Conscious Abduction—Part 3
Part 3—Caleb’s Denial
Caleb opened his eyes and saw Alachak sitting across from him at the table.
“Do you remember now?” the captor asked.
“The wine,” Caleb answered. “It put me to sleep and I had a dream. I dreamed about you and the spirit drum.”
“That, yes. But do you understand now? The dream was telling our story. Yours and mine.”
“I don’t see how the story is about me.”
“You are the secret of the Asa Yilach. The moment Kotori and I performed the reuniting ritual was the same moment you were born. You are the keeper of Kotori’s spirit. He is within you.”
Alachak leaned closer to Caleb. “You are one of us. I brought you here to complete the reuniting…to bring you back home to your people. Our people.”
The implication of Alachak’s words hit Caleb with full force. The captor intended to keep him here. Forever. Caleb’s head lurched frantically, making his neck. His heart pounded ache inside his chest.
“No, this can’t be right,” he shouted as panic gripped his throat. “You have the wrong guy. I am not one of you. I do not have an alien spirit inside me.”
Alachak stood and looked down at Caleb. His hands clenched into fists and his black eyes burned with fury.
“You must accept it. You cannot refuse your fate.”
Caleb took a deep breath and studied Alachak. Then he stood up and heaved the table and its contents toward his captor. The wine carafe crashed to the floor, sending a glass shard flying upward into his cheek. Unaware of the injury, Caleb bolted to the wall and pressed on the symbols engraved there. A door slid back to reveal the endless hallway. Caleb quickly slipped through the door and ran down the long corridor.
Minutes passed. His legs grew tired and his calves burned. Although breathless, Caleb pressed on, following the curve of the hallway. There must be an exit and he had to find it. He was not the person that Alachak believed he was. He couldn’t be. Yes, he suffered from twitches and tics. But that was a coincidence. He was not connected to this place or to the aliens who resided here. There was no spirit of an old man tucked away inside him. He would have sensed him. There was no one else in his brain. Just him.
Ahead, in the distance, he saw a stone wall. He pushed himself to continue, anticipating that the wall provided a way out of this subterranean prison. As the wall loomed closer, Caleb could detect its engraved symbols. When he was within reach of the stone barrier, he lunged forward and swiped his hand across all the symbols. A door slid open and he ducked inside. Caleb immediately punched at the symbols on the inside wall until the door closed. He closed his eyes and leaned his back against the wall to catch his breath. Then he heard Alachak’s voice.
“You must fulfill your destiny.”
Alachak was in the room. He sat in the same wooden chair and still held the spirit drum in his lap. The overturned table lay where it had fallen. Caleb immediately turned back to the wall and desperately poked all the symbols, but the door remained closed.
Alachak spoke in a monotone, his face devoid of emotion. “We will complete the reuniting ritual.”
“Like hell we will. Let me leave!”
Caleb pounded on the door. His breathing was ragged and his eyes wild. His head, out of his control, lurched and bobbed frantically.
Alachak stood up and carefully set the Asa Yilach on the chair. He grabbed Caleb’s forearm and pressed the bracelet firmly into Caleb’s skin. The amulet’s power was immediate. Caleb’s breathing quieted and his head stilled. The two stood face to face. As Alachak held Caleb’s gaze, he quietly spoke to the spirit who resided within the young man.
“Kotori, he is not yet ready to let you join me. You said I should be patient. It is extremely difficult, but I will honor your wisdom.”
Alachak’s expression hardened as he spoke again, this time to Caleb.
“In time you will understand and embrace the truth that you belong here. I pledge upon my existence that you will return.”
With that, Alachak released Caleb’s arm and pushed the bracelet into his forehead. Caleb collapsed into a deep sleep.
~ ~ ~
The jarring sound of the phone alarm filled Caleb’s head. He grudgingly opened one eye, reached over, and slapped the snooze button. It was 5:20 a.m. and still dark outside. The storm had moved on. The faint light from the streetlamps outside revealed the familiar shapes of his bedroom. Caleb lay there and thought about his bizarre dream. It felt so real. The fire in the cave was vivid and familiar, as though he had experienced it before.
When the phone alarm went off again, Caleb reluctantly rolled out of bed—the dream gone from his thoughts—and headed straight to the bathroom. As he stepped into the shower, Caleb mused about turning 25. It wasn’t so bad, even though his body felt stiff and sore. The hot water felt good on his face and eased the aches he was feeling in his calves. Once out of the shower, Caleb wiped the mirror over the sink and leaned in to shave. He noticed a small cut on his cheek, but shrugged it off and continued getting ready for work.
It was already 6:00 a.m. when Caleb checked the time on his phone. As he sat on the edge of the bed to put on his shoes, he saw a white envelope propped up against the mirror on his dresser. His first name appeared on the outside. Caleb retrieved the envelope and smiled. A birthday card from Cody. He stashed it in his jacket pocket and left his apartment.
The previous night’s storm left the outside air cool and crisp. The morning sun peeked over the horizon, lighting up the sky with its golden hues. Caleb breathed deeply while walking to West Second Coffee Shop. He felt tired, as though he hadn’t slept. But he didn’t expect his shift to be particularly busy. Tuesday mornings at the Roswell coffee shop were quiet.
As he crossed the street in front of the coffee shop, he retrieved the envelope he had stuffed in his jacket pocket. He opened it and saw a white, unfolded card inside. He grinned. An invitation to a party? Leave it to Cody to plan something special for his birthday.
Caleb pulled the card out of the envelope. As he read it, his chest tightened, leaving his lungs without air. He stopped mid-step in the street and struggled to breathe. The coffee shop was forgotten. With shaking hands, Caleb reread the message. His head twitched and bobbed, then launched into a full-fledged bout of nodding.
On the card, a message was written in the same precise lettering used on the envelope.
I will be patient.