Daily Prompt: Twilight Zone
by Krista on February 28, 2014
Ever have an experience that felt surreal, as though you’d been suddenly transported into the twilight zone, where time seemed to warp, perhaps slowing down or speeding up? Tell us all about it. If you haven’t had an experience in real life that you can draw from, write a fictional account of a surreal experience.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us SURREAL.
The sun had just peeked his face above the horizon sending brilliant red and orange light into Jack’s face as he got in his car to go to work. He sat in the car and before he started it up he just paused for a second. He had a strange nagging feeling, like when you forget if you left the stove on or left the front door unlocked. Only it wasn’t a nagging feeling that he forgot something. It was just a strange nagging feeling. He let it go and left to begin his forty-five minute commute to work in the chaos of morning rush hour that daily tested his patience.
As he merged into unusually light traffic on the interstate, he turned the radio on to his morning ritual of NPR’s Morning Edition. The news stories always seemed to calm his nerves during the chaos of traffic. It gave him something to concentrate on other than the morons cutting in and out of lanes or going ten miles per hour under the speed limit in the passing lanes.
The familiar voice of Renee Montagne filled the car reporting on some story. Jack couldn’t concentrate on the news because of that strange feeling. The radio filled with static as if he was moving out of the listening area but he was in the middle of the city. This had never happened. And the traffic was unusually light. He deftly changed lanes passing cars here and there. The radio kept going in and out and after a minute or so he just turned the radio off all together. He figured he didn’t need it with traffic being so light.
After a few minutes of silence he thought he heard a voice again and figured he might have just turned the volume down instead of off. But he looked down at the radio console and it was off. Then he heard the voice, clear as day, like someone was sitting in the passenger seat. The voice said, “It’s not the radio, Jack.”
Hearing this voice, and the split second it took for him to register it and know that nobody was in the car with him nearly made him run off the highway. He jerked the wheel back into the traffic lane from halfway on the shoulder kicking up tiny rocks and plenty of dust and dirt in his wake.
“What the hell was that,” he asked out loud. Half expecting an answer, he braced himself so he wouldn’t repeat his poor driving of a few seconds ago, but the voice did not return. He turned the radio back on and This time a story about some kids in California dealing with the schools and the American flag. He still couldn’t concentrate very much but at least it wasn’t static like before. “It’s going to be a long day,” he thought to himself.
“Yes it is. But it will be worth it,” the Voice said.
“Who are you?!” Jack didn’t lose control of the car this time, but he was startled nonetheless. The voice didn’t answer.
He finally pulled into the parking lot and walked to his office, sat down and just stared. His coworkers all asked him if he was alright and he said he was. He just had a bad night’s sleep that’s all. He was afraid that people would laugh at him or think he was seriously going crazy if he told them what had really made him this way.
The day progressed normally until about eleven o’clock when he was wrapping up a report and getting ready to go to lunch. He thought he heard someone call his name, he turned around but nobody was at his cubicle. He stood up and peered over the wall, Sherry wasn’t in her cubicle.
“Tim,” he called across the isle at his friend. “Did anyone call my name out just now?”
“Nope,” Tim said without looking up from his computer. “I think you’re going crazy.”
Jack stood there agape. His face flushed and his palms started sweating. Tim looked up now and laughed at the sight in front of him.
“Dude, I’m kidding. You’re not going crazy. I just didn’t hear anyone.”
But it wasn’t what Tim said that caused Jack to freeze in his tracks. Jack saw a reddish orange glow around Tim’s body. It seemed to dance just like the lines on a digital equalizer going up and down in short quick movements, only around Tim there were thousands of thin lines that all seemed to blend together.
“That’s his aura Jack. The red signifies strength and energy in this case. The orange signifies determination. He’s in a state of concentration and is feeling very confident about his abilities and in himself.”
The voice seemed to come from his right, so Jack turned and saw a man who looked to be in his thirties, young, with chiseled features. He was dressed in white robes and had a white glow about him. “Dear God,” Jack thought. “I’m dying!”
“You’re not dying, Jack. You’re connecting to the Universal consciousness. We’ve picked you, Jack. We have agreed to give you powers beyond your abilities. What you would call psychic powers.”
Seeming to fade in louder and louder he heard his name being called out. Jack turned back to Tim who was standing up now with a concerned look on his face.
“Dude, what the hell? Are you feeling alright? You just zoned out on me. What’s going on?”
“I don’t know.” He looked at Tim and saw his “aura” alternating between pink and blue. The voice came from in his head this time, “The blue signifies Tim’s loyalty to you and his sensitivity to his perceived condition of you. The pink signifies his friendship for you.”
Jack thought to himself, “Can you hear me? Can I talk to you through my mind?”
“Yes, of course,” the Voice answered.
“Can I pause time or something so I can think for a minute without being interrupted by anything?”
“Just think it, and believe it and it will happen.”
Just like that, time seemed to stand still to Jack. He stepped back from Tim and walked around him looking at Tim frozen in time in mid sentence telling him he ought to take the rest of the day off and go home and relax.
He walked around the office, not hearing anything but his breathing. As he walked, it felt like he was in a dream, moving in slow motion. His limbs wouldn’t work as fast as he wanted them too, as if he was trying to move like normal while being underwater.
He walked around the corner and saw his other friend Rikki Ann sitting at her desk frozen as she was typing an email. He tentatively reached out to poke her cheek expecting her to jump at him and scare the crap out of him. But she didn’t. And it felt just like he thought it would. It just felt like normal. Then he picked up a lock of her long dirty blonde hair and held it out and then let go. He didn’t know if it would stay where he left it or if it would fall back into place. It stayed in place when he let it go. But when he looked closer it was sort of floating there as he could barely see it moving back and forth as if it was floating on the calm and gentle waters of space and time.
“Amazing!” He sat on her desk staring at the floating hair trying to process everything he was experiencing for the first time. He felt like he was in a dream. Like he could wake up at any time and find himself in his bed with the alarm screaming to wake him up.
The man appeared and Jack looked at him smiling. The man smiled back. “I am called Phillip. I am your guide and I will be with you until you die. When you die, you will become part of the Universal consciousness and may someday be called upon to be someone’s guide. This is nothing to be afraid of, Jack. This is a wonderful gift you have been given. We chose you because of your kind, giving heart. We determined you wouldn’t use this power for bad, but for good. For helping people and yourself. Your reward for this will be happiness beyond your wild imagination. You need only to think of something and it will manifest itself to you in time. More will be explained as you progress in your abilities.”
Without knowing how, Jack seemed to understand and accept everything Phillip just said without question. And instantly he felt happiness like he had never felt before. Every fiber of his being seemed to jump for joy.
It was the most surreal five minutes of his life to that point. He was sure he would have more as the days and months and years passed by.
Without help from Phillip, he walked back to where he left Tim and found him still frozen in time. He resumed his place and looked at the concern frozen on his face and he smiled. He was going to seriously enjoy his life now.
Jack formed a thought of time resuming, he believed it, and it happened; time continued and thus began his lifelong quest of bringing happiness to others.