This continues After Math – in a way. Its raw:
He drives to work and sees the children playing on the sidewalk. They sit there by the driveway to the condo complex. He doesn’t know if they are waiting for the bus or if they are there just to play. What he does know is that their clock is identical. Their clock is at 00:05:10. He has to stop this. They are beautiful young children with a long life ahead of them.
He pulls over at the next light and drives around the block. He can see that their clock is down to 00:2:04. He runs the red light to drive across the street. His plan is to pull into the first driveway and park. He must save them.
Dashing across the street, he stops the car in the driveway and runs flat out to the children. As he nears the children, their clocks are now at 00:00:55. He throws an arm around each child and rolls to the left as far from the road that he can. Seconds after they roll away from their spot, a large moving van covers the space they just vacated.
The little boy and girl scream in terror. Their game abruptly ended, their toys smashed and they do not know this man who just pulled them from their play.
Kevin tires to console the children but he knows that they are terrified. He stands and picks the children from the ground. They are afraid of him but they are terrified of their former play spot. He looks for the people who were near the children but they are not in site.
“Shhhh, shhhh,” he says to the screaming children. “Who was there with you?”
“Nonnie,” cried the little boy. “Where is Nonnie?”
“Who is Nonnie?”
“I want my Nonnie,” he sobbed.
The little girl clung to him as her only life line. Kevin looks to see if there is anyone coming to see how the children are, but only the curious neighbors are beginning to fill the front door areas.
“Does anyone know these children?” he called. No one would meet his gaze. Finally an older woman ran to them. The little girl squealed and attached herself to the new arrival. With a nod, the woman took the little boy. Kevin ran for the truck.
The truck had smashed into the construction site that was to the south of the condominiums. The driver had no clock above his head and as expected, Kevin did not detect a pulse.
He quickly strode to the front of the truck, fearful of what he would find. As he feared, pinned between the truck and the construction sign was a young woman, the clock above her head at less than a minute.
He quickly went to her. “They are safe. I managed to get them away. Don’t worry.”
Kevin watched her eyes acknowledge his words. A final nod and her clock faded to black.
He tried to remember how many people were on this corner when he drove by. He was sure it was more than three but there was no sign of others.
Slowly he walked back to where the children were. He knew he should have called the police, but he also knew it was likely that someone else had already handled this duty for him. He looked to the sky and took a cleansing breath. He saved the children but he missed the woman. Is this what he was intended to do?
It was hard. So very hard. To be able to save some and not the others. He walked back toward the children and the little girl saw him approaching. She launched herself onto his leg. He bent over and hauled her up. Her arms snaked around his neck.
“This is what love must feel like,” he thought. Her plump arms so tight around his neck that his first instinct was to protest. When the thought for a moment, he wasn’t so bad. She needed this and maybe he did too.
“I don’t want to do this,” he said to the sky. “Did I save the right people?”
The little girl nodded as if she understood his questioning. “You sab me,” she said. “Thank you.” With those words she kissed him on his cheek.
He looked to the sky with eyes filled with questions and a mute mouth. What if they become murders or bank robbers. What if it was the woman I was to save? Did I do it right? Please, tell me if I did the right thing.
No flashes of light, no sounds of thunder, no booming words from the sky came. Instead there was the early morning sounds of the birds tweeting, the faint sounds from the road. No one and nothing was answering his questions. Today.