Chapter 1: A Rude Awakening at Daybreak

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Watchers

Reads: 401

It happened so fast that it felt like a click, when suddenly my eyes opened and I was back at home and tucked nicely in my own bed. Shaking the covers off my legs, and waiting until my mind had a chance to recover, I yawned and at the same time reached up to rub at the dried up gunk that had formed in the corners of my eyes. Just then a sliver of morning light caught my eye as it appeared like a laser beam shining through a slit in my dark curtains. It was at that moment when I realized the sun was up, a new day had arrived and something was terribly wrong.

I abruptly sat up in my bed, grabbed my temples and tried to calm my throbbing head. My whole body felt as if I was in some kind of magical time warp, like some Salvador Dali painting with the melting clocks and the trees that resemble the back of someone’s head. And at that moment anger began to creep its way into my psyche; I was mad as hell for some reason and still didn’t understand why, but I did know one thing, somehow I found myself at home, tucked in my own bed and feeling lethargic with one hell of a headache. And then it hit me, I had been with my friends last night.

"What the hell! What the hell happened last night!? And where in the bloody hell are my friends!?" I spoke in a voice so loud, that it frigtened my cat Mongrel, who before I even had a chance to react was up on all fours and by the bedroom door.

“Mongrel! Stupid cat!” I shouted after him as he sprinted out the bedroom door. I laughed a little. Still shaking my head and trying to grasp the severity of my situation. What was happening? I thought. I have got to pull myself together.

I closed my eyes and tried to will my brain to focus on the night before, the last time we were all together, and the last thing I remembered was how we were all in my van, talking about this investigation as we rode rode to the big old mansion on Hollow Way Road.

“Come-on, focus Elijah.” I said loudly with a hint of consternation in my voice.

I closed my eyes and began rubbing my throbbing temples with my fingertips. I was confused and nervous, and trying to remember how we all got home was useless at the moment and most importantly, how I made my way into my bed without remembering a thing. I hadn’t been getting much sleep lately and I wondered if this had something to do with why I couldn’t remember anything. I shrugged it off and looked around my room, it was so quiet at that moment in time that all I heard were some birds chirping outside my bedroom window and a couple of dogs barking in the distance. I laid my exhausted body back down on my pillow and pulled the covers up to my chin in self-protection mode; my head poking out from the top of my covers. And as I lay in my bed, I tried in vain to remember any of the events from the preceeding night, a tiny memory, a speck of a collection, but there was nothing. And as these moments began to pass into a singularity, I could feel desperation start to sneak in.

“Lord, what is wrong with me?” I openly pleaded, as I looked to my right and noticed a full glass of water had taken up residence on my nightstand. Where did that come from? I thought. Oh Well, I need it, I'm parched. I sat halfway up, and snatched the glass of water from its perch and began to drink, after I was finished, I wiped my lip with the top of my sheet. That's better. I thought.

I felt a tiny bit better, my mouth was no longer dry, but my mind was still a stagnant mess. I needed time to get it together. I rubbed at my eyes again and attempted to concentrate. Not only was it completely useless trying to adjust to the familiar surroundings of my own bedroom, but I felt so off, and my mind was still completely fuzzy and unresponsive that it was totally impractical to even continue until I had more rest. It had only been a few minutes or so since I had first opened my eyes and these last few minutes seemed like an infinity.

A few minutes in hell, I thought. I closed my eyes again, but there would be no rest because in a split second, as soon as my eye lids shut, I would have an epiphany.

“That’s it!” I yelled, swiftly sitting up and swinging my legs onto the cold wooden floor. Dang! That's cold. I thought. This revelation was about to make some sense to me.

“I was drugged. . . we were drugged, we had to be, as I started to drum my hands on my thighs alittle, but with what? Some kind of sedative or maybe a concoction mixed from native plants from the nearby reservation?" I reasoned. 

Although this would seem like a long shot, there was no other reason for me to feel this way, like I was coming off some heavy sedation. I had felt like this before, but there was a medical reason for it, it did not come from out of nowhere like this, unless it was on purpose. I thought.

I sat on the edge of my bed and thought for a moment, trying to come up with a plausible explanation for why I was feeling this way, any other scenario would be ideal, something other than being me violated by someone or something, but there was nothing. This was my moment of clarity. But that moment of clarity would immediately reach its apex and be gone, when I realized that someone had done this to me and probably to my friends as well. I was really mad and felt my face start to heat up, feeling warm and flushed, I was getting pissed.

How dare they? But who? And why? I thought.

I sat for a minute and came to the conclusion that we had to be on to something, something important, something that someone didn’t want us finding out about, but at that moment, I wasn’t too concerned with why and how, I was more concerned with who. Questions began to pour into my head.

Who would want to hurt me? And if they were trying to hurt me, how did I get home, because I have no memory of getting home and why would they put me to bed? And give me water, and take my shoes off and put me under the covers. And surely they took everyone else home too? I theorized. And suddenly a sense of panic set in. I have to text them all now, I have to be sure.” I thought. I need to find my friends, now!

My heart began to race. But finding out who did this to me. . . to us, would have to wait, I desperately needed to contact my friends. I reached over to grab my cell phone to text my little cadre of best buddies and saw their messages. A sense of relief swept over me as I read they were all okay, but it had also happened to them: Waking up in their beds, shoes off, cell phone place next to them, glass of water on the nightstand. My heart slowed down a bit, but then immediately sped up again when I noticed that Johnathan had been trying to call me for the last hour, but somehow my ringer was turned to the off position.

“Weird.” I said out loud. I almost never turn my ringer off unless I have to. I thought.

My let my mind wonder for a minute and even though most of the events from last night was now no more than a faint blur, I did remember a few minor details, a few bits and pieces here and there. Then again, I had to ask myself, was this connected to our operation? Or was it just some random thought I had picked up along the way and now regurgitated back into my consciousness? I thought. I needed to check the DVR to see if the cameras were able to catch anything or anyone, but then again where they even turned on? And if they were surely, they were taken care of as well. I thought. My mind was a swirled mess of a check list.

Of the details about our investigation that I know happened that I did remember were mundane, but could be of importance later on perhaps, like, little portions from our meeting at school that day, all of us later meeting up and taking the ride in my van to the mansion, all of us laughing at Jonathan and his clumsy Slurpee spill at the Stop and Get and then us arriving on Hollow Way Road, traveling the mile and half up the winding road to the mansion and then setting our equipment up, I remembered this because we were short an extension cord and I remembered writing down for the next investigation and then nothing. And no matter how hard I tried I still couldn’t recall anything from the investigation itself or anything that happened afterward. It was like at the very moment we walked up the steps and over the threshold to begin, all of our instruments in place, everything becomes complete blank, a massive black space of nothingness. I stared off into space and started to get anxious, my heartbeat was beginning its fear marathon again as I tried like hell to relive those moments that could help us find out who had drugged us and why. I snapped back to reality and quickly stretched out my arms, cracked my knuckles and sent out a mass text letting them all know I was alright and that we would talk about what had happened later. Now, they are going to be anxious and want answers, I thought. But it would have to wait until my fuzzy brain was cleared.

I laid back down on my bed, put my feet up and turned over, sprawling my 6’2 frame in spread eagle formation, face down into the coldness of my pillow and closed my eyes. I laid there thinking, my nose covered in a cloud of pillow until I could no longer breathe and flipped over. I began, albeit in vain, to piece together any events or pieces of information from the preceding night that I could remember. I just needed to know what happened, it was frustrating and most of all, terrifying to know that this could have happened to us and the more I tried to think about it, the more my mind closed up becoming a jumbled up mess of thoughts and images. It was useless and scary because I didn't know if these images even belonged to what had happened. Must be a side effect of whatever they used to drug me. I reasoned. I didn’t know. And what I couldn’t get out of my mind and what freaked me out the most was how I ended up here in my house, in my bed, just like the others.

My heart began its ascent to marathon status again as I realized I had to tell my mom what had happened. How could I keep this from her? I reasoned. But right now, I needed to focus on finding some answers to what had happened and I did this by pondering any scenario, and by questioning everything and everyone, including all of us. Thinking to myself, did we go through the investigation and just found our way back to our homes all on our own and just not remember a single solitary detail? That couldn’t be right. I thought. Because surely one of us would have remembered something, even the tiniest detail and I’m sure they were just like me, completely clueless and useless.

I held my breath for a millisecond and let out a huge sigh and something strange happened, that huge breath triggered something deep within me. It was a weird inkling that penetrated my brain and vibrated within my ear. The only way to explain it was that a feeling of my own thoughts about the previous night now felt as though they were teetering on the edge of some ocean cliff and if I remembered anything that didn’t belong, in an instant these thoughts could come crashing down from that cliff and be swept away by the foamy ocean that lay beneath. I felt real uneasy about it and that was never a good sign, for me anyway. I always went with my gut feeling and my gut was screaming at me to remember anything that happened the night before, I just needed some sort of detail that could trigger a real memory, but right now . . . right at this moment in time, I remembered nothing.

Submitted: December 09, 2015

© Copyright 2021 TJ Taylor. All rights reserved.


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