Ha! Welcome to Chapter two! Where the fun characters start to appear. Not in much frequency at first, but they ARE appearing. Progress!
A big thank you to all our rabid fans who have reviewed so far (HI EMILY). ENJOY!
Chapter Two - Still no Milk
As simple and noble as John's intentions were, he did not get very far before being confronted with something altogether outside his normal comfort zone - unplanned conversation. It was just as he was taking the final steps off his short and stout driveway and onto the footpath that his quest was brought to a crashing halt.
"Excuse me, John?"
With these momentous words, John was forced to abandon his careful paces and confront the sizeable intrusion into his comfort zone. This intrusion as such was indeed a woman. A tall woman with long black hair, and shining brownish-red eyes. She wore a sleeveless black shirt with a pair of knee length shorts, preceding a long coattail extending all the way down to her black laced shoes. A pouch was draped down around her waist, with a decidedly book shaped bulge protruding outwards. He had no time to be intimidated, or to panic. John was forced to abandon all trains of inner thought completely and throw himself out onto the harsh gravel of spontaneous speech. It hurt.
"Uhh ... yes?" On a normal day John would have been very proud of this sound reply. Yet today was far from a normal day, in both what was yet to come as well as the current milk catastrophe. As it was, John didn't have a spare second to even reflect upon his momentary victory over the dastardly forces of spontaneity.
"I'm sorry, sir, you're going to have to come with us." It was at this point where several key features of the situation finally dawned on John. She had identified him by name. She clearly knew where he lived. There was something happening that he did NOT plan. And perhaps the very worst, she was VERY tall.
Whereas a normal person would consider all kinds of spur of the moment explanations, ranging from the FBI tracking their illegal music collection or a rogue alien about to abduct him for hideous probing experiments, any explanation this interesting would not have occurred to John even on a normal day at home wrapped tightly in his safety blanket with mister snuggle bunny. No, the worst thing John could summon to mind was something he periodically held an intense fear of – were his library books late?
Technically, no, they could not be. He had only withdrawn them a week ago and they were not due back for another three weeks at the very least. Yet, this was a man whose entire sense of stability had been thrown into chaos at the very impossibility of running out of milk a full day before schedule; a feat made statistically unimpossible by his very precise and calculated use of any liquid in his household. Perhaps even in spite of the receipt pinned very carefully next to his calendar, John hadn't issued the books out at all! Was he in possession of unissued books? The very thought was horrifying. John's entire sense of self being was being questioned before he even had the time to blink.
Were the librarians closing in to extract a detailed account of his extensive literature thievery? Was he going to have to think up a perfectly good reason as to why he had illegally made off with A Detailed Guide to Human Anatomy: The Un-illustrated Version and 1001 Knitting Patterns; for Every Skill Level from the Beginner to the Very, Very Old Woman? Was he going to have monetary FINES imposed on his account?
The terrifying range of possibilities were too much for John to handle, well, ever. The world spun. Darkness closed in. Librarians spun before John's very eyes. Before the other speaker had time to react, John had collapsed onto the pavement.
Through murky thoughts and hazy darkness John could hear an unfamiliar voice – the very worst kind.
"-back into his house...pretty shaken... think he's onto us already."
The words made no sense to John at all. Clearly, this was one of those rabid hallucinations one only had when consuming expired milk. John definitely did not remember consuming any such dairy product whatsoever, yet memory was eluding him at the moment, so he opted to take the safest option; lie still. After a short pause the voice continued.
"No. Nothing at all. We checked."
With a loud and totally mental gasp John suddenly remembered. The intimidating librarian lady. The lack of milk. The books! Were they searching for them? Had they taken him hostage within his very own home to interrogate him about their whereabouts? John's head began to swim again and he very nearly passed out once more. Every point of John's body wanted to shudder with the sense of discomfort and vulnerability. Before he could think any further, the voice continued.
"No no, we checked there too," there was a slight pause and the very faint sound of a phone being switched from ear to ear, "Yes Leon, there too. There's nothing here. The house barely looks lived in." Another short pause. "Look, if you wanna come in here and look for yourself, then be my guest! I'm not touching another room of this place till this guy wakes up. It's just plain freaky."
There was an aggressive click and an exasperated sigh, a decidedly feminine one at that. This all very much backed up John's librarian-interrogation theory, and so he quivered silently where he lay – refusing to open his eyes even slightly as if he could will the day back to how it had been before his life had been torn to pieces. He remembered a millennia ago when he had been quite happily living with his carefully calculated milk levels and mildly occupying library books that were most definitely not overdue. Yet no matter how John tried, his powers over the space-time continuum seemed to have remained unchanged. And he had no plan B.