“You must wake, now.”

John woke with a jolt. Pain screamed down his arms, legs, and ribs. He tried to take a deep breath and open his eyes, but his face pressed against something cold, wet, and gritty. He pushed himself up onto his hands and knees and spit what tasted like sand.

A beach? How did I get here? I was home, in bed? What the…?

“Go to the red awning.”

John leapt to his feet and spun around. No one was there.

“Who’s there?” he shouted. Every joint and muscle screamed at him. “Who said that?”

He turned and saw a wall that lined the beach. Past the wall were cars and buildings. Nothing recognizable. But, there was a small, red awning.

He made his way to the red awning and pushed open the door.

The store was overstuffed with knickknacks and a young woman stood behind a cluttered counter.

“John?” she said with a smile. “We’ve been expecting you. Close the door.”

He pushed the door closed with his back. “Expecting me?”

“Yes.” She said. “Welcome to the Committee.”


Photo by Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash

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