Isidoro takes a refreshing inhalation of the cool mountain air as he hikes along the trails in a quiet wooded area. He had worked sixteen days consecutively and was ready for a calm, relaxing day all alone with nature -- hiking, bird watching, and skinny-dipping in the lake.
As Isidoro kept on walking he noticed the faint sound of a helicopter in the distance. He wondered what might be going on. Maybe a car accident on the nearby highway. This interfered with the bird watching part of his adventure. He enjoys closing his eyes and identifying the birds by their chirping sound.
He was 65 minutes into his journey with nature and was loving the warm feeling of the sun on his face. "Mmmmm, there's nothing like a sunny day," he said as he tilted his head up toward the sky.
As he took the sometimes-rugged path, Isidoro felt he was getting his money's worth from his new Salomon Quest hiking boots. He bought them because they are lightweight and durably stable.
Now, 90 minutes into his hike, Isidoro was thinking he might stop a little way up ahead by a small gathering of ponderosa pines and spread out his Rumpl Down blanket and sit down to eat his brown-bag lunch before taking a snoozey siesta.
As Isidoro pressed on toward his lunch time destination, he felt a snag and some sort of tugging on his foot and lost his balance and fell. As he fell his mind went hazy, then blacked out.
When he awoke, he wasn't sure if it was just a few minutes, or hours, or maybe even days later. He tried to stand up but was unable to do so. His legs were weak, as if they were paralyzed. It was a loud boom that woke him, bigger and larger than the sound of a gun. It sounded like an explosion. Minutes later he heard another explosion and another right after that. Then there was silence.
Isidoro was lying there in complete darkness and piercing quiet. He could not figure out where he was or what had happened. The only thing he could sense was that he seemed to be lying on a wooden floor.
He began to frantically call out for help. "Help me! Somebody, anybody! I cannot see! I've been blinded!" As he was yelling, he urinated in his pants. This was an uneasy and uncomfortable feeling for him. A loss of control. Isidoro was lost.
He was flat on his back surrounded by the wetness and stench of his urine. Then he felt a sense of comfort and relief overtake him. He felt a slight motion like the movement of the ocean. Isidoro was floating in a shallow pool of water. It smelled of a relaxing lavender. But seconds later the lavender scent and water disappeared, and Isidoro was once again lying in his foul-odored urine.
Suddenly, a weariness overtook Isidoro. As much as he resisted, he momentarily succumbed into a deep slumber, but then immediately woke up. The tiredness was removed from him as quickly as it had hit him. His mind was awake yet experiencing waves of uncertainty. He couldn't move, but it felt as if his body was being lifted and transported through the dark.
Deep within the deafening quiet, from far beyond, Isidoro could hear the faint tapping of electric sparks. It sounded so familiar, but he couldn't make it out. It was too far away. He could hear it coming closer... tap, tap, tap... tap, tap, tap... tap, tap, tap. Once again Isidoro felt the movement of the water. He could feel waves splashing against the hull. The tapping became louder, and finally he recognized it... dit, dit, dit... dat, dat, dat... dit, dit, dit. It was a signal for help. Someone was in distress, but Isidoro was unable to help. He, himself, was in distress, trapped somewhere in a paralyzing darkness. Then, suddenly, the tapping stopped, and the crashing waves ceased.
Again, he was incapacitated, and his weakened body felt as if it was pinned to a wood foundation. He couldn't move; he couldn't see. The only sense that seemed to work was his olfactory sense. He detected the faint smell of ammonia, maybe even a slight trace of menthol.
Isidoro entered a dizzying spiral, and hunger had overtaken his body. Eventually, he blacked out.
When Isidoro awoke he was disoriented and felt exhausted. Again, he wasn't sure how long he was out, but he felt groggy, as if he had been drugged.
"My hands are shaking." Isidoro held his hands up to look at them forgetting for a second that he was in total darkness. "What's wrong? Have I gone blind?" He heard a loud, repetitive, knocking sound... thump, thump... thump, thump... thump, thump. "What is that sound?" He couldn't figure it out. Then he realized it was his heart beating heavily. This frightened him for a minute. "Why do I feel like I'm in danger?" he asked out loud. "Is this doom? Am I in hell? Did I do something wrong?"
As the anxiety mounted in Isidoro's mind, he began to hear a faint whispering sound, like a human voice in the distance. This brought some relief to him. Maybe someone was out there trying to help him.
The whispering sound was coming closer. It sounded like a chant. A deep, lifeless, controlled male voice. Isidoro had a hard time making out what the voice was saying. It had an echoing sound to it. The voice got closer and closer. It sounded like he was saying, "Isidoro." Then, suddenly, the voice was right there, in Isodoro’s presence, and it sounded very clear. The voice was saying, "Isidoro Bellio, I can see you." This frightened Isidoro. The voice knew his name. The voice could see.
"Who are you?" Isidoro shouted as he tried to thrust his body upward without success. "Where am I?"
The voice paused for a minute. Isidoro's heart began pounding.
"You are on the planet Zarg, Isidoro. Your planet Earth was absorbed by its sun. The sun entered the Red Giant phase and expanded beyond the Earth's orbit. Scientists on Earth had been working on a mechanism to move the Earth but were not able to secure all the components in time."
"But, if the sun absorbed the Earth, why am I still alive?" Isidoro asked.
"That's the thing, Isidoro,” the voice responded. “Your body is dead, but your psyche, your inner energy, your intelligence is still alive."
Isidoro wasn't sure what to believe. "Well, if my body is dead, why can I move my arms?" "The portion of your brain that controls your arms and your ability to speak were not affected," said the voice.
"I don't understand why I'm here," a bewildered Isidoro replied. "Isidoro," the voice went on to explain," Zargon officials have been observing the planet Earth for more than a million years. Our computations observed the speed of the growth of your sun and formulated an exact date of the absorption."
"If you knew the exact date of this absorption why didn't you help the scientists on Earth?" asked Isidoro. "You are mistaken, Isidoro," the voice spoke in a sinister tone. "Zarg's goal is not amicable toward Earth."
"You never answered me." Isidoro demanded, "Why am I here?" The voice answered, "You were on a part of the Earth, of which, the sun would absorb last. We were able to capture you within point 25 of a second before the sun absorbed you."
Isidoro sternly asked, "Why would you save me?" "Oh, so naive you are Mr. Bellio," the voice said. "We did not save you; we captured you! That's all for now, Mr. Bellio."
"But, but wait," Isidoro pleaded. "Come back! Come back!!"
The silence was back. Isidoro was once again alone, in his dark world. This awareness of nothing horrified him. “What is my future?” he thought.
Isidoro tried heaving his body in any direction possible. He wanted to find a way out. He wasn't sure from what he was trying to escape. He managed to move his body slightly to the left. This small movement accomplished nothing.
He began grasping with his hands along the wood floor. He tried reaching as far as he could in all directions. He felt something with his left hand, almost directly above his head. But this article, whatever it was, was just out of his reach. Isidoro put all his strength into moving his body with his elbows, as he was lying there flat on his back. He managed to scoot just enough to grab the object. It was small. It fit into his hand, maybe about three inches by three inches. It was made from a rigid plastic. He kept feeling its edges, trying to figure out what it was.
It was a heart shape. Suddenly, part of Isidoro's life on Earth flashed through his mind. He had tears rolling down his face. This was a cheap, little, plastic, heart-shaped locket he bought for his daughter when she was six years old. She had wanted it so much because it had a flashlight that lit up when you opened the locket. Isidoro carried that locket in his pocket everywhere with him after his daughter had died, at the age of 15, from an epileptic seizure.
Isidoro held the locket in his hand, and with some reluctance, opened it. The light came on! At last, he could see again! He looked around and saw that he was enclosed in an over-sized, plywood crate. Then the light flickered and went out.
“No, no!!” Isidoro yelled, "Why am I here???"
About the Creator
Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.
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