Patrick paced frantically inside the control room in my head as I dialled Ciara’s mobile phone and waited for her to answer. He had just spent the previous two minutes upending the entire office, breaking desk drawers and scattering manuscripts as he tried to find a solution in our hour of need.
The coffee stains were all but dried, corpses lay strewn in hideous positions and a foul stench of decay sat heavy in the air. We needed an alibi and we needed it fast. In a matter of seconds, Ciara would be fully aware of the situation and if we didn’t have our own fabricated version of events in place she’d see right through our lies. All would be lost.
“We may never be allowed to stay at home on our own again!!”, I scrambled to Patrick as I used my free hand to scour travel agency websites on my tablet taking mental notes of alternative emergency exit routes should our plan fail to succeed. “This could set us back years Patrick!! Generations even!!! We’ve only just been able to extend our bedtime past 9pm. Any false move over the next few minutes and you can kiss that privilege goodbye!!”
I clenched my eyes shut and began the journey towards the centre of my remembrance
“I know, I know master!!”, Patrick snapped back in reply as his eyes jumped from page to page desperately seeking the document he craved. “It’s here somewhere master, I know it is!!”.
Patrick was searching for a piece of information dubbed ‘The Female Protocol’. Stored deep within our long term memory and eschewed with wisdom for dealing with a member of the opposite sex, it’s location was the key to our survival.
“Update Patrick!!”, I bellowed, “We’re about to run out of time!!”
“I’M TRYING MASTER!!”, he whined in response. “IT’S NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!!!”
“I’ll give you a hand”, I continued as I clenched my eyes shut and began the journey towards the centre of my remembrance.
Riding my train of thought at untested Mach speed, I hurtled towards the origins of remembrance dodging memory after memory as I drew closer to the core and it’s hopeful answer.
“I SEE SOMETHING PATRICK!!”, I yelled. “I THINK IT’S HIDDEN INSIDE A BOTTLE!!”.
At that, the train suddenly and metaphorically switched tracks as it honed it’s sights on the newly found prize. “I’M GOING FOR IT PATRICK!”, I continued. “IT’S A LONG SHOT BUT IF I CAN SOMEHOW MANAGE TO SWING THE TRAIN ONTO THE LOWER INNER CIRCLE I MAY BE ABLE TO GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO REACH IT WITH MY HAND!!”.
As a victorious smile began to stretch across my face, the unthinkable and unexplainable occurred
Patrick responded frantically but I failed to grasp what he was saying. At the current speed I was travelling at there was no way that sound could penetrate my field. I was alone and I had to act fast.
The train hurtled onwards, arching to the left as it began to turn in the direction of the bottle. I clung on for dear life as the force of the turn tried to pressure my head towards my feet. The feeling was too immense to bare but as I began to cower downwards I momentarily glanced the horizon and saw a second track fall into view. That was the track I needed to be on. That was the track that would bring me within reaching distance of the bottle. If it was going to happen it needed to happen now.
I focused all of my energy and pulled the derailing lever as hard as I could. Without warning, the train suddenly veered at a terrifying angle as it switched to the new track and continued it’s journey towards the bottle. My heart jumped into my mouth as the force that had been pushing me downwards flipped it’s axis and began tearing at me from the side.
“A feeeeeeew m m m more secondssssss”, I encouraged myself as the centre of remembrance came into view, the bottle bobbing in it’s plasmic array.
Just as the train rocketed past, I extended my left arm, thrusting it out as far as I could.
The bottle would be in reach. It would soon be in my possession. As a victorious smile began to stretch across my face, the unthinkable and unexplainable occurred. The bottle somehow warped straight through my clutches.
In my rushed efforts to try to aid the situation I had completely forgotten one important fact. Although I had been able to climb aboard the train of thought my journey had not been a physical one. Bound by the confines of my very own mind, everything that had just happened had occurred inside my head.
The train continued forwards, retreating away to the walls of the temporary nodules. Our quest had failed. We had no response to provide to Ciara.
Somewhere off in the distance a telephone stopped ringing and a voice began to echo. “Hello??, hello??”, the female voice ushered. “Keef is that you?”.
It was Ciara. She had picked up the other line and could already sense that something was wrong.
It was time to face the music.