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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2192131-Out-of-time-out-of-place
Rated: 18+ · Novel · Sci-fi · #2192131
The beginning of my character’s adventures.
I can almost feel it as they move around me. I wish they’d get to it already, I hate waiting. From nowhere a voice booms “Even in dreams you act like a child.” Wait, I’m dreaming? With that realization I promptly fall off my perch, as if remembering that a normal person can’t balance like that suddenly made it impossible. Now staring up at the darkened sky from my new perch, on my back, on the ground. “Must you ruin every dream, would it be too much for you to announce yourself in a way that allowed me to maintain at least some dignity?” For the past year this has been happening, bouts of lucid dreaming, one moment I’m fighting ninjas, dinosaurs, or what have you. The next I have a voice “From fucking nowhere!!” Giving me shit for the dreams I have. The fact that every time she pops up, I’m fairly sure the voice is female, I end up on my ass is becoming bothersome. “Boy, just so you know, I am close enough that I can hear what you’re thinking now. Are you just going to lay in the dirt for the rest of your dream?” I’m being chided by a voice in my head. “It’s my dream, I’ll lay in the dirt if I want to.” That sounded petulant, even to me.

Well, I might as well figure out what she wants this time. I get up, brush off the dream dirt I picked up during my stay on the ground. It dawns on me that the dirt isn’t actually there, and I can’t help smiling at that. “Okay, what are we doing today? I was enjoying that dream I’ll have you know.” I said, making sure the statement is dripping with snark. The irony of trying to be witty in a conversation in my own head is not lost on me, but when in Rome.... “I’ll have you know I am no mere voice in your head, but you’ll find that out soon enough.” Ok, fine, I’ll bite. “So enlighten me, if you’re not a voice in my head, what are you?” After a few moments of silence she replies. “I am the only reason you’re alive, but I don’t expect you to believe that until we meet. You always were the suspicious sort.” She had me there. “Is it easier to believe you’re a voice in my head over being a voice from beyond you know.” I stated simply. “Boy, what you choose to believe is more you’re problem, than mine, as I said, you’ll soon be finding that out on your own. I wanted to talk to you once more before we meet, we won’t be speaking for quite awhile after, by your standards anyway, though I doubt you’ll notice.” Ok, that piqued my curiosity. “So we’ll be doing what exactly? Meeting up for a coffee at Timmy’s?” I said trying to cover how uncomfortable this conversation was starting to make me. From above me a giant face began to form almost filling the sky. At that point I was certain of two things; the voice in my head was most definitely female, and that giant faces forming in the sky above me makes my heart wish it could jump out of my ass, and hide under the bed I know I must be on. “Ok, that’s unnerving.” I said mustering all the calm I had just to keep my legs under me. “I find showing is better than telling, you’ll find out soon enough. Until then I do have one last thing to tell you.” Having a conversation with a giant face in the sky is so much more surreal than it sounds. “Which is?” I ask not entirely sure I want an answer. I see her mouth open to speak, but what comes out were not words. “WONK, WONK, WONK, WONK!!!”

I awake shooting out of bed as if I was a bullet from a gun. I grab the dresser to steady myself while the rest of me finishes waking up. In the background I can still hear the alarm wonking away. “These blasted dreams are starting to be getting a bit much.” I state as I make my way to the bathroom to get ready for work. I’ll take this time to introduce myself, it would be impolite to allow strangers to watch me shower anyway. My name is Jacob Tavner, and I am pretty much a nobody. Just a fella who was too cool for school, and found himself doing one dead end job after another. Used to doing heavy labour work, and it pays me well enough that I can eat, play, and pay rent, so I can’t complain. Also keeps me in tip top shape. Sadly not enough to impress my mother, but that’s another story. I keep an eye on the clock as I dress, I best motor, or I’m going to miss the bus. Last thing I need is Frank throwing more Italian expletives at me, having someone swear at me, him more so than others, stresses me out. While making my mad dash to the bus stop I do wonder where I could have taken myself if I used any of that “potential” I was told I had. Not much to tell on the trip to work, a woman’s giggling informed me that my fly was down, yup, today is Monday alright.

I arrive on time, so that should mean that my day should pass by without too much trauma. No sooner do I walk through the gateway to the lumber yard I work at do I get treated to a sound that I can only describe as a herd of cement trucks trying to sing in unison. “Jake!! Why do I keep you here?! There are trusses in the back of the yard that were left in the rain all last night. Wasn’t it your job to take care of that?” Yard foremans, it is their sworn duty to find someone to pin the stuff that goes sideways on. “No Frank, you had me taking inventory on the new insulation that just came in. I’m still itchy by the way.” I’m not lying, I hate working with that fiberglass crap. Gives me hives just looking at it. “Whatever, just get it into the warehouse, and out of the water before it warps.” Frank said sounding as indignant as possible. “Aye, aye capt’n, ‘tis my honor to serve.” I said with a salute just for the added flourish before marching off. “Less babbling, and more working. I want it done before lunch.” He yells after me. I’ll spare you the details of lugging large wooden objects from one place to another, it is exactly as much fun as it sounds, but it’s what keeps me in food. Little did I know it was the to be the last job I’d be given.

An hour after arriving at work I started to get the most odd, and distracting sensation, the only way to describe it was that it was like my whole brain had begun to itch. It wasn’t my scalp, it came from within my head. Picture being in one of those situations where you need to scratch your ass, but can’t because you have company. After an hour of it starting I was wishing I could get under my skull like it was a cast on your arm, or leg, anything just to make it stop. Two hours later the itching had started to taper off, but in its place was white noise, only I didn’t hear it so much as feel it. Not painful, but quite distracting, and it was slowing me down. When I finished moving the last truss I was debating whether, or not to see if I could take a sick day, I never get sick, but I’ve never felt anything like this before. I found Frank tormenting one of the new guys, I’m telling ya, he either needs a date, or an enema. “Frank!!” I call out. “WHAT!? This better mean you’re finished!” My idol, and inspiration ladies, and gentlemen. I want to be just like him when I grow small. No sooner do I open my mouth to ask if I could take the rest of the day off do I see every ounce of colour drain from his face. He just stands there like he’s a goldfish with his mouth opening, and closing. All of a sudden everything gets real dark. Odd, there was hardly a cloud out today, nor do I think they were calling for rain. I turn to look, and very quickly find out where Frank’s colour got to. It was no cloud, just a big dark thing in the sky blocking out the sun. I had never seen anything like it before, it was unlikely anyone has, at least not since the dinosaurs.

All I could do was stare at this giant rock as it came to wipe us all out, humanity, everything we as a species have done was coming to an end right before my eyes. The irony of something so complex as us being brought to an end by something so simple as a big stone, if I weren’t so terrified I would laugh at it. “Boy, there is nothing simple about me.” That voice, from my dreams, how? Am I still dreaming? Ohh please let me be dreaming. “This is no dream, and you out of all your kind have nothing to fear from me, this is what I designed you........ this isn’t right, there should be no resistance.” Around me the world erupted into chaos, everyone was running, and screaming, Frank was curled into fetal position rocking back, and fourth, and babbling to himself. My mind reeled as I tried to take everything in, the dream lady’s voice made me question my sanity, no better time to lose it than right before we all die. “No!! You will not die. You are mine, I will not be denied after all these centuries of planning. Plans have changed however, this will hurt so you will just have to bear with it. I told you, you would not believe me unless you saw with your own eyes.” My mind raced to make sense of any of this, the voice from my dreams was some asteroid? I much preferred thinking my sanity was leaving me. “Think what you will, if you would hold still please.” As if following commands I didn’t give it my body just froze in place, and all I could do was stare as shining blue cracks formed on the surface of the descending asteroid. A moment later it came apart as if made of shattered glass. Rooted in place all I could do was watch as one large bit of the weirdly smoking rubble came streaking directly at me. I wanted to run, I wanted to do anything, but stay where I was, but I couldn’t get my body to function as I wanted it to. Seconds before impact I saw it burst like it was made of blackened water, I felt it cover me, I felt a tremendous burning, then I felt nothing at all.

“That’s my boy, you get those neurons of your’s working again. Glad you were able to join me again, it was touch, and go for quite some time.” I knew I was awake, but that was about all I was sure of, I also knew I had pain, but I couldn’t be sure where the pain was. I tried to rub my eyes, only to find that I either had no hand to rub my eyes with, or I had no head to touch. “Wha, what’s going on? I can’t feel anything. Hey, you burned me!!” I yelled into the black that surrounded me. “Is this another dream?” I was desperately trying to make sense of my last few memories before passing out. “Settle yourself boy, panicking won’t serve you well here.” Her statement certainly raises a relevant question. “Where is here?” I couldn’t tell if I was thinking it, or speaking it, I really don’t like this. “This is us...... me. Before what you know as the universe started there was just me, one consciousness. I didn’t even know I was alive until everything started.” Suddenly there was a flash so bright that I’m sure even if I had eyes to close it would have blinded me, I heard what seemed to start as one scream, but quickly turned into hundreds, then thousands. “I was just a mass, with nothing to interact with I hardly knew I was alive, I can’t tell you how long I was like that, what you’re seeing is my first real memory, light, pain, and destruction, it spread out from within me outward. It broke me apart, I became we, parts of me remained, each fragment that survived the initial blast became our own mind.” My mind was reeling as I tried to take in what I was looking at. “Is this the beginning of the universe?” Awe couldn’t even describe what I was feeling, I was witnessing the beginning of...... everything. The blinding wave of destruction spread out in every direction, leaving so little in its wake, but I could certainly make out surviving fragments spinning in the void it left behind.

“I have no idea how, or why it happened, just that it did. In the void that was left the universe you know took up residence.” I watched as the blast wave disappeared from view, in the dark left behind lights began to flicker on. This was getting frustrating, in as much as I enjoy a good movie, I was getting no answers to my current situation. It was like being stuck in your own IMAX experience, I could see everything around me, but I couldn’t move, or do much of anything beyond look around. I like backstory as much as anyone, but I really need to find out what happened to me, and why I can’t feel my body. “I’m running it through its final checks before you take over.” Having my thoughts read was beginning to grate on my nerves. “Your nerves are hardly my priority at the moment.” And that folks, is the sound of my final nerve giving out. “FUCK THIS!!! Let me out!! I can’t move, I can’t feel anything, what have you done to.... AARRRGH!!!” Pain the likes of which I have never known seemed to flow straight through me. I could feel her presence all around me choking off any remaining complaints I may have had. “Are you quite through with your temper tantrum, or do you need another demonstration of my ability to focus your attention?” My seething aside, she had me, I have no idea what was going on, or even where I was, if I’m going to learn anything I’m going to need this lady to tell me. “A Lady am I? You fleshy things do like your titles don’t you? Very well, I accept your title for me, you may call me Lady, as in your Lady, you, and I are bound now.”

Well that cleared nothing up, it’s all I can do to keep from panicking, yet I don’t feel my heart pounding, just a lot of nothing. “Will I be able move soon, or are you pausing for dramatic effect?” From nowhere I got a sense of amusement, but not my own. This is entirely too strange, I’m as far from amused as anyone can be, yet I’m picking up the emotion. “That would be my amusement you feel, get used to that. Now keep calm, I need to finish dropping the remaining defenses.” I’m picking up on what she’s feeling? I’m not liking the implications of this. “Don’t fret so much, we’ll get along fine, I did have you designed after all, didn’t expect you to be male, but no one is perfect, so I won’t hold it against you. Now brace yourself.” From feeling nothing I was jolted to feeling absolutely everything. “GAHH!! Too bright, too bright!!” Ok, wasn’t expecting to open my eyes staring into what looked like the heart of a supernova, good to hear my own voice again. Let’s get the elephant in the room squared away first. “Explain how I’m designed, please?” No sooner was the question out, then I began to feel a lot of tension that wasn’t my own, this feeling the echoes of her emotions bit is gonna get old fast.

“Is something wrong?” I could almost taste her trepidation. “I didn’t expect these guys to show up quite yet, your eyes haven’t had enough time to adjust, and I doubt the natives will be happy to see us.” Natives? There isn’t a reservation around for miles, did I miss something? “No time boy, here, look for yourself.” Without even opening my eyes I was able to suddenly see. I was in the middle of a crater, it was as deep as I was tall, and at least 40 feet wide, and I am looking at myself. Rather than curl up into fetal position, and begin sucking my thumb as was my first instinct, I couldn’t help, but notice movement to my right at the edge of the clearing we were in, those are some funky looking trees. I felt my stomach drop at the sight of what walked into the clearing. Ok, let’s do a checklist. I just woke up, I still have my work clothes on, I can see without opening my eyes, and I’m about to be put through a meat grinder by three 8 foot tall things that looked like someone managed to get a gorilla, and an iguana to reproduce. I’m either dreaming, or this is the worst hallucination, ever. “Boy....... Jacob, I need you to focus, you need to deal with this.” She says that so easily, like she was just asking me to pop down to the store for a few bags of milk. I was just at work, now I'm stuck in this Survivor show wet dream. “RAHH-G-G-G-G!!” That can’t be a good sound, sounds angry. “Well, if this is real it won’t last long enough to matter.” For the first time since this nightmare started Lady sounded concerned. “Jacob, you need to move, they’ve caught our scent, and I’m fairly certain they can do some serious damage if all you do is sit here.” Underneath me the ground was quite smooth, one could almost curl up, and take a nap. “Princess, Lady, whatever the fuck you wanna call yourself, I’m done, I know I can’t fight those........ things. Until things make sense I’m not doing a damn thing except watch the show.” Her frustration was growing, and those Apezilla things are fast, won’t be long now. “You want real, fine, we do this my way.” She stated simply.

From nowhere I heard a voice I had hoped to never hear again. “You were always useless, just going to sit there, and die?” Fear grips me, not him, not again. “You worthless little nobody, you were never worth the effort your mother put into you” No, this will never happen again. I force my eyes open, the light stung mightily, but at least I can see with my own eyes. Just in time for the beating to start apparently. The backhand hit me so hard it launched me through the air, all I heard was the whistle of air, and the sound of splintering wood. Suddenly I was 8 again, with fists falling on me like rain. I was surrounded by three of him, one after after another pounding be back down every time I tried to get up. “You worthless, weak willed little nothing.” It wasn’t that he hit me, or what he called me that set me off, it was the sound of my mother’s whimper in the background. The pain stopped mattering, I was never going to listen to that sound again. I kicked out, and heard the sound, of breaking bone, and a scream. “NEVER AGAIN!!” I screamed at no one in particular, and launched myself at the first body I could see, the force of the impact carried us back into the clearing, I could feel him clawing at my back, the pain just fueled me at this point. I rammed my head into his face, once, twice, three times, I lost count, all I heard was the wet crunch of bone by the time something hit me, launching us in a new direction. The moment we landed I lashed out with everything I had, it was only a glancing blow, but it gave me an opening. I began raining down fists of my own. I just wanted to dish out as much pain as I could, the power I felt was unbelievable. I don’t know how long I was there just punching, and kicking, but what I was pounding on had long since stopped moving by the time I started hearing Lady’s voice again, snapping me back to the present.

Shakily I stand, reaching for a nearby by tree to brace myself against, I steady my breathing, and wait for the shakes that always come with the adrenaline leaving my system. My mind reels as I try to take in what just happened. She’s been in my memories, and I will not let that go. “You will never do that again.” I state coldly. “I am not a puppet you can make dance to your tune, those memories are off limits! You do that again, and I will dig you out of my head. By hand if need be!!” All the old anger begins bubbling out of me, and for a moment I am a child once more. “Do you understand?! NEVER!!” To make my point I lash out, expecting to hit nothing, but what should have been an unyielding tree. The sound of splintering wood fills my ears once more, and I stand in shock at what should have been impossible for me to pull off. With a swing of my arm I caused the tree to snap as if it were kindling. My mind was just numb, trying to take everything in. “The Apezillas, there’s no way I could have.....” I let my voice trail off as I look behind me. I was always stronger than I looked, but there was no way I could do any of this. “What have you done to me?” My voice almost a whisper. The closest of them still had legs, but that was the only part of its body I could identify. I felt my stomach lurch, and quickly turned, holding the stump of the tree I just snapped, I began dry heaving. Nothing came out, but the spasms kept coming. I never did care for the sight of blood, and there was no shortage of it here. “What am I? What did you make me?” I just wanted to go home, play a video game, make a sandwich, do anything that would make the world seem normal again. After a moment I hear her voice. “There is no home anymore boy, I did what I could to keep you from harm, but none of this went as I planned, centuries of planning undone in a moment.” I needed my life to make some kind of sense again, and she was the only one who knew what I was missing. Still shaking I turned, and sat on the ground with my back to the stump. I need to know how far down this rabbit hole I was. I take a deep breath, and began a conversation I knew I was going to regret. “Let’s start with how I am a creation of your’s, and work our way to this point, and take your time, it seems we have some time together.” Good, make jokes, humour always makes bitter pills easier to swallow, and I was fairly certain there wasn’t much I was going like about any of this.

From above me I hear her voice. “I am sorry it came to this, I knew things would get messy when I arrived, but I never expected this.” I pick up on how truly sorry she was, but I’m not after apologies. “I understand you’re sorry Lady, but I want to know how we got the the point that you became sorry. You made me, how? Why?” I glance up, and see a face I had only until now seen in my dreams. She was beautiful, and she had a body to match. It looked like she was made entirely of shadow, almost featureless, save for her eyes, mouth, and hair, which almost seemed to flow like water, rather than drift in the air. Sitting in the tree, facing me, her legs swayed back, and fourth as she considered how to continue. “I am old, so very much older than anything you have ever seen, older than your sun, older than your galaxy, older than your universe. For billions of years I just drifted in a big empty nothing, my only memory was pain, for billions of years I just drifted, confused as to what I was, why I was alive. I watched as galaxies formed, close enough to see, but too far away to touch. I was curious, so I set course for this one, and slept. When you’re a big rock in space, you tend to take a lot of naps. I awoke when I was able to touch the first stars at the outer rim of your galaxy, your dinosaurs were just in their infancy. It was the first time I had been able to feel anything outside of the nothing that is intergalactic space.” In as much as I hated interrupting, “So you were alone? We’re there no others like you floating about?” Again, she sat silently considering me before answering me. “Understand, any others like me came from the same place I did, what kind of talk could you have with yourself? We were all newborns, none of us knew the others were any different, by the time I had anything to say we had long since gone our separate ways. I can feel there are others like me out there, but too far to effectively communicate. We needed separate experiences in order to become our own beings rather than the single mind we came from. My mind reeled at all of this, it was like I had taken my independence for granted. From the moment I was born, I had others to interact with, how does one develop personality surrounded by nothing? She continued. “The first time I was able to touch other life it frightened me, so many minds, all brimming with experiences, desires, love, hate, rage, humour. It was like nothing I had ever had contact with, I couldn’t get away fast enough, it was too much, but I was curious.” Ok I gotta ask, “I’m assuming that would be us?” I could see her sigh visibly before moving on. “Boy, have you looked up? The stars you can see hardly even makes up a fraction of what’s out there, it is pure arrogance that so many of your people think they are the only life in the universe. I only found this planet, and your people about a hundred thousand years ago, give, or take a few thousand years. I came here because this was the direction I was drifting in.” Aliens, huh, my curiosity was most certainly piqued, but I figured it would be a good idea to shut up, and listen than it would be to get distracted by a few billion questions. “Good boy, you might learn yet.

My mind was ablaze just taking in everything Lady was telling me, but still nothing that could explain why I could pummel those Apezillas into mulch, much less what I was doing in this jungle, forest hybrid I woke up in, it did have a vaguely familiar feel to it though. All the answers were still with Lady. “Please continue.” This time I could see the amusement on her face, as well feel its echo. I am never gonna get used to that. “You accept what’s in front of you, I do believe I made you well.” Again with the making, I’m a person not a cake. “You’d be surprised how similar the two can be.” Was her response to my thought. Ok, I really want the elephant in the room dealt with. “So if I was made, how did you make me? Last I looked, I had a mother, and father for that.” Those pale eyes of her’s considered me a moment before responding. “You know what eugenics is, yes?” My blood ran cold when I heard the word. “You made me through selective breeding? How? Why?” I didn’t know if I’d rather laugh, or cry at the prospect of it. The sharpness of her tone brought me back to the here, and now. “Stay with me boy, we’re not done yet, and you need to hear this. Around 600 years before I hit orbit I found I could suggest a number of you humans to do certain tasks, no force, just suggest, but my influence grew stronger the closer I got. Curious concept, time, but I suppose it makes sense when you’re mortal. You’re born, age, and die. Always bound to the cycle of entropy. I have always been, I’ve watched stars get born, I’ve watched them die, I am eternal, outside the influence of such things. Yet you humans live, far more than I ever have. I wanted to change that, I want a life, to live as you do, to see with your eyes. I needed a host, I am not designed to travel as you do, I can change trajectory, I can even adjust my speed, I can watch events from light years away, but I was never felt, or seen before you, you are the first being I have ever had real interactions with.” I thought I knew isolation, but billions of years with no one to talk to. I was only 25, I could hardly get my head around the notion of it. At least I was beginning to understand why now. I best let her finish with catching me up.

“I needed genetic material that I could manipulate without doing damage, my original intent was to simply modify you into a sturdier vessel, but that went out the widow when your planet reacted to my arrival.” So I’m a chauffeur/vehicle for her to ride around in. I could pummel those Apezillas, because she “pimped” me. Looking at my hands I wondered exactly how I was modified. Her voice interrupted my thoughts. “My original intent was to modify you, yes. With everything that was going on I needed to change plans. I wanted to leave the majority of myself in a high orbit, and only send down enough of myself to carry my intellect. The force wave that hit me changed that plan, my body fractured, and I came down all at once. So rather than you receiving a portion, you had to channel 75% of my entire mass.” I really wished I understood what any of that meant, but given that she had blocked out the sun when she showed up, I’m guessing she was a girl with some meat on her bones. Do I dare ask where the rest of her is hiding? Can giant rocks go on diets? I was rewarded with a wave of pain, and a warning for my joke. “You should know better than to tease a woman on her figure.” Ok, I was getting sick of this, if she wants a reason to hurt me, I better give her one. “Firstly, you’re not a woman, you’re a space rock from the beginning of the universe, you have no gender, you’re a rock! Secondly your arrival turned my life inside out! Nothing makes any sense. You want me to believe that you spent 600 years influencing people to breed to create me so I can ferry you around place to place like I’m some kind of walking limo service!? On top of that you want to punish me for having a thought?! NO!! Stupid jokes are how I deal with being out of my depth, you don’t like my thoughts? STAY OUT OF THEM!!!” To punctuate my last statement I shot to my feet, and stared defiantly up at her, daring her to hit me with another wave of pain.

Back on my hands, and knees once again, I push down the urge to cry out as it felt like every nerve was immersed in lava. All I could do was squeeze my eyes shut, and wait for the pain to finish washing over me. When it did begin to subside I felt a hand around my throat, dragging me up, and pinning me to the tree I was just sitting under. I’m not shocked often, but not many can pick me up with two hands, much less manhandle me with one. I know my feet were off the ground, and her grip on my throat was like a vise. Lady just looked at me, and smiled. “In as much as I’d love to keep debating the finer points of your situation with you, I just need you to understand a few things before the remains of your playmates start attracting other predators. Here’s what you need to know; this body, it’s mine, I made it for you, but it nonetheless remains mine, you just drive it. I am not designed for movement in gravity, look at me like a big brain that lives in space. I want to live, see things as you organics do. For more years than you could believe exist, I have just sat drifting out there, watching, but never taking part. I tire of watching, and through you I will finally take part.” After looking me directly in the eyes, she stepped back, and released me. If I wasn’t just strangled I would have laughed at the thought of being used as like an SUV. “I need sleep.” She continued, “I haven’t been awake this long since I was first broken free. I’ve made you strong, but not indestructible, please try and not to get us killed, move with caution, and for pity’s sake, get out of this clearing before something worse shows up. I’ll be back after I rest for awhile, you have been quite the project for me.” Just like that, she was gone.

For the first time since I woke up I wondered where the hell I was. Trees were like nothing I had seen before, most looked like pine trees, and birch trees had been thrown together, and mixed to make one tree. There was a oddly familiar feel to this place, like I had been here before. Looking around the clearing I was beginning to realize what Lady meant by making me strong, I could see the damage done from my encounter with the Apezillas, yet I feel fine, hardly a mark on me, I wasn’t even sore. She was right though, I best get moving, I don’t want to be here in the event this place starts getting popular. I have far too many questions, and nowhere near enough answers, nor will I find any more answers here. Heading out to the middle of the clearing I inspected the place where I first woke up, it was like something just took a perfect scoop out of the ground, the edges were completely smooth, but wasn’t made by heat, more like it was cut out. Looking up I had hoped to use the sun to get my bearings, but I had no idea what time it was, or even where I was. I need a bird’s eye view so I can at least pick a landmark to walk towards. I picked a sturdy looking tree for me to climb, the first branch was just out of reach. I’m getting the notion that jumping is now going to be an entirely new experience for me. I tense up, and push off reaching for the lowest branch.

Well, that didn’t go as planned. A simple straight jump up managed to land me about three stories up in the air. While I was flailing about I did notice the glint of metal in the distance. The downside to this being that I have no control over my flight path, and I think I’m going to land on my face in that tree. All I could do was put up my arms, and hope it’s a landing I can walk away from. My ears were filled with the sound of splintering wood, and the familiar feel of the wood breaking under me. I land much harder than I thought I would, I felt the stone crack under my weight. I slowly flip over, and noticed the hole I left in the canopy of the forest. I landed like a damn meteorite, I most certainly packed on more than a few extra pounds while I was......... sleeping? Frustrating enough not knowing where I am much less fussing over how I got here, I just remember the burning. Won’t find the answers laying here. The muscles along my neck ached as I moved. No bleeding though, glad my skin is tougher, I’m going to need that if I plan to survive this learning curve. My heart drops as I realize that I’m going to need to jump again to regain my bearings. I step out into the open, and focus on going up, and land. I found the glint again, and wished I had a compass so I had a better idea of where I was going, beyond heading right. I wish I knew what to feel, I should be curled into fetal position sucking my thumb, but all I can think about what the hell is going on, and the only one who can tell me is in the midst of her beauty sleep. I take a deep breath, and let the frustration wash out of me. Well, nowhere to go, but onward. Let’s see what’s out there.

End Chapter 1


Well........ I found out what was out there, annnnnnd I wanna go home now. I don’t know where I am, much less why I’m here, but I do know that the ecosystem out here has lost its mind. It’s like H. P. Lovecraft, H.R Giger, and Animal Planet all came together to have a baby. So, just about an hour, or so ago I was starting to get a bit thirsty, when I hit a clearing I thought I was in luck when I noticed a pond sitting in the middle of it. That was also what set off all my internal red alerts. Generally trees get closer to water, not away from it. The air around the clearing was overpoweringly sweet, the water in the pond didn’t move right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, and after my run in with the Apezillas I wasn’t taking chances. I picked up a palm sized rock, and tossed it in. I would never have thought something that large could move so fast, but there it was, big as life. I can only describe it as a burlap sack filled with cottage cheese, alongside tentacles, and lips. The core of the creature was the size of a school bus, with its tentacles thrashing about it seemed to be three times the size it actually was. Whatever this thing ate, I felt immediately sorry for it. I was glad I stayed behind the tree line, those tentacles had quite the reach. The only sound it made was a disconcerting gurgling noise. After about twenty minutes of thrashing around it settled back into its pond. I knew I should have left it well enough alone, but I let my curiosity get the best of me, I needed a better look. After some searching I found a tree with branches that seemed wide enough to support me without breaking under the new weight I seem to be carrying around. About 20 ft up there was a perfect spot to get a better view of that monstrosity in the pond, if I’m stuck in thIs new wilderness, I might as well explore it. Honestly, there is a not so small part of me that wants to explore this place from top to bottom. I always was more curious than I was smart.

Jump to where we are now, and I’m in the tree still waiting for all the sediment to settle so I can get a better look at whatever it is living in that pond....... thing. It’s been still since I last disturbed it, whatever it was that thing lived in, it wasn’t water, too thick, it moved more like motor oil than water, I could tell it used the thin rods breaking the surface to breathe, they looked just like any other kind of reeds you’d see in any pond. The smell was pungent, had that sweet undertone, definitely designed to bring in carrion feeders. Made me wonder at what else was waiting for me, if this was a passive hunter I’m guessing I’m not gonna like meeting the active ones. Was relaxing to watch though. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!!” At the sound of her yell, I scream like a little girl, and tumble from my perch landing pretty much face down on the forest floor. I quickly chide myself For not expecting, and look up to see Lady’s face floating in front of mine. Smiling nearly ear to ear, “I can see why you enjoy doing that, your expression was priceless. You don’t exactly fall with much grace though, you’ll have to work on that.” So this is karma for all the air horn pranks I pulled in my life? Fine. I pull myself up my less than stellar landing, “So you have a sense of humour, good for you, feel like telling me where we are yet?” I ask as I pick the broken twigs out of my very worn work shirt. “I’d love to talk about that, sadly you’re about to become very busy.” I opened my mouth to respond, but all I got out was; *GLACK* as I felt a tentacle whip around my neck, and pull me off my feet, busy indeed.




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