I awoke sitting upright, my hands behind me. I tried to move them, but they were tied tightly together. My mouth was covered with what seemed to be duct tape. I struggled, trying to get free, my muffled groans of agitation and fear resounded in the empty storage room. The chair I was sitting on creaked beneath me. It would have seemed great to break it, but I wasn’t sure that I’d like the outcome. I ran my tongue between my lips, trying to part them. In seconds, I had a pocket of air between the tape and my mouth. I frantically tried to get my teeth on the edge and when I was successful, I pulled it into my mouth. I could feel the glue on my face, tearing at the skin. I winced as I pulled the rest of it into my mouth and then spat it out.
My feet were tied to the legs of the chair as well. I struggled and struggled again, but to no avail. Finally, I took in a great gulp of air and let out a scream. What sound that didn’t go out the open door to my right, echoed painfully against the walls and back to my ears. I waited tensely for a minute or two before letting out another one.
“Hey!?” A man yelled back. Hope flooded through me.
“I’m in here!” I replied. I heard footsteps running somewhere overhead right outside the door. The creaking of metal was followed by his voice. “Where are you?” The man called out.
“I’m in here!” I called again.
The man came skidding to a stop in front of the door and looked inside. He ran his hands through his hair, the look of surprise and relief on his face noticeable.
“No, no, no, no, no! This isn’t happening!” He muttered. He said his ‘no’s quickly. I knew this person... from somewhere! He ran to my side and pulled out a switchblade from the back pocket of his black jeans.
“Where are we?” I asked him. I felt him cut the ropes from my wrists.
“Somewhere in the dessert,” he said while unwrapping the ropes from my hands. Once done with them he came around to work on my feet. I pulled my hands into my lap and rubbed my swollen wrists. Purple and red bands went around them, indicating that I’d been tied for a while. The stranger’s head was bent down, studying the complicated knots in the rope. His hair was short and dark, almost familiar as if I had seen the style somewhere before.
“Thank you,” I said as he finished with my feet.
He nodded and stood upright to his full height which was about 5’ 10”. He was wearing a grey hoodie and a black shirt underneath it. This guy was so familiar. Why couldn’t I place him? His face was slightly hard; his hazel eyes were aglow with suspicion and caution. His chin and cheek bones were covered with a thin five-o-clock shadow which just added to his roughness. He folded the blade and put it back into his pocket.
“What’s your name? Do you have any idea how you got here?” He asked me. I stood up and shook my head.
“My name is Jen Stanson. I have no idea why I’m here, or how I got here. How about you?” I asked him, looking him up and down curiously.
“Shia LaBeouf,” He smiled and offered me his hand.
I shook it and said, “Nice to meet you Shia...” I said and then trailed off. Shia? Shia LaBeouf? Was I missing something here?
“The-the Shia LaBeouf?” I asked, looking at my hand in complete awe.
“Yes, I am,” he said, a trace of bitter amusement on his face.
“Oh...my...wow!” I said a bit too enthusiastically. I had meant to say ‘cool’.
“We’re in some kind of holding pace. A factory or something,” was all he said. Obviously it wasn’t supposed to matter that I was with a very famous actor. I attempted to compose myself; trying to make it look like us being captured was a bigger deal than me being with one of my heroes.
“Are we the only ones?” I dared to ask.
“So far as I can tell. I woke up somewhere upstairs, my feet attached to the railing of the stair case. I had just freed myself when I heard you scream,” Shia said. He beckoned for me to follow him. I did so, going through the open door to what lay in the next room.
There was indeed a staircase to the left and rows of old, rusted looking lockers in front of us. Shia bent down and looked under a row of lockers. I stood to the side, watching. His pictures certainly didn’t do him justice. I knew because I had several to go along with my collection of Orlando Bloom, Heath Ledger, Matt Damon, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
I watched as he got on hands and knees and reached for something underneath the next set of lockers. Taking this opportunity to look around, I spotted several windows, all of which had bars on them. Who’d put brand new bars on a dump like this? Seriously!? Shia coughed behind me. I turned to see him standing and gulping down water from what appeared to be a brand new water bottle. He stopped and looked at me over the bottle.
“Would you like some” he offered the bottle to me. I stepped forward and took it gratefully. My throat and mouth were parched. It vaguely crossed my mind that the bottle I was about to drink from –and ruin—would be worth thousands some day on E-Bay. I shrugged and took a drink from it, curious what it would be like. I was disappointed. After all it was only water, right?
Shia was staring at me with a sly smile on his face as if he knew what I was thinking. Knowing him and how he could be in Hollywood, I didn’t doubt it. But all I knew about this guy was his vitals and the person he portrayed in the movies. Who was he in real life? I’d guess I’d find out. I finished the rest of the water and glanced at him.
“It’s ok. I’m sure there’s more around here somewhere,” he said and smiled at me. This definitely was turning out to be strangely ironic. Shia went to the right, between the sets of lockers. I ditched the bottle on an empty utility shelf and followed.
He had gotten to a huge metal door. His long fingers traced the cracks between the shiny new metal and the old concrete. My thoughts about mine and his current predicament were turning serious. I was getting past the irony of being stuck with Shia and panic started to flood me.
“Shia,” it felt strange to address him; let alone saying only his first. Usually I always heard his last name right after the first. “Why are we here?” I asked.
“Well, I can think of at least a dozen possible reasons for myself,” Shia said, turning away from the door. “But for you, Jen, I’m not sure.” When he said my name, it sent a shiver through me. It wasn’t like when he called Jennifer Anniston “Jen”. It was real and directed towards me. I sat on an overturned bucket and brought my knees to my chin. The rough denim of my jeans made me wince.
“Ah, why can’t I think? I’ve never had to deal with this!” Shia exclaimed. He slid to the floor, his head in his hands.
“Yeah, this is definitely not like Eagle Eye is it?” I asked him.
“No, definitely not. There’s no director, no phone. No supercomputer,” We both shared a wry smile at that.
Just then, a phone somewhere in the distance rang.