In fact, I couldn’t see anything. I suddenly felt like I was at the bottom of the ocean or a cave hundreds of feet underground. I quite literally could not see my hand in front of my face. But there was sound–I could hear the noise from the train and Wise yelling at me.
“Here! Here! It’s in front of you!”
“Here! Here! It’s in front of you!”
I instantly felt stupid. I held out my hand and felt the football, or “Accessory” as I now knew it’s official name. The moment I touched it, the light show started. Maybe it wasn’t that much more dramatic than usual, but in the dark, it was like the crack of dawn just broke with fireworks thanks to the utter darkness enveloping us.
Lights danced around the outer surface of the accessory, once again tracing my hands but they were so bright beams of light leapt from the surface and I could swear we could feel the beams touch us as they projected out. This also meant we could see each other. Wise waved me in a direction and I did as his hand commanded. I could not tell where I was going but the Accessory was leading the way that, of course, I couldn’t see, so I all I knew was that I wasn’t about to run into someone or a pole.
I heard what I guessed were Wise’s feet shuffling behind me as I came upon the door at the end of the subway car. I grabbed the handle hoping the door was one of the doors that actually opens. I pulled the handle, this sort of lever that you had to pull extra hard on to heave the door open, and it actually slide aside. I stepped through the doorway, into the space between cars (a space we’re not supposed to be traversing, except in emergencies), I turned around and looked for Wise. I couldn’t see him but I could see several beams of light coming from the Accessory, though and after a long moment, one struck Wise in the head and, as he turned, I could see his face.
“Come on!” I said, moving into the next subway car. As I did, the light from the ceiling felt like it nearly blinded me. Luckily, the darkness “explosion” (?) did not follow me. Wise, however, had.
“Who were those guys?”
“Not sure, kid–could be any number of people. But let’s keep moving.” He motioned toward the other end of the car. As we moved, I glanced down at the Accessory, which I was holding like a football, cradling it under my armpit, I could see the light lines that were dancing around the surface of the thing had stopped dancing and now circled around a single glowing dot that was flashing. Then I realized the dot was right where the worry stone “component” socket was. As we kept moving forward, the blinking became more and more rapid.
“It’s doing the blinking thing again!”
“What do you think it’s homing in on?”
“I was going to ask you that.”
We just kept moving. We had to stay ahead of those, uh, shadow wielders (?) for, uh, some reason. Honestly, based on Wise’s reaction, I was really just trying not to panic.
But that blinking became more and more random and there was this soft chirping that I could here this time around that I didn’t hear back in Julio’s place. The beeping seemed to be getting louder and louder and definitely was getting faster and faster until it was almost maddening to me. I was having trouble thinking clearly. Luckily, I was able to just keep running. Finally, the blinking light became solid and the beeping became one solid tone, like someone had just died in a hospital and I instinctively slapped my hand over the worry stone light.
At that moment I felt two things. One was Wise grabbing my left arm and the other was once again, being surrounded in darkness.