Jesse slapped an old school digital watch on my wrist.
“You took enough to snorkel for 90 minutes, the alarm on this watch is set to that time. You need to get a hold of Jameson in that time and be holding onto her when the time goes up and you come back to normal life. If you don’t, she will still be stuck there and the longer you are there, the closer you get to death. Your body can only take so much. It’s like scuba diving on the bottom of the ocean and she has been down there for a long time already.”
“What about Jeremy? He’s already dead.”
“I was going to leave that for last, because it’s the worst part. Since he is dead, he is permanently on the other side and has unlimited freedom over there. It’s some Freddy Kreuger shit. He can take the form of whatever he wants, so be careful, because if you die on the other side brother, you ain’t coming back.”
A hot wind whipped again and my wobbly knees almost gave out.
“You ever bungee jumped before,” Jesse asked.
Without another word, Jesse pushed me off the platform. I looked down and watched the neon spray-painted concrete rush at my face until everything went black.
I woke on the hard ground in the shallow light of a campfire. I instantly jumped up to my feet, wiped my eyes and took in my surroundings.
I was surrounded by soft walls, baby blue and patterned, they crimped and folded all around me at different heights and angles, like some kind of maze of giant blankets. The color and pattern seemed familiar to me as well, but I couldn’t remember exactly where I knew it from.
At the floor at my feet was a little campfire which barely lit the little clearing of blankets where I stood trying to collect my senses. The fire let off heat in what was otherwise a frigid world.
The fire flared up, shooting burning hot ambers in my direction. I frantically scrambled away and felt my back brush up against a figure behind me. I whipped around and laid eyes upon Jameson crying in front of me dressed in a summer dress she wore the first night we kissed. The dress put together the puzzle of the pattern and color of the maze of giant blankets. It was the same color and pattern as her dress.
“Why did you let me do this Michael?” Jameson asked before I could say anything.
“What do you mean?” I replied.
I went to wrap Jameson in a hug, but she took a step back.
“I didn’t want to do this, but you made me,” Jameson went on with a blank gaze stuck on her face.
“What are you talking about? You were already snorkeling when I first bumped into you. I lied, it was my first time that night.”
I noticed something off about Jameson’s face when I pleaded with her. It was definitely her, but her living facial features – mouth when she talked, eyes when she blinked – seemed to move different than usual. Her voice was too deep.
“I didn’t want to,” her voice went even deeper, on the border of masculine and I backed away. “What’s the matter?”
Jameson asked in a clear cut man’s voice, a familiar man’s voice, Jeremy’s voice.
“Run Michael,” I heard Jameson’s actual voice scream from behind me.
I turned around fast as I could and saw Jameson walk into the clearing from one of the many passageways the blanket created. Dressed in the red and black polka dotted romper she wore the last time I saw her, the pattern and the color of the maze of giant blanket around us immediately changed to that.
I ran across the clearing to Jameson and we met just outside of the fire. We embraced with a hug and a kiss. A clap of thunder rang out above us, a streak of lightning lit up the world and a heavy torrent of rain fell down, quickly extinguished the fire. The world was now almost completely dark other than when the lightning started striking about every 10 seconds.
“It’s Jeremy. He’s chased me around here for days,” Jameson yelled into my ear over another rumble of thunder.
I pulled my self away from Jameson.