Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Sine Animus" -- Installment Two

Ami rode the elevator down to the lobby. There, her friend Laia met her. Laia seemed to have the perfect life: every day, she finished working, received praise for jobs well done, and still had time to go joyriding around the city. Laia had what Ami's colleagues all called an "exciting life"; she often tried to show Ami what to wear, how to speak, and how to make friends outside the office, but in vain. Changing Ami...was nearly impossible.

Laia greeted Ami and pointed to the compu-cast projection on the wall, gray eyes flashing. "You read about that, right?" Ami nodded, and Laia continued. "They say it's a study on the human race; what do you think it means?"

Ami took one look at Laia. "That I won't get any sleep tonight."

Laia put a hand on Ami's shoulder. "Stop worrying," she said. "The boogeyman isn't real. The only thing that goes bump in the night is the local dance have nothing to worry about." Laia walked toward the car garage. "Gotta go, kiddo. Try to relax."

Ami didn't answer; she was looking out the window. Something had caught her eye.

Someone kept walking by the entrance. he seemed to be waiting for someone. Ami regarded him closely; people rarely lingered outside her apartment like this. 

Even from a distance, he seemed to loom over her. His sandy brown hair fell in untidy clumps around his flawless face. He seemed relatively normal, but Ami noticed how every now and then, his eagle eyes, the color of magma, gazed through the window, seeming to find her first before taking in the rest of the scene. They locked eyes for just a split second, sending chills into Ami like a driving blizzard.

Maybe I'm just sleepy, Ami mused. Why would he be looking in at me anyway?

She walked calmly but warily through the exit, passing the man without him noticing her. So, she'd just been delirious; he'd obviously been looking for someone else.

Ami gazed in awe at the many things she had only heard about. She heard the shouts of tenants and landlords and smelled frappuccino and burning rubber. Because she had always been hurrying to her office, she had never regarded the city streets so thoroughly in her life.

Ami reached the street corner, passing her main mode of transportation: the teleport pad. It resembled an old-fashioned phone booth, except it was equipped with a computer instead of a telephone. It was the quickest way to get anywhere; one had only to type in coordinates and wait for the machine to transport him or her. Ami had grown to love the tele-pad, for it had helped her get to work promptly every morning since she had accepted the job. Except this morning; she once again grumbled about hating mandatory vacations.

The person inside the tele-pad clearly didn't know how to use it. Ami waited outside it for about five minutes and then gave up. It was for the best, she decided. Even if she found a vacant tele-pad to use, where would she go, and what would she do there?

As Ami walked past the tele-pad, she couldn't help feeling as if she had dropped or misplaced something, but she couldn't think of what it was. She shrugged. I'm so paranoid. Why can't I settle down?

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