Sunday, July 15, 2012
Maggie was confused and alone. Everything around her was spinning. Steam rose from the pavement across the street. Halos formed around the streetlights and they pulsed in her sight.
They were a curious design. Copied from a 19th century photograph, they became a symbol for a developer’s dream, to turn this former steel mill into a bustling urban center. It took 18 years, and the first two buildings opened to great fanfare. The scene looked like the stage set for “Rent”. But to Maggie, it had become a nightmare.
She was slumped against the apartment building. All she could remember was dancing with that spiky red haired chick disco in Buckhead. The one that looked like it had been imported from ....Brazil.....she guessed. Loud music and perfumed bodies surrounded her as the music pulsed and throbbed. Boys as girls and girls as boys jumping and bumping with the beat. Was it really a girl? She felt a hand brushing against her shoulder. Then everything went black. Did someone spike her drink? She was usually so careful about that. Checking her clothes, it didn’t seem she’d been raped. Everything was dry and intact.
Struggling to her feet, she stumbled down the sidewalk towards the fake arch in the middle of the street. How had she gotten to Atlantic Station? As her eyes focused, she looked down at her watch. It was gone as well as her purse. Not surprising. She came up to a storefront that had a digital clock. 4:26AM. was it still Saturday? She fought the nausea. A man was walking on the other side of the street towards the bridge. She thought about waving at him, but decided against it. Something told her she needed to get out of where she was. But she really didn’t know how to do it.
A loud crash came from behind. She jumped back and turned. There was an old guy tearing up the sidewalk. He had scars all down his arm and looked like he had just escaped from a prison.
“Who are you, and what have you done to my home?” He yelled. “My Daddy and Granddaddy worked damn hard to build that place so’s we could walk to work. And you Yuppie scum tore it all down. I am going to make you pay for that, whore!” The man started towards Maggie.
Maggie ran towards the large IKEA sign at the end of the block, thinking it she might be able find sanctuary in this most holy of material providers. She didn’t make it that far. The old man grabbed her by the collar and threw her into the reflecting pond at the base of the arch. Maggie began to panic. Was he coming in after her? She never could swim. Visions of her mother warning about strangers came to her. A white light shone to her right. She went left.
Her flailing arms caught the side of the pond and she drug herself out. The crazed old man was gone. Had he been a dream? She hailed a taxi, and headed towards home.
At least she was alive.