The Man Who Was Not There – Part 3

He opened his eyes only to have to squeeze them shut again as an intense light stabbed them. He rolled over on his side and moaned. His head was pounding and his throat was parched. He lay still for a moment and realized he could hear a small scratching sound. He was not alone.

He rolled over and shielded his eyes as he squinted at the room. The source of the light was a lamp with the light pointed right at his face. He could make out the dim outline of a seated figure next to the lamp. It was the man in the lab coat. The scratching sound was lab coat writing on his note pad.

“What the hell…could you turn that damn light off?”

“How are you feeling Mr.Thompson?”

“Wha…hey…my name isn’t Thompson, it’s Franklin.”

He had a vague sense of déjà vu but he couldn’t put his finger on why.

“Fred, this lack of cooperation is getting tiresome. Answer my question.”

“What? My name is Joe Franklin.”

“Really? Then how do you explain this?”

The man in the lab coat reached into his pocket and threw a driver’s license onto the bunk. It had the captive’s photo on it and the name Fred Thompson.

“I don’t know. It’s not mine. I’ve never seen it before.”

He tossed it back, but lab coat let it bounce off of him and land on the floor.

“You still haven’t answered my question Fred. How are you feeling? If I have to ask again you’ll regret it.”

“Well, let me see, my head is pounding and my throat is dry. Think it might have something to do with that injection you gave me?”

“What injection?”

He lowered his body back down on the bunk and put his arm over his eyes.

“Okay, fine, whatever.”

“Would you like some water?”

“What’s in it?”

“Now Fred, there’s no call to be like that. You said you were thirsty.”

Lab coat reached down by his chair and brought up a glass of water. He handed it over.

What the hell, the captive thought, and drank it.

“Was that good?”

“Sure, it was swell. Now when the hell are you gonna let me go?”

“You’ll have to start cooperating Fred.”

“What do you want from me? All you ever ask me is how I’m feeling.”

“I want you to tell me what I need to know Fred.”

“What might that be?”

Lab coat shook his head and went back to writing in his notebook. A few minutes passed and the captive felt a tingling in his scalp and his neck began to itch.

“What the hell was in that water, I…”

He tried to sit up but his body felt heavy and he collapsed back onto the bunk. His head rolled to the side and his vision doubled.

“I…my name is…”

Lab coat stopped writing and he leaned forward in his seat and peered into the captive’s eyes.”

“Your name is what?”

“I’m…Allan…Andr…I mean, I…Joe…”

“You’re not making any sense Fred. Want to try again?”

“What did you…Where…oh shit.”

He leaned over the side of the bunk and vomited. Lab coat went to the door and told the guard to send someone in with a bucket and mop then went back and sat down and started writing again.

When the mess had been cleaned up he went over to the bunk and got out a penlight and checked the dilation of the captive’s pupils.

“You’re not doing very well Frank. We’ll talk again later.”

He picked up the drivers license and as he walked to the door the captive lapsed into unconsciousness.

Part 4 Tomorrow

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