I work Saturdays. In the midst of the unexplainable, the impossible, the airport kept me believing in reality. Life becomes simpler when all one does is throw bags onto conveyor belts. Grab, throw. Grab, throw. Grab, throw. A rhythm builds and I forget. I disregard everything. Like the pills, this monotonous pattern isolates me. Then a break, a change. A respite means time to think, to feel. I don't want to feel anymore. I prefer the all-consuming nothing.
In the bathroom I continued my process. Grab, throw. Grab, throw. I lose count. My mouth is the conveyor belt, pills are the luggage. Grab, throw. Grab, throw. I'm damn good at my job.
After my shift ends I clock out and walk towards the luggage carousel. I stand in the emptying baggage area. It's late, only a few stragglers hang around collecting their bags. One man catches my eye. He's tall, with flawless pasty skin that seems to glow. Broad, strong shoulders highlight an unusually muscular back . He is immaculately dressed in a dark pinstripe suit. As a simple black bag whirs toward him on the conveyor, he extracts it with little effort. When he turns away our eyes meet, he smiles slightly. Is he...walking directly at me? Yes.
Hello he says, with a look that usually accompanies friendship.
Hello, do I know you?
I'm Gabrielle, call me Gabe for short, and no we haven't met, but I've heard so much about you.
I'm confused, what's going on, can I help you?
You can help us all. But don't worry, my purpose here is to deliver you a message.
I stared blankly, almost defiantly, all the while knowing the time for ignorance had long since passed. I began to perspire. Gabe smirked, handing me an envelope. I quietly ripped it open with deliberate movements. Inside was something that shocked me, although it certainly shouldn't have. A postcard. "The City that Never Sleeps!" and a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge. The ink was still wet.
The strand of my existence is in your grasp. You are humanity. The choice is now. Meet me on this bridge at dusk tomorrow.
This will all be over soon Gabe assured me.
His hand reached out, lightly squeezing my neck, almost...lovingly. The moment seemed to drag on. Like a dam breaking, an onslaught of tears poured from the enigmatic man's eyes. Composing himself, his eyes lingered for a moment longer on mine and he pivoted, walking towards the door. There was a peculiar bulge in the man's suit where his shoulder blades should have been. Something powerful was flexing on his back as the man marched away. I doubted my initial reaction, it couldn't be, were those...wings?