hashbrowns and 86
Shades halted in the middle of the road.
For a brief moment, through the growing distortion in his headphones, he thought he heard the sound of a motor. Jolted, he looked around for a moment, then just stood there. Understandably, he had become rather wary of any homicidal vehicles that might be lurking in these dark woods.
Yet there was nothing. Not even headlights.
Then again, the more he thought about it, the more he believed it had sounded more like it was in his head. Or his headphones, he wasn’t sure. It was hearing John’s voice saying Who are you dudes?… Where am I?… and hearing the fear and confusion in his voice, that Shades found really disturbing.
For some reason, it all reminded him of something that happened during Christmas Break. He was in the midst of reading a book, when this inexplicable dread struck him. This intuition that something bad was going to happen to someone he knew, and it stuck with him all day.
He had called up all of his friends, even John, who was visiting family out of state. His mom didn’t appreciate the long-distance bill that month, but Shades had insisted. Yet after asking around, he found that nothing was wrong. Even after that, he called around every other day for about a week on account of his lingering dread, but he never did find out what came of it, and he meant to do some research, yet never got around to it.
When his mysterious apprehension had reached its peak, it nearly drove him to distraction. He sat on his bed most of that afternoon, grappling with this worrisome intruder that had slipped in through the back door of his mind. Finally, he just found himself thinking, over and over, Hold on… Be strong…
Such was his mantra for that day.
Whenever he thought about that day, he remembered having felt as if he had somehow willed his thoughts somewhere, had somehow sent part of himself, in a way he couldn’t even begin to explain. What made it even stranger to him was that there was an eerie familiarity to it. Willed your chi… Just the word itself put him in mind of another long-time student of Master Al, a guy named Greg, who was really into mystical stuff. Somehow he never really got the chance to talk to him about much of it, and now he wished he had.
It was the closest thing to what he was experiencing now.
Before, he was merely worried about John. Now he was certain something bad had happened. He felt frantic urges building up inside, and he just kept telling himself that his friend could have gone anywhere by now, that the best thing he could to help him was to find the source of this whole mess.
A moment later, as if he didn’t have a heavy enough load on his mind, he heard another voice in the swirling blizzard of weird noises, one he would never have thought to expect. He would swear up and down that he heard the sound of a motor again, then Amy. Saying something about hash browns and eighty-six… but it was rather distorted.
All the same, he didn’t like it.