The papers would say "Cop missing after mysterious 5th Ave. incident" they didn't mention that they shot her. I was trying to understand her words when it happened. "I need 400 humans" ... "...the rest of you will die." The cop was not masking his wonder with NYC blasé. He had wordlessly pulled his gun and when he heard the word "die" years of training (hit the center mass, do not hesitate) were activated in his preconscious mind. The sound of the gun left me deaf for a moment, for, as she was reaching out to me asking me to help her find "400 humans" the police officer had aimed his gun just over my shoulder in my peripheral vision, so the the sound was close to my ear.
It was a beautiful shot, perfectly centered, and he only shot once. It hit her, true, in the heart as her dark eyes widened with surprise, her mouth half open exposing a line of perfect white teeth bright in contrast to her skin. She fell back slowly, gracefully. I felt pulled to her, my eyes welling with tears of empathy and confusion. Then time came rushing back to normal speed, sound returned. I was screaming, everyone was screaming. Someone had tackled the cop, his gun fired again this time into the crowd, more screams, people running. I ran to her and picked her up. She was not dead! there was strength in her arms as she held my neck. A older woman and a young man as different as night and day accompanied me "he shot her" said the tall young man meaninglessly. The older woman was feeling for her pulse acting on instinct together we ran through the door. Behind me I heard the cop barking at us to stop. But as I passed into the door the sounds grew long, like a record skipping "stop stop stop stop" the cop repeated he had a handful of my jacket and another hand on my neck, but we were moving all of us through wet darkness. How had the door seemed so bright from the outside when it was dark inside? I kicked my legs there was nothing beneath them! In my arms she looked up at me and said "it's OK, it's going to be OK" I tried to laugh at the absurdity of her comforting me in these circumstances, but before I could laugh The floor, soft soil, green grass, came up to meet my feet and I nearly fell over. We were on the other side.