Episode 63 — Chapter 71
Where am I?
I feel a cool breeze caressing my face, but I see nothing; everything is black.
I close my eyes… I open my eyes… it is no different.
Have I gone blind?
So peaceful and quiet.
What’s that sound? It’s so faint… coming from far away.
It’s a mechanical humming.
I am standing in utter darkness, afraid to move.
I hear voices. I am not alone. It’s not so dark now… I can see the shadows of people standing nearby.
Getting lighter still… slowly. There’s a young boy playing… trying to keep his feet inside painted, white lines on the black surface. He comes to the end of one line… he’s running and jumping to reach the next one. He seems so happy… I wish I could be that young and carefree.
Now the boy’s gone… he must have disappeared around the bend in the road.
There are tall concrete walls lining the black pavement on either side.
The humming is getting louder. I look at the others and see a look of fear in their eyes. Why are they afraid?
People are fleeing in all directions… others are trying to climb the concrete walls.
What petrifies them so?
It’s the sound they’re hearing… it’s getting so loud! They’re covering their ears.
I recognize the sound now. It is the whine of a motorcar engine, pushed to its upper limits. I see the flicker of lights on the opposite wall, the rays crazily jump up and down, getting brighter by the moment.
Now the light is focused on us all—bright, glaring headlights, nearly blinding us. A car, traveling at break-neck speed, is bearing down on us all.
Oh my God!
People are paralyzed by fear. The vehicle is upon us, slamming into one bystander and hurtling another like a rag doll, against the wall. Shrieks rise from the group as the vehicle’s red glow of taillights disappear beyond the opposite curve. People come rushing to the victims’ aid, screaming and crying.
Everywhere there is weeping and moaning.
I want nothing to do with this horror. I close my eyes, but it matters not; open or shut, my eyes behold the gruesome scene.
I hear the terrible sound again, followed by the flicker of lights on the tall walls. People are screaming and sprinting down the road, away from the sound.
From the flickering lights on the walls, I can tell it is more than one machine!
I see the terrified look on the faces, people too paralyzed to move. But one face! It’s familiar. By God! How can it be possible?
My father is standing amongst the pedestrians, but he is oblivious to the coming carnage. I yell out his name. I scream for him to move, but it is too late.
The cars are upon us and one slams into my father, grotesquely severing his torso in two. Body parts of other pedestrians fly in all directions. It is a scene of unimaginable mayhem and horror.
Somehow, I have escaped injury along with three others still standing. There is painted on the faces of the survivors a look of terror I have never seen before… it is the look of imminent death.
I hear the noise again. Much louder than before. So loud, the concrete walls are shaking and the ground trembles under foot.
So many lights illuminating walls that were once gray, but are now stained red, covered in blood.
A legion of vehicles is upon us, attacking like mounted horsemen, charging into battle.
There is no escape. Death is certain…
Cobb’s heart was pounding madly, his breathing agitated as he wrestled control of his senses. He sat up in bed and tried to wipe the vision of his father’s death from his mind. He attempted to focus his eyes on the dresser. It had been too real, too horrible!
My God! How often must I relive his death? Why does it haunt me so? I loved him… he was everything to me.
If only I could have been there that night… the night of his fatal shooting.
Breathing deeply, Cobb forced his heart to slow down, but the ringing in his ears would not relent. He tried to focus on his surroundings, but everything was blurred. After a short trip to the bathroom, he entered the living room of his apartment. His vision had improved slightly and he noticed the light blinking on the condominium phone.
Cobb listened to the message and heard Savannah’s concerned voice. He desperately wanted to talk to her, but not in his current condition. He would call her from Cleveland; surely everything would be fine then.
Cobb showered, shaved and dressed himself before departing for SunTrust Park for the final game of the home stand. Cobb’s mind flashed back to a couple of years earlier, when his vision had been similarly affected. He remembered the terrifying fear he had felt then, wondering if his career was over. He tried to remember the name of the doctor that had helped him… or had that all been just another dream too?
Will I recover my sight this time?