by T.S. Henderson
“Staring didn’t accomplish much.”
She would often say. My sister, she was right. My daydreaming troubled her, and I could never ascertain as to why that was. My staring off into the distance wasn’t ever blurred though. I did have a focus for my attention. She was as much a realist as I was. Even in the end she was always so dead serious.
“Pay attention.” She said. And she was gone. The Hands were not attached to anything with eyes. Or at the very least, not that I had ever seen. Inky, blue black limbs now descended from the sky. Hovering a cold, silent and alien presence. I don’t know what they are. Or why they’ve come to collect us. I don’t think it matters. Not to me.
First came the fog. Then came the panic. Then came The Hands.
Some feminine, some masculine. They descended from wherever the fuck they came from. Each Hand had an owner, and once found they were snatched up. Some people cried and hooted and hollered. Most laughed, minds breaking at the prospect of this impossible horror. Staying inside didn’t help, running was impossible. We walked, into the oily fog, searching for an answer we knew would not come. The world was silent after the first day, but my mind was elsewhere. After long enough I began to wonder where my Hand was. Why I had not been taken. Why me and her were left. What was wrong with us? Were we the unlucky ones?
The second day we only saw fingertips at the edges of visibility.
The third day, my sister smiled at me and looked straight up. I could not. My mind was elsewhere.
“Pay attention.” She said, as she let go of my hand and tilted her head back to look up. A smile carved across her face. Not crazy. This was her way. Steadfast. Determined.
And she was gone. Ripped away from the planets surface and into the swirling clouds. I assumed. My mind was elsewhere.
I know that when she left, I was hurt. I do not know for which reason.
I was on the ground, feet raw from our travel in the fog when I realized she was right all along. Looking doesn’t mean you can see something. There’s more to it than that. If you don’t focus on what lay before you, you’ll lose the chance to appreciate it. I laughed to myself though no one was around to hear it. The Hands were not connected to anything with ears. That brat. She always had to be right.
Finally paying attention, I look up.