I left Dr. Taggart’s office and walked down to the bookstore. It was a little over a block away and it was nice outside; the sun was starting to work its way down for the night and the early afternoon traffic was abnormally absent. The fresh air might do me good, I thought.
I opened the door and was greeted by the inviting scent of coffee and chocolate. The bookstore was dimly lit and quiet; a few hushed chuckles rose above the shelves in the “Humor” and “Games” aisles, but it was just as calm, albeit artificial, in the bookstore as it was outside.
I walked to the man standing behind the cash register and told him that I was looking for Sherry. He picked up the phone beside him and paged the manager before letting me know that it may be a few minutes before she would be available. I waited.
Just over five minutes later, I was still standing at the customer service desk as a larger woman approached me; she was wearing a nametag that read “Sherry: Mngr,” and a big smile. “Hello, Mr. Larsson; Dr. Taggart had told me you were coming,” she extended her hand toward me with that declaration. “What can I do for you?”
“Oh, well, Dr. Taggart told me to give this to you,” I handed her the prescription. “He said you have a CD that might help me sleep.”
“Of course, Mr. Larsson; right this way.”
She led me near the back of the store where all the digital entertainment goods were kept. It was sectioned off from the rest of the store’s merchandise and divided into three main sections: “Audio,” “Film,” and “Games.” About halfway down the “Easy Listening” subsection of the Audio section, Sherry kneeled down and picked up a rather unspectacular looking CD with a plain off-white cover that simply read “Lucidity.”
“This is it,” she stated assuming I hadn’t already figured that out with her showing it to me.
“Thanks,” I said as I reached for the disc, “Dr. Taggart said this was going to be charged to his account—he did let you know that, right?”
She nodded in response before continuing with a crooked smirk, “I’m still going to have to ring it up, though.”
I went back to the office after my appointment with Dr. Taggart and my brief run to the bookstore. I worked as a tester for a local startup company that developed applications for smart phones—mostly practical office applications that were compatible with desktop programs as free alternatives to first-party software. We weren’t exactly making money off those applications, so we recently decided to look into mobile game development. Our biggest money maker was an ad-supported, physics-based racing game; the revenue from that is the only reason our office is still open.
I stayed at the office a couple hours later to catch up on lost time, so I didn’t get home until around 7PM. I lived alone and didn’t really have much of a social life outside of work—never really got into the bar scene and most people my age usually spent their nights out either partying or studying. I enjoyed the solitude; even if I couldn’t sleep, I could still relax.
I spent the remaining hours of my evening reclined in my living room catching up on some of my favorite shows, and decided around 11PM that I’d see if my “prescription” worked. I inserted the disc in the CD player that sat beside my bed and pressed the “play” button after situating myself comfortably under my blankets.
The disc began with the hypnotic, lulling sounds of waves softly crashing against a beach. I closed my eyes and began to picture the scene: The sun was a vibrant orange as it just peaked above the horizon. The clouds in the sky looked like reflections of the white-capped waves before me. The golden sand beneath my feet was warm from a day’s worth of heat from the still-setting sun. With each breath, I could smell the refreshing saltwater air. With each breath, it became harder to open my eyes. With each breath, I began to drift deeper into my fantasy. With each breath, I began to sleep. With each breath…
To be continued…
Freefall is the creative property of Andrew T.S. Bedgood and is protected by US Copyright law. Any use of this creative work without permission is prohibited.