Was it just chance that the fly landed on Tim’s iPad and hopped about in the order that it did? As he slumbered and snored he wouldn’t know he’d swallowed the infected activator of his altered schedule, and that the misinformation he would read in the morning would lead him through a chain of events that would dramatically change the course of his life. A dream beyond all dreams would begin in him this night from a source so minute it would be undetectable; someone or some thing somewhere had intervened. “For is not the greatest fate of any man ended with a child’s dream...?”
Tim woke abruptly, his eyes opened to a dark room, until he’d regained his awareness he wasn’t sure if he was at home in bed or in bed at a home and until he’d checked his iPad he didn’t know if it was dark because it was late evening or early morning. The time on the Pad showed 5:27. He read Friday 13th on the Calendar icon as he touched it with his left index finger and the calendar application opened into monthly view; April 2018. He had felt a fool for the last fortnight since turning up for a poetry reading dressed as a girl for charity and receiving a frosty reception, the following morning having been April fools day and all. Looking at the screen and noticing the entry, he remembered that his next poetry reading event at a nearby arts centre was this evening but couldn’t recall the scheduled time, he looked again, 19:01, strange; how did that 1 get there? Perhaps he’d made a mistake when he’d entered the time using the rotary touch control, maybe brushed it with his little finger. He subtracted twelve from nineteen and got 7PM then, remembering he had also to attend his outpatient ‘care plan approach’ review that morning, he rolled over again and squashed his face into the pillow with a big sigh.
“Conspiracy theories have never been my forte...” replied locum psychiatrist Doctor Evrillia dismissively to his patient’s explanation whilst marking an increase on Tim Sauvibec’s medication chart. “The fact is Tim, I don’t think you’re very well at the moment and I’d like you to spend some time on the ward where we can keep an eye on you.” This can’t be happening thought Tim, his heartbeat pounded in his stomach at the prospect of being locked in the mental ward again. The doctor’s voice worried him to the core. He wasn’t crazy- the world was. This was a trap. The condescension of the situation seemed ludicrous yet he couldn’t deny the serious consequences it would cause for him.
“No, I’m fine really.” Tim said. A silent pause followed, until the doctor tightened the noose further, “You’re not well enough to decide that right now Tim”. Flight would get him nowhere; calm reasoning was his only hope but Tim knew arguing was pointless; these bastards had him by the bollocks. He knew better than to resist transportation; it was too late, again the fate of hospitalisation had been decided for him.
The voice in his left ear laughed mockingly.
- Preview of ‘The Alien Bug’ by John Cook.