Auburn Part 4 – Unhinging Light
I walked. My mind reeling yet again from an experience I never thought I would have. My heartbeat slowly returning to a normal pace. The adrenalin rush was coming to an end and as it did so I started to feel the cold again. My one leg colder than the other. I looked down. The bottom of my jeans had lifted up and was resting on the top of this ‘present’ on my leg, must have happened in all the chaos of running and jumping from those guys. I covered it up again. This thing was still on my leg. It could still be doing something to me; it could be tracking me for all I knew! I need to get this thing off as soon as possible that was for certain. But how?
I wasn’t sure how to take this thing off myself; last time I tried it stabbed me something awful! I still don’t know what it injected into me, just that it brings death. Death in the way that lady died. *shudder*. I need help. But where, who? The way I see it there are two choices. I can go to my mate’s house, he could help. He is studying medicine after all, he might be able to tell me what is in me, maybe he could even fix me, help me get this thing off! But then again, technically he is suspended from medical school…understandable considering the side business he is involved in. Drugs and medicine should not mix. No, I can’t trust him, especially if he is using again. Second and only option I have then is to go the hospital, they should be able to help I am sure. My pace quickened, now with the hospital as my destination, hope of a cure as my destination.
As I entered the reception area of the hospital I could smell that strange clean smell that was all too common of hospitals that smell always makes me feel uneasy. I had barely taken in my surroundings when a big lady in scrubs that looked like she should have been off duty two shifts ago had come up to me.
“Hello sir! What’s wrong with you then?”
“Uh…well..err” I hadn’t actually thought of this. What was I going to say? How do I explain all of this? Should I explain it all to her?
“Look sir, I know its cold outside and warm in here but I can’t have you hanging about here for no reason. Is there something wrong with you?”
I was shocked; this nurse apparently thought I was trying to hide from the cold in here. “No. I mean Yes! There is something wrong with me!
“Ok, what’s the problem then?
“It’s kind of hard to explain…I can’t really tell you what is wrong I just know that something is wrong.”
She looked at me. I could see with impatience on her face, like I was wasting her time. I doubt she was going to be helpful… “Security!”
“Wait! No, Look!” I pulled my jeans up and lift my leg up and show her the ‘present’ on my leg. “See! I woke up with this thing on my leg, I don’ know how it got there! When I tried to take it of it stabbed me and inject something in me!” I hop on one leg trying to explain this situation to her. I feel the laptop start to slip off my shoulder and I move to counter balance it and I get hold of it, it’s safe, but I lose my balance. *Wham* I meet the floor. “Please! I don’t know what is in me! And I need someone to help me get this thing off…Please.”
I feel someone pat me on the back. “Sir, if you come with me I will try and assist you.” I look up and see a strong looking male nurse behind me, looks barely out of med school but my only hope at this point. I mumble back, “Thank you” as he hoists me off the floor. As I hear the lady nurse mutter “Newbie’s, honestly…” as she walks away in a huff. He directs me to an open chair far from others. I sit. Waiting.
“Alright sir, let me take a look at your leg.” He examines it for a minute looking puzzled. I start to question my decision, was this really the place to come? I realized how deranged I must sound to others if I tried to explain all that had happened to me, I mean if someone had to tell me the same story would I believe it? “Sir I see this bracket has a small line of LED lights on it, and only one is lit. Do you know what that is about?”
I hadn’t really noticed it before; it was a really small line though. “No, I don’t know what that is all about. I never noticed it before.”
He looks at it again. “Well that sort of thing normally indicates something like signal, battery life that sort of thing. By the look of this one red light it seems to be empty or low of something. I assume you didn’t notice the number etched on to the bottom as well then?”
My heart skipped. Empty? Could that light indicate that this thing was empty? Empty of the stuff it injected into me. That stuff making its way through my blood system, bent on my destruction. “What? A number? No I didn’t see any type of number on it. Listen, this thing stabbed me like an injection when I tried to take it off I think that light means its empty cause it injected stuff into me.”
He looked at me. I could see that he didn’t buy my story, like I was deranged. “No, sir I don’t think that is the case. Tell you what I am going to take down this number from the bracket and be right back.” He took out his phone and punched the number in. “Wait here for me please.” He took a few steps away from me. The lady nurse from earlier stopped him and I saw her glancing at me as they spoke, were they talking about me? She walks away. She walks towards offices near me; “A house arrest bracelet, interesting…” I barely hear her say to herself. What? They think it’s a house arrest bracelet? I look at him; he has his phone to his ear. He is calling the number? He pulls the phone away from his ear suddenly. Then I feel it. The bracket. The bracket just let go of my ankle, I feel it fall to the floor. *clink* I have no idea what just happened but the weight of that thing being off restores some hope to me. “Sir! How?” The male nurse heard that clink and is now right next to me again. “How did you take that off?”
“I… wha? I didn’t it! It fell off my leg! Wait a second, who were you on the phone to, I saw you! Did you just call that number!?”
“Well, yes sir but I didn’t get through to anyone. All I heard was the sound of fax static. Listen.” He dials the number again, this time on loud speaker. I hear it, the sound of electric static. But then *snap!* we both look at it, the bracket just snapped closed by itself! I put two and two together, that number sent some sort of signal to open and close the bracket! The nurse picks up the bracket. “Sir what exactly is this?” I realize now, he doesn’t believe my story and by some of the looks I’ve had already I could fast be approaching the inside of a cell with no way to prove myself as truthful. I got to say something!
“Ok, you got me. It was a practical joke that my friends played on me. Just for kicks. We had to get it off without explaining to anyone what was going on. When I tried it stabbed me, something must have gone wrong. So I freaked and came here for help.” He looked at me for a second, looked back at the device, then to me again. “This thing is dangerous; tell your friends this must stop.” He sounded irritated but at least he bought the story. “Ok let me see your leg.” we both look at it…my heart dropped. Where the bracket was I can now see purple veins, I can see the beginning of death. “Well this looks infected but some strong antibiotics should clear it up.” He cleans my ankle and bandages it up. Next thing I knew I was walking out the door with antibiotics in my hand. Hope and dread where all around me. Hope because it was off, progress. But dread for the purple veins. I could barely function, I was exhausted. It was extremely late or extremely early depending on how you looked at it. I needed sleep, I began to walk, it was time to get home.
I didn’t have my keys, they obviously got lost at some point. Fortunately for me I hadn’t had a chance to fix the sliding door lock to my bedroom just yet. I jiggled the door and got it open. I slid in. The room was dark but I knew where the bed was, that’s all that mattered to me. I stumbled over some clothes lying on the floor. ‘I need to do laundry at some point’ I thought to myself. I flopped on the bed and let dreams of happily-ever-after take over.
The heat and bright sun woke me up. I lay in the bed; sleep had never been that sweet. I looked down at my ankle, was it a dream? I see the bandage, no…no it wasn’t. As I look at my ankle I see sunlight. Sunlight coming down my passage. That is strange. I look around. I knew my room was messy but this is not normal. I get up to investigate the sunlight. As I walk down the passage, I turn; I know where the light is coming from. It is coming from my front door. It is still semi open. I can see that they haven’t tampered with the locks, on the other side of the door, still in the key hole is my key. I look about around, my TV is still there. So I wasn’t robbed. But my things have been “rearranged” all over the floor. Draws tipped out. Books lying half open on the floor. But then I see it, I see a note on the table. What kind of person leaves a note behind? I walk over to it and without touching it, I read the two words on it. “Welcome home…” I knew who this was. There was only one person that would taunt his victim! It was him, the man who put that ‘present’ on my ankle. I could almost hear him saying those words, in that exact tone he used on the phone. Why did he have to come into my house and leave it in such a mess? It’s not like he took anything. Was he looking for something? I locked the door. Well if he knows where I live then I can’t stay here, I need to find somewhere to hide out. But where? I moved back towards my room and grabbed some clean clothes off the floor and go to get the laptop. The laptop, maybe there is some contact information, someone I could call who may have answers to this mystery. A friend to the auburn haired lady. I opened the bag and the first thing I saw brought some hope to me. It was a familiar pattern on a laminated surface with a big Y on it. A key card for a room at the hotel. The hotel, yes, I have so many questions there must definitely be some answers in this room. I stuff the clothes in a bag, close up the laptop and leave through the sliding door in my room, just in case the front is being watched.
There I was. The large Y looming over me once again as I stood near the bottom of the stairs. How was I going to get in? There is a chance someone could recognize me. I group of tourists walk past me as I stand there. They begin to ascend the stairs. “Here’s my chance.” I think to myself. I join the group at the back as we step through the revolving doors I move calmly towards the elevators. I let it take me to the floor I need. I tap the key card on my leg, impatiently waiting to arrive. *ting* The doors open and I step out into the corridor looking for the room. Ah! Number 42! I swipe the key and step in smoothly. The room is clean and just as elegant as the rest of this hotel. I’m safe no one could know I am here. There is a jug of water and a glass. Upon seeing it I realize how parched I really am, I pour a glass and take a big sip. The refreshing coolness of the water relaxing me. I set the glass down on the desk. It is time to start investigating. I open the laptop bag and put the laptop on the desk. I push the power button and wait. It is loading. What will I find? A cure? Why was this given to me? I am greeted with a screen I recognize from work. It is a varying gradient of purple to peach. At the bottom left the words “Ubuntu 13.04” and just above that a box that says “password”. Waiting for the answer.
[Confused? Read this post to see what is going on. Complete with links to the first two parts]
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