Jocking, The: Halftime

Prologue

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By CallMeCrazy

So, how often do we ever end up where we intend to? The story went in this direction all on its own, and thatís the reason it took so long. A very special thanks to Ethernet_Jock, whose original comment inspired this piece (whether you thought I'd use it or not), not to give anything away. I appreciate the support and the patience.

It was all Kai could do to focus his eyes. There was a relentless throbbing in his head, which seemed to resonate through his entire being. A muddy glob filled with words and phrases bounced inside his skull, trying to make sense of chaos. It felt like the slow awakening from a night of drunken revelry, where the name of the other person in bed constantly eludes the mind. Or returning from a most incredible high, so all consuming that even saying your own name would prove impossible. Kai struggled, trying to open his eyes or his mouth. His throat was painfully dry. As he came to, he could feel his body lying against cold, hard plastic. Making several valiant attempts to turn over, Kai found himself unable to muster even that much coordination. So he continued in that daze, his glazed eyes hazily taking in the fuzzy background. Finally, in bleak desperation, he passed out.

Hours or even days later Kai awoke again. This time, the strange fog was less intense, more of an annoying throb, like an insect bite versus losing a limb. Attempting to rub his forehead, Kai discovered his wrist bound by a tight restraint. Efforts on the other side produced the same result, and still lacking any strength to disturb the rest of his body, he again passed into the world of darkness.

Upon his return, Kai possessed enough mental power to deduce that, along with his arms, his legs, neck, waist, and privates were each constrained by various devices. He was unable to raise his head to see the actual mechanism, but assumed that it would be very similar to the arm bands. The grogginess had been reduced to simple, raw ache inside his skull. But his eyes could at last focus and the urge to fade into shadow had nearly dissipated.

Almost on cue, a figure emerged from the eclipsed background. Tall and gruff, with an aged bodybuilders figure, his swarthy walk was oddly familiar to the boy. The light revealed first his solid legs, then his small waist, leading to the broad shoulders and chest, and finally passing light onto the face. It was the face of a man that Kai knew very well. A face from his past.

"Morning sunshine," the elephantine man voiced.

"Briggs." •


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