Welcome to the story which I will write with your help. This project is a simple speculative fiction communally inspired but in the course of its creation I have found other people’s very real stories being told within the lines of my words……
How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed.
Thank you all for your input last month from the story HERE: The Deadline
The story so far:
It all started when I got an email from a stranger, who turned may or not be someone abducted by an extremist group. In my quest to solve this curiosity I made contact with A Facebook group and an anonymous hacker had called me and told me not to contact the police and to go to a place called The Cave
The poll results indicated I should go down the rabbit hole……
And if I may point out an insightful comment from Michele about how even though that would seem the natural progression of the story, it should come with some type of motivator.
Long after the call had ended, I stood there, rooted to the spot as if I was an ancient tree, with roots that ran deep, and branches that swayed in the wind but did not break, but of course, I might be easy to sway but I was not a tree and my roots, well I was still discovering those.
Then I remembered I had recorded the phone call, I plugged in my hands free headset and replayed the conversation. Even if I took it to the police it was, circumstantial at best. Circumstantial was that even the word, no. The word I wanted was something that said all this crazy and in the next moment I would wake up to discover had fallen asleep watching an episode of an investigative drama series.
I hadn’t even noticed I had started walking, I was deep in thought or rather lost in it to be precise when I noticed a homeless man on a park bench trying to get my attention waving a tin cup at me, I presume asking for change. I shook my head and tried not to make eye contact ashamed I did not have anything to give, but instead he stood upright up and placed himself right in front of me on the narrow park pathway.
“I have something for you” he mumbled before handing me a flyer which at a quick glance indicated was for a kindergarten, advertising that early bird enrollment for toddlers in classes beginning next year had started. I thanked the man and squeezed past him.
“Good luck” he whispered as I walked away.
It felt surreal the whole encounter and so I looked at the flyer again it was for an Alice in Wonderland themed nursery school and on the right there in the middle was the white rabbit pocket watch in hand with the words
“I am late, I am late I am late for a very important date not time to say hello only goodbye”
The words triggered a memory from the phonecall with OG he had mentioned something about a deadline and told me off for not paying attention to the news and current affairs. I was close to an internet café and figured I needed to change my password anyway. One can not have people logging into their emails with impunity. I walked briskly and decisively to the internet café and paid for a one hour session, their prices were fair and the internet session was valid for seven days so even if I did spend the whole hour then I could always come back.
The internet is a powerful tool with the power to educate, inform and empower yet also to misinform and even take bullying and stalking to unprecedented heights. First thing I did when logged into a computer was to unclick the keep me logged in feature, this is how some people got hacked when they used public terminals, next thing was to change all my passwords.
I had a new email from OG Banje the hacker, it was links to news websites he thought I should catch up on. One of the links showed how an article about how the abductors had executed a a health worker after the deadline they had issued had passed and that it had been declared that the abducted girl would be made a slave for life since she had refused to renounce her religion whilst the other girls who had been abducted with her had been released.
One of the last links was from a declaration by the president that his government condemned the executions and abductions by the extremist group and would not rest until the last remaining girl had been released. The last link was to a post on how one of the leaders of the extremist group had supposedly been killed by soldiers showing the army was committed to ending the terror abductions; if it was true who knew how the group would react and did the government really have control?
With this in mind I decided the least I could do was to follow the white rabbit and deliver the message the OG guy seemed to want to be an agent for the good guys. Its funny how when I came to this decision that’s when I noticed something scribbled at the back of the flyer the homeless guy had given me….
Follow the white rabbit
I quickly logged out of my internet session and raced back to the park but of course the homeless man was gone, I was not even surprised, in a strange way it made sense. Looks like I had to go the kindergarten, follow the white rabbit.
There was an address but it was in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, bless who ever invented GPS and Google maps because in a few minutes I was at Alice in Wonderland Day Care Center and Nursery
The precast wall around the day care centre was a mural of characters from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and there beneath the life sized painting of the white rabbit sat the homeless man I had met in the park.
“Took you long enough” he said ….. and for the umpteenth time I froze.
What do I do next
- Run and don’t look back
- Take his photo then run
- Tell him I am not surprised to see him
- Ask him if he is the white rabbit
- Walk into the Day Care Center see what/who else is there
Post themed education