Watching and Watched

Posted: February 16, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011, Science fiction, Shatter, Writing
Tags: , , ,

Bob did as he was told. He dropped everything and took the EL train to Adrienne’s, outside of the city. Bob trembled as he did, all the way from the building to the EL platform, and then on the ride there. The strange part was that his mind felt peaceful. It must have been the adrenaline. Bob felt like his whole body was vibrating, like pebbles were dropping in his brain and waves rippled through his body like water.

The El was empty at this hour, just him and the driver. The other few night owls on the train platform tuned him out. Bob pictured Adrienne and tried to imagine what she was thinking, or doing, or where she was. He’d never tried it from this far away, or while he was worried about her life, and nothing happened. There wasn’t as much clutter from the night owls or the driver as he was used to hearing, though. Bob felt like he was living and breathing in another gear.

No one was following him, yet. Bob zeroed in on whoever had spoken at the building as he left. The man, mid 30’s, physically fit, carrying a gun, with a mind focused like a mathematician’s, watched him leave the building and told someone else through a secure version of a cell phone that he was heading for the El stop. Bob had never touched a mind so free of distractions in his life. It was frightening. Given something so much deeper and troubling to chew on, it felt like his mind finally found something worth sinking its teeth into.

There were eyes on him as he walked up the last block toward Adrienne’s house. It wasn’t a good neighborhood, but Bob had gotten good at picking out who meant harm, who was just looking, and who didn’t mean any harm at all. All of Adrienne’s neighbors were asleep, but there were three people watching Bob, from outside the house, and two inside. Who do they think he was, James Bond? Bob looked directly at where one was hiding inside a parked car. It was a girl, age 30. She quickly reported that she’d been “compromised” to the others. He felt a rise of panic in all three of them. What was more chilling, though, was that Bob realized there were two others, inside Adrienne’s house, and they were calm as ice water. They didn’t care if Adrienne, Bob, or their own teammates lived or died. Bob had never felt anything like this before.



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