He blinked. Once. Twice. Finally, he was able to sit up. The rocky texture hurt his back. The pain was now transferring to his hands as he used them for cushions. Where is this place? He could only remember something about a crowd gathering, a lot of talking, and the buzzing feeling that threatened to tear his brain apart. His vision blurred and danced as he tried to stand up. He settled for a kneeling position, trying to stabilize his balance. The buzzing had returned. He clutched his head, closing his eyes. Sweats dripped loudly down his face and landed on the rocky ground. He could hear them all so clearly in this thick darkness. But if it was darkness, why was he able to see so clearly of his surroundings? He had no idea. He opened his eyes again when the buzzing subsided and studied the darkness once more. It was like standing in a dark room with only a small shred of light shining through the velvet curtain to guide his way. But if he was indeed in some type of darkroom, why were there rocks on the ground? It seemed too irrational. He tried to take a step forward. No buzzing this time. No blurred imagery. No dancing views.

The velvet curtain suddenly swayed back and forth. His vision was not dancing this time. He was sure of that. If it did, wouldn’t he lose his balance already?

“Where is this place?” He mumbled to no one in particular. His voice still sounded the same. Oh good, no damage to the vocal cord.

As if that was the beginning, he began inspecting himself for injuries. Only the vague stencil of the rocks remained on his hands. The rest was the same. His fishing clothes, tennis shoes, and no hat. What happened to the hat? No matter, he could find it later as soon as he found his way back. Then things dawn on him. He must be lost in the woods. Did his car crash? No. That didn’t make sense either. If it did, there would be injuries on him, right? And there were no traces of car around here. He turned and scanned the views again. His vision didn’t blur this time. No buzzing either. Though he had turned a bit too fast for his mind to register.

“Crap,” He swore. No cell phone. Where did he put it before he blacked out? Was it still in his car? No matter. If he was indeed in the woods, he wouldn’t get any reception around this place anyway.

He took another step toward the swaying curtain. He already dismissed the curtain as being part of his garbled perception. His brain was still too groggy to project the right image for his eyes to understand. It was just the wind swaying back and forth in the middle of the night. Nothing more to it. Then his mind produced another question for him to dissect. If he was indeed lost in some woods, why did he even see those people in the first place? Who were they? If they were gathering around him when he was falling, why didn’t they just bring him to the hospital? Or did he run into a band of gangs without knowing? And they had tossed his body in the woods for the wolves to finish? But wouldn’t they have made sure he was good as gone before disposing of his body?

“Impossible,” He muttered.

As his brain was working faster to decipher the mystery, his confusion also added up. There were just too many things he needed to figure out. The most important thing was still finding his way out of the woods.

“What is this place?” He repeated the question that had been echoing in his thoughts since he awakened. It was then that he remembered to read his watch. The only piece left that could aid him in the whole process of restoration. He extended his left hand to find–no watch. No traces of the watch at all. Did he switch it to the right hand somehow?

“Rats,” He cursed again. No watch either.

It was then that he decided to check all his pockets. Nope. No signs of the various objects he stuffed in the pockets. It was his survivor kit for the following days. How could he have lost it so easily? The pockets were all buttoned up. It was impossible that he would lose it so easily. But then none of the reasoning explained this strange occurrence. He reconsidered the ‘robbed’ option but that didn’t answer his lack of wounds.

Disregarding all those thoughts altogether, he marched forward, making his way closer and closer to the velvet curtain. Reaching out his hand, he tried to peel the curtain aside. His mind snapped to alertness as his hand passed through the curtain. That proved that his mind was still playing tricks on his vision since it was not a curtain after all. But how could he explain the velvety feeling he was experiencing when his hand went through it? Impossible. There were just too many impossibilities.
Ignoring that also, he continued past the curtain. Lights finally seeped through, blinding him. He reached for his eyes and shielded them. Then it came. Static. Deafening static. He pulled back and was safe behind the curtain again.

“What the hell’s going on here?” He screamed into the night.

No answer. Not a sound. Not even nature sounds that were found in the woods at that time of the night.

© Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Posted: Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

CONTENTS | NEXT CHAPTER