Sovereign Visions Vol.2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Review Chain
And the story continues...

Submitted: April 03, 2016

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Submitted: April 03, 2016

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Damn! I’ve got to pee! And these potholes aren’t doing a thing for my bladder. We’ve been driving for an hour and a half and I know we’ve made at least four turns by now. I have no idea in which direction we’re headed. We had been headed east, but now… let’s just say I’m doing my best not to panic. Actually, I’ve been looking for a bright side to being tied up in the back of this trunk. At least I’m not hiding anymore. At least whatever unfortunate fate I was to suffer wasn’t too much further in front of me. I was just starting to get things rolling in a positive direction too. Oh well. This is real life. I honestly didn’t expect to make it that long anyway. I might as well continue with my story…
 
My drive home was miserable. I did my best to do the speed limit but my paranoia kept getting the best of me. I have no doubts as to why, with my habits and all, but it’s better with than without for me. I had gotten tired of hearing my own voice about fifteen minutes into it so most of the ride was in silence. I drove around my block and the three surrounding blocks to check for anything out of the ordinary. I was no spy, but as far as I could tell everything was surprisingly clear. But that didn’t mean someone hadn’t came and went. I parked a few blocks away where I knew the car wouldn’t get towed and walked towards the back of my house. When I got across the street I stood there as inconspicuous as possible though I most likely stuck out like a sore thumb. I waited for someone to make a move but it didn’t happen. I ran across the street and entered my house through the back door. I moved swiftly through the living room, careful not to touch anything. If someone had been there they were bound to come back, and I didn’t want it to look as if I had come home.
 
I made it to my room, slid open the secret door behind my closet, and paused on the spiral steps that led to the lab to take a breath. I quieted my breathing so as to listen for someone coming after me. Silence. I continued to the lab, breathing a huge sigh of relief that everything was in perfect condition and exactly where I left it. I set my bag on the table and unloaded the contents. I had plenty of ingredients for my vape, roughly twenty-thousand dollars, and a loaded .38 with twenty extra rounds. I went over to my desk to get that last piece of my survival kit. The DEVO. How could I make money off of that thing? I know what it CAN do, but what else can I MAKE it do that would earn me a hefty profit?
 
I checked the fridge I had downstairs to see how much food I had to survive on. I had some MRE’s the military had given to the fourth floor for a project we did for them a few years back. With that, and the frozen food and junk food I had stock pilled, I could eat comfortably for about three weeks without leaving. One bad case of the munchies could wipe out the entire stock though so I had to be careful. I then began working on my special liquid for my vaporizer. If I was going to be down there for such a long time I wanted to be prepared to relieve the stresses of it at anytime. From there, I needed to set up a way to search the web. I wanted to keep an eye out for any signs of someone coming after me. I couldn’t use my own Internet because that would set off an immediate red flag. After all, I was supposed to be dead. I rigged my modem to pick up a signal from as far away as Dream Tech. I searched until I found a server with a connection strong enough, but with enough traffic that my searches would blend in.
 
After all that, I finally sat back down with the DEVO. I was hoping some brilliant idea for the DEVO would pop into my head while I worked on everything else, but of course I thought of nothing. I was still sitting in the same position by the time nightfall came. No progress whatsoever. I was beginning to second guess everything. I had nothing, and technically no longer existed. What was the point of trying? I might as well walk straight into Dream Tech with a white flag and scream ‘come get me’. I guess the gravity of my situation was starting to sink in. What if I couldn’t come up with a way to make real money with the DEVO? Who knows how long it would take to get the kind of cash to really start a new life. I got up from my sulking and went to my coffee machine. I needed to snap out of it and get to work, but depression was fighting me with all its might.
 
I drank half my coffee and decided it was much to early to give up. I would wait until morning before I even thought about the DEVO again. I sat down in front of my laptop and began searching for anymore news about the fourth floor of Dream Tech. It was strange. I figured with that type of incident it would make national news, but it wasn’t mentioned at all. It wasn’t until I searched the local news website that I found something. The headline read, “Careless Mistake Leads to Toxic Tragedy”. It was apparent all the blame was being thrown on Monk. I wanted to know why but didn’t, couldn’t. I skipped the details to keep from getting angry about them running Monk’s name threw the mud. What I was really concerned about was the funeral service. I found what I was looking for at the bottom of the page. The funeral was to be held on April the 29, which was the next day. I got this like a pro wrestler had just landed some special move right onto my stomach as I read the arrangements. I was really reading about my own funeral. I wished there was a way to go there and get a peek at Peezy, but there was no way I could map out a decent plan with so little time. Then I saw a footnote a little further down the page. It read, ‘Due to the ongoing investigation, funeral arrangements have been moved to May the 5’. Perfect. They were going to bury me on my birthday.
 
I woke up the next morning from a nightmare, still sitting in front of my laptop. I had spent the rest of the night looking at old pictures of Peezy and fallen asleep. I dreamed it was her leg and her blood that had formed a stream and found its way to where I was crouched over at Brian’s station. I immediately went for a cup of coffee and took a grand hit from my vape to clear my mind.
 
After I got straightened out I went and sat down in front of the DEVO. After taking another long drag from my vape and staring at the DEVO for a half an hour I decided to take it apart and see what I can learn from the machine it self. I had to re-document everything from start to finish. It was tedious but I had nothing but time. By mid afternoon I had taken it apart and put it back together. Surprisingly I learned quite a bit from doing so and had written down a few things I wanted to try when it came to Monk’s vision of live dream watching. It wasn’t what I was hopping for but it was a start towards something. At this point I was floating in space trying to find something to steady myself with and had much more time than I wanted.
 
As time went on, I eventually took a break from working on the DEVO and took a look at the exit to the basement. It was still pretty well hidden from the outside as far as I could tell. It was dark when I snuck in so I couldn’t be so sure. The only thing I could do was secure it from the inside in case someone did find it and try and get in. I took a sip from my coffee and scanned the door over. “What can we do with you?” I said out loud for the first time since I’d been there. I looked down at my watch and sighed as I hadn’t realized how late it had gotten. I went over to the fridge and grabbed a two pack of frozen mini flat-bread pizza’s. I was just about to close the microwave door when I heard the sound of footsteps above me. I crouched down with the most terrifying feeling and did my best not to move. The foot steps moved from one end of the house to the other. I felt my heart rate start rising. It was beating so hard I could barely hear anything. My eye lids felt like iron plates. My palms began sweating profusely. I’d never known what a panic attack was until that moment.
 
I ducked my head between my knees and covered my ears, rocking back and forth steadily for I don’t know how long. When I finally uncovered my head I sat there motionless listening for movement. Silence. I needed to use the bathroom so bad it hurt but I wasn’t sold on moving just yet. I stood up quietly to check the microwave for the time. But it was still left open with the timer set. I turned and peaked around my workshop until I could get a good look at the clock. It was 4 A.M. I stood still for another thirty minutes only moving to stretch my legs. I still hadn’t forced myself to make the hike across the room to the bathroom. For all I knew, one step was all it would take to alarm whoever was up there but I finally decided to take the chance. It was that or let it go streaming down my leg.
 
I wish I had just skipped that part in the story. You have no idea how bad I have to pee. I’m doing my best not to move… deep breath, deep breath. The fetal position is the only thing saving me right now. Anyways…
 
 
I stepped as lightly as I could being the klutz I knew I was. I was bound to bump into something eventually so I took extra precaution. Thankfully I made it without incident. I relieved myself and decided the bathroom was as good a place as any to shack up for the night until I was for certain I could move freely again. I propped myself as best I could and eventually fell asleep.
 
When I woke again my legs were completely numb. The pain from the blood rushing back down my veins to my toes as I stood up was excruciating. I opened the door and took in the fresh basement smell that served as a treat to my nose after staying in the bathroom all night. The filtration system I had built for the bathroom led everything to small box that sat next to the toilet and had to be manually emptied of course. Thankfully, I only went number one all night. I listened for the sound of anyone in the house but the morning birds were all I could hear. I slowly made my way to my lab station to grab my phone. Surprisingly I made it across the room with out knocking anything over. That was until I reached for the phone and knocked it into everything I owned, causing a ruckus that deserved to get me caught. My eyes closed as I froze up waiting for an army of footsteps to begin moving on the floor above me. But nothing. When I opened my eyes I looked down and grabbed my phone. It was now 8 A.M. If anyone was coming I would have heard them by now. Maybe whoever it was left.
 
I walked around the basement quietly just to be safe. After a few puffs from my vape I decided to get to work on the DEVO. If I worked on it, it would distract me from the stresses of what my life had now become. I spent hours going over the work I had done the day before. I was making some headway but not enough to matter, at least I thought at the time. Actually, the more I worked the more I felt as if I was making no progress at all. I used to have a team I could bounce idea’s off of. I remembered the DEVO was a team project, even if I did have to take the seventy-three percent was accredited for.
 
I worked until dark and still got nowhere. The frustration was getting to me in ways I had never felt before. I couldn’t think clearly. Couldn’t focus. Honestly I was just scared, of everything and nothing. My world had come crashing down and I was hanging by a loose tooth. I kept a blowup mattress downstairs in case I ever felt the need to have a sleepover. Now that the basement was my temporary living quarters it was time to break it in. I found a spot next to the bathroom and plugged up the pump. When the pump came on I tensed up because of how loud it was. If anyone was listening there was no way they would miss it. THUMP THUMP. The sound of footsteps scared me so bad I fell over. I jumped up and cut the screaming pump off as fast as I could. The footsteps walked through the upstairs with no direction. I listened more intently for any sign of who exactly might be up there. No voices, just footsteps creaking through floor. Heavy footsteps pacing back and forth. And then they stopped.
 
I held my position for a while even after the silence. I was doing better with my anxiety but my palms were still sweating uncontrollably. I finally decided I would lie down on the blowup mattress even though it only had a breath of air in it. It was better than nothing. I was going to be down there until someone came and got me. I planned on waiting a long while so I would do it comfortably. I laid there listening doing my best to stay alert. I took a much needed puff from my vape. My stress began to fade as the intense buzz marined through my veins.  I thought of Monk and the crew from the fourth floor to pass the time and ease my nerves. Monk taught me how to drive and how to be a gentlemen. He taught me to always keep a pack of gum in my pocket, it could be me or her that needs it. And the crew, Brian and Josey, well, they were a good crew that is for certain. I continued to ponder about Monk and DEVO, but with the silence looming, I eventually drifted to sleep.
 
I woke up at my station at Dream Tech. All the lights were on and nothing was out of order, but no one was there but Brian and I. I looked down at my desk and saw the DEVO sitting there. I knew I needed to get to work and I was glad to be at Dream Tech doing it after a few days of being stuck in the basement and making no progress. I began going over my notes. I stumbled upon some new information written down in a foreign hand writing that was absolutely groundbreaking. I jumped up with excitement and wanted to get to lab D immediately, but my curiosity about who had written the notes was heavy on my mind. I made my way over to Brian’s station to ask him about the mysterious hand writing. “Brian. Do you know who wrote…” I started, but I didn’t see him sitting there when I made it to his station. “Brian quit playing you were just here,” I said waiting for him to pop out. When I started to turn back to my station I kicked something in my way. I looked down and saw a motionless leg and a pool of blood. I dropped to my knees with heartache when I turned a saw Peezy’s black hair lying perfectly still on the concrete. I started to reach for her to hold her in my arms but all the sudden I was stuck. Paralyzed from head to toe. I tried to speak but nothing came out. I kept trying my best to get to her but my body was failing me.
 
I sat straight in my flatten bed and covered my mouth. I was sweating from head to toe and was doing all I could to catch my breath without being loud. It was my mistake I had had a nightmare. I went to bed thinking about the past. The past can do more harm than good if you let it. I was trapped in my flat bed awake for the night knowing there was know way I was going back to sleep just to have another bad dream.
 
I sat there wondering what would happen if I just turned the air pump on and gave myself up. At least they would give me a mattress in prison if that’s where I was even going. Or maybe they would just get it over with quick and put me out of my misery. Then it dawned on me. This was two days in row there was footsteps upstairs late in the night. Whoever was after me knew I was there and was just spying on me. Or maybe that was the paranoia getting to me. All I knew is that everything I needed to have any chance at getting to Peezy and leaving Servanyia was here in the lab. I had no other options. But nothing, in my mind, on the fourth floor could have been that important to warrant being spied on, not even the DEVO.  I shook my head to rid it of the negativity building up. I’d never survive that way. I rubbed my hands through the short rugged hair that had started to grow beneath my chin. I had to get myself together and pull through.
 
After a few more hours of fighting off the bad thoughts, I finally dozed off for a few hours of uncomfortable sleep, before being woken up by the sounds of the birds singing the next morning. I sat up and stretched quietly listening for anyone upstairs. There was nothing, so I decided to get up and get to work, but not on the DEVO. The DEVO was causing me to much stress. I know it was the key to getting out of the basement but for right now I had needed to take a break. First things first I wanted to be prepared in case whoever came back again during the night. I turned on the pump and let its engine roar loud. It was a risky move but it felt good to do some rebelling at the moment. Next, I found the .38 and put it under my pillow. Like I said I wanted to be prepared.
 
After that was done I got back to the issue of reinforcing the basement door. There wasn’t much I could do as I had limited tools, so my best solution was to push the refrigerator in front of it. Unless someone planned on coming through with grenades it would definitely slow them down. When I looked up at the clock I realized very little time had passed. This day had the makings of a very long one indeed. I looked over at the DEVO and scoffed. The very thought of it had started to annoy me. I closed my eyes and envisioned throwing it across the room and watching it burst into a million pieces. That was the most peaceful thought I had had in days.
 
I decided to sit down at the computer and search for a good movie to keep me company and took keep my mind clear from the demise I had been facing as of late. I found a movie streaming site and locked in on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” It reminded me of when I was young. I had watched it over and over as a child but never really understood it until I was an adult. It was the perfect movie for me now. Roger’s gets framed for something he didn’t do and goes on an epic adventure to get his woman back. I get caught in the middle of something I didn’t ask for and now I’m struggling to figure out how to begin my quest for my woman. At least it was something I could laugh at. When it was over I watched it again, and then again. It was my most least productive day since everything happened at Dream Tech but I wasn’t the least bit upset about it. It was a much needed break.
 
As soon as the sun began to set I got myself in position for the night. The bed was firm and my .38 was loaded. If they came to spy on me again tonight, I was as ready as I was ever going to be. A few hours later as expected, the footsteps made their presence on the floor above. I sat there quietly, still waiting to hear anything that would give me a clue as to what was going on. Silence. The footsteps carried on. Back and forth they paced unlike the previous nights when the footsteps only lasted a short while. Back and forth. Was this the night they were to make their move on me? Why the cat and mouse game if it was to end so simply? Back and forth. Sweat began to form at the top of my brow as the footsteps made there way to my room upstairs. I steadied my breath as I felt the onsets of another panic attack. The footsteps stopped but only for a few seconds and they headed back out of my room. There was a loud crash that sounded like it was from inside the kitchen. I closed my eyes and took a long silent breath. When I opened my eyes I grabbed the .38 from under my pillow and checked to make sure it was still loaded. I was done playing the waiting game. If there was going to be a showdown I wanted to have rights to act one.
 
I stood up quietly in the dark listening for voices. Were they baiting me to come out? No. They were probably just getting sloppy and tired of waiting on me. But why were they waiting on me in the first place? My erratic thoughts were colliding with the paranoia and rage that had been building up inside me over the last few days. I griped the handle of my gun firmly and made my way to the steps.
 
My heart raced as I prepared myself to walk into my room and meet my enemy head on. I was past the point of being smart about things. I had to make a difference. I slid the door back quietly hoping to catch my opponent off guard. The room was dark and empty and practically untouched. There was actually dust starting to form on the picture of Peezy and I on my night stand. My hands were shaking like I had just stepped in from a blizzard. I continued quietly through my room. I stopped at the door and peaked out into the dark abyss that was the rest of the house. All the power was off besides the downstairs generator I used to power the lab, so the humidity had consumed the upstairs making it uneasy to breath. I started left towards my kitchen where I heard the loud bang. My fear, anxiety, and anger was starting to combine into a deadly toxin with each step.
 
I positioned myself on the wall outside the kitchen to collect myself before I went into blind battle. I heard the footsteps from the kitchen for the first time since I had been upstairs and they were moving my way. I readjusted my grip on the gun. I did my best to keep my eyes open as the footsteps walked out of the kitchen and right past me. “Stop, I’ve got a gun,” I yelled as I raised my .38 to the back of his head. He immediately paused dead in his tracks, standing as still as a deer in headlights. “Hands up,” I said, putting my meanest Clint Eastwood voice on. It was the best way to disguise the fear in my voice. The man complied but didn’t speak a word. “Who do you work for?” I demanded, but the man said nothing. A strong odor nearly knocked me back. When I moved my free hand to cover my nose the man made a quick move. “Ahh ahh. Please don’t make me,” I said thumbing back the hammer to let him know I meant business.
 
“Who do you work for? Who did this to me? Why did they go after Dream Tech?” I rambled off as the adrenaline rushed through my blood stream. I was losing it. The thought of Blake hitting the ground back at Dream Tech flashed into my head. Was I about to become a two time killer? I was still unsure about Blake’s death, but if this turns sour, there would be no doubt about it this time. During my moment of silence the man turned and tried to knock the gun out of my hand. He grabbed my wrist and we began to struggle ruthlessly for gun. I tripped him, taking us both to the floor. The man let out a loud moan as we hit the ground. I quickly regained control of the gun and pointed it at his chin as I slid my knee over his chest to hold him down. The man struggled for a moment trying to break free. The look in his eyes as he felt my knee begin crush his chest was terrifying. “Alright man, I’ll leave. Just let me get my stuff out the kitchen. Just please don’t shoot me. You don’t want to shoot a homeless man do you?” . I eased up as I tried to comprehend what he had just said. Homeless? That explained the smell. I jumped up and off of him as quickly as I could.
 
“What are you doing here?” I asked him as I finally lowered my weapon, but held my grip tight. “This guy Kilae Kippenwagon or something crazy like that died and this is his place. I seen it in the paper. I hadn’t noticed anybody else here but I’ll leave if it really means that much to you,” he said still lying on the ground from our tussle. I was confused to say the least but relieved he said he was a homeless person and not from some government agency. My paranoia was absolutely getting the best of me. I stuck my free hand out to help the man up. His odor smacked me in the face like and open palm from my grandmother the time I stole her teeth while she was sleeping. Once I got past the smell I decided I might pick his brain a bit more about him being here.
 
“So you scoped out the place before you came huh?” I asked as I took a few steps back in the black. “Oh yeah. Since the day after the accident. Ain’t nobody had come and gone that I’d seen. So I selected this stack of bricks as my domain. When did you get here, exactly?” he muttered on. I caught a sniff of alcohol masked behind his stink as he spoke. He was beginning to fit the description of a typical homeless person in my eyes, but at least he was unknowingly providing me with useful information. It was good to hear that no one had been to my house but it was gut wrenching to hear him talk about me like I was dead. By that point I realized I had to be numb.
 
“I got here a few days ago. I do apologize for the gun,” I said as I finally rested the gun in the back of my jeans. “Oh it’s OK Slim. Ain’t the first time, wont be the last. But anyway, like I was saying, where did you come from. I didn’t think anybody else was here. What are you like Batman or something? You a little small to be Batman though,” he said as I could tell he was studying me as best he could. I chuckled a little at his batman reference seeing as though imagine my lab to be my bat cave. “Yes indeed I am too small to be Batman. And no you don’t have to leave. I’m downstairs. This is your floor,” I said to him feeling like I was doing a good deed. I could see his teeth shining bright like star in the desert sky when he smiled at what he heard.
 
I started to head back to my room to sneak back downstairs but an idea came to me as I walked by the dusty picture of Peezy and I. I wanted nothing more than to speak to her but that was out of the question. What if the homeless man could talk to her for me. Or at least spy on her for me. “Hey don’t take off tomorrow. I might have a job for you if you’re interested,” I yelled to him as I turned around. “You mean like for money? Cause I ain’t into all that banging fists if you know what I mean,” he replied back with amusement in his voice but I could tell he was serious. “Oh my. Yes of course I mean for money,” I replied skeptically wondering if this was a good idea. “You got it Slim. I’ll be here,” he replied before slipping back off into the kitchen and the darkness that consumed it.
 
I made my way back downstairs without the man seeing how to get down there. I didn’t have to but I laid back down on my mattress, replacing the .38 underneath my pillow. I was looking forward to getting some sleep without having to keep one eye open. The homeless man’s footsteps would alert me to any danger the way a watchdog’s bark would. He was the first pawn I had been given is this ultimate game of chess. The only question that remained unanswered was who I was actually playing against.
 
The optimism of what I may be able get the homeless man to do for me in the coming days kept my thoughts from turning dark. I needed to get some sleep for my own sanity though. It would help with all this paranoia I had been feeling although I felt as comfortable as I could be for the moment. Whether it was natural or I tricked myself into it wasn’t any of my concern. I drifted to sleep with ease for the first time in a long time.
 
The next morning I again woke up to the sound of singing birds, but this time it was much more pleasant than before. I got myself together and headed upstairs to meet with the homeless man. I had went over it in my head the night before and decided it would best to send him on a simpler task than spying on Peezy. I didn’t trust him enough for that just yet. I had decided to send him on a trip to the supermarket to buy us some food and supplies, most importantly some no rinse soap.
 
“There he is,” the man yelled out to me as I entered the living room. I stayed crouched down below the windows just in case anyone was watching and found a place to sit on the floor behind the couch. It was strange to be sneaking around in my own house, and that this was the first time I had seen daylight in a long while. It was damn near blinding. “Name’s Wallace by the way. I’m pleased to have met your acquaintance,” he said with a huge smile as he looked down on me. It was refreshing to be around someone who seemed so happy, especially given his situation. His tan gleamed in the light and he spoke smoothly as he began babel on about how nice the house was. After we got past the small talk though I gave him instructions and a list with a bit of cash to go to the store. I had no way of knowing whether or not he would come back, but it was worth a shot since I really had no other options.
 
I got back downstairs and began to pace frantically. This could really be a big deal. If he came back with the supplies he could prove himself to be an asset. Time moved by slowly as I waited for Wallace to return. I contemplated picking up the DEVO but thought better of it. I didn’t need anymore added stress. An hour went by. No Wallace. I was beginning to worry. Had I just messed everything up for myself? Maybe Wallace had put two and two together, figured out who I was, and told the authorities. All I could do was wait. Another thirty minutes went by. Still no sound of Wallace’s footsteps. My palms were sweating so bad I would consider it rude of me to shake someone’s hand. The waiting game was not for me.
 
THUMP. THUMP. Finally I heard that familiar sound and ran for the staircase. I paused when I got to the top. Was I sure it was going to be Wallace? No. But there was no time to second guess myself now. I opened the door, crouched down, and headed towards the living room. “You don’t plan on standing up do you?” Wallace asked as he carried the bags through the house to the kitchen. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to explain why I was crouching and I also didn’t mind being a bit of a mystery to Wallace either. I continued to the kitchen and moved everything to the floor. To my surprise he got everything on the list, except my Wasabi Ginger potato chips. I really wanted them though. Either way I couldn’t be happier now that I had some extra food to eat and both Wallace and I would be able to bathe.
 
Sitting there underneath my pile of groceries felt like a small victory and I owed that to Wallace. “I appreciate you going and doing that. The change is yours,” I said to him as I sat there and basked in the moment. “Ain’t no problem. I figure you got something going on. I been there. I know how it is,” he said comforting me. It was strange how good natured Wallace was, again given his situation. It could be because of the thirty dollar tip I had just given him but that didn’t bother me one bit. Loneliness creeps up on you fast when you’re in a situation such as mine.
 
“You want to have lunch with me Wallace?” I asked as I unpacked a box of ready made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. “Toss me a juice box would you,” I then said as I unwrapped the first sandwich and took a bite. Wallace grabbed the juice and came and stood next to me. “So what’s you’re story Wallace. It’s been a while since I’ve had any conversation. Tell me something good. Balls in your court,” I said. “Oh you one of them smart mofo’s ain’t you. That’s alright. OK. I used to be Wallace Bowlee formally with the Servanyia Knight’s,” he started but I had to interrupt him. “THE Wallace Bowlee? Like, used to attend South Servanyia high school. That Wallace Bowlee?” I asked as my jaw fell to the ground. “Yeah that’s me. I had it all. Money, cars, women. Til I blew out my knee. Was a slippery slope from there,” he said as his upbeat spirit began to drain a bit.
 
I was very intrigued by his story and wanted to hear more but the longer I sat there provided more of a chance of being seen. Just because Wallace had said he hadn’t seen anyone didn’t mean there wasn’t someone watching. “I’m sorry to hear that. I’m starting to see just how bad life can get myself,” I said sympathizing with him. We finished our sandwiches in silence. Before we went our separate ways, I took a bottle soap from a bag and left it on the floor where I was sitting. “Use that,” I said to him before heading back to the basement.
 
When I got back to the basement I decided it was time to get back to work on the DEVO. I took a puff from my vape and sat down with all my work. I still hadn’t figured out how to view the live dreams. I couldn’t quite put my finger on just what it was that was holding me back because it could be so many things. So I came up with the plan of process of elimination. It would take some time but at least it would keep me busy.
 
For the next day and a half I worked on the DEVO. Everything was fine, except for Wallace and his damn pacing. Back and forth and back and forth. I wanted to go up there and strap him to the recliner but still felt bad for pulling my gun on him. Every time I’d think he was done, he’d get up and again and pace around the entire house again. It was so annoying I went through two full vaporizer’s. But none the less I did make some progress with the DEVO.
 
I was actually feeling kind of perky by the time nightfall came because of my success. So I decided to go and make conversation with Wallace. He was pacing in the kitchen when I found him. “Hey hey. What you up to,” I said shooting him the double pistols. “Ah just thinking and what not,” he replied having not regained the pep in his voice. “What about? Enlighten me,” I replied as I sat down and crossed my legs Indian style. “Life. Life has got me thinking. I don’t know what you have going on but I know it’s not going to be a walk in the park. But you just gotta push through. Even on my way to the top nothing was easy. I worked hard for everything. And then it was all gone in the blink of an eye. No more ball, no more friends. After a while the money was as dry as Dorthy from the Golden Girls. But you gotta push through. And do you think learning to make it with nothing after having it all was easy. Hell no. That was more like walking through hell on earth as the Christians would say. Shit, if I gave you the grimiest details you might not look at me like a man anymore. But I’m still here. I’m still standing here with my head held high, both middle fingers in the air. Cause I’m still pushing through. Well I keep telling myself that anyway. You feel Slim,” he said as I was truly taken aback at the knowledge he spoke, words I will never forget.
 
He took a liquor bottle from his jacket and took a swig. I heard the drink swish around the bottom of the bottle as he let out a big sigh of satisfaction. “I’m going to bed if you don’t mind,” he said as he disappeared in the darkness. I didn’t mind at all. Everything he said was comforting, topping off one of the better days I had had in a while. I went down to the basement, took a puff from my vape and fell asleep watching Roger Rabbit.
 
 
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The car Kik had been trapped in began to slow down and eventually came to a stop in an open, half empty parking lot. Any ounce of calm and courage he had left fizzled to nothing as he heard the two men that captured him get out of the car. Both of them exited the car like drones. They both pulled boxes a cigarettes from their blazer jackets, lighting their blue tipped cancer sticks simultaneously. “You needed that didn’t you Price,” the driver asked in a funny English accent as he blew out a gargantuan puff of nose rotting smoke. “Sure thing Money. Needed it,” the passenger said as they robotically threw their cigarettes out and made there way to the trunk. “Flip a coin?” Price asked as they stood there stiffly. Their outfits where the same down to the tie-dye shirts under their jackets although Money’s short round frame was much more noticeable standing next to Price’s thin physique. Money scratched his beard while Price scratched his goatee. Money tossed a coin into the air. A single street light gave them just enough light to watch the coin as it flipped slowly. “Tails,” Price called out just before Money caught it. He flipped the coined over in his hand and revealed the tails side. “Bullocks. I wanted this one,” Money griped as he turned and open the trunk for Price.
 
Kik jumped as the trunk door popped open. He took in the fresh air but only rejoiced for a moment as he began squalling around in a panic. Price leaned down and grabbed Kik by the collar of his shirt pulling him to a sitting position, “Ah yes. I knew you’d be a squirmy one.” Price’s strength was very deceptive as he lifted him up with ease. Kik continued to struggle, gasping for fresh air through the bag over his head. “You always get the squirmy one’s you lucky bastard,” Money again griped as he adjusted his brown Kangol hat and folded his arms. “You hear that my boy, I always get the squirmy ones. Which means by now, I know just what I like to do with them,” Price said as held him close enough to impose his tar breath through the bag over Kik’s head. “You’re gonna love this part mate,” Price whispered as he threw his head into Kik’s causing blood to skirt from his nose. Kik’s head fell back as blood poured into his mouth. He tried his best to remain conscious, but the blow had done it’s job.
 
Price pulled Kik’s limp body from the trunk and let him fall to the ground. “Oh no. If you think you’re getting the leg’s you’ve lost you’re marbles. I’m not carrying his head with his nose leaking like a bloody faucet,” Money said as he brushed Price’s smaller frame out of the way. The two of them then picked Kik up and carried him inside what looked to be an abandoned building.
 
They carried him inside and into an elevator. The bell that rung when the elevator door opened brought Kik back to semi-consciousness. The taste of his own blood was more foul than anything he had tasted. The ringing in Kik’s head was painful. The two men drug him from the elevator careful enough to knock his head against the door on the way out. They slapped him down in a chair in a room across the hall. Money then ripped the bag from Kik’s head violently. “Hello sweetheart!” Money said to him with a slick grin on his face before launching a heavy fist into the right side of his abdomen. Kik let out a loud groan that seemed to amuse both Money and Price. “Oh this is going to be fun. He’s not even trying to hold it in. And look, he’s peed on hisself. I thought I smelled something funny,” Price said as he laughed. Kik gasped as he tried to catch his breath. He kept his eyes closed from the blinding fluorescent light. Money walked over to the other side of Kik and and placed a hand on his shoulder. “If you think I’m going to take it easier on you because you’re wearing a skirt, you’ve got another thing coming to you,” he said before launching his other fist into the other side of his stomach. The two men took turns beating on Kik, oddly enough, they argued about whether or not Tennis should be an Olympic sport or not. By the time they finished Kik’s face was swollen to hell and at least three of his ribs were fractured.
 
The sound of footsteps entering the room brought everything to a halt. “Oh you’ve really gone and done it now,” Money said as they all felt the presence of the man that had entered the room. “That’ll be all fellas. I believe you’re needed upstairs,” the man said. Kik did his best to see the man but his vision was to blurred to get a good look at him. The silence was deafening as Money and Price left the room and closed the door behind them. The tall man stood there with such confidence. He owned the room without paying a dime. He slipped the bag back over Kik's head and leaned down next to him. “What do you know about the DEVO?” the man asked calmly. Kik tried to shake his head but only twitched. Kik was bleeding badly and his pain was pushing him to the point of blacking out. “OK. OK. Keep it together. Can you stand?” the man now asked Kik. Kik again tried to nod his head to answer but only twitched.
 
The man helped Kik up. Kik struggled to stay on his feet but he remembered the speech his friend Wallace had given him about pushing through. The two of them struggled to the door of the room. The man peaked out to see if anyone was watching and when the coast was clear he helped Kik across the hall and back into the elevator. Kik’s heart was racing as he did his best to stay upright. When they reached the bottom floor they hurried as fast as they could to the parking lot. When they got to the man’s car he popped the trunk. “In you go,” the man said as Kik began to gasp for air at the thought of being locked in the trunk of a car again. “No. Please no,” Kik managed to mutter but the man was impatient. He pushed Kik into the trunk and threw a blanket over top of him. “The red eye will shine it’s light upon you,” the man said and slammed the trunk shut.
 
 
 
 
© Copyright 2016 Taylor Joel. All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2019 Taylor Joel. All rights reserved.

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