Travis clamped his hands tight on the ski pole things as the room shifted. There was a sense of rolling over, and some kind of annoying pressure that rhythmically warbled along his skin. “The hell is that? Some kind of alarm?” ‘Got it in one, Jiminy. Are you certain you haven’t done this before?’ The lighthearted tone after all the agony of finding out about his death grated on Travis. It was kind of a minor thing, though as if the reaction was part of someone else’s life, or perhaps a memory of what he might have done, if he was still alive. Travis almost lost his grip on the poles as the lurching increased then the grey faded out as a new panorama presented itself. After the unrelenting grey, the bright light and colors came as a shock. There was a large, light blue box on the wall screen. It took a moment for Travis to realize he was looking at a low dresser. The white box on top of the dresser was an alarm. Its green numbers blinked off and on as the warbling sensation continued.
“Turn it off!” The shout was like an instinctive push against the sensation. to Travis surprise, a slim, brown arm reached out unsteadily and swatted clumsily at the alarm. He watched the fingers graze the alarm, half turning it, but not stopping the irritating sensation. There was another lurching sensation as the perspective changed. He was looking down now at the dresser. At the bottom of the screen’s display was a thin pink cloth laying atop a pair of tanned legs. The view shifted again as the screen narrowed focus to the alarm and slapped the top. The rhythmic pulse quit, and Travis breathed a sigh of relief. “So, now that happened, what’s next?” ‘You, Jiminy, get to figure that out on your own. Anything else would be coercion. It all has to be free choice.’ The letters were in black as they slid left to right across the view of a pink see-through nightie landing on a bed with white sheets and a pink blanket. Just past the low dresser was another bed, also with white sheets and a pink blanket. The lump under the covers moved slowly, then the sheets were pushed up and back.
The girl underneath had on a white knee length T-shirt with ‘I hate mornings’ written in block red letters, and a cup of coffee underneath. Her feet had rainbow socks on that were like neon colors next to her pale pink skin. a block object with a blinking green light was around her left ankle. What is that? Some kind of, oh yeah, I remember seeing that on a cop show, it’s an ankle bracelet with a tracker in it. the realization that the girl had one made Travis curious about his, her, it’s a her, not me, leg. ‘The boss has one too’ the screen scrolled in black block letters again. Great, so we’re in prison, or something like one. ‘Something like prison is a good guess’ came the blocky letters again. “So what are, uh, we, doing here?”
The sign waited for a moment before scrolling. ‘The best thing, now that you’re done freaking out, is to show you.’ The letters were rounded and green this time. Why does this feel like those shows when someone says, ‘hey it could be worse’, then it is. The screen greyed out, then cleared. A glass door appeared in the center of the view. His view enlarged as the girl approached the door, then a brick was thrown at the door. Glass cracked and spider-webbed, but didn’t fall, not until the brick was picked up and tossed again at the window, which shattered, the bits of glass falling to the pitted asphalt pavement. The room was dark as the view shifted inside. To the left, a counter with a cash register sat on top of a waist high counter that had a sign for lottery tickets on the front. The dim light from outside showed the top of the counter being yellow, with a red base.