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"Yeah, darling, I'll be home by tomorrow afternoon," Joel replies into his cellphone.
"Aren't you going to stop for the night?"
"Yes, dear, I am. In fact, I'm about ten miles from Paradise, New Mexico. I'll get a room and crash there tonight okay. Look I'm in the middle of nowhere, and I'm gonna hang up. Take it easy, baby. Love you, bye." Joel hung up the cellphone tossing it to the empty passenger seat. The clock showed 11:30 p.m.
"Damn this is gonna be a long night," He said, popping in Pink Floyd's "Darkside of the Moon."
The night was beautiful, clear and crisp with the moon hanging full in the sky, and the heartbeat of the first track making him aware of his own heartbeat. The strong sure beat non-stopping in its cadence almost had a hypnotic effect. Joel rolls down the window feeling the air smack him awake. But there was something odd with the wind. There was almost a grumbling in it. The sound of something unnatural in the way it felt bothers him on some other level. Joel looks around the landscape - nothing, everything was clear. Picking up a little more speed, the car races across the desert road on its way to Paradise.
The grumbling grew louder, this time from behind, but this time it was coming with lights. Joel speeds up the car hoping to pull away, but the lights grew ever larger as the ground ripples towards the car in waves like cresting water. The waves catch up to the car tossing it in the air and crashing it on the passenger side. Joel smacked his head on the deployed airbag.
"Oh god, I can't be dead. I hurt too much." Making sure of no broken bones, the seatbelts were released. After grabbing his cellphone, Joel slowly crawled out through the smashed windshield of the wreckage. "Aww dammit, I just made the last payment." Joel dialed 911 as the cellphone beeps away but chirps back. "NO SIGNAL FOUND". "Shit! Looks like I'm hoofing it."
Cursing every step of the way to Paradise, Joel walks in the moonlight. His eyesight slightly blurred from the accident. The moonlight lit the landscape well. The minutes drag into hours. Looking at his watch. "Something's wrong. Where's the dawn?" The watch showed 7:18am. "It's working fine. I must have really gotten screwed up back there."
A roadside bar called "SH*T KICKERS" marked the outskirts of Paradise. Finally getting a break, Joel went inside. "Hello? Anybody in here. Joel nervously walked inside the quiet bar. To his surprise the place was packed with people. They just weren't moving. Joel waved his hand in front of some of the patrons, no reactions. "What the hell is going on here? Is this some kind of joke 'cause I ain't laughing." Joel moved about carefully, checking out the frozen people. After some time, "Since this is some sort of joke. I might as well enjoy it." Taking a Budweiser from a frozen waitress's serving tray. "Say, darling, you ain't bad looking." She was a pretty thing, 5'6" with short blond curly hair, blue eyes, sharp nose wearing a SH*T KICKERS T-shirt, mid-thigh denim skirt with cowboy boots. Finishing the first beer and working on a second beer, Joel rolls up the waitress's denim skirt until it was at her waist. "Hey! Not bad but I would think you would be cold without your panties darling." Sucking down his second beer and starting on his third one. "This can't be happening. I really got to be dead." Spying on a few of the female patrons in this bar, it was in no time at all that every woman in the bar was stripped naked and positioned around Joel's table. Some were standing around slightly bent over either showing their tits or mooning him. Some were sitting and of course there was one special woman that caught Joel's eye, a delicious brunette on her backside spread eagle on top of the table. "Damn this is fun! I wonder if I'm gonna burn for this?"
Leaving the bar after having a little more fun with the ladies, Joel heads into Paradise. It was more of the same. Cars frozen on the road, people not moving anywhere. "Would somebody hit the pause button!! This is getting ridiculous!!" Marching into a nearby VONS supermarket, Joel pried the doors open. Same story inside, everyone and thing was frozen in time. "FUCK!! What the hell is going on here?!? Walking up and down the aisle, people were frozen. After turning into the far aisle, a blond woman was laying naked on the floor. Her upper body suggested that she was reaching for something on a higher shelf but her legs were spread apart. "Somehow I don't think she was doing this on her own."
"Aw shit! Forgot the mustard." A ragged old man holding a sandwich turned into the aisle. "Well at least I can...... Who the hell are you?!?
"You can see me? You can move!" Joel runs over to the old man. "What the hell is going on here? Am I dead?" Joel asked.
Taking a bite out of his sandwich, the man answered, "No you ain't dead, and I'm no angel. You didn't get hit with something did you?
"Uh yeah, about 10 miles back out of town," Joel said pointing that way.
"Well that explains it. The same thing happened to me awhile back. I was out doing.... Oh, the names Red, Red Barton, and you are?" Extending a hand.
"Joel Gonzalez, and if I'm not dead, where the hell am I?"
"Beats me son. All I know is that everything is moving really slow. Give it some time, and you'll see her position change."
"Are there any more like us?"
Red scratched his head, "Yup, about four more that I know of. Most of them went crazy. Can't right blame them. Some headed west. By the way, you wouldn't happened to know exactly where you woke up, do you?" The old man asked
"Why? Is it important?"
"If you want to get out of here it is? You see, uh best I can tell, you really aren't here. When this happened to me I saw another me stuck in the air."
"It moved until it disappeared when it got to where I woke up. Come on boy, show me where it happened to you." Red grabbed a twelve pack of Coors longnecks on their way out.
Red and Joel walked back out into the desert where they found they finally found Joel's wreckage. "See here it is." Red looked about and pointed to the air. "And there you are boy." Joel couldn't believe his eyes. There he was in his car, actually another one, frozen in mid-air with Joel in the driver's seat. The car's movement could actually be seen. It was really moving, right towards the wreckage. Red moved up beside Joel. "Figure by the way its moving real fast. You got about a minutes or so to get back where you were boy."
"What about you Red."
"Well, can't say I'm rightly sorry, but tough shit boy." Smacking Joel in the back of the head with his beer bottle. Joel fell down as Red kicked Joel in the ribs hard. Red dashes into the car taking the driver's seat. The flying car touched the back end of the wreckage producing a shimmering light. Red gripped the steering wheel "Come on dammit!!" Through blurring eyes, Joel dragged himself towards the wrecked car. Red screamed. "Stay away boy!! It's your turn now!!" The two cars rippled together as the world started to speed up to the two time-trapped men. Ignoring his pain, Joel crawled through the windshield as Red pushed Joel in the face. "Stay away!!" The two cars were now halfway merged. Red's eyes widened in panic as Joel got in the car. "This is my car you son of a bitch!" Red cocked his arm back to punch Joel but he touched the bumper of the flying car and it was now merged with the car. "NOOOOOOOOO!!" Joel pushed the rest of Red into the car. There was a brilliant flash of light as the two cars joined together. Nausea engulfed Joel. His mind screamed as his senses were overloaded with wave after wave of distortions. Joel passed out.
"Mr. Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez. Can you hear me?" A male's voice said in the darkness.
Joel opened his eyes, squinting at the bright light above him. "I'm Doctor Gordon. You're at San Pablo Hospital. Can you understand me?" Joel nodded yes. "The police found you where you wrecked your car. You're going to be okay. You have a concussion and some bruising, but luckily you had on your seatbelt. We need to know if you were traveling alone. " Joel nodded yes. "The police found someone else. We don't know who he is. We can't identify him. Half of his body is in part of your engine. The police will want to ask you some questions but they'll wait until the morning. Right now get some rest. I'll send in a nurse to give you something for the pain." Doctor Gordon left the room. A few minutes later the nurse walks in. "Hello Mr. Gonzalez. Can you sit up please?" Joel sat up noticing the pretty nurse. "I'm sorry but I'll have to give you an injection. You can't eat anything for the time being." She swabbed his arm with some antiseptic. Taking his arm and finding a blood vessel she raises the syringe. "This will sting for a moment." She takes the needle and jabs the arm. "Ow." Joel winces in pain waiting for the shot to be over. Joel opens his eyes and to his surprise the nurse is not moving. The needle was still stuck in his arm. "NURSE!" The nurse jumped back in shock pulling out the needle. "Don't move so fast." She reinserts the needle in his arm. "There you go. You should feel better now."
Feeling better as the medication kicked right in, Joel told her, "You scared me there for a moment. I almost swear you weren't moving a moment ago."
"What do you mean not moving. You practically jumped out of bed. I didn't see you move at all. You shouldn't move so fast in your condition."
"I'm sorry, I'm feeling tired now," Joel slumped back down into the bed. The nurse moved closer refreshing his pillow. Joel closed his eyes thinking of all that happened. He slowly reopens his eyes and was not surprised to the nurse frozen in position. Hovering right over Joel, refreshing his pillow. All the sounds around him had stopped. "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Son of a bitch!! Joel laughed himself silly as he squeezes her tits. "I could learn to like this." Joel undid the buttons of her uniform and open it wide showing her white bra holding in her 36C's inside." After suckling on her nipples for what felt like 30 minutes, Joel lay back down and thought for a moment. The world caught up, all the sounds had returned as the nurse fluffed Joel's pillow. It was only a moment later when she dropped the pillow down to the floor.
"Omigod!!" She clasped her blouse closed as she ran out of the room.
Joel let off a smile with a giggle, "This is going to be fun."
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