Lucidity Part 2.
It’s a sunny day today. Everything is calm; a flake of snow lands here and there, nothing unusual. A man carrying only a backpack reaches into his pocket, walking towards an airport. Although he is supposed to cross the crosswalk, he stops dead in his tracks. He grabs his phone; he received a voice note in a text message. He plugs in a headphone, and clicks on the voice note entitled “Exactly as I Do” and begins to listen to it. A woman’s voice began to speak.
“The person you are looking for is named Leon. I will give you his last name after. Begin crossing with your left foot.” The voice says. He does what he is told, and begins crossing with his left foot. “There is a little girl to your left looking at you. Smile at her and continue on your way.” He looks down, and surely enough, there she is. He smiles, but doesn’t wave (If he were to wave, that would mess everything up entirely). The backpack on his back has minimal items inside; a book, a toothbrush, a map, some money for food.
“Immediately turn to your right and check in to your flight.” The man turns right and gets in line; it isn’t that long. “There will be someone free in just a few seconds, pretend not to notice him. Wait a few seconds, go to the black woman instead.”
“Sir, I can help you over here!” The man says. He’s slightly overweight, and a bit older. It looks as if he has been working here for a while and he probably doesn’t have any patience for anyone anymore. He has most likely a lot of experience in the bag check-in business if nothing else.
“Sir, over here!” The black woman isn’t free yet.
“SIR!” The woman and her kid that the black woman was attending to left, and he walked up to her.
“Hello sir, checking into your flight?” She asked.
“Don’t say anything to her. Just give her the ticket. She will look at it and say-“
“Mister… Samuel Wagner. Hello. Portland, Oregon, huh? What’s there?”
“I have some business to tend to.”
“Enjoy your flight.”
“Thanks. Have a good day.”
“Now walk to the left, stick to the right side of the walkway. Buy yourself a Rolling Stone magazine; it has the singer from Aerosmith on the front. Don’t talk to the man behind the stand; just give him the money and leave, continuing the same way down the walkway.” Sam did everything he was told to do. The woman’s voice seemed to know what she was doing, so he continued to do as he was told. This wasn’t the first time Sam has done this.
“Stop RIGHT NOW. See that gum wrapper under your feet? Grab it, fold it nicely and put it in your pocket. You’re going to need this later. Now turn left and go into the bathroom so you won’t have to on the plane.” He goes in, walks up to the bathroom. He uses the urinal on the very right.
“May I help you, sir?”
“Hehehe.” The girl’s voice giggled. “The fat guy to your left was staring at your junk.” Sam quickly zipped up his zipper and went to the sink to wash his hands. The man previously next to him at the urinals picked the sink farthest away from Sam to avoid another awkward confrontation.
“Look over at him and shake your head. I know it’s awkward and weird, but this was how I envisioned it and you HAVE to follow what I tell you to do or it’s not going to work, Sam.” Sam looked over to his right, while the fat man looked to his left and they both had weird eye contact. Sam shakes his head, and the man looks back down to washing his hands.
Sam dried his hands off and left. “You still have time to kill before finding Leon. Walk across the walkway to the coffee shop; order yourself your favorite drink. ‘Can I get a-‘“
“Venti Mocha with a little extra chocolate?”
Sam gave the cashier his money and waited for the drink, and the woman’s voice told him to sit next to a person with a notebook.
“May I sit here?” Sam asked.
“Well, sure.” The man said. The notebook was a just a notepad, where the paper was blank except for the word “Ideas” in the heading. The man looked a bit flustered.
“What’s that you’re writing?” Sam asked.
“Oh, I need to pitch ideas for a movie to my boss by the end of the day or I’m fired. I’ve got two kids and a jobless wife at home, and I need this. Do you have any ideas?”
“Hmm. How about this? A man walks through an airport or a subway of some sort. He has a headphone up to his ear, and in the ear is a voice of a girl that uses her dreams to tell the future. This man follows her instructions word by word and does EXACTLY as she tells him. I’ll let you decide what happens from there. Call the man an Alterer and the girl the Translator.” Sam says. The man just stares at him.
The girl is laughing in Sam’s ear.
“Venti Mocha with a little extra chocolate?” The barista says.
“I have to go.” Sam gets up and grabs his coffee, walking out.
“Thank you, kind stranger!” The man says, and immediately grabs his pen to write down the idea before it slips his mind.
“Maybe they’ll talk about us now, Sam. ” Sam smiles, and goes to the security station. He puts his backpack through, takes off his belt, his shoes, his cell phone, and walks through.
The machine doesn’t beep; the thing that he needs that’s in his shoe isn’t metal anyways.
He grabs his backpack, puts on his shoes and belt, puts his headphone back in his ear, and continues to walk. There were no more stops that the girl told him to make, so he went to his gate and sat down right next to the little girl from earlier as his headphone told him to.
“Do you believe in Santa?” The girl says.
“Yes I do,” Sam says back. “What did you ask for this year for Christmas?”
“A Barbie dollhouse and some movies. I love watching movies.”
“Hey, me too!” Sam says.
“Really? What’s your favorite movie?” The girl asks.
“ME TOO!” She says with excitement. Sam winks at her, but unfortunately, the little girl’s Dad saw the wink, and made him feel uncomfortable.
“Come on honey,” The Dad says. “Let’s go get some food.”
They get it and eventually come back; while Sam sat there patiently waiting like the girl instructed him to.
“Okay honey, spit out your gum.” Her Dad said.
“Give her the gum wrapper to spit it into.” Sam reached into his right pocket and said, “Here!” She took it from him, the Dad nodded at him as if to say his thanks, and she spit her gum out and threw it in the trash.
The three of them talked, but Sam wasn’t able to say what he wanted and couldn’t lead the conversation where he wanted it to go because he was told exactly what to say, so it was almost as if the girl was talking to them instead of him. He didn’t mind it, what the girl had to say to the father and daughter was actually quite nice, he made both of them laugh quite a few times.
The plane began to board, and Sam was the first one on. He sat down, but then he was told to get back up. “Give the father and daughter the seats.” He did as he was told, and made their day entirely. In first class they would be given a nice meal and a movie to watch, which was Toy Story, exactly what the girl wanted. She was as happy as can be, and Sam got a warm feeling inside for doing it.
He sat down in that empty row with a smile, and the girl in the headphone went straight to business.
“The flight attendant walking down the aisle is Leon. His full name is Leonard Michael Langley. Put on your seatbelt and look forward, refrain from any eye contact with the guy. He has hit his son on multiple times. Once causing him to run away, once knocking him out completely. He is another Alterer, and we need to take him down. His Translator just passed away, so he will not be expecting it. Let’s kill this fucker. For now, try to sleep. We won’t do anything until the end of the flight.”
The pilot turns on the intercom to inform the passengers that they will arrive at PDX (The Portland International Airport) in just under an hour.
“Turn this off, and go to sleep. Don’t order a drink; just say ‘No thank you’. Turn on the next voice note when you wake, but remember not to let anyone see that you are using your phone. (Sam’s phone vibrated, showing him he received the next voice note) Turn on the next ‘Exactly as I Do’ RIGHT when you wake, it’s important. Enjoy your rest, Sam. You need it.”
Sam almost fell asleep right away, but he didn’t dream. While he slept, Leon walked right past him, handing out drinks for all the passengers, singing along to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” on Toy Story.
Sam slowly opened his eyes and reached for his phone. He put his headphone in, clicked on ‘Exactly as I Do’.
“Hello Sam. Hope you slept well. It’s time; get up to use the bathroom now. The departure is just about to begin; Leon will be in the front of the plane. Go to the bathroom in the back, there should be someone in there.” Sam got up and waited for the bathroom. “See that cup of coffee? That’s Leon’s.” Surely enough, it was sitting there, with a cap on so it wouldn’t spill. The girl explained that he forgot to grab it before going to the front of the plane.
The person came out of the bathroom, Sam locked himself in.
“Take off your right shoe.”
He took off his right shoe.
“Pull off your sock.”
He pulled off his sock.
“Grab the pill.”
He grabbed the pill.
“Now put it in his drink.” Sam got out of the bathroom, took off the cap of the coffee cup and dropped the pill, and used a plastic spoon to stir the drink. He put the cap back on and went to his seat.
They landed, and started slowly driving up to the gate. Sam grabbed his backpack from under the seat. “You need to go as fast as you can, Sam. As soon as you are about to walk off the plane, you can look back to see Leon if you want. You need to get up before everyone else does.” Leon walked to the back to grab his coffee and then go back up to the front to say goodbye to the passengers. Sam heard a sipping noise behind him.
Sam did exactly what he was told, and he began to pass people, and said goodbye to both the pilot and the other flight attendant. He looked back, and there was Leon. The girl in the headphone made him switch spots with the father and daughter so if they were to figure out who was sitting there, they would not suspect Sam. He left before anyone became suspicious.
He was clutching his neck with one hand, and reaching for the attendants at the front for help. He was foaming at the mouth. No one had noticed yet. Sam left the plane and started walking to the gate, where screams were made behind him. “Don’t turn around, Sam. Just keep going. Walk straight through the gate and through the door to outside and chase the shuttle to the rent-a-car place.” Sam put his hand up and waved at the shuttle so it would stop, and surely enough it did. The plan was done perfectly; Sam did everything he was supposed to do.
“Good job, Sam. I’m proud of you. Now reach into your pocket for information on where to reach the next Alterer, your next target. We need to kill him before he meets his Translator and before he realizes he's an Alterer.” Sam reached into his pocket and grabbed a piece of paper. On it were a few jotted notes:
Will be at Providence Portland Medical Center with friend Skyler (Leon’s Son)
4805 NE Glisan St.