writing

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Here’s a tidbit from one of the novel’s I’m working on. It’s about a man who is hit on the head and can’t understand people. His friends believe he is dying and decide to take him on a road trip from El Paso to Seattle. Along the way, some strange things happen. This is where things first start to get really weird.

At some point during that night, deep in the quiet hours, which are few and far between in a town like Las Vegas, Bert awoke to something he wasn’t quite sure wasn’t a dream. The room the friends slept in was several stories above the strip. Through the transparent white shade that hung in front of the large picture window, Bert saw a moving shape. At first he took it for a flag waving, casting it’s moving shadow on the room. He saw it, then decided it wasn’t anything to spend time pondering about and tried to go back to sleep. When he closed his eyes, though, he began hearing a beating drum. Assuming it was music coming from a bar below, he again tried to ignore it. The thick pillow he slipped over his head didn’t block out the sound as he’d hoped it would though. It was as though the pounding passed through the fabric and it’s ample stuffing without being dampened.

He threw off his covers and walked to the window, pulled open the curtain. Outside his twelfth floor room, floating, was a man playing a simple, five piece drum set, singing along with his playing. Ghastly spot lights, blue and red, shone on the hovering musician and his kit. Bert could now hear the playing more clearly. The drummer played old American Jazz, riding the cymbal to his right, brushing the snare.

“You never know.” the drummer said to Bert, sounding as though he were in the room.

Yellow lines, like the ones Bert had dazedly watched on the highway through the car window on their way through appeared, flying up from the street. The lines passed behind the man and his drums, up towards the cloudless night sky. Bert stood dumbfounded in the window, not knowing why he could understand the man.

“You don’t know because some things don’t matter right now.” the drummer continued. He began speeding up his playing, in a few seconds flailing his limbs wildly.

“If you knew, you’d be able to protect yourself.” He warned, then faded away. The lines that were blasting up towards the sky behind him continued passing the window. The hotel room began lighting up with a yellow glow illuminating from them. Bert shut the blinds and turned around quickly to jump into bed, but found the drummer standing behind him. They were face to face.

“Friend,” the mysterious man whispered, his face sweating profusely, “I’m real sorry, but this is going to hurt.”

The man pushed Bert’s chest, slamming him into the window. His face turned from a bald, older black man into that of a blonde man about Bert’s own age. Before Bert could shake off the initial shock of being pushed by a shape changing man that he didn’t belong in his room, let alone floating outside his window, the man punched Bert square in the nose. Bert saw the room flash yellow once more as he was hit, then fell backwards, passing through the window without breaking it. His body turned towards the ground as he sped towards it. His stomach felt like it had been left behind on the twelfth story. As he plummeted, Bert hoped he wasn’t actually dying. He prayed to any being that may have the power to save him that he wasn’t about to die. He dropped into the leaves of a palm tree below, twisting his body and cracking his skull on a concrete wall a few feet below the tree’s leaves.

Bert then woke up. He was standing in front of the concierge desk in the lobby of the hotel, holding a pack of cigarettes in his out stretched arm for the person tending the desk to see.

“Sir, I’m sorry, did you hear me?” the concierge asked. “That will be nine dollars. Would you like to pay with your card?”

Bert looked down and saw that he was holding the cash. He slammed it down on the counter, then looked around quickly to examine the environment. It wasn’t his hotel. Somehow, he’d ended up in the lobby of the wrong casino.

“Thank you. Come back and see us!” The clerk shouted behind Bert as he ran out the front door and back down the strip to the casino where his room was. When he burst through the door, Khaki rolled over in the fold out sofa bed and mumbled something, but wasn’t able to stay awake for another second to even see that it was Bert rushing in. As Bert jumped back into his bed and covered his head with the pillow again to go back to sleep, he thought he saw a few feint yellow flashes through his tightly closed eye lids.

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