M. Legare (adequatemagic) wrote in vignettes,
M. Legare

Our Story So Far... III

The White Hot Room.

I feel like I've wandered into an early George Lucas film, before he became a genius and lost his mind. It's white. White and white and white. So white I can't tell where the walls are, and probably won't until I walk into them.

For the sake of argument, I walk about 100 paces in a straight line, more or less. Sense of direction not being my middle name, I manage to put one foot more or less in front of the other. Then I turn around and walk 200 paces in what I feel to be the exact opposite direction.

100 paces back, right angle turn, 100 paces. About face, 200 paces. Still no walls.

I'm about 75 paces into a 45-degrees-from-that-last-line trek when it hits me. Something in the back of my head, that little bit just before the lizard brain says 'Check your pockets."

A quick patdown produces my wallet - damn driver's licence is all blurry and hard to read, about $45 in assorted bills, two credit cards - my keys, and an origami crane.

The keys and wallet go back into said pockets. Wonder what happened to my small, useful knife? I look at the crane. White paper. Something I can't smudge, or smear, or soil in any way, something tells me. Light ricochets off it with no loss in velocity. The damn thing practically glows in my hand.

Very, very carefully, I unfold it. Tilt the paper, squint. Very faint writing in... yes... white ink. Opaque white that soaks in light as readily as the paper reflects it.

Four letters. Two words.

A. Sun.

A name to conjure by - dozens of thought chase each other through my head. I haven't thought of him for years. I just was talking to him. I just read something - no, that wasn't me. Well, it *was* but that was me minus myself... crap.

I fold the paper back up, on a whim. Somehow I manage to keep to the prefolded lines. Taking careful grasp of the tail and the little bit just below the neck, I pull.

The crane flaps its wings, and the room gets whiter. It takes a bit before my brain parses "whiter" as "brighter" and I realize that I'm looking into a very, very, very bright object perhaps 20 yards in front of me.

"Hello, Doctor."

Blink. That's me. Ok. "Hello, Adrian. Can you tell me what the heck I'm doing here?

"I can, but I can't. You're going to hear something similar for every one of us you find, you know."

For some reason I'm not suprised. I may not be working with a full deck, but the cards I have show me what cards I'm missing, sort of. Assuming I'm playing with a poker deck and not pinochle or bridge.

"Yeah, I think I get that. What *can* you give me? I think... someone is trying to do me harm. I mean, someone set off a bomb in my apartment - one of them... uh... Austin. College time."

The light bobs a little, a slight vertical movement before returning to center. "I didn't know that." It always thrills me to know something these semi-omniscient folks don't. "Someone may be trying to do you harm. Can you get back there?"

I think about that for a minute. "Nnnnnnno. I'm still not sure where that was, now, and where I *am*, now."

A chuckle and the light oscillates from side to side. "Perhaps you should speak with a priest."

I get half a syllable asking what he meant when the light goes away, far too fast for my liking.

Dark. Dark with little lines of light around the edges. Push between the lines.

The phone booth door opens and I'm in bar somewhere.
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