Laurence was tired. He had been working all day, and when the time finally came for him to head home his replacement had called in sick, forcing Laurence to cover for him.
By the time he had left work, it was almost midnight, and Laurence had to run to the subway station so he wouldn’t miss the last train. The ride was long and quiet, and Laurence almost fell asleep while the city slept above him.
Finally, the train arrived at Laurence’s stop, and he got off, walked up the steps to the street, then turned and entered the large, green park that separated his apartment from the subway station.
The park was dark, very dark. The lights that were commonly used to illuminate the different baseball, tennis and soccer courts stood high in the sky, dark and silent. The only light present was the orange glow of the street lights in the distance.
And then, just as though someone had flipped a switch, brightness shined from the middle of the park. Brightness so bright that Laurence had to shield his eyes from it.
For a while, the light just remained there, glowing softly, while Laurence stood in awe, wondering what the source was. Instinctively, Laurence began searching his pockets for his cellphone, and after a few minutes, pulled it out and pointed it at the light.
Just as he was about to take a picture, the large glowing object let out a low rumble. Laurence paused, curious but also frightened, as though he was a deer caught in headlights. The rumble subsided, then came again louder. It went away again, then came back louder still. Soon it was so loud, Laurence had to fall back and cover his ears.
From a distance he saw people who had gathered to view the sight, people who had walked up to the light and were now almost right below it. The people were in obvious agony from the loud sound, and many of them had turned around, fleeing the object as fast as they could.
As the rumble began to shake his body, Laurence pointed his phone to the light and took one snapshot of the glow. He then felt himself pulled towards the light, and looking at the people fleeing, saw that they two were being pulled into the light, some flying from their feet screaming in terror.
Instinctively, Laurence turned and ran in the opposite direction of the light. The pull wasn’t strong enough to fully grab him, and as he ran faster and faster, he felt it lessen. Still, he could hear people behind him scream and plead with the force as they were sucked into the brightness.
When the police found him the next day, Laurence was hiding in a dumpster down the street from the park. He wouldn’t talk, nor react to their presence. They brought him in for questioning, but the only response Laurence gave them was a glazed look on his face. When an officer finally showed him the picture he had taken, and asked where the two people running away from the light had were, Laurence shivered, answering one simple word: