Escape

There was no past, no future. Only the immediate present.



From what I could surmise, it was a large building. We were inside and I could not recall seeing the outside while on the way in. Long hallways receded into gloom, as if a veil shrouded their furthest reaches. The aisles were lined by plain-painted, smooth-finished walls. There were many stairs. A quick view of a meeting or conference room crowded with tables and chairs, but no logos or any other identifying marks to be seen. Nothing was recognizable, yet nothing seemed amiss. People came and went, laughed and talked, barely noticing our presence. They were distant, never close, white background noise. Underlying everything was an intangible feeling of threat.

I knew two things for sure - I was not alone, though in the name of anonymity my companion will remain un-named, and that we were in Mexico. Somewhere in Mexico. Spanish was being spoken. A transition from hallway to room seemed instantaneous as if one could be transported to another, distant, place simply by blinking. But for a third, unidentified, person in the room we appeared to be free. The third person was in some unexplained way ominous, and I sensed we were actually prisoners. I couldn't understand (there seemed to be much I didn't know, or understand) but my immediate thought was that we were being held by a drug cartel. As odd as it was, I could offer no explanation of why this should be, nor did I ever think to question the situation. It simply was.

Our hands were free, and mine held a mug of water. For the most part our captor kept his distance. There was no conversation, no movement, he simply watched us as we sat. But then there was a lapse. Our captor approached, too closely. Instantly recognizing the opportunity I seized the moment and swung, connecting with the hard ceramic, which shattered against the side of his face.

As he crumpled to the floor we ran. We ran along the corridors, down stairs, and along even more corridors. We ran until we, somehow, made it outside. Another blink of the eyes moment speeding up the passing of time. Once free of the building we threw ratty and torn blankets over our heads, somehow believing that disguising ourselves as homeless would help to hide us. Standing there we took stock of our situation. Our surroundings were at once a busy street, with all the hustle and bustle of a workday downtown, yet there too was a large grassy park. A soccer match was taking place, and a crowd stood around watching. Also watching were a pair or professional cyclists. I recognized their kit, but more than that, I recognized their faces (again, for the sake of anonymity, they will remain nameless). I had the eerie sensation they somehow recognized me. They avoided direct eye contact, but they were watching. They were watching us. I was sure of it.

Another blink revealed our captor, also outside now, approaching on a bike of his own. Blood on his face, he didn't notice us in our disguise, but we lowered our heads and withdrew further into the blankets. Surely he must be looking for us. Once he had ridden past we realized the need to move, quickly and far away. We dove into a taxi, and gave the driver the name of our hotel. Driving away should have been a moment of relief, yet apprehension began to rise. I again had a feeling, this time that if I were to look back those two recognized riders would be there. In pursuit, weaving through traffic as if running the gauntlet of the peloton. Following, trying to keep pace in the madness of fleeing cars. And that was it; I will never know if it was my increased heart rate, nervous perspiration, or the alarm clock waking me up, but the dream was over.

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