“Alright, Michael. I am going to remove the handcuffs, and I am going to trust that you’re not going to do anything stupid, like try to attack me. Alright?” John slips the key into the lock on my right wrist and pauses, waiting for a confirmation.
“Uh, yeah. I won’t attack… but I make no promises about not doing anything stupid.” I respond. John does not seem amused. He pulls the key and steps back.
“I was just kidding,” I say.
“Yeah,” John says as he moves to stand by the door again. “Maybe we can get a few questions out of the way, first, and come back to the cuffs in a few minutes. Our resident nurse says you might have hit your head and could have a concussion. Do you know what day it is?”
Oh crap. A test? I didn’t prepare for this. When was the last time I looked at my calendar? Have I been changing it?
“Uhh,” I say after several seconds of staring at him blankly. “May? Maybe?”
He nods. Hell yeah, score one for the memory!
“We found you unarmed; no guns, no knives, not even a bat or a stick. Why?” John asks.
“Eh?” I narrow my eyes at him, waiting for a grin or a BAZINGA but he seems completely serious. Weirdo. What world does this guy live in? Maybe he’s with some gang that took over the town while I was busy?
“I’m… I just…” I shrug. “I’m just a normal guy. I came into town for a few groceries. I didn’t think to pack the AK for a grocery run-” I trail off and something pops into my mind that seems to connect some dots. “Is this because I run myself up? I paid for it all. I think; the machine said my card went through… maybe? I don’t know how those things work.”
More silence. John stares at me, his expression saying that he doesn’t find me funny, which is good because I haven’t even tried to be, yet. A shadow moves up behind John and I hear a few words in hushed tones. He turns to face them and a quiet conversation takes place just out of reach of understanding them.
“Do you have any idea what’s going on?” A new voice speaks from behind John; a girl in her teens? Early twenties maybe.
“I- I don’t know? What’s going on here, or, like, in life, in general? Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Can you be more specific?” I stop talking before I ramble on too much. What’s going on? Wait, what happened before I woke up here? I hadn’t thought about that. Weren’t the circumstances leading up to me falling unconscious rather strange? There was an accident at the grocery store. Some others pulled her from the car and administered CPR and then- no… no, that’s not right. They killed her. They beat her lifeless body to a pulp.
“So you have no idea what’s going on? At all? No clue what’s out there?” The girl says.
“Have you been under a rock or something for the last six weeks?” John asks.
“No,” I say, defensively. “I’ve been in a cabin. A ways up the back road.” There are suddenly a lot of hushed voices speaking from outside the room. A moment passes before John nods. He steps forward and pushes the key into the cuff around my left wrist.
“Well, We’ve got some really fucked up news for you, then.” He says.