I hadn’t felt so lost and confused in my entire life. Last night I was in my own home, and now this morning I wake up to find I felt like I wasn’t even in the same world.
I looked down at my feet. I had all of the same clothing as the day before, but my body was planted on soil that was unfamiliar and strange. I looked up at the canopy of trees above me. The sunlight beams breaking in between the leaves above my head. To the right of me stood a brick bridge that looked to be about 15 feet high in the center and covered with vines and roots. The bridge arched over a small river right ahead of me. It had seen better days. To the right it looked like there was a pond that the river flowed into and looked completely overgrown and unloved, but at one time looked like it was cared for and quite beautiful.
I stood there for a good 30 minutes trying to acclimate and make sense of my situation. Nothing looked, sounded, or felt familiar. I didn’t recognize a single landmark, and, probably more eerie than anything, I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t hear people, animals, or even wind. I stood there motionless in dead silence. The absence of noise seemed to be the most deafening thing I have ever heard.
I took a breath and closed my eyes.
“Maybe this is just a dream.” I told myself. “And you will wake up when you open your eyes.”
I peeked through the crack of my left eye, keeping the right tightly closed. I was met with the same view I had moments before. I snapped my eyelid shut again and took a couple more heavy breaths.
“Maybe I need to make myself wake up.” I thought. I reached over and pinched my arm. It hurt.
Again, I peeked through the slit of my left eye, and again was met with the depressing view I had been plagued with this whole morning.
I gave a deep sigh, and opened both eyes reluctantly taking in the sight once again. I still hadn’t moved or made a sound in fear that any noise might shatter my surroundings.
After a few more long minutes, I decided I couldn’t stand here forever. I rolled my shoulders back and took a deep breath, not knowing what to expect. I turned around and took small quiet steps along the wall, placing my hand on the cold hard surface. It was surprisingly smooth. The hill I was climbing up was surprisingly steep. I was panting by the time I arrived to the edge of the bridge. I waited a few seconds to catch my breath, which was now the loudest thing in the park. I turned around to walk to the middle of the bridge. I though maybe I could get a better vantage point from there.
About a quarter of the way up the bridge, I caught a glimpse of something up ahead. I picked up the pace a little and made it to the top. The world I saw ahead of me almost knocked me back. I felt my stomach drop to the floor like a pile of rocks.
I was standing in the middle of a city. I saw tall buildings off in the distance all around me. They looked old and, much like the park I was apparently standing in, unloved. I didn’t realize it, but I had started to hyperventilate. I dropped to my knees grabbing the ledge of the bridge as I went down.
What was happening? This made no sense. Last I knew, there weren’t any deserted cities around. And why did I not hear any other signs of life, either human or animal? I couldn’t be the only one here.
As I was sitting there trying to figure out my next move, that’s when I felt it. The dart. I didn’t know it was a dart until later, but I felt the sensation of a bee sting in my neck, then the world started to fade to black.
All I could think of as I lost consciousness was, “Crap. I didn’t think it could get any worse.”
Then it did.