thinking began in childhood but I’ve noticed an uptick as I’ve gotten older and while mortality has always been a reality it’s more in my face.

        Liked by 1 person

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