Part XVIII – I Just Wanted A Soda
Rock wakes up in a small, white room with one door and no windows. He soon discovers he is strapped down to a table, with a pillow under his head.
“Hello,” a voice on an intercom says. “How are you feeling?”
“Who are you? Where the hell am I?” Rock yells.
“I am Doctor Smith, your Primary Care Psychological Technician. You are in the Quincy Metropolis Mental Health Center, Ward South Two. Are you feeling better now?”
“I’d feel better if you let me the fuck out of here!!”
“Well; you’ll never get well with that attitude,” the voice says. “When you are ready to co-operate with us, I’ll be back. Please, help me to help you. If you do, you can get off that table and into a casual restraint jacket. Would you like that, Mr. Tone?”
“AAaahh! Let me out of here you bastard! I’ll sue your ass! I’m a rock star! I have friends in high places! You’ll regret ever fucking with me Dr. Smith!”
“Nurse, have the room filled with sedative gas, then hook up the Thoughtscan Imager. I want to see this man’s nightmares. I want to see how his brain works while he sleeps.”
“Yes, Dr. Smith.”
“My God,” he says aloud. He is alone in the monitor room, viewing Rock Tone’s dreams. As he sees the figure of the shadow-lurker, sliding its un-natural shape about the twilight shadows of the ruins, he himself begins to feel the terror of Rock Tone, asleep on a table in a small room. ‘It seems so real; more so than any other dream I’ve seen.’
As Rock runs through the twilight ruins, he sees shadows of the lurkers everywhere, sometimes one of their withered limbs, but never does he get a clear picture of their horrible, true form. Rock turns a corner quickly, running into a pillar of ancient stone. As he gets up, he feels the shadow-lurkers closer, closer…
Dr. Smith jumps up from his seat, pressing a button on the console in front of him. “Nurse! Wake Mr. Tone immediately! Nurse! Wake him now!”
“She can’t hear you anymore.”
“What?” Dr. Smith utters, turning around. The sight of the shadow-lurker, its full form revealed there in the bright monitor room, is too much for his mind. The terror causes his heart to fail, and he falls to the floor clutching feebly at his chest.