The Abduction

Reads: 131  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man gains a new perspective on life when a break down leaves him stranded in the night.

Submitted: February 05, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 05, 2017

A A A

A A A


I was perhaps two thirds of the way there when the tire blew. The absence of any significant light hadn’t helped. Obstacles easily go unseen when you are staring at the world through the exclusive gaze of dying filament bulbs. If I were to be honest with myself though, my eyes were already strained by fatigue. This was perhaps hour ten of a panicked drive from New Mexico to California and it was getting to that point when one becomes aware that they shouldn’t be driving, where road signs seem too bright to read despite the headlights casting little more than an ambient glow upon the reflective white of their letters. I could barely control the car when it happened, thinking back I was hardly even in control during the epigraph before the incident. I thanked God that there was nothing but desert to hit. The car juddered to a halt eventually, leaving me stranded and running out of time.

Many times in my life I asked myself what I was playing at, trying to be everywhere at once, making all these promises I couldn’t physically keep. Letting down the people I loved for a job that wasn’t worth the paper even after a dead man’s face had been printed onto it. But this story isn’t really about getting a blow out on a cold night in the Mojave.

I stepped out to survey the plain that my vehicle had been puked onto from the sleek asphalt line that neatly etches a 2,555 mile belt through America’s pelvis. The world was a kind of pitch black I was unaccustomed to, it calmed whatever there was or wasn’t to see in this dark slice of desert into an unnerving silence. Not even the wind dared cut into that fog of obsidian, there was only the sound of my feet grinding against the grit littered ground remaining in the almost paranormal silence. The fading headlights of my lopsided auto acted as a single landmark in this limbo, they cast a weak beam across sandstone and weeds that diminished into a mob of shadows growing from the crooked under brush.

Perhaps fifteen minutes passed, or 15 hours. My phone said it was minutes. It also said no network and low battery. The feeling of hopelessness stirred my guts into a bubbling soup of panic and loathing. I was sick then, on my hands and knees with my mouth ajar, a pumpkin coloured spring flowing from some stress angered goblin within. Pathetic really that I could let this life damage me on so many levels. This “life” built for me by mere humans, who constantly pressured, audited and tested it. Ensuring that I was always clambering for the carrot at the end of their stick, never noticing that the pole was perpetually growing longer while the orange beacon dangling from it’s tip was forever shrinking. The busy life that had me trying to travel a distance two times farther than the wise men travelled to visit young Jesus in one thirtieth of the time. Eventually I was merely convulsing, the flavour of blood collecting on my palette, a reminder that my psychological health was over flowing onto my physiological manifestation in this universe.

Bile was wiped from a quivering lip onto a dusty sleeve that proceeded to slap wetly against the dirt to stabilise the tripod I momentarily became. It was then, still dizzy from the violent evacuation of valuable fluids, that I stood with great care and turned to face the car as it slumped disappointedly in squalor.

I believe that this is when it took me.

I don’t want you to get over excited. There aren’t any flying saucers in this tome. There isn’t a blinding neon search beam to pull me aboard their strange vessel. There aren’t even little grey bipeds with large eyes bulging from even larger heads. No hill billy witnesses to be disbelieved and no mysterious circles lingering in the vast corn fields of the mid west. Not even a secret government facility hiding the truth about the last time this happened. In truth the only alien to be mentioned in this tale is the situation I faced when I turned, expecting to look upon my dishevelled car.

Contrary to all expectation, there was nothing. Only more black, but it was notably distinct from the desert’s sea of Apache tears black. It was more of an endless void black, a darkness in which my brain couldn’t orientate itself. An eternal night that sense nor sound could penetrate. Dizziness ensued, wherever I was felt huge and claustrophobic all at once. I moved my legs but received no tell tale of ground beneath the feet at their terminus. A pair of eyes rolled hopelessly in their sockets, frantically scanning for some beacon, any measly speck of light would do. They just needed a reference point. I was tumbling without falling, flying without lift, screaming without sound, reaching out with not so much as the cooling sensation of air to caress my hollow grip. My first taste of complete sensory deprivation; the most terrifying experience of my adult life. The swirling tornado of confused fear raging in my mind would not subside. Every synapse in the intricate, hair thick network of a nervous system snapped frantically, overwhelming every system with a typhoon of binary signals. I was drowning in complete emptiness. The last hope was to clench eyes and fists, to retreat into myself and then awaken from this nightmare. The feeling was remarkably instant in it’s subjugation by the mere heat of my own hands and comforting secrecy of the interior of my own eyelids.

I stood, assuming I was still standing, terrified to move for fear of inducing the panicking sickness that awaited beyond the thin quilt of skin over each eye. At this moment in time, discomforting ideas were buying up real estate in my mind. Perhaps this was the beginnings of a coma. I had just been sick, what are the signs I should have looked for? Did I just suffer a seizure? Perhaps I’m dying, lying against the dirt waiting. The coyotes will probably find the corpse before any traveller on that road notices the car, seemingly abandoned in the scrub at the way side.

Not even safe in my own mind, curious eyelids elected to creep open in mutiny against the better advice of the brain that governed them. Here was a man who not minutes ago had been enroute to the third “most important meeting of his career” this year, now apparently standing in a glass cube seemingly floating in the outer reaches of space. I had to be dead and still lying in the Mojave, a fresh buffet for the vultures. I pinched my arms and cheeks, chewed my tongue, slapped my face. All the self test mechanisms a human uses to determine it’s status of consciousness. The whole while I stared in disbelief into an endless incandescent ocean of stars so dense that they formed translucent belts like silk ribbons lying across the deepest shades of velvet.

The pain was real but everything still seemed completely false, utterly impossible. I bit so hard, I scratched at skin as if there were invisible rashes to be soothed. With flushed cheeks and a blood sodden tongue, an idea that was not my own whispered for me to stop the madness. I suddenly got the notion I was talking to god, but with that thought another assured me I was not.

How long would a situation so ludicrous and unbelievable have to persist before you give in and accept it as the truth? The unknown entity that persisted to exist in my mind continued to communicate. It was a voiceless conversation where complex exchanges could travel freely and instantaneously, released from the shackles of language and therefore impossible to misinterpret. The situation where an idea lies beyond someone’s ability to articulate it was now obsolete, in this method of communication merely feeling the notion of a conversation piece expressed it entirely. The thoughts did not coerce and they did not argue. I never asked why I was here, why it chose me, where I was going and when I would return, I felt and the other thought collaborated. Together we replaced doubt with certainty, distrust with legitimacy and confusion with clarity. Soon we were traversing the expanse of the universe that I agreed to observe and learn from.

Whatever this being was, it travelled with seemingly impossible speed and precision. We would move between galaxies in the same casual nature a person might walk to the store. I was taken on a tour of all there was, all there was to be and all there ever had been, I was the Scrooge in my very own Christmas Carol. For the entity, the distance between two ends of a universe was no different to the distance between two atoms in a cell; no matter how far or near, each journey was identical in duration.

The scope of my adventure was impossible to perceive, even now the memory fades, it’s size occupying huge areas of my brain. Yet I can still recall some of it. Seeing other worlds with totally different ecosystems, all struggling to survive, the same situations we learn in history lessons unfolding between things that looked like molten plastic. They waged wars, fell in love, they reproduced by combining and then splitting into 100 fragments that seemed to grow to the size of the original two only moments after their conception. Some combined with others while some melted into the landscape like puddles after a thunderstorm. I saw two planets collide, the fragments bursting into space on potentially infinite voyages into the unknown. We moved beyond our own universe, although I now believe that this being I was guest to had nothing it would claim as it’s own. Here I saw a different me, he was happier, more successful and content than I could ever be. I envied his happiness whilst also appreciating that he would never stand where I stood. He died in his sleep an old and happy man, while I looked at existence through a vessel that seemed to manipulate it’s physical properties without so much as scratching the very fabric of time and space. I saw too many other versions of myself to recount, their variations likely to be as infinite as everything there was beyond them.

I travelled in the unfathomable space that exists between increasingly smaller objects in the densest materials in existence. I saw another string of endless worlds and began to understand that scale is just another infinite dimension in the expanse of all there is. The last thing I remember of this voyage was standing at the edge of an ever stretching field of stars. The expanding plain began to tear open revealing a canvas of black that split through the golden orbs, separating them into two sheets that curled upwards in opposite directions, beginning to dissolve like paper against white hot coal. I stood in fascination, watching as a billion years went by and a universe faded into nothing. Primitive worlds burnt up with little fanfare, sizzling out of existence before any inhabitant could ever comprehend the events unfolding before them. Other worlds, far more advanced than earth evolved and crackled like fireworks in that universe marked for destruction. Their inhabitants realised what was happening, some argued and waged biblical wars while others collaborated, making huge unprecedented efforts, combining their brilliant minds to save one another. Ultimately they all succumbed to the same fate. When the final stars flickered to black I witnessed the existence of a dimension beyond the reach of even the god like creature I rode with, beyond there the real creator was speculated to exist. What we witnessed was a mirage, something that existed in both dimensions being sucked from one existence to another.

With all I had seen, I came to the epiphany of the lesson: The meetings, the late nights, the financial troubles, the divorce, losing the kids, the undiagnosed lumps. None of that could possibly matter any more.

Something strange bubbled up inside; a tickling sensation. A notion that was scarcely recognised, vaguely familiar and quite welcome. Two friends were returning from a long time away from home. Joy and Excitement had been evicted long ago and in their place the two angry bailiffs known as Dread and Fear had systematically stolen anything valuable they could reach with the wisps of doubt they called arms. In my most desperate hour, when I was most vulnerable and most pressured by the mere task of living. A being far beyond my understanding heard this struggle and despite knowing everything that it did, despite there being an infinite number of this one person struggling in an infinite number of variations on the same theme it chose this version of me to extract from that tiny planet’s crust. A real miracle.

I hoped that I would never return to earth. That I could just watch, as this timeless entity did, the endless evolution of existence in total indifference. Unrestricted by trivialities like scale, distance and time.

It was not to be.

Once again I spiralled through the darkness that had brought me to this strange reality. This time I relaxed every fibre in my body, a human starfish with no orientation. I had a glimpse into the lifestyle of that which does not exist.

And then I faced a dusty saloon with a flat tire in the same instance that it had been involuntarily left for dead on a cold night in the Mojave.

A man sat in his car, momentarily satisfied by his own insignificance, knowing that no action he ever made in the entirety of his life could even come close to scratching the history of his own planet, let alone the infinite number of other planets that existed everywhere from the far reaches of space to the leather in his steering wheel. He contemplated for some time, perhaps a few hours. Finally he learned the real lesson of his experience, jacked up his car to changed the tyre, and did so quietly and undisturbed in the quiet serenity of the desert. In dawns first light he gazed at a red sun slowly climbing above the dust laden disarray of his situation, smiling quietly to himself. The engine started with a squeal of dry bearings and then the man set off once more to California, as if entirely unaffected by the knowledge he had gained.

What else was there to do anyway?


© Copyright 2017 Another Unlikely Tale. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Science Fiction Short Stories

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Another Unlikely Tale

The Abduction

Short Story / Science Fiction

Innocence at play

Short Story / Flash Fiction

Popular Tags