Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Jim
Chapter 2 - Jim (current)
Chapter 3 - Sem
Chapter 2 - Jim
It felt as if Jim had picked up right where he had left off the last time. He was in the same car. Driving the same road. The same skyline. Plenty of other cars on the road. But it wasn’t quite the same, was it?
The time of day was definitely different than it had been. It was earlier in the day, but not morning. The sun was out of sight. It must have been high in the sky above the roof of the car. It was also cloudier. Darker in the vehicle than it had been.
Jim looked down at his hands. He was wearing a long-sleeved button-down shirt - red checkered plaid. He knew he hadn’t been wearing a shirt with long sleeves the last time he woke up. Had someone changed his clothes? Was someone undressing him in his sleep?
Jim needed help.
If he was being drugged to sleep and his clothes altered, who knew what else this mysterious drugger might have been doing to his unconscious body? This was non-consensual and indecent, to say the least. He needed to get to the bottom of this situation - and fast. There was no telling when his attacker might strike again.
Jim looked in the rearview mirror to the seat behind him. It was empty. Immaculate, really. It looked like no one had once sat in the seat since the car was driven off of the lot. How was his attacker hiding? Perhaps there was a trigger mechanism in the car? Something in the air ducts? Under his seat?
Jim lowered the window of the car. Perhaps if it was airborne, the poison might escape before he breathed it in. As far as a triggered needle, Jim had no idea how he might avoid such a thing aside from exiting the car. He could find a place to subtly pull over and exit the vehicle?
But no - what if he was being followed?
Jim looked at the cars around his vehicle. He didn’t recognize any others right away. None stood out, but none would. This was an interstate highway, he assumed. It had many lanes and speeding traffic. There were so many cars, how could he possibly recognize any at all?
Nevertheless, he knew that sitting in the vehicle thinking wouldn’t help his efforts. He needed to escape. At the very least, he might be able to learn something by getting out of the car. He could even pretend it was a pit stop. A bathroom break. His assailant need not know that Jim wouldn’t be returning to the vehicle.
Jim merged lanes and managed to ease his way off of the multi-lane road onto an exit. He only hoped that most exits would have some form of establishment to stop at in the first place. He came to a stop at the top of the exit and turned right. There wasn’t anything yet in his vision. Would his attacker know that he was escaping if there wasn’t a restroom anywhere off this exit?
Just as Jim’s heart rate began to elevate in panic, he saw a run-down gas station on the horizon - barely a mile or two from his location. His foot began to weigh heavier on the accelerator. He breathed in deeply and let his foot lighten. He didn’t need to trigger any kind of clue to his plan. This had to be natural. It had to look intentional, but not too intentional. Just a routine bathroom break.
The entrance to the parking inched closer as Jim anxiously counted the seconds. Any moment now, he would be in the parking lot, out of the car, and able to tell the attendant at the station to phone the authorities.
But who should they call? The police are too small time for such high-level technology as this sleeping drug. The DEA? The FBI? Was Jim being targeted for some larger reason than the local precinct was capable of handling?
These were questions for another time. Jim needed to actually get there first.
The moment was here and Jim was finally reaching the lot.
Suddenly, Jim lost control of his hands. He sharply twisted the steering wheel of the vehicle. He tried with all of his might to turn the wheel back, but his hands were unmoving. Stubborn against his will and better interest.
Jim watched as the gas price sign rocketed towards his vision. He was due for a head-on collision with a concrete pole plummeting who-knows-how-deep in the ground. Would this kill him? Was this it? Had his assailant succeeded in ending his life?
Tears filled his eyes as he feared for his last moments. Right before his impact he heard a loud beeping sound - like that of a microwave oven finishing its cycle. Jim’s vision went black.
March 27th, 2022