If you like this story, subscribe to Unlikely Realm for more exclusive content from the author.
Jacob couldn’t believe what was happening. He had lived his whole life without anything significant happening to him and then he was kidnapped and extorted by a psychotic cop, not to mention nearly being blown up, all in a single day. Now he was sitting in a car with this same lunatic, driving off to who knows where. All this just to get a girl’s phone number and avoid perpetual harassment from this same man. To make things worse, his abductor seems to think he’s someone or something he’s not. Jacob didn’t want to think about what would happen to him when the truth came out that he was nothing special.
That is if he made it out of this car alive. The way this man drove he would be lucky if he didn’t wind up as the hood ornament on a bus. He went through red lights and weaved around traffic with an almost reckless abandon. It was as though he had nothing to lose and he didn’t care who he took down with him.
It was an hour or so ago, Dregg had turned up at his door, insisting that he get dressed and go with him. This cop was not a master manipulator by any means but he got what he wanted by brute force. That must be his cop training, Jacob thought. Or perhaps that’s just what happens after dealing with criminals day after day. Carrot and stick. It was crude but effective.
He had begun ranting about some power to control the universe. What did he call me? A loose thread in God’s tapestry. You know they’re really crazy when they start talking about God.
“I don’t know exactly how it works or why,” said Dregg, “but I’ve seen it with my own eyes and that’s all the proof I need. Maybe you have an overzealous guardian angel. I don’t know – but it works!”
“I keep telling you – what you’re saying is impossible.”
“I’ve seen it happen three times. You should be dead but you’re sitting here talking to me. You’re bulletproof.”
If it was evidence that convinced him, maybe he’s not so far gone and better evidence will dissuade him. Jacob thought about it for a moment. It was like arguing with a conspiracy nut but he had to try. “Okay. If what you’re saying is true, then how did I end up in the middle of a robbery to begin with?”
“I think whatever it is just does enough to keep you from getting hurt. It doesn’t control your life or affect other people. Like when you ran out in traffic. It didn’t stop you from doing it. It just stalled my car so you wouldn’t wind up getting hit.”
“But that makes it even harder to believe. Now you’re saying it’s not just reacting but it can predict the future.” He had Dregg now, he thought. If he believed in psychic powers, then he was a lost cause.
“Not necessarily. There was a few seconds between when you decided to cross the street and you actually stepping out in front of my car. That was more than enough time to stop me. Also, it could operate on probabilities. It could have stalled my car and you then you could have decided that you wouldn’t cross right there. Then I would have just seen my car stall for no reason and I wouldn’t have thought it was anything more than engine trouble.”
Jacob was getting frustrated. Dregg seemed to have an answer to everything. “If what you’re saying is true then why the explosion? And how did you kidnap me? Answer me that.”
“That diner was a time bomb. And look at you. You were standing next to an exploding gas main and you don’t have a scratch on you. A lot of people weren’t so lucky. As for kidnapping you, I’ve done no such thing. You agreed to come with me in exchange for my help. You may not like it, but you could always have said no.”
Jacob took one final stab at Dregg. “But why would the building explode then. Why not wait an hour or two when I’m not there.”
“It’s something about that girl that changes you…”
They had sat in virtual silence after that, driving around the neighbourhood, seemingly at random. When he asked just exactly he had planned, the only answer he could get was that they were waiting. Waiting for what Dregg wouldn’t say. Perhaps he didn’t know himself. Jacob only knew that when he did finally figure it out, things would not end well.