40 Floors Up

She wanted to take some time to be alone, to figure out who she was.

That’s what she’d told Lumis and he’d tried to be understanding. Their apartment wasn’t that large, just a studio you could cross in five paces, with a spectacular view of the city out the picture window. He’d never understood her claustrophobia, when she could spend the day surrounded by pale blue sky, twenty floors above the nearest building.

But she was gone and he was alone, gazing out the window wondering when she would be back.

That was when he noticed with a shock the thing in the sky — something there that shouldn’t be, and the fear was like a cold steel pipe from throat to sternum. He held still, waiting for the mirage to fade, his pulse to stop choking him. The mirage did not fade.

He turned on the TV set, but instead of the news, the blue logo of the DVD player appeared. and he didn’t know how to get back to television mode. He tried pressing random buttons on the remote. The screen turned to white static.

He pressed the power button and returned to the window. The city was silent, too far away for sound to reach him. He ventured a glance upward. The thing was still there.

His cell phone was on the table. He strode over, fumbled a bit to unlock it, tapped her name.

Two rings. “Hi, you’ve reached Bri. Sorry I missed — “

Realizing she’d put him to voicemail, he tried again. This time her voicemail came without any rings. Had she blocked him? He hung up and returned to the window. The thing was hovering above the city. It had grown. What the hell was it? A rip in the sky? He wanted to call his mother, the police, the news channels, but he felt foolish. Maybe his imagination was haywire, or it was some kind of publicity stunt.

The sunlight dimmed. He realized the thing hadn’t grown, it had just sunk. Now it was directly outside his window, an egg-shaped cradle of jagged arms, blocking the sun. An image appeared between the two closest arms, a gigantic hologram that evolved into a face… his face.

His own giant reflection winked at him, lifted its eyebrows and nodded its head in a jovial “looky here” manner toward one of the giant branched arms. The arm broke out of formation, rotated downwards and telescoped out. A red beam shot down into the city, completely incinerating several buildings. Within seconds all that was left of them was a wisp of smoke.

Lumis placed his hands on the glass, cool against his fingertips. A giddiness overtook him. His holographic image smiled at him conspiratorially. With surprise, he identified the sensation that was flooding through him: relief.

A piercing noise came out of his cell phone. The city must have issued an alert. The thwip-thwip-thwip of a chopper sounded.

He sat down on the futon sofa. He wasn’t sure what would happen next, but he was strangely ready.

Links:

Inspired by Vicente L. Ruiz’s Google Plus weekly writing prompt:

Image link:www.behance.net/gallery/33500655/BRevenge (Creative Commons License)

Artist Gallery: www.behance.net/paqwak

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