Chapter Twenty-three

XXIII

Present Day

            Silgan was driving down highway forty-three in his Black and red Maserati. Not the best choice of car for laying low, but it’s what I got. After nailing both Harold and his own apartments shut, Silgan had rushed to the parking garage, programmed the address Alex had given him into his cars onboard GPS system, and sped off. I’m going to have to trust Alex, but he can’t know what happened to Harold. He’ll turn on me as soon as he finds out how fucked this whole thing has gotten. That had been twelve minutes ago, and the GPS indicated he had another three point five miles to go.

Silgan was traveling at seventy-four miles per hour, in a seventy area. The cops really do love to pull over this car. Best not to give them an excuse. Not today. Three miles–Silgan took exit thirty-eight, breaking slightly. As he approached the stop sign at the end of the ramp, he turned left, as the GPS indicated. Alright, getting out to the boonies, not a bad plan, Alex. Silgan took some time to gather his thoughts, prepare his lies, for Alex. Just gonna say I got in and out relatively smoothly, that I synthesized an extra vial of putrescine in case things go south. I’m only going to be a minute late, he’ll appreciate the extra preparation. He was always a planner.

Silgan was violently yanked from his reverie, as he swerved to avoid the young women standing in the middle of the road, head down. What the fuck! It was too tight, the back wheels of Silgan’s car struck the women, causing Silgan to spin out. Silgan leaned back, eyes closed as the formula tires screamed. The car stopped, tire screams morphing into something else, something new. A baby’s cry, alongside a woman’s scream filled Silgan’s ears, drowning the rest of his senses out. Christ, it’s so loud! Must…end it. Covering his ears, Silgan pressed the automatic “open door” button with his right knee. As the door swung up, Silgan struggled out of the car, falling as the banshee-like screams of agony overwhelmed him. My head. What’s happening?

                The pressure released, slightly, and Silgan pushed himself up, head blaring and vision spinning. As Silgan opened his eyes, he froze. What…the fuck? The sky was a blood red, the frigid morning air had been replaced by a sweltering heat. It was the kind of heat you can see, as the energetic waves distort the reflected light. Silgan stumbled around the back of the car, looking for the woman he’d hit. How. On the ground, lay Nessa, holding a small, deformed, and burned child in her arms. She was humming a quiet lullaby to the dead child, her left leg and hip contorted, broken from the impact.

Panicking, Silgan called out “Nessa! Are you okay?” as he ran to her. When he approached, Nessa’s back shifted ninety degrees vertically, cracking loudly as the spine violently shattered at the lumbar. Silgan paused, frightened, and took a step back as Nessa’s head slowly twisted in his direction. Her blue eyes opened wide, unnaturally, as if her eyelids had been pinned back. Nessa opened her mouth, jaw breaking, and let out another scream.

Silgan fell to his knees, closing his eyes, covering his ears. After five seconds, the sound stopped, abruptly, like a needle trying to read a damaged record. Panting, Silgan’s hands dropped to the ground, and he opened his eyes. He was freezing, his hand had turned a pale blue-white and his teeth were shattering viciously, cutting into his already bloodied tongue. Confusedly, he looked up to Nessa, but she was gone. No, she’d never been there. What is wrong with me? Shivering, Silgan got to his feet, and shuffled to his car. There’s no damage to the car either. It was all in my head.

Falling into the comfortable leather seat, he closed to door, before turning the cars seat-heater and air conditioning to max. Relaxing a little, he reversed back into his lane, and started to drive. Approaching the two-mile mark, Silgan checked the Maserati’s digital clock display, 9:12 AM. No…How? That seemed like a few seconds, not ten minutes!

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