The Ordinary World



Scene Title The Ordinary World
Synopsis …and as I try to make my way, to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive.
Date November 9, 2011

A peal of thunder cracks through darkened skies. The jagged remnants of skyscrapers in Midtown cast black silhouettes against a slate gray sky. Rain falls steadily, hammering down on the rusted hoods and roofs of derelict automobiles still sitting in the road, eternally caught in traffic and immortalized by atomic fire. Their shadows burn black against the street.

Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue

Odessa wakes up on the sidewalk, black hair flattened to her face, soaked through with rain. Her black wool jacket is torn at the shoulder, so is the shirt beneath, and there's a shallow scrape running across the exposed skin beyond. Her arm aches, head swims with throbbing ferocity of a headache. She feels drugged, or like she's just coming off of drugs.

Thought I heard you talking softly

Distant voices echo from down the street. As her eyes focus on the desolate ruins, buckled pavement, and abandoned cars she recognizes Midtown for what it is. Confusion swims drunkenly through Odessa's mind, she doesn't remember being here, doesn't remember getting into Midtown. On the ground beside her is a plastic syringe — Company Issue — and she doesn't need to see the label to know it's full of the negation drug adynomine. She's administered it to enough people. It's empty.

I turned on the lights, the TV, and the radio

Another crack of thunder, and this time a bolt of lightning traces a forking path across the sky. Birds scatter from a nearby rooftop, a swarm of starlings swirling and twisting in the air. Odessa's head swims again, stomach twists into knots, and eve as she tries to stand she doubles back over and vomits onto the sidewalk with gagging continuance.

Still I can't escape the ghost of you

Exhaling a shuddering breath, Odessa levers herself up off of one knee and then stumbles to her right, bumping her shoulder into the brick wall at her side. Her hands are trembling, mouth dry vision blurred by the rain in her eyes. The voices up ahead are getting closer, she can feel the pangs of panic in the back of her mind. The people are shouting, screaming, it sounds like a riot and it's getting closer.

What has happened to it all?

She turns, black flats slipping on the wet sidewalk as she scrambles away. Her step-slip-hobble cadence barely feels like a walking pace. One of her hands smooths along the rough brick wall, trying to keep her up. The other hangs forgotten at her side, pain throbbing in the cut at her shoulder. The screaming is getting closer, her heart is pounding in her chest, and with each beat her vision blurs and doubles.

Crazy some would say

Ducking into an alley, Odessa's feet skid through old weathers newspaper pages made pulpy from the rain. Her knees buckle and forward momentum carries her over. She crashes down onto her side in the alley, coughing and choking. She lands on a heap of ruptured garbage bags, the stink of rotting food wafts up from them on impact. Rats scatter in every direction, some of them climbing up the alley wall as if they were spiders instead of rats. The screaming is getting closer now, along with the sound of thundering feet. Odessa claws her way up from the pile of garbage bags, stumbles and slips, falling onto her side.

Where is the life that I recognize?

She reaches inside of her jacket, letting out a hacking, rasping cough. Rolling onto her back, she claps a hand over her mouth to muffle the sound of her cough. When she pulls her hand away, it's pink with blood. Her other hand withdraws another Company-issue adynomine syringe, and with a ragged gasp of breath she plunges it directly into the side of her neck.

Gone away

Odessa sits up in a cold sweat, the radio alarm clock beside where she sleeps belting out a familiar tune. Her chest rises and falls with rapid, panicked breaths, and sweat slicks blonde hair to her forehead and soaks through her sheets. Her hands are still trembling, heart pounding.

But I won't cry for yesterday

Blurry vision clears, trembling hands still, and rapid breathing gradually calms. The dream fades, quickly enough, from reality to realization. The mind — an active mind — playing tricks.

There's an ordinary world

But she can still taste blood in her mouth.

Somehow I have to find

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