Jenny's smile fades away as she remembers that all this was Will idea.
Jenny didn’t blame him; he’d been in a place where the darkest of night terrors were born and bred for what must of seemed like an eternity.
“We’ve done all we can from our end. It’s all for nothing if the Center figures it out before she uses her real powers.” Jenny says, driving onto the main road.
“I see. This is far enough. I’ll find my way from here, Jenny. When you take her back there, watch your back, they’ll want to know why you took so long bringing her in.” The young man said as the car came to a stop. He opened the door but didn’t exit.
Instead, he turned to face her.
“You have something to say.” He says suddenly tilting his head. “We both know what it is but you don’t want to offend me because of what they did to me. Don’t worry Jenny Benny, you can say anything to me.”
“Was it necessary to send her back? She isn’t ready. You can see it. I know you see she isn’t ready. This is your plan, Will, and you know what kind of betrayal this will be to her when she finds out.”
“There’s no more time. She needs to fall asleep for it to all work. You think I’m selfish, demanding and manipulative. That I’m using my doppelganger to do my dirty work so when the time comes and Selma finds out what happened, she couldn’t be angry with me. That she couldn’t stop loving me. Jenny, I’ve given up everything. In comparison, this is only a small request.”
“The sacrifices that have to be made, I understand them…”
“No you don’t…but you still think she should have the choice. The choice is out of our hands; the Center made sure of that. This is the only way for all of us to be free.” Will says, touching Jenny’s arm. His sleeve fell away, revealing an array of scars on the back of his hand. Jenny knew that they reached well past his shoulder. Will pulled down his hood, further covering his face.
“Jenny, you will have to fight your way out so remember the plan. You have to be prepared to risk everything. That’s the only way this is going to work.”
“I’m prepared.” Jenny said, trying not to stare at the scar. There was a long silence as the car was filled with cool night air.
“It’s about time I get back. Liam doesn’t like switching back no matter how long. He thinks I’ll go back on the deal, like I could make that choice.” He laughs bitterly.
“Goodbye Jenny, and thank you.” Will steps out of the car. He waves and in a flash of light, Liam appears where Will had been standing.
Selma falls deeper and deeper into a place where there is nothing at all. No sound. No smell. No taste. No anything – only memories of what was and what could be. A place where everything was mute and dull; a place like the bottom of the sea.
‘Welcome to Oblivion,’ thinks Selma as the sense of nothingness welcomed her like an old friend.
Selma fumes at her parents for abandoning her, at her aunt for letting the Center take her and at her nurse for betraying her. She shouts into the void in frustration. She needed them to believe her, to protect her from places like the Center.
There was a time, Selma remembers, when none of it existed; when falling asleep would mean waking up the next morning with only a foggy dream. Then there were no secret agencies, no cursed objects, no lost friends and no psychic comas.
But one fateful night six years ago, everyone—the whole world—had the same dream. Selma vaguely remembers a grassy hill and a moon with red rings. Selma remembers reading in the newspaper that the dream was ‘a modern example of mass hysteria’ that ‘gripped entire continents’ like it was some disease.
A hysteria that could continue for weeks at a time, where there were regular and sudden sightings of mutants, monsters and fiends but not one ounce of proof.
The monsters, wherever they came from, and the powers they brought, rendered cameras and other recording devices useless and left most witnesses crazed with wonder or worse, fear.
Selma’s cousin Ashley, one the few people who knew the truth and was not crazy, infected or missing, was Selma’s only hope of ever escaping the Center’s clutches.
The problem is Selma hadn’t had time to tell her before she ran and was caught.
As far as Selma’s friends knew, she would be another mysterious disappearance, another name on the list.
Another Will and Kendra. Selma assumed that she’d finally been transferred to the sublevels with the machine that read her dreams.
No cop or reporter would believe the stories and those who did were either crazy or working for the Center or Blackfly.
After what seems like an eternity, Selma hears someone whistling a song. The whistling breaks off and on and then off again like a wind was blowing the vision just out of reach.
The whistling breaks in again and Selma recognizes the song, and perhaps even the whistler. A bright light shaped like a crack appears in front of Selma.
“Will?” Selma calls out afraid.
Suddenly, Selma feels the weight of her necklace watch and the sound of its ticking.
“Will?” she asked again, but the feeling was gone. Instead, she heard something out in Oblivion. But that too disappeared when the vision opened up to her.
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