I barely see her lips move. Her eyes stare directly at me.
“Finish what we’ve started?” Mayday asks, her brow furrowing. “What do you mean by that?”
“The ending of it all?” Doc asks. “Is that what you mean?”
“We don’t want to give spoilers, you know.” Wren adds in, but he looks as bewildered as the rest of them.
She keeps looking at me. My mouth goes dry. The spotlight is getting so much brighter. I watch her irises go from black to glowing red. I can’t blink. My eyes are watering and burning and I chomp down hard on my cheek. I taste blood. I lean as far back in my chair I can go. I’m trying to look away, but I can’t. I’m starting to physically shake. Bile is rising in my throat and my mind is going foggy.
No no no no.
“Will you finish what you’ve started?” She asks again.
“Dru, is she talking to you?”
My mind hazes over, the room is too bright. My chest is on fire and I can’t breathe and I’m sweating and now other eyes are glowing red and my skin is itching and electric and tearing and searing. I want to get up, I want to run. The white is getting brighter and the shadows are getting darker and the red is getting neon and obnoxious and I’m going blind and I can’t focus but someone is saying something and all I can see is the girl in the white with the microphone with the bloodshot glowing raccoon eyes with her shadow stretching towards me and I’m stuck barred down into this chair that I can’t get up out of and all I had is gone and all is gone but this pain and this girl and the shadow that is growing.
She says it again, only it’s in another voice, the shadow takes form and grows up in front of me, the shadow.
“Will you finish what you’ve started?”
There is a high-pitched whine, that gets louder and into a roar, I open my mouth to scream.
There are screams and I’m shocked out of that hellish part of my mind. I’m up on my feet and the chair clatters over. My heart is in my teeth and I hear shouting voices and I see phone lights and I hear stamping feet every this way and that. The darkness is spinning. The darkness is heavy.
“DRU!” Mayday is shouting in my ear. I didn’t even realize she had a hold on my wrist. “DRU! I’M HERE! WHAT’S WRONG?!”
I stare in the direction of her face, hot tears are streaking down my cheeks. I can barely rasp out anything. We need Wren. We need Doc. We need to go. We need to get out of here. We need to get out of here now. I grab her by the shoulders and try to push this from my mind into hers. She’s shouting at me.
There is something in the darkness.
“We need to leave. Now.”
“What? The power just went out, the light popped, we are fine Dru.”
“No, you don’t understand.” My voice is shaking, the chaos is dying down as everyone grabs a hold of their bearings, all except me. There is a thrum in my stomach, my muscles aching to move, jolt, run. “Mabel, you don’t understand.”
“Dru, it’s ok.” Doc is behind us. “It happens, we’re ok, we’re gonna be ok.”
“We need to leave now.”
“What is wrong, Dru?!”
“Dru, you are fine. There is no monster.” As Mayday says that, the lights start slowly coming back on, dim at first, and then increasing in brightness. My blood runs cold. “See, we are ok.”
The whining noise comes back. The lights get brighter than they were before, our shadows grow along the ground and go pitch black, so do the ones in the audience. They’re all staring up, confused, squinting into the bulbs. Red eyes are staring at me. I can hear her from here without the mic.
You will finish what you’ve started.
The monster grows from her shadow. Red eyes staring out, maw dripping saliva down, taller, taller, taller still. I let go of Mabel and stumble back, heaving as I point. This is my dream, but it’s not my dream. Everything is solid, everything is in focus. Everything is real. Mayday looks over her shoulder, obviously to find out what I am staring at. I feel her stiffen in my grip, and I let go and stumble backwards.
“What is that.”
Obviously it’s not one for introductions because as soon as it’s eyes blink open and it fully forms, the monster lets out this terrible screech and then everyone else screams and I grab Mayday and she grabs me and Wren is cursing and Doc is grabbing me by the shoulders. The monster looks at me and I squeeze my eyes shut as Doc forces me down on the ground with Mayday and the world is dark but that’s because I have my eyes closed and I can hear screams and roars but all I can think of:
it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real it’s real