••• The International Writers Magazine:Dreamscapes
My body was yelling at me as I sat up from the ground. The rocks and seashells left dents and patterns on my skin from lying there for too long. The sound of the waves crashing upon the shore drowned out the cawing of the seagulls flying around me.
“Hey kid, are you okay?” an older gentleman asked standing above me.
“Um…yea I guess I am”, I responded and smiled up at him, “I think I just lost track of time.”
“No one’s been to the beach in a few days. You might want to get out of here before the cops start questioning you.”
“Why would they question me?”
“It’s been all over the news, kid!”
“You youngsters all have your heads in the sand, huh?” he said and proceeded to shake his head and walk out of sight.
I looked around as I realized that I had absolutely no idea where I was. Might as well try to retrace my steps, I figured. Even though I couldn't remember anything much. I stood up and wiped the sand and pebbles from my clothes.
As I walked off the beach I examined my surroundings some more. The boardwalk was filled with little run down shops and old town houses all-leading to the busy city further off into the distance. I stepped up to one of the houses and pressed my face close to the window. It was abandoned, as if aliens suddenly abducted the residents. I walked up to another house and it looked the same as the last. Looking closely into kitchen, food rotted on the counter. I scratched my head unsure of what to make of all that I saw and figured if I walked towards the city I could find more answers. Why the boardwalk was a ghost town? Why I couldn’t remember how I ended up at the beach in the first place?
Suddenly I felt something squish a little under my shoe. Lifting my foot, I picked up the item. It was a thin brown wallet that was starting to tear from age. Opening it, I found nothing, but a couple dollars and a sticky-note with a phone number written on it. Above the number was written ‘CALL ASAP’ with today’s date. The Good Samaritan in me tucked the wallet into my back pocket in hope that I could return the wallet to its owner later.
“They better catch the sick son of a bitch who did this”, a woman said as I approached a small crowd. The people standing around her nodded their heads in agreement.
They were all bunched around the television display of an electronic store watching the local news. I got closer to the crowd to listen in on what was causing all the commotion.
“…Still no evidence to solve the case of the abduction of all the boardwalk residents two days ago. Strange isn’t it, Mary?” the anchorman said while shuffling his papers.
“It certainly is Tom, many people in town are starting to speculate that everyone on the boardwalk has gotten abducted by aliens”, Mary replied.
“This is just so terrible”, someone from the crowd said as they walked off.
I walked away - puzzled by what I just heard. I don’t remember being around for any of this. I felt something vibrate in my back pocket. I pulled out a cellphone. The screen read that the phone was low on battery. There had to be clues on this. I searched through the text messages. Empty. I searched through the phone calls. Empty. I searched the photo gallery and the email applications, but they were both empty as well. My last resort was clicking on every other app on the phone trying to find some clue of who I was and how I ended up on the beach with my memory gone. Eventually I got to the map app, hoping that it would show me something. Anything. The map showed a digital version of the city and further into the heart of the city was a red pin marked ‘Home’. I clicked on it and the addresses pulled up. I smiled and ran towards the destination.
I guess this is it. I stopped at what appeared to be an abandoned apartment building. I laughed a little wondering why I would ever want to live in a place that looked so run down.
“I haven’t seen you here in days, dude”, a scruffy looking young man said as he walked out of the building.
“Um yea…” I replied.
“You had a lot of boxes piling up in the mailroom so I put it in front of your door, if that’s cool.”
“What’s my apartment number again?”
“207? Come on man, you live right across from me, remember?”
“Yea I remember now”, I nervously smiled, “I just had a wild night and my head’s been feeling a little foggy.”
“I know how that goes!” he laughed and waved goodbye.
A wave of relief washed over me as soon as the conversation ended. I made my way to the second floor of the building and with every step I took closer to my apartment door nervousness crept up my bones. I recognized my apartment door immediately, noticing a large clear garbage bag filled with boxes at the front of it. I searched my pockets hoping I had the key, but sadly no luck. Everyone has a spare somewhere… now where would I put mine? I eyed the door up and down eventually resorting to standing on my bag of boxes to wipe my hand over the top of the doorframe. Bingo. Kept secure under some tape one spare key. I picked at the tape needlessly until I finally freed the key from its binding and shoving it into the lock.
I dragged the bag of boxes into the apartment and plopped myself onto the bed. My eyes wondered around the room, taking note of everything from the dust collecting on the dying plants on the windowsill to the dirty clothes pilling up in the hamper in the corner of the room. I got up from the bed, deciding to open up some of the packages.
Inside the first one I opened lay a pistol. The second one contained another gun. The third box had a hunting knife. Nausea crashed over me as I pushed all the boxes to the corner of the apartment.
I walked around the room more trying to find traces of who I was. Every draw and cupboard was empty. I darted to the pile of dirty laundry checked every pocket I saw. Bingo. Inside a jacket pocket were two business cards. I examined them and realized that the number on one of them looked familiar. I pulled the wallet I found earlier out of my pocket and took out the sticky-note. I held the note and the card up next to each other and like I suspected the numbers were exactly the same. I dialed the number in my cell and woman with a raspy voice answered the phone.
“Seven! I’ve been waiting for this call all day. What do you want me to do with all these people they’re getting a little angry being away from their homes,” she laughed.
“Who are you?” I asked quietly.
“It’s Number Three! Do I sound different on the phone, sorry about that. Anyway is the plan taken care of? Can we start sending these people back to their houses or what?”
I hung up the phone. My palms began to sweat as I decided to dial the number on the other card.
It rang for what felt like an eternity.
“Hello, Number Seven, we didn’t think we’d be hearing from you again”, the voice said. "Seven? ..."
© Brittanie Allison November 2016
brittanie.allison at yahoo.com
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