Wednesday, September 27th,
“The man, there, he will not live.”
Evan stared at the tall grey alien standing before him.
And what was this place? He looked around. It appeared to be
a large outdoor football stadium, and he was standing upon the field. Up in the
sky, the sun was out, but barely visible, covered over by fog or thick, puffy
The tall grey alien looked to its right.
Evan aimed his eyes in the same direction. Syrrah was there.
She was as he recalled her in Heaven, her beautiful face, her pretty blond
hair, though now she was wearing a knee-length, shimmering silver dress, and
she held some type of futuristic, alien-tech spear weapon with a glowing blue
tip, something like you’d see in Halo.
Syrrah stared the alien in its face. “That man, he WILL live.
You will not touch him.” She turned and faced Evan.
Evan focused his eyes better. “Syrrah. I love you so much.
What are you doing?”
She ignored his words and stared back at the alien. She
lifted the spear weapon and brought it down hard, its blunt end making a loud
thud upon hitting the ground. The alien flinched back from her action. “You
will not touch him,” she said. “This must be so, this must occur.”
The alien stared at Evan. “All right,” it said. “But she
will NOT live.” The alien pointed to its left.
Evan turned and could see Dana, slouched over upon the
grass-covered ground, yet wearing the same ripped-style leggings and dark
T-shirt. She was crying, behaving similarly as when he overtook her in the
The rest station attendant man, from the Wilmot Information
Center, appeared from out of nowhere and pointed down at Dana on the ground.
How is he even here now? “See. Look what you did. You are nothing but a
disrespectful Rez punk, just like I thought.”
A huge Causalitor, covered in those fire-colored scales, its
orange lizard-like eyes staring deviously, suddenly approached Evan from
another direction, slowly getting closer. “Remember,” it spoke in that
computerized voice, “it is not mainly fear, and its associated emotions, but
the change to fear we find most delectable.”
The scene changed. The grey alien pointed a dark metal pole
at Dana. A laser-like red beam streamed from its end and struck Dana on the
side of her body.
Dana screamed in pain.
Evan jolted awake.
He immediately worried his rough awakening had hurt Syrrah,
lying next to him. But right away he could see she wasn’t there. He turned to
the other side of the bed. She was not there too. “Dana? I mean, Syrrah?” He
called out loudly, but not too loud. “You here?”
She didn’t respond back.
He scrambled off the side of the bed nearest the windows and
looked around. He didn’t see her on the little sofa at the bed’s foot end or
anywhere else. He rushed over to the bed’s other side, to see if she was
sleeping on the floor by chance, but she wasn’t there. He walked over near the
entrance door. He turned to face the bathroom sink area but still didn’t see
her. He walked into the bathroom. She wasn’t in here too, not even in the
shower. He saw his phone on the wooden stool and picked it up. He shoved it
into his jogging pants pocket and his pocket felt too empty. “Shoot! My
He rushed out of the bathroom, recalling earlier, before
Dana had tried slicing his neck, he had trusted her enough to place the
Unihertz on the desk. Bad idea. But approaching the desk he quickly saw that it
was still here. He snatched it up and put it in his pocket. He snatched up his
wallet too, shoving it in the other pocket. The black baseball cap and those
sunglasses were nearby too, like he had left them.
And Dana’s blond wig, hat and sunglasses were on the desk.
His neck. The cut. It was barely hurting. He felt it. What?
Felt like nothing was there, no cut, no scab. He looked in the mirror above the
desk, with his chin raised. He didn’t see a cut mark at all, though blood was
all around his neck and on his shirt. He yanked out several sanitary wipes from
a small dispenser on the desk and quickly wiped away most of the blood.
For a split second, he questioned his sparring and romantic
embracing of Dana. Had it all been but a dream? “No, no. Can’t be. Her things
are here. I got blood on me.” He recalled the snack food and Copper and Kings
brandy. He saw the bag and grabbed it. He looked inside. The food was still in
there, but the brandy was not.
The gun. While she had been in the bathroom, he laid the gun
under his black cap, making sure all three safeties were engaged, even with
just one bullet. He wanted the gun nearby, but not a huge danger to her in case
of her drinking. He lifted his black cap. No! The gun was gone. He checked
around the rest of the desk, even in the drawers, but couldn’t find it. “Damn.
He heard people yelling and calling out, even some screams,
coming from the nearby window. “What the hell?”
He hurried to the window, noticing the window was raised
about six inches from the bottom, though thick screen covered the outside
section. He tried lifting the window more, but a latch up top blocked it from
going higher. He looked below. Eleventh floor up, but still he could see far
down below to the parking lot. A bunch of men, women were gathered, many
pointing upwards. “Yo, you dumb bitch,” a man yelled out, his hands cupped
around his mouth. “Go ahead, jump already! Your music sucks!”
His mind running on autopilot, Evan grabbed his jacket,
found his sneakers and forced them on, quickly pushing the laces around his
socks. He rushed toward the door, faintly hearing a woman holler “Dana, just
wait, help is coming!” from far down below.
He grabbed the doorknob, turning it, and ran out.
He ran straight ahead toward the elevator, thrusting his
arms into the jacket at the same time until wearing it. No one was in the
hallway to block his path.
The Unihertz buzzed in his pocket. He grabbed the phone out
of his pocket and struggled to answer it as he ran, but finally did. “Hello,
Art? Dana’s on the roof. I think she’s trying to jump off.”
“Evan! We know!”
He arrived by the elevator and quickly realized he needed
the stairs instead. He found the door to the stairs nearby from fire emergency
maps on the wall. Art was saying something, but he couldn’t listen. The door
wasn’t locked. He opened the door. He didn’t hesitate and ran up the stairs,
placing the phone by his ear again. “Art. Use your teleportal. Get her off
“Evan, God damnit, listen to me! We can’t! We have been
trying now for fifteen minutes. We are being blocked. We couldn’t even wake
you, call you even, until you managed to wake yourself. Get up there, now, and
stop her! And meet us at the corner of South Fifth and Nicollet.”
Evan swiped to end the call and shoved the phone back in his
pocket, and continued, only running up two flights of stairs until standing
upon a metal platform. To his right was a thick, metal door. He lunged for the
doorknob, seizing it, noticing at the same time a broken combination lock
hanging on a metal loop and hasp. Had Dana broken this, maybe with the gun?
He pulled the door toward himself. He
expected to arrive upon the roof, but instead entered another small stairwell.
“No. No! Why is this here?” The stairwell was dimly lit with orange lighting.
He rushed toward narrow, metal stairs covered in black rubber pads and ran up
eight or ten steps, until upon a metal platform, headed to his right, and then
ran up another set of the same type of narrow steps. He stepped upon another
metal platform leading to a door. He ran to the doorknob, grabbed it open, and
finally walked out onto the roof.
He lost his bearings, but only for a moment. The Dylan
mural. Would be to the east, his left. He turned in that direction.
He could see Dana. No. I meant Syrrah! She was
standing on the top ledge of the barrier surrounding this rooftop area. He
glanced around. The barrier was only about two feet in height and a foot wide.
His breath caught in his throat.
He started walking toward her, in careful, measured steps
though he wanted to run across the vast, dark-grey asphalt roofing layer, his
sneakers crackling on small particles with every step. She was about thirty
yards away. Unwanted thoughts pummeled his mind. Heidi. Extreme passion. Didn’t learn a
thing. The Wilmot attendant. Was too rough with her, shouldn’t have done that.
Should have stayed pure. Rez punk. Now look what you did.
He forced them away. With each step closer he could see more
of what she was doing. She was holding the brandy bottle in her right hand, and
unfortunately, holding the gun in her left. She was facing away from him,
looking outward from the building’s edge or looking down below. She swung the
bottle up to her mouth, taking a large gulp, while simultaneously hiking the
gun up and down not far from her head. She was yelling out, speaking some words
he couldn’t quite understand from his distance away, and laughing loudly at
“Dana!” he called out to her, his steps yet decreasing the
distance between them. “What are you doing?”
She slowly lowered both the gun and bottle down by her
sides. She turned until seeing him. She glared at him. “I’m NOT Dana,” she said
loudly. “I never was.” She looked down below. “You hear me down there? I’m not
Dana! I’m SYRRAH!” She took another drink of the brandy. “Woo hoo! Never was!”
But this didn’t make sense. Why would the aliens controlling
her want her yelling such words?
She was readjusting her steps and lost her balance. She
dropped to one knee on the barrier’s surface, her other foot slipping down onto
the asphalt of the roof.
“Syrrah!” Evan rushed toward her.
She pointed the gun at him. “You. Stop. Right. There.”
He froze in his steps. “Please, Syrrah. Put the gun down.”
One bullet, though, unless she somehow got more bullets since it was last in
the room, which seemed doubtful. Yet like with Hal, he wasn’t afraid to
approach. But his horrible worry; would she jump before he could grab her?
“Come over here to me. Please. Why are you even doing this?”
She recovered her balance and stepped both her feet on the
barrier ledge again. She yet held on to the gun and brandy bottle, though she
didn’t point the gun at him now.
His stomach knotted and his heart beat mercilessly within
his chest. He drew in a deep breath and ordered himself to stay calm. Calm
“This simply cannot go on, my dear Evan.” She stood tall and
straight on the ledge. She took another drink. She stared at him. “I know
everything, and they know this too. And I am going to stop them.”
“You realize they are probably doing this to you.” He tried
to keep drawing closer to her, inching his way forward whenever she turned away
or took a drink.
“No. That’s where you are wrong.
While I was resting next to you, it all finally became clear. I know the full
story, and how it has to end.”
“What are you talking about? Tell me what you learned.”
She lifted the bottle to her mouth again and took another
gulp. When she brought the bottle down, she did so with force, causing an
off-balance reaction she corrected with several unsteady steps.
He rushed toward her, until she pointed the gun at him
again. He halted his motion. He now stood about ten yards from her.
“Stop. I don’t care if I fall.” She laughed out loudly and
took another drink.
He continued slowly walking toward her. “I don’t care if you
shoot me, Syrrah.”
She pointed the gun at him once more. “Well, you keep coming
closer, and I’ll jump, I swear I will. Don’t tempt me.”
Like he unfortunately figured. He stopped moving.
“Besides, I’m sick and tired of being in pain continuously,
feeling sick continuously, when I never was before. It’s torture, absolute
Extreme desperation began swelling within him. “We can fix
your pain. You will see. I…I know this doctor, who treats my little brother,
for Lyme disease. You may have it too, and it can be treated.”
“No! it’s not treatable! The doctors have told me this!”
“There are naturopaths, holistic medicine, so many other
treatments we could try. Please, Syrrah, listen to me!”
“And, NO, I don’t want another body. I don’t want pretty
Felicia. What, you don’t like me as I am?” She began moving around, almost like
dancing, and nearly fell on to the barrier ledge, like seconds earlier,
laughing as she did.
“Syrrah! No! That wasn’t funny!” Sweat began seeping out of
nearly every pour on his body. “Please, baby, please come to me.”
She smiled in a warped manner and pointed the gun at him,
but then lowered it. “Baby, huh? Well, interestingly enough, I got a text from
Chella, not too long ago. Seems your old girlfriend, Heidi, posted a message on
Twitter, that…that she can’t understand why you would ever want to work for me,
when you’ve always hated my music, and thought I was ugly. Hmm, quite the
revelation, wouldn’t you say?”
Damn it. Damn it all, Heidi. And Chella. How could they
both? “No…no, you don’t understand. I have grown to really enjoy and respect
“And I think you are absolutely beautiful, Syrrah…as Dana.”
“How? You didn’t like me before. People just don’t change
their minds that easily, Evan.”
This needed to come to an end, quickly. He began slowly
walking toward her again. “Oh, yes they do. I did. And that’s the God’s honest
She abruptly lifted the brandy bottle up and flung it down
to the roof’s floor. The bottle shattered like an explosion, sending glass
shards and splashes of brandy near Evan’s feet and across the asphalt surface.
She pointed the gun at him, holding it with two hands this time. “Don’t…come
Evan put up his hands and halted. “Syrrah…please…what’s
going on? You never told me what you learned, the full story. Please. Talk to
“All right.” She kept the gun pointing at him with two
hands. He wasn’t so much concerned about the gun, but she was slowly inching
her feet closer to the barrier’s edge to the drop below on that concrete
parking lot. He made sure not to move at all. “I’ll tell you. That woman,
Dana’s real mother, was a Mexican immigrant maid.” She thankfully stopped
moving her feet but didn’t lower the gun. “Who sick fuck Lloyd had an affair
with. And it wasn’t long after, when Dana was around two years old, that she
mistakenly overheard their plan, but somehow buried the memory, or didn’t
comprehend it. But…I did. They have a business plan, transferring old, rich people’s
personalities and memories, like they did with me, into young healthy bodies.
But see, the problem is, where do you get those young people from? Well, the
children nobody wants, like illegals, foster kids, runaways. And keep them
imprisoned until the right age. And make sure, the rich paying customers can’t
access those children’s memories…since, you see, those rich people don’t want
involvement in illegal child trafficking.”
“And you were an experiment, to see if this would work?”
She lowered the gun, as though it was heavy, or hurt her
arm, holding it only in one hand by her side. “Yes. How astute of you. Part of
the reason Dana wanted to switch, besides the pain in her body. She thought she
was helping Lloyd, giving old people about to die another chance to live,
transfer their entire mind and personality into a young person who had just
died and donated their body to science, something like that. But she couldn’t,
or didn’t want to, recall what she heard that night, besides their plan. That
Dana’s real mother, Sophia, knew the plan and was going to police. So…they, or
others involved, forced Sophia to hang herself.” Her breathing was getting
“If they had other young people,” Evan said, while
calculating any rapid move he could do to seize her carefully, without her yet
falling off the ledge, “then why did they choose you?”
She laughed. “What a joke. Just at the wrong place at the
wrong time. Dana wasn’t happy with any of the ones Lloyd had. She chose to
stalk out a nightclub and find someone, someone gullible and not paying
attention, like me. Someone who sang, and who was attractive. She always wanted
to be someone like me. And they had the technology and the military ready to
go, in that back room in the trailer. The rest is history.”
He knew exactly where this was leading, and why she wanted
to take her life now. “Syrrah. Listen to me. There absolutely is a way out with
this. Your mom, dad, and Neraeh are all safe, like I told you. Art has them
protected. But, if you…if you commit suicide…then…then I don’t know. You could
be putting their lives at risk because Lloyd wants you alive.”
She was breathing now like she had just run a mile. Tears
began filling her eyes. “No…no…” She wiped her nose a moment but kept her eyes
on him. He couldn’t yet run and grab her. “You don’t understand. Because of
what I know…they want to remove me for good…and put someone else in Dana’s
body.” She pointed the gun at him again. “And if it’s true…what you just said,
that Art is protecting my family, then I can die, and their secret dies too,
and they’ll leave my family alone now.”
“If that’s what you are thinking,
Syrrah, then just leave Dana’s body and go be Felicia, like we talked! Come on,
She laughed, but then her crying overtook her. “NO! Because
I’ll still be alive, and they’ll always come after me, and my family, and it
will never end.”
“Syrrah, I would NOT let that happen. They will never come
near you. Art, and his people, will help too. You and your family will be
She grasped both hands on the gun and pointed it with
emphasis at him. “You. Stay. There. I don’t want to be Felicia. I don’t want to
be anyone, anymore, if I can’t be me.” She lowered the gun and stared at her
Evan took the moment and moved some inches closer. Echoing
up from down below, the faint sounds of police cars and ambulance sirens
enveloped around the building. He looked her over and could confirm she was
truly ready to do this. Her unyielding behavior was taking its toll; tears
welled in his own eyes. “Art is far more powerful than you realize, Syrrah. He
enacted revenge on people who hurt his family. And he could move us around,
with an advanced alien teleporter system. I know he could help you and your
She looked down over the edge, to the parking lot below.
Evan felt pain in his chest. But then she faced him and pointed the gun at him
once more. “Good-bye, Evan. It was so good to have known you. You…you at least
gave me some happiness in my life, if only for a short time.”
“Syrrah, NO!” His desperation crippling him, he began
crying. He felt his body sink down, not even able to control his legs. His
knees hit the roof’s surface and he stared up at her. “Please, please, baby,
please don’t do this, I beg of you!”
She sniffled a few times, lowered the gun, and stared down
below at the parking lot. He was about to rush toward her when she turned to
him. “Damnit all. Why do they have to show up now?”
Think, think! He recalled something. “Syrrah. I’ve seen a
woman jump from a tall building like this before, on Live Leak, and her body
exploded when she hit the pavement. It’s a horrible way to die, Syrrah. And
what if you don’t die, and are crippled, for the rest--”
“Then at least Dana can’t be the soul catcher, for anyone
else.” She sniffled and cried, breathing haphazardly to choke back some of her
soft cries. “Besides, I’m already being tortured now. How can it be any worse?”
He locked his eyes on her, from his kneeling position,
waiting desperately for the split-second chance to grab her, but it just didn’t
seem to be materializing. “Please, Syrrah, please. I just want to hold you, in
my arms again. I never want to let you go.”
“I know, me too. But…”
“And you have been protecting me, helping me. Please,
Syrrah. Who will do that, if you are gone?”
She laughed softly and kept her eyes on him. “Well, that’s a
good one. You, of all people, don’t need anyone protecting you, that’s for
sure.” She suddenly tossed the gun over to the nearby corner of the roof, the
gun landing with a loud, sickening metallic thud. “Good-bye, Evan.”
“Syrrah, NO! Please, don’t!” He closed his eyes, unable to
watch, but outstretched his arms toward her. “Please just listen to me! Please!
I have to tell you something!”
He opened his eyes. She had not jumped.
“Just go ahead and say it.” She was yet standing in the same
spot on the barrier.
He lowered his arms and bent over
closer to the floor, yet unable to look at her. “You need to understand
something.” He spoke loud enough to make sure she could hear. “I have been
deeply, intensely in love with you, Syrrah, since I was twelve years old.” He
could only stare at the roof’s surface, that ugly, grainy asphalt. “I love you
so much, Syrrah…I love you so much…I always have…” He wasn’t sure if she had
heard him. He wiped his eyes, and then pressed his trembling hand to his
He suddenly felt and heard footsteps and then got a kick to
the right side of his ribs.
He looked up. She was standing over him, her face covered in
tears, her eyes blood-shot. “Come on. Can’t jump here. They’re setting up those
stupid air cushions, and cops are heading up to--”
Evan bolted up and sealed one arm around her back and looped
the other under her knees. Not listening to anything she uttered from her
mouth, he sprinted away with her toward the roof doorway, holding her tightly
in his arms.