The Man Who Was Not There – Part 1

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…

William Hughes Mearns

As he opened his eyes the bright light sent stabbing pains shooting all the way to the back of his head. He shut them tight and turned his head into the mattress and tried to calm his breathing. At last he sat up and put his hands over his face and opened his eyes again and waited for them to adjust as the pain receded.

When he could finally tolerate the brightness and his vision focused he looked around the room he was in. White walls and no windows. One wooden chair and nothing else but the bunk he was sitting on, which was chained to the wall. High ceiling and one small ventilation grill too far up to reach.

Not a sound to be heard. He moved to the door and put his ear to it. He heard footsteps approaching and went back and sat down on the bunk. He heard the sound of a key in the lock and a man in a white lab coat entered and sat down on the chair.

The man took a notebook out his pocket and began writing without looking up.

“You want to tell me how I got here and why?”

“How are you feeling Mr. Andrews?”

“Andrews? My name isn’t Andrews. You must have the wrong guy. What the hell is going on, why am I here?”

The man with the notebook sighed and leaned forward.

“Allen, if you’re going to be difficult you’re only going to regret it. Now I asked you how you’re feeling and I’d like an answer.”

“Allan? Look, my name isn’t Allan. What’s going – “

The interrogator took a rectangular card out of his pocket and tossed it on the bunk. Picking it up and looking at it the man he called Allan furrowed his brow and threw it back down.

“Okay, so you’ve got a driver’s license with a photo of someone who looks like me. So what? I’m not this person.”

“Allan, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Either way you’re going to answer my questions. I’m not here to answer yours; you’re here to answer mine. I’ll ask you one more time, how are you feeling?”

“Well, I feel like shit, since you ask. I have no idea how I got here or why and my name isn’t Allan, it’s Frank.”

“If your name is Frank why does your driver’s license say Allan Andrews?”

“It’s not my driver’s license!”

The interrogator wrote in his notebook for several minutes and then looked up again.

“You said you don’t remember being brought here, is that correct?”

“Yeah, that’s right. Look, I don’t find this amusing. I want my clothes and I want out of here. Right now.”

“Allan, I’m afraid that’s not possible. You’re going to have to start cooperating.”

Flying off the bunk he nearly had his hands around the interrogator’s throat when the door flew open and two beefy guards grabbed him by either arm and threw him against the wall knocking the wind out of him.

One if them got his arms behind his back and the other landed a solid punch to his solar plexus and he went down on his knees. They lifted him up and put on his back on the bunk and left.

The interrogator put his pen in his breast pocket and his notebook in his lab coat and stood up.

“I’ll come back later when you’re feeling better Allan.”

He knocked on the door and was let out.

Part 2 Tomorrow

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