Randy took off at a run, headed back to the Chandler house.
Fear pounded in his throat and face and chest. It pushed at him from behind and came at him from all around.
The day had grown distressingly dark. He could still see the sun through the trees, but it seemed dimmer.
He ran past neighbors coming out of their house, shadows in their eyes.
Was it his imagination, or did they all seem to moving unnaturally slowly?
Up ahead, the sight of a big portal sitting in the street made him gasp.
It looked wrong. Inside out. And why were all the houses feeding into it?
None of the other six worked any more. Too many rennovations.
The music notes wrapped around him, asking, pleading.
What did they want? The music was part of the portal.
He looked around, casting about for an idea. Any idea.
Cold chilled him. His neighbors had come out of their houses to see the portal. They were motionless.
One man had his foot in the air, about to take a step. Another was in the middle of a run.
It was eeriely quiet, except for the music. No lawn mowers. No cars driving. No children’s voices.
It was like the world had stopped.
Why was he able to move?
Then he caught a flash of movement up ahead. Nikki.
Relief flooded through him.
Lights sparked around her. Yellow, with bits of black and red.
She needed help.