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Chapter 1- It Starts

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Mar
19

It was what I thought was a normal Thursday evening, in New York City. On the subway ride home listening to my usual “Train ride” playlist which was the same as my workout playlist, which consisted of mostly current hip hop and rap tracks. After a long day at the office and the gym, all I wanted to do was go home and lay down and watch some TV, maybe get some Taco Bell, but that wasn’t in the cards for me. This would be the last day that actually made sense.

As I stand on the very crowded train, heading from the city to my home in Brooklyn I notice a man in the middle of the car, he was a bit unusual. I have taken this train for the past 5 years, and I see the same people usually over and over again. So you get use to certain people’s little knacks, like the guy who wears very huge studio headphones constantly lip singing, and sometimes you can hear a few bars slip out without realizing that he is singing out loud, or the lady who gets so caught up in her romance novels that she tends to miss her stop or jumps up at the last second when the doors are about to close, we just hold the door for her now and tap her on  the shoulder. We are kind of like a very weird family in a way. I see these people more than I see my own family now that I think about it. But this one guy, I have never seen him before, and I stand there gripping the handrail.

He was an older man, maybe in his late 50’s very short pepper hair, balding and holding a briefcase. He was mumbling to himself, and sweating. From the look of it, it looked as if he was nervous. He looks around and notices I was looking at him, he puts on a very nervous smile and nods at me, and I nod back and turn away. I guess it isn’t that strange, I mean this is New York right. He got on at 1st avenue, isn’t that where that lab is at? Right as I begin to slowly just forget about the strange man his briefcase starts beeping.

Everyone on the train minus the guy in the headphones turn and face the man with the briefcase. He turned beat red and starts mumbling some more. He then drops the briefcase and starts to walk away. Everyone just looks at each other in complete confusion, we watch the man go in between the carts, and grabbed the side handrail attached to the cart, looks at me directly in the eye mouths the word sorry and then throws himself off the side. Everyone is in shock and a few ladies begin to scream. Everyone pushes each other out the way and begins to rush toward the door leading to the next cabin, knocking people over and some people completely in shock and couldn’t move, I grab the hand of a young woman who stood there frozen and began to pull her toward the next cart, then the beeping stopped. The entire cabin became extremely quiet as the train rocked back and forth heading from the city to Brooklyn. Then there was an extremely bright light and then an explosion so strong it caused the entire cart to crash into a metal pillar derailing and knocking the cart over. I remember being tossed in the air for what felt like 3 mins and seeing the ceiling of the cart rushing towards me, and then everything went dark.

“And that’s all I remember officer, the man with the briefcase, the explosion and the train ceiling. After that I woke up here 4 weeks later.” The officer didn’t look up at me, he just stood there writing in his notepad, looking annoyed. He had to be in his mid-40’s, the pepper colored stubble all over his face, along with the heavy bags under his eyes helped make him look a lot older than what I am pretty sure he is.

The officer finally closed his notepad, looked up at me and put on a fake smile. “You sir are lucky, the other survivors say you were the one who took the brunt of the blast, some other folks weren’t so lucky. Even people on the street weren’t as lucky.” Confused, I look at the officer and as I get ready to ask him what does he mean he explains himself. “The explosion wasn’t only underground the FTTR building also exploded, the blast wave leveled out roughly a 7 block radius and the blast wave alone caused mass devastation with people all over New York City, with people feeling sick in the 5 boroughs. We still don’t know what happened but the man you saw on the train his name was Dr. Thaddius T. Thuckenberg, but based on all the survivors he committed suicide before the explosion. Well anyway, you get some rest, I will be back in the morning to check up on you and to see if maybe you remember anything else. Good day.” The officer whose name on his badge read Ramirez got up and walked out the room, as I followed his movements, he had a slight limp on his right leg.

As I lay back down and stare blankly at the T.V., I notice someone standing by the door. I try and focus my eyes to see who was there, and it was the lady whose hand I grabbed and pulled toward the door. She usually gets off about 5 stops before I do. She starts to walk to me and smiles, “How are you feeling? You were out for some time, I was scared you were never going to wake up.”

I look at her and smile “Well I am up now, I feel a little sore, mostly because  I haven’t been out this bed since the accident. So what has been going on?” She looks away towards the window, the shades have been closed this entire time. She walks over and opens the shades. The light shoots in blinding me, and making me feel very light headed. As my eyes get adjusted to the light I see the city, where the huge FTTR building stood there was just sky, and the strangest thing was the sky, I have never seen the sky be a tint of Purple. Is that what happened when the FTTR building exploded? What was really going on in that building, and who is this Dr. Thaddius? So many questions and I won’t get anything from being in here.

I sit up and try and turn my legs around to the edge of the bed that alone was very exhausting. She looks at me in shock “What are you doing!? You just woke up today from being in a coma for 4 weeks, you need to be resting.” Maybe she is right, I can barely feel my legs already as it is, and they feel so numb. One of the nurses run in, I want to assume she heard this lady yell. The nurse runs to me and grabs my legs and slowly moves them back to the position they were in. “Mr. Cologne what do you think you are doing? You need to stay in bed and rest. You just woke up and your vitals are not ready for you to even attempt to walk.” I try to fight her and resist but I couldn’t she was too strong, or I was too weak. The nurse tucks my legs in and walks back out. The lady looks at me and smiles and then walks toward the door, I look at her feeling defeated and weak and ask her, “What’s your name?”  She looks back at me still with the smile on her face and says “Nathalie, good to finally get to officially meet you Luis, and thank you.” She then faces the door and walks away. I lay back down, look at the ceiling, and my eyes begin to get extremely heavy. And I fade into the darkness falling into a deep sleep.

The sleep didn’t last long, why is it so hot in here, and what is that ringing sound? I feel so tired, as I open up my eyes, a blaze of red and orange begin to dance in front of me, and begin to spread their radiant heat and warmth around my room. As I come to, I realize the ringing sound is the fire alarm, I jump out of the bed, and begin to sprint to the door. As soon as I get out the bed, I fall to me knees and begin to slowly sink to the floor. My legs, I am struggling to stand, struggling to walk, I haven’t used them in so long. I try to crawl my way to the door, but it’s so hard, my arms won’t move as fast as I want them too. As I slowly make it closer to the door the curtain that covered my bed, falls and lands on my leg, the fire shifts and spreads from the curtain to the hospital gown I am wearing. I begin to scream, but realize there is no pain. A firefighter rips open the door and drags me out of the fire and two more fireman run in the room with fire extinguishers to battle the blaze in my room. As I look around firefighters are escorting people out the hallway and bringing them down the stairs. I look at the adjacent rooms next to me and they are in a blaze also, the firefighters are battling the blaze trying to extinguish the fires. As I get pulled down the hallway the firefighter who drags me out drops down and takes his coat off and throws it on my legs to extinguish the fire. It all happen to fast I felt dizzy, the smoke inhalation started causing me to choke. Another firefighter comes and grabs me and begins to take me down the stairs, everything begins to get dark and I begin to feel heavy, the last thing I hear from the radio of the firefighter was “What the hell, the fire just disappeared.”

October 2018
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