Flash: Vision

Image from freedigitalphoto.net

“Whoa,” I say, my head spinning. Spots form in front of my eyes. I may have rocked and swayed, but hard to guess as the red, green, and blue swim and dance, circling, crossing, merging. Spiraling.

I sit hard. Ground or seat, I couldn’t tell. Black and yellow add to the party. A flash, once, twice. Not unlike some of the vision migraines I get, only clear lines instead of hazy holes.

Cinnamon. I smell cinnamon. My only connection to the world while the colors convalesce into skulls. “Pen, paper,” I say, the image finally firm.

Sound returns, and feeling in my fingers, as someone shoves the requested items into my hands. “Here you go Carla. Ballpoint, blue. It’s all I got. Pencil in your left hand.” I don’t recognize the voice, can’t even tell if it is male or female, but that is normal. “You are at a table, flat surface.”

And I draw. I can’t see what I’m drawing, but I draw. Until I’m done, I won’t see anything else. I have broken fingernails scratching what comes to me into my own flesh, lacking any other medium to use.

“You recognize that?” a different voice asks as I sketch the outline with both hands, pencil immediately followed by ink.

“No, no … wait … maybe.”

A quick pass of shading obtains a response. “Gotcha, you bastard. Duran?”

“Yeah, I know where that is, amber units, calling all amber units…”

The voice fades away. I keep drawing.

Two hours later, I see a cup of water and a sandwich beside the paper. Weirdly the yellow and green come through with the mix of pencil and ink. Looking at the police, I croak, “Any luck?”

“We got him, but the kid …” the officer doesn’t meet my eyes. They didn’t bring me in until 48 hours had passed. I wish they could use me sooner, sometimes. But this gift of mine isn’t kind. Going into whatever, wherever I go, leaves a mark. No, more like a hole. A void. I’m going to spend the next week under a suicide watch, so I’m glad for the kindness of not using psychics until all other options are closed.

I lift the stuffed rabbit from my lap, where it had fallen, and give it back to the uniform. After I stand, they put my manacles back on and return me to my cell.

(words 400; first published 9/4/2023)