You toss and turn in your bed, beads of sweat form over your brow. Your dream is intense and disturbing, causing you to feel pain and agony. You cannot wake from your dream when you try, the pain worsens. You are forced to face your tormenting nightmare; it is something you have never experienced before. You hear ticking sounds, and then silence. Your pain stops, and you stop tossing around in your sleep, replaced with a monotonous ticking. You wake after several hours of this; it is 8:25 in the morning. You glance at your window; snow had fallen over your beloved city, the clouds had dispersed showing your sun, reflecting beautifully off the waterfront that looks upon your apartment. You blink, your eyes are adjusting to the light change, you feel different. You carefully study your bedroom. Its blue walls and grey carpet are as clean as always. Your plant you have had for several years remains, withered, but never dead. Your king sized bed is still as lonely and as vast as it was the night before. You feel confused, if everything feels changed, why hasn’t it? you think to yourself. After several moments of pondering you decide that it was your dream, it had knocked you off your routine. You skip a heartbeat and quickly glance at the clock, it is now 8:30 and your shift as a bank teller begins in 15 minutes, you aren’t even out of bed. Your mind quickly devoid of all thought as your machine instincts kick in, with a much faster pace, you get ready for your shift.
You motor down the highway in your sleek business outfit, which consists of a red tie, dress pants and a white shirt. The engine of your 1978 red convertible mustang roars over the howls of wind rushing past your ears, flattening your hair back in a sideways cone-like shape. You remember when the highway was reconstructed last summer, it caused you to take long detours to get to work, but now that you can drive your red shiny gem between the bright yellow lanes on the jet black tarmac, you don’t mind as much. It fits your car, being perfect and of age. You grin when you pass people who can’t keep pace with your roaring machine, looking at you, mostly in envy.
You pull into the back parking lot and slam on the brakes, glancing at your watch as you jump over the door onto the sidewalk. It is 8:58, you are late for the first time in your life. You walk quickly, and enter the bank. “Thanks for covering me Hannah, sorry, traffic was pretty miserable today, never seen anything like it.” You say with a smile at the fair brunette who sits behind the counter. She shrugs and gets up, offering you your seat, and walks into the back room. As she passes you, you stare. Boy, what a fine piece of meat she is, you think to yourself, regardless of the brilliant gold wedding ring that wraps tightly around her ring finger. You take your seat, and begin the work day.
At noon you take your lunch break, the morning had been very slow, unusually slow, you think to yourself, only three people had came in since you had arrived. You walk into the back room, smile at Hannah as you pass her (she does not acknowledge your presence), walking into another room with only a singular round table and three folding chairs around it. The walls are white and reflect the light of the halogen lamp that is embedded into the ceiling. This is where you spend five of your seven lunches every week.
Your long term friend, Emile, walks into the room and takes the seat adjacent to yours. Emile is a decently built Hispanic man in his late twenties, you went to high school and college with him, both of you do not really like the jobs you ended up with. “Hey man,” he says.
“Hey,” you reply.
You hear a ticking sound and figure it to be your watch, which bugs you because it only ticks when the hour hand stops moving, but you are eating lunch and ignore it for now. Emile takes a bite out of his tuna sandwich (you hate tuna), looks at Hannah as she walks in the back room (her back is towards you), smiles as he chews, and moves his eyes in her direction. You look at her and smile. He slaps you on the shoulder then takes another bite out of his sandwich. You finally take out your lunch, which consists of a bagel and cream cheese, three Slim Jims—one of which you hand to Emile—and a cup of cold coffee. You hate warm coffee, and consider yourself lucky for being able to brew all of yours at home.
“Some weird shit went down at the mall yesterday. You read about it?” Emile says to you with a mouth full of tuna.
“No, I crashed early yesterday, I was exhausted from that party” you say, “What happened?”
“Some crazy bitch went into the mall dressed in freaky clothes and robbed all the jewelry stores. When the police came she killed a few of them before escaping.”
“Freaky clothing? You mean like that goth shit? Was she hot?” You say, curious.
“Probably, but her clothes were just all mixed up and didn’t match… oh yea, I think she was calling herself Miss Matched, like she is some crazy comic book villain or something.”
“Sounds pretty comic book to me,” you say. “Oh well, she is probably an escaped mental patient or something.”
“Dunno man, that bitch killed three cops and put two in the ICU, I don’t know many war criminals who could do that.”
“Do they know who she really is?” You ask.
“I don’t think so, but she probably wont get far, not too many criminals can escape the law these days.” He says, indicating that he is done with the subject.
You get back to your spot at the front desk and begin to wait patiently for customers. None came for three hours. You look at your watch, it is 3:27 P.M. and you only have two and a half hours until the end of your shift. You chuckle to yourself for being able to pass uneventful time so quickly. Pausing, you realize that you can still hear the ticking, but the hour hand on your watch seems to be functional. Suddenly, you walk into the back room. “Hannah, what does the time say on your computer?”
“3:28 P.M. why?” she almost says in a demanding tone.
You walk back to your seat and look down at your desk. You stare at the desk, wondering. You glance at your watch again and focus on the second hand intently. After a minute of this you are convinced that the ticking does not come from the watch, the ticking is not in sync with the second hand, but it is present wherever you go. You ponder this for a few moments, unaware of the door bell jingling as a woman enters the bank. You notice the colorful appearance of a person in your peripheral vision, you look up. What you see paralyzes you.
You see legs, just the right size and just the right hue of flesh. You see long purple boots with yellow stars going up to the middle of her thighs, perfectly shaped. You look at her red bikini bottom, striped white and tightly pressed on her waist. Your eyes slowly creep up her perfectly curved torso upon her bright blue bra, cupping luscious breasts. You notice she wears a yellow rain jacket that covers most of her arms, revealing only silver sparkly gloves that fit tightly over her delicate hands. Your eyes finally reach her face, that perfect face that you will never forget. You gaze upon her vivacious and plump lips, high cheekbones and perfect dimples; perfectly golden red hair falls effortlessly down over her small delicate shoulders. Your heart liquefies as you finally meet her eyes, purple, puzzling but believable.
“What’s the matter, cat got your tongue?” she says curtly.
“… Uh… Oh, sorry… um… how can I help you ma’am?” you say to her, dumbfounded. She giggles at you.
“That’s a nice mustang out there,” she says.
“Yea, its mine, she runs pretty well.” You say, suddenly trying your best to impress this goddess of flesh and blood.
“So whats it like working at a bank?” She says to you, looking out the glass window at your mustang.
“Umm…” You scratch the back of your head. “It’s not too bad, we handle a lot of money, but for the most part, it’s quiet.” You try to say professionally.
“Hmm…” she looks back at you, then the door to the back room. “Say, you wanna do me a favor?” She says with a naughty smile, looking at you.
“Sure, anything,” you say immediately. You hear the ticking again, much louder now, as she smiles at you, biting her lower lip with her perfect shining teeth.
“well… I was wondering if you’d let me have your baby out there.” She says shyly.
You didn’t quite expect that, you double take for a moment, did she really say that? You decide to think that she just wants you to drive her around. “Umm, I can drive you around after my shift, it ends in just an hour and a half.” You say, smiling. “I can get that baby well above 120 miles per hour.”
“Well,” she says, looking around the room. “I was thinking of something more on the line of you giving me the keys and I drive off right now.” She shifts her weight to her left leg and stands in an incredibly gorgeous pose. You are completely stunned, the ticking grows louder and louder, you wince.
“Umm… I need that car to drive home after work, how will I get home?” you say.
“You could… find a bus stop or something. I just really want that car, it… matches me perfectly.” You know who she is, it hits your consciousness like a train. Your mind goes into a panic, you begin to sweat. She looks at you worriedly, “are you okay deary?” She says sincerely to you.
“Uh – y – y – yeah im – f – fine. I just…” you take a moment to compose yourself. “I just realized that I left my wallet at home.” Your head rings with the ticking that has not stopped since she entered the bank.
“Oh, well… you can get it when you get home, right?”
“Yea, I suppose.”
“Well, I really want that mustang, can I please have it?” she begs you, her face pleading. You are nearly frozen in terror, you figure she wants to rob the bank and steal your car. Speeding up the inevitable, you ask her, “what exactly are you doing here?” you ask calmly.
“That’s a secret.” She says, piping her voice when she says, “Secret”.
“What happens if I tell you that you can’t have my car? What happens if I do give you my car?”
“well… I dunno, you’ll have to find out.” She says to you.
“Well, what would you want me to choose?” You say. Shes playing with me, you think as you say that.
“I don’t know, I think it’s up to you, dear.” She says. “Take your time, but please don’t take too long, im a very impatient woman.”
“Okay.” She sits down at the chairs and looks ar you expectantly. You look away for a moment. Just give her the car, don’t give her the car, god she is beautiful, constantly cycle through your head behind the ominous ticking. Your head races and your face grows pale. You know that you will decline. You privately thank yourself for not emotionally tying yourself to anyone and your only regret is that your mustang will probably be totaled. But hell, I hope she makes my death erotic, you chuckle.
“What?” She says to you curiously.
“No,” you say. “I need my car to drive home, it took me a while to get that you know.” She stops smiling at you for a moment, then regains her composure.
“Okay, well I need that car because im going to rob this bank, and the last one I had died on me. So if you would please give me your keys, I can rob this bank and be out of here in no time,” she says excitedly. She looks at you and smiles, “I wont kill you, I promise.”
“No,” you say, before you can stop yourself. The ticking becomes faster, irritating you.
“…What?” her voice is rising, her breathing becomes more labored.
“No… please, just go, I need to figure something out.”
“I… don’t like… it when people… tell me… NO” She tells you with clenched teeth. You watch her close her eyes and shriek. She glares at you with her flawless purple eyes. What happens next changes your life forever.
The ticking by now is deafening, you watch her plunge her hand into the ground, sending out a low shockwave that hits your chest. You watch her pull a large boulder out of the floor, it feels as if an earthquake is crumbling your bank. You look at her as she raises the boulder above her head. She somehow finds peace in her rage, and smiles at you. “You know… I thought you were pretty cute, too bad you chose wrong.” She throws the boulder at you just as the ticking stops, it is replaced by a deafening ringing sound. You clamp your eyes shut, and hope for the worst. After what seems like several minutes the ringing stops, followed only by silence. You open your eyes. A foot in front of you is a boulder, hovering motionless in mid-air, made of concrete and floorboards. You move around the front of the desk, inspecting your would-be-assassin. She is as beautiful as you had ever seen her, she is grinning at where you would be, she looks happy. Satisfied, you feel time catching up with you, her body fluidly finishes her motion of throwing the boulder. You hear a loud BOOM as the boulder meets the back wall where you once stood. She turns to look at you, her eyes widen in surprise. She looks at you, curiously, trying to figure you out. A moment later the surprise is replaced by a smile. “My my, you are exactly what I want.” She says slyly, eyes transfixed on you.