What used to make the Spectrum so dazzling is more than just the elegant architecture of its buildings or the costliness of products sold in its stores. Above all, it’s electricity. Without it, the Edwards 21-screen movie theater, located at its heart, is nothing but an inky facade. You may still notice it, but only because it blocks some of the black stretch of clouds.
The closest I can describe it to you is to say that the place looks like a black-on-black painting, where the artist alone may discern the nearly non-existent variation in shades, while the rest of us can only pretend that we do.
The soaring white obelisk, with the word SPECTRUM vertically projected onto it on regular nights, is now reduced to an outline of a thorn, aimed at the heavens.
Even the upright palm trees, lining the side of a shallow pool of water, seem to sink out of sight. Every Christmas, tiny lights are coiled around their trunks, all the way up to their palm-leafed crowns, which makes each tree look like a bejeweled neck of some mythical creature. Tonight, these lights are off, and the trees—invisible.
With great gusto, Vlad pushes me forward, racing in the direction of the shouting and the shots.
“Girl, you’re as good as gone,” he says, leaning from behind the wheelchair to whisper into my ear. “I don’t even know why I’m talking to you, except to say that you’re the perfect companion.”
I say not a word, so he leans over me once again. “Well, well, well,” he says. “Nothing, no response, ha? Call me arrogant, but I love a woman who’s clever enough to shut up. My darling Betty has a thing or two to learn from you.”
I hold on to my silence, and not because I have nothing to say, but rather because I must focus on other, more critical tasks, such as contract and relax, contract and relax the muscles of my legs, and then fold and spread, fold and spread my toes, so as to gain better control of my feet.
You never know when I’ll need them.
After all, being immobile is not for me. I must snap out of it. But snapping is next to impossible when my fingers are still asleep.
Meanwhile, Vlad has quickened his step. “Let’s go for some action!”
I don’t know what kind of action he’s looking for, but at this point, I’m ready for anything. I mean, anything that will take his hands off the back of my wheelchair and somehow, set me free.
Ash finds herself in the ER diagnosed with coma. She has no memory of what has happened to her, but what she can do--despite what everyone around her might think--is listen to the conversations of her visitors. Will she survive the power outage in the hospital and then, being kidnapped out of it?
"Beauty of prose bound together with a sensitive thriller make this a very special new series from a very fine writer."
~Grady Harp, HALL OF FAME, TOP 100 REVIEWER