A.R.W.

You realize, sitting there on the subway, that everyone around you is completely still. No. Not still; frozen. Some seem to be standing, mid stride, heading down the aisle.

As you look around in amazement, you receive a text: “You will become one of them if you don’t get off of this train within five minutes.”

Full of panic, you look around. No one else is moving. Who knows if the person sending the message is even within eyesight, or on the train.

Getting up, you move from one car to the next to discover, that it’s not just the people on the original car you were on, but everyone on the train is frozen.

Your phone vibrates again: “Three minutes. Tick tock.”

Adrenalin kicks in. Even though the people are frozen, the train is still moving at an incredible speed. How are you suppose to get off? The next stop isn’t for another ten minutes.

As you weigh your options, you wonder, what would be so bad about being frozen in place. What’s the purpose? But then reality sets in, and who knows what would happen if you did. You would have no control of what’s happening to you. No way to run or escape. Would you even realize what’s going on around you? Did the people on the train realize that time was passing and there was nothing they could do about it?

Again, the phone vibrates in your hand bringing you back from your thoughts: “You are almost out of time. One minute and counting.”

Without much more thought, you run to the back of the train. Taking a deep breath, you slam the emergency exit button. The doors fly open, causing a gust of wind to enter and disturb everything.

Looking down at the phone, a timer has now appeared, and it’s now counting down from ten.

“Ten, nine, eight…” You take a deep breath. “seven, six, five…” With sweaty hands, and a pounding heart, you leap. “four, three, two…” You fall for what feels like forever, until you realize, that you’re still falling. How is that even possible? Surely you should have hit the ground by now. Your body should be a battered up heap in the middle of the subway tracks.

“One. Welcome to the A.R.W. 2.1”

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