When I awoke my surroundings were completely unfamiliar to me. From what I could tell I was being held in a small, dimly lit room. The room was practically empty except for a table sitting in the corner to my left and on that table there appeared to be a tool box. Many years of training and experience told me to make mental notes of everything, familiarize myself with the room, carefully study each item in it. I knew I should be particularly cognizant of the sounds I hear and the people that I come into contact with.
The second thing I noticed was that I was seated on a small folding chair in the center of that room and that my hands were tied behind my back. My feet were tied, as well and there was a rope firmly anchored around my waist and that rope was Bound to the chair. This scene had become all too common to me, in my line of work it really wasn’t that uncommon but it seemed as if it were happening on an almost nightly basis.
Listen. Off in the distance I could hear music playing. It was The Zombies…
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her,
she’s not there.
Well, let me tell you ’bout the way she looks,
the way she acts and the color of her hair.
Her voice is soft and cool, her eyes are clear and bright,
but she’s not there”.
In any other situation, I would have been singing along, but not this time. That wasn’t why I was there, I still didn’t know why I was there. To my far right, the TV was on, it was the Ed Sullivan show. I hadn’t noticed it before because the volume was turned down. This was a good reference for time, Ed Sullivan always aired at 8 pm on Sunday nights on CBS, at least I had a day and an approximate time. Great, Topo Gigio was on, I hated that stupid mouse and was glad that the screen was out my line of sight when I looked straight ahead. I made sure I stared straight ahead.
Watch and Listen. My senses were keen, my skills of observation were operating at maximum capacity. In the distance I could hear the soothing coo of a mourning dove and even further off could be heard the soft call of a Whip-poor-will. Wow, whoever had kidnapped me was making it far too easy. I was obviously somewhere in Virginia, in Fauquier County, in fact. To be more specific, I was somewhere in the deep woods of the Piney Ridge forest of Remington, Virginia. Piney Ridge is the only known natural habitat of both the Mourning Dove and the Whip-poor-Will. “The indigenous birds of Remington”, as they had come to be known. My captors would be in for a shock if I told them that I knew exactly where I was. I was back in my home town, how weird was that? I had to figure this out, something wasn’t right, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Suddenly the door to my left flew open and light came flooding in, the brightness of which scorched my eyes. A man stood in the entrance, he had something in his hand. No, there were two men, my eyes were coming back into focus. The first man walked directly in front of me and stood, I could see that the object in his right hand was moving, it was alive. The second man walked over and took up a position directly behind me. The man in back of me grabbed my head and tilted it backwards. If I do say so my myself, I’ve always considered myself to be pretty good at being able to talk my way out of sticky situations. This was definitely a sticky situation, so I decide to give it try. “What’s going on? What am I doing here?”, I was staring straight up at the ceiling, the man braced my head against his frame so I couldn’t move it, “Why…”, just at that moment the man behind me grabbed my jaw with one hand and the top of my mouth with the other and pried my mouth open. The other man quickly held up the object he had been holding and dropped it into my mouth. My mouth was forced shut, then covered with duct tape. A scorpion! They had dropped a scorpion in my mouth and exited the room, laughing. Trying not to panic, I immediately bit down on the thing and began chewing it as its pincer-like claws sliced into my tongue. The pungent tinge of its bodily functions flooded my taste buds. I felt the stinger between my teeth and moved it up against my cheek and gum where it could do no harm. The hard segmented body was reduced to bits and pieces, I swallowed them, trying to ignore the gag reflex that overwhelmed me. I made sure to save the stinger intact, it might come in useful, it was still wedged between my cheek and gum.
I closed my eyes and waited. After what seemed like an hour, one of the men came back into the room. He probably expected to find me dead from multiple bites from the poisonous arachnid, so I played along. He knelt down in front of me and untied my feet. Once my feet were free he leaned over my shoulders to undo my hands, that’s when I knew I had to act. With my tongue I moved the scorpion stinger up against the duct tape over my mouth and pushed as hard as I could until the razor sharp point punched a small hole in the tape. The man’s neck was almost touching my cheek as he struggled to loosen the knots, he was probably planning to dump me somewhere out in the woods of Remington, Virginia. How ironic that this is where I started and, apparently, this is where I would end. In one svelte swoop I turned my head and pushed the protruding stinger into his carotid artery, I bit down on the tail and bulbous orb to allow as much venom to enter his bloodstream as possible. The man winced, grabbed his neck with his left hand and collapsed in a heap on the floor.
It’s a good thing kidnappers still used frail, wooden folding chairs to hold their captives. They were making this too easy. I stood, though bent forward because my waist was still bound to the chair. Then I squatted and sprang up, jumping as high as I could. I leaned backwards in mid-air and allowed gravity to take over. I fell atop the chair, what gravity could not accomplish on its own my massive hulk completed, the chair smashed into a million pieces. When I stood, the ropes that had once kept me bound, fell harmlessly to the floor. All of a sudden I heard the echo of distant footsteps coming in the direction of this room. I dropped to the floor and laid behind the crumpled body of my captor. It was almost pitch black, but I rummaged through the pockets of the man and found a gun. I put it up to my face and could see that it was a Ruger PPK. I checked the clip, reloaded it and waited for the door to open, when the door opened I opened fire. Two shots to the torso, one shot to the head. The man died instantly and when he died, my eyes opened. I looked around the room, my wife was lying beside me on the bed as beautiful as ever. I’d been dreaming, AGAIN! This was the third night in a row I’d had this dream. I just couldn’t figure why I didn’t know I was dreaming. I should have known, for one thing, Whip-poor-wills and mourning doves are not exclusive to Remington. Those birds inhabit every state on the east coast. But more importantly, why didn’t I catch that I was holding Ruger PPK, everyone knows Walther makes the PPK, it’s James Bond’s weapon of choice. Well I may not have caught it this time, but I have the information I need for next time. I’ll definitely know it’s a dream when they kidnap me again tonight.