Trip at the Brain
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 822
“Jack, is that you? It is, isn’t it? What are you doing wandering up and down 42nd Street like that?” Luke said the man in a crumpled, tan suit as he brushed past him.
The stranger stopped suddenly and stared at Luke with a blank expression. He tried to remember where he had been, who he was.
“You mean New York’s 42nd Street? Can’t be...I haven’t been in New York for years and years. I think?” Jack said in a strong Australian accept that sounded foreign to him.
“You look like you’ve just woken up. Are you feeling okay, sport? Here come with me, there is a cafe across the road. We can sit down and get you a drink.”
“I’m sorry,” Jack said. “I don’t seem to remember who you are. Actually, I think I’d better sit down, my head is whirling around.”
Luke ordered two cappuccinos and some bran muffins, thinking Jack might need a sugar boost or something.
“Where are you staying, old pal?” Luke said. “You must come spend some time with me. Do you remember Patricia; we got hitched two years ago and have beautiful set of twins.”
Jack rubbed his temples. His head pounded and his back ached as though he’d been rolled for his wallet, which would explain the amnesia and crumpled clothes. He tried to remember his last memory, something to let him know what had happened.
“Are you still shacked up with that brunette...what was her name?”
Darkness came down across Luke’s eyes and he felt himself falling. He put his hands out to break his fall, rather than his nose, but he did not hit the ground. He felt cold and nauseous.
Jack opened his eyes and found himself sitting at a kitchen table with a brunette and a young boy. They seemed vaguely familiar, but he could not place who they were, or where he was.
“You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?” the brunette said harshly. “I sometimes wonder why I even bother talking to you.”
“Dad, are you going to come to see me play football afterschool today? It’s the grand finals.”
Jack nodded at the boy, not knowing who he was, but not wanting to upset the kid’s excitement. The boy jumped up and hugged him, then ran out of the room.
“You’d better be there, Jack,” the brunette said. “You’ll break his heart if you miss this game.”
“I...I...” he began to say, then felt dizzy and nauseas again. Darkness clouded his vision again and the falling sensation hit him like a Mack truck.
He opened his eyes. This time there was nobody around, nobody at all. A chill ran up his spine. He stood in the middle of a football field, alone. Not a single person could be seen or heard.
“Hey...hey, you,” a voice called.
Jack looked at the player’s entrance to the field and saw a woman standing there. She beckoned him over.
“Who are you? Where am I?” Jack said.
“You must be a newbie,” she said. “Did you just start taking Insu-D?”
“Insu-D?” That rang a bell with Jack. He recognised it as an insulin replacement drug that was supposed to cure diabetes. “Yes, yes I did.”
“Well, you’re in for a ride,” she said. “Anytime someone speaks to you and says a key word that you relate to your life, you’re going to end up there.”
“Where am I now?”
“I don’t know exactly. It’s kind of between places...happens when you don’t exactly remember the prompt. Don’t worry, once you start thinking, you’ll remember something, or somewhere and you’ll be there.”
“Why are you here then?”
“Once you learn to control this, you can find your way to this place whenever you want. Comes in handy sometimes.”
Jack noticed the Armourguard bag in the woman’s hand.
“Did you just rob a bank?”
The woman was no longer standing there. Jack thought about the conversation and wondered if he was going mad.
“Just think,” he said. “Where is somewhere I know?”
He looked in his wallet, flicked through the credit cards, receipts, and photos. A script for Insu-D fell out and he picked it up. When he stood up, he was no longer at the stadium.
“Quick, grab him!” a voice yelled.
Jack looked around. He stood in a familiar chemist, but there were a dozen armed undercover police officers standing around him. He felt a needle enter the back of his neck and started to lose consciousness.
“Get him to the lab before he wakes up,” one of the officers said. “He’s the second last one we have to collect.”
“Lucky there was only thirty people in this new drug trial,” Jack heard before drifting away.
Trip at the Brain
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