Thursday, January 21, 2016

Apricot Jones, pt II

The three men looked up at Apricot. Calm, yet impatient. These men were all scruffy, with short facial hair accompanied by some sort of smoking paraphernalia.
"You're holding up the packs, greenhorn." said another.
Apricot look at the Jack of Spades in his hand again, and then at the table, which had a Queen of Diamonds, an 8 of Clubs, both next to a picture of a Pig holding a trinket.
Apricot Jones was about to ask, "I'm sorry, I don't know how I got here, and I have absolutely no idea what game this is." but something altogether escaped his lips, "Grumbeth!"
The man to his left yelled, "Hogwash!"
The man to his right started ripping his cards in half.
The man sitting across from him declared, "call," and was about to hide under the table when suddenly the door got bashed open. A hooded man riding a horse entered the room. The horse yelled, "FOLD!" and the hooded man started shooting fireworks from two metal bucket-tubes strapped to the side of his horse. Everyone in the room was going haywire. Apricot instinctively put the Jack of Spades in his shirt pocket as the scruffy men ran toward the other door on the opposite side of the room. Apricot ran toward them, but they closed the door behind themselves, thereby stopping Apricot in his tracks. Apricot tried turning the nob, which wouldn't budge. He pounded on the door, yelling, "Guys, guys! Let me out!"
The hooded man drew a scythe from behind his back, and yelled, "APRICOT JONES!" The man removed his hood, revealing a middle-aged face with a medium sized, black beard. Apricot recognized the mans voice.
"Indu Thyme? is that you?"
"How do you know my name?"
Apricot was put aback for a moment, but realized he was speaking to a younger Indu. The Indu who had not yet met Apricot Jones. Yet there was something that didn't make sense.
"I've bet you before. Or after. Or something. But if you haven't met ME yet, how do you know MY name?"
"I know most people's names," said Indu.
Apricot's head started spinning. I feeling he recognized, but this time it came upon him more suddenly and with higher force. It seemed like his surroundings were getting closer and closer to his brain in attempts to compact it, to crush it. Apricot clenched his teeth and staggered, falling to the floor. Indu's eyes widened. Apricot yelled in agony as Indu lifted him onto the horse and galloped out of the room.
"Persevere, brother." Whispered Indu, "This, too, shall pass."
Indu and Apricot, galloped through dirt roads of an old-western town. Indu made his way onto the highway until he saw a wheat field. Indu dismounted the horse and put Apricot's arm over his shoulders and started swinging at the wheat with his scythe. Apricot was barely conscious at this point. Indu kept swinging, making his way deeper and deeper into the sea of wheat, until what was the sea became the sky. Suddenly they found themselves swiftly free falling toward a small, metal building in the middle of a gravel field. The longer they fell, the slower they descended, until finally they reached the building. Apricot was slowly regaining consciousness. His head still hurt, but not nearly as much as it was before.
"What happened?" asked Apricot, though he was slightly afraid the response would trigger another episode.
"I'm guessing you're body realm-jumped before your brain could catch up to it."
"So that's what all this nonsense is," Apricot thought to himself, " 'realm jumping.' "
"You must have been here for a few hours before your head caught up with you."
Indu unlocked the door to the metalic structure as Apricot followed him into the building. Inside was a series of pipes and tubes, connected to various machinery. They continued walking.
"What other realms have you been to?"
"I remember a forest, then an ice-world, a beach, and...and now here. The details are foggy."
"Don't worry, it'll all come back to you over time."
They walked toward a shiny column, with a tall door.
"In fact," said Indu, "the slower it all comes back to you, the better. Well, at least it's not as painful that way."
Indu opened the door to the column as cold vapor emanated from it.
"Tell me, Mr. Jones, Is my future self is the one responsible for all of this?"
Apricot nodded his head.
"Figures," said Indu, and he smiled slightly, "Well, I'm sure he'll...or 'I'll' be here any minute."
Indu turned to Apricot and sighed, "Tell 'me' I said hi."
Without any further explanation, Indu entered the column, and closed the door behind him. Through the glass part of the door, Apricot watched Indu strap himself into a large chair and pull a lever. Suddenly bursts of cold, cloudy substance surrounded him. Ice quickly built up against the glass and Apricot couldn't see anything through the glass. Machinery next to the column buzzed for a few more moments, and suddenly shut off. It wasn't silent for too long, when Apricot heard a door creak open at the opposite end of the building.

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