Solitude (Ginger Man 9J)

The Sleeping Jaywalker offered no resistance as the men lead him out of the warehouse, into a car. Best to let them continue thinking he was unaware as he was during their earlier encounters. He was shoved into the middle of the back seat, the fat and muscular men on either side of him, the man in the suit in the front passenger seat as the allegedly missing cop drove.

In his somnambulant condition, the Sleeping Jaywalker did not realize something was wrong until they were several minutes into their drive. The fortune teller — he realized that for the first time since he had begun that morning’s sleepwalk, her spirit (if that was truly what he had seen) was not with him. He then resigned himself to his solitude among these rough men; not only had the fortune teller disappeared, but the cop’s comment about buying the cooperation of the local police had in his mind nullified the chance that anyone would be waiting for them when they reached the Tower Warehouse on 16th Street. Whatever was to happen when they reached their destination, he would have to face it alone.

The car turned off the city street into a darkened alley, the Sleeping Jaywalker catching a road sing for 16th Street. The car stopped a moment later, the cop pulling the gear shift and turning off the ignition. The metal doors opened, and the Sleeping Jaywalker was pulled out, pushed forward, up a flight of steps, through a wide door with its metal gate rolled to the ceiling.

Ahead of him, the Sleeping Jaywalker saw two shadowy figures in the darkened warehouse. One standing, the other sitting. As he was prodded towards them, dim light from the street caught their figures. The standing person was the cop who had been stationed at his home that evening; his face was sunken, but lacked any recognition of the responsibility he had for trailing the Sleeping Jaywalker’s movements.

The person sitting (one more step), was a woman, (another step) her hands were behind the chair (step), she was tied to the chair (step), a white gag over her mouth. A hand from behind grasped his shoulder, stopped him. The woman looked up, eyes wide with fright, and caught the passive glance of the Sleeping Jaywalker. He recognized her instantly — the fortune teller’s sister.

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