That was me? Travis tried to deny it, to convince himself that it was just a dream, but something in him remembered the slip, and the fall catching his head full force as he lunged forward drunkenly to avoid a fall. The stumble turned into a full dive and his head hit so hard he saw flashes. He remembered standing up, and seeing Kimmy’s face as her eyes opened wide and her hands covered her mouth just before it all went dark again. He dimly remembered falling a second time. “That…was me?” He didn’t want to believe it. ‘Sadly, yes, that is you. That’s your last memory.’ The sign seemed brusque, impatient. ‘Now, are you convinced? If not, you can still jump out the window.’ Travis shivered, and stayed on the floor, looking down at his rotund figure in red, satin pants. “What is this place?” ‘This is, for you, your new place, Jiminy,’ the sign spelled impatiently. ‘This will be your home for a long while.’ “What?” The words didn’t make sense to Travis.
I’m stuck here? In this big bedroom where a word would conjure clothes out of thin air like a dream, and a stupid sign that disses me every chance it gets. ‘I heard that,’ the sign scrolled irritably. ‘You’re not stuck in the room. Your office is right through the doors below me.’ the sing spelled out helpfully, then added a downward pointing arrow to emphasize the doors with the odd silver scroll work on them. “I have an office?” ‘Yes, an office. Why don’t you go see where you’re going to work from now on.’ The writing had that ‘I know something you don’t ‘ vibe again. If it’s another thing like … me in that ambulance, maybe I don’t want to go look. It might be one of those creepy haunted house surprise things that scared the crap out of Kimmy when we went back in high school.
Travis stayed put, still naked on the blue-green marble floor. ‘It’s not a jump out and scare you thing’, the sign printed slowly. It actually seemed to be trying to act sympathetic. Yeah right, be my buddy until you can push me into the scare. Nuh-uh. Not this old boy. I’ve seen that, well, done that a few times and I know how it works. ‘Sure you do. I promise, it is not a jump out and scare thing.’ The sign displayed in soft lettering. Really, promise huh? “I got to have clothes first. How about givin’ me my work clothes?” There was a swirl of air, and he felt just like always.
The pants fit like he remembered. The coarse threads scratched a little, and the shirt was a little loose since he’d lost some weight, but they were HIS clothes, and he took a moment in the small triumph of his dream control. ‘It’s not a dr…oh why bother, you won’t believe anything until you face it head on.’ The sign was back to the irritable, exasperated printing as the sentences flashed in sharp lettering across its face. Travis patted the clothes to make certain they were his, then did it again just to be certain. He’d had a few days when he’d been so hung over that it took a half-hour just to make sense of which way to put the clothes on and get to work. I wonder if this is the DT’s and I’m hallucinating drunk. That could be why I ain’t in control. The sign printed ‘……………..’ as if giving up trying to explain or convince Travis of the error of his ways.