by Markus Moore
“What the hell?!” That observation was followed almost immediately by a blinding flash of pain that made me see stars, as I raised myself to a sitting position. As the pain subsided, I felt all over my head, searching for some kind of bump or gash. Oddly – and much to my relief – there weren’t any discernible wounds. “Must be drugs,” I remember thinking to myself.
As I turned my head to survey the dimly lit room, it appeared as if a bomb had exploded: furniture overturned, papers scattered everywhere – yeah, this place had been ransacked. The room was large, so much so that I could not see all of it with the one lamp that had not been broken in the apparent melee.
Nothing about this room seemed familiar; I was sure that I had never been here before.
Gingerly, I got to my feet (any sudden movement meant the return of the searing pain) and began to explore the room. I picked up a sheaf of papers scattered on the large, rectangular table in the center of the room. Financial records, but none of the data was familiar to me.
I turned, to continue my survey of the place. I had barely taken three steps, when my right foot landed in something slick on the floor. After I regained my balance, I squatted down to see what it was that I had stepped in. I haltingly stuck my right index finger into the goo and reflexively raised my finger to my nose. It had a slightly sweet scent and and was sticky, as I rubbed it between my finger and thumb. Based on a vague recollection of prime-time crime dramas, I concluded that it could only be one thing: blood. Lots of blood, too much blood. But whose blood, for there wasn’t a body to be found.
Panicking, I rushed toward the first door that I could see. As I staggered through the doorway, I found myself in an alley behind the building. The alley was empty, save for a black luxury sedan parked a few feet away. Without thinking, I reached into my right front pocket and wrapped my fingers around a key fob. I fumbled with the remote for a minute, before I managed to push the correct button to unlock the driver’s-side door.
I opened the door, slid behind the wheel and closed the door behind me. I searched around for a slot to stick the key into, when I realized that this car had a push-button ignition. With a smooth purr, the engine stirred to life. As I eased the car to the street at the end of the alleyway, I heard the wail of sirens coming from the other side of the building. It occurred to me that I should get the hell out of there, so I hit the gas.
Once I could no longer hear the sirens, I pulled over to the curb, to let me heartbeat return to normal and to decide on my next move. I felt that I should go home. But where was home? I raised myself from the seat and reached around to my back pockets, hoping to find my wallet or mobile phone, witch might yield some clue as to my address. No luck.
Then, I glanced at the dashboard display and discovered that this car had a built-in GPS system. It took me a few minutes of searching through the entries in the GPS unit. before I found an entry marked “Home,” with an accompanying address. I pulled away from the curb and followed the step-by-step directions until I pulled up at an expansive two-story house. I turned into the driveway and, after pressing the button on the remote that was clipped to the sun visor, eased the car into the garage.
Using one of the keys attached to the fob, I let myself into the house.
The interior was dark, save for the lights one normally leaves on to fool potential burglars.
Nearby, a modern-looking credenza featured a number of framed photographs. I picked one up and scrutinized the people in the photo, but none seemed even vaguely familiar.
Next, I made my way cautiously down the hallway, until I found a bathroom.
I had the thought that if I could splash some cold water on my face, I could clear my head and make some sense of this situation. I fumbled around in the dark until I found what I found what must be a light switch. Flicking the light on, I located the basin, at the far end of the room.
As I made my way across the room, I looked up at the large mirror that was suspended from the wall above the sink.
As I gazed at the image staring back at me, it was if I was looking at the face of a stranger.
As a wave of terror washed over over me, it was then that I came to a stark realization.
I had no idea who the hell I was.
END OF PART ONE