Hell bound. That seemed to be the equivalent of what was going on here. There was something stagnent about the air. The deep seeded scent of cigarettes and perfumes intermingling with the scent of body odor and backsides that needed to be wiped clean an extra time. All of this almost smothered him, if he hadn't already been feeling such a way. A bad case of dry mouth, leaving Michael with the sense of moth balls covering his mouth and throat. There had been no special pillow, just a flat bed, that turned out not to be a bed. Turning on his back, he glared at the roof of the car. His body stiff, feeling the effects of sleeping in what might as well have been a tuna can. A pain shot through his head as he tried to sit up. A pounding that had came on out of nowhere, images rushing through as it happened. Even though the pain he realized he needed to get out of there. No one else was in the cab. Sitting up, he looked around to get a good view of his surroundings, but still nothing. The doors were even locked from the inside.

Slowly getting out of the cab, he tried to make sense of it all. Still wearing the dark slacks and white shirt that he had on when he fell asleep. It was just supposed to be a nap, but had set in longer. Eyes burning, not from the light, but what still felt like lack of sleep, he continued to look around. Legs stretching, he welcomed the ache that came with the tug and movement of the muscles. Every car parked here was a taxi cab. Well that was different. Reading the side of the cab and taking notice of the plates, he was in New York? That made no sense. How did he get from Boston to New York?

Stepping out, he began to look for some sort of exit. Once he had found it, there was barking behind him. Not a good sign. Stilling, he turned in time to see the dog running straight for him. Barely reaching the gate in time, he slipped his body through, pushing and pulling at the fence to do so. But not in time to stop the dog from getting at the bottom of his pant leg. Great, just what he needed. Ruined clothes, as he still smelled like a park bench. Then again, park benches were at least aired out. No, he smelled worse than one. More like a bum's breath that was lying on one.

Wandering the streets alone, he tried to understand what was going on. Certainly whomever brought him here or whatever happened had to present itself nearby, right? The headache wouldn't seem to leave him be though. To make matters worse, as he walked, someone came rushing towards him. A familiar face that he never once recalled caring for. A painful shrieking heard and causing his head to feel like it were about to explode. Like some popped pimple because she had to call his name while so close to him. She had no reason to be so happy to see him and she definitely didn't need to yell.

She knew something, but he didn't understand what was going on. The need for acceptance was not high. They didn't get along and she was far from the voice of reason for him. What reason did he have to believe her? Because of the images that were still clouding his head? Ones that were like his own with awards, shaking hands, and pats on the back? Or maybe the ones full of people and places he had never seen, but felt a connection to? Or maybe the worse images? The ones that came with a taste of something he couldn't imagine wanting. A hunger that burned him through and through. A need above and beyond all else. Pain and life all circling as one through teeth and claws, the tearing of flesh. Gaze dropping down to her neck, as those images flickered through like a flip book.

The whole scenario made him want to get away. Michael didn't understand it, and he was fighting it, but the sense still did not come. Things spoken that he recalled, yet didn't. A feeling of being a child in preschool just learning their alphabet. More information, more specifics were necessary. He couldn't begin to even try and compute the data given without more of it all. The moment he pointed out not understanding, things were dumbed down beyond what he needed and questions were still not answered. Sticking to this group, it felt more and more pointless. What help he could bring was unwanted. Everything was unnecessary. What abilities he had gone, and he wasn't sure why he had them in the first place, but right now would have been useful.

His stomach argued against him, wanting sustenance. Nothing was settling though. He felt an urgency to walk outside, into the night. As if the darkest recesses of it all were calling out to him. Calling him home. There was something inside of him that wanted to hear that call. To go to it and understand it. These people didn't need him, they didn't even want him here. There was no point in knowing him. He wasn't going to play games and into whatever delusions were being seen, even if they scared and thrilled him all at once.

Waiting on the right time, he took his leave. Quietly walking away, he felt freedom. There was no weight on his shoulders. He didn't have to be anyone but himself. There were worse things than being stuck in New York. It's not the first time he would be here, but here was hoping it was the last in strange occurrences. Hands stuffed into his pockets, the slight chill of the night sinking in, he actually smiled to himself. A feeling that felt foreign to his face, as it stiffened and crinkled. Lines of aging showing, but he didn't care. He couldn't recall feeling this alive, just over the feel of the moonlight over his skin.

What Michael failed to notice, was the men stalking him from different directions. Coming out of different corners of the street. Men in blue. Everything that was right with the world suddenly went black, as a bag was tossed over his head. With a whack to the back of the head, he was out. Half dragged and half carried to a van that opened up right next to them.

~laurel & ~hurst