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Inside the Center (standard:Suspense, 9843 words)
Author: TJCAdded: Aug 17 2007Views/Reads: 3342/2201Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Three men find themselves on a plane with no memory of how they got there. When they land on a tropical paradise, a strange man tells them he's there to help and leads them Inside the Center.


All Joe could see was blue water and under a spacious sky.  The view was
breathtaking, so much so that he almost didn't realize he was behind 
the controls of a plane.  Shaking his head he suddenly realized he had 
no idea how he'd gotten here.  Flying an ancient little piper turbo 
prop was easy for him because he knew how to fly modern war planes and 
jets of all sort but the question was how did he get here, who owned 
the plane and where in the hell was he flying to?  As he held the 
controls of the craft, he looked over his clothes, blue work pants and 
shirt, boots and a black leather jacket.  He didn't recognize a stitch 
of them.  The reflection in the mirror indicated he was likely in his 
early 40's, perhaps, his head shaved. 

The last thing Joe remembered was.....could he remember anything?  No.
He got on the radio and tried to raise someone but it was to no avail. 
The radio was dead.  Not exactly a safe situation but luckily the 
weather was perfect with unlimited visibility. With nothing but ocean 
under him, though, and no communication, it was going to be impossible 
to figure out where he was or where he was going.  His memory was gone. 
 Joe could only remember his first name  and that he was a pilot of 
solid ability.  One other thing he knew for certain; he was scared. 

“The radio is dead?” A voice said from behind him.  Joe turned and saw
two men sitting in the back seats of the four-person aircraft. The man 
on the right, directly behind his seat, was sound asleep, it was the 
man to the left who'd asked about the radio.  He wore a Chicago Cubs 
baseball cap and a gray T-shirt with long dark blue sleeves and jeans.  
“It's dead, huh?” 

Joe nodded.  “Who the fuck are you?”  He tried to remember if he'd
noticed anyone in the seats or if he'd even looked.  Nothing made 

“I might ask you the same thing,” the man replied.  “Where are you
taking me?  Who is this dude next to me?” 

Joe shook his head and looked back out over the horizon.  “I haven't a

“Okay, well how did we get here?  I want to know what the hell is going
on and I want to know now!” 

“Look, I'm in the dark too.  I woke up at the controls of this damn
plane.  It's not mine and I have no idea where we are.” 

“What?” The man leaned up and Joe could smell some sweat and body odor. 
“That doesn't make any sense.  Now tell me what's going on.” 

“I woke up flying this plane, man.  That's all I can tell you.  I know
it makes no sense.  I.....” 

“What?”  The man grabbed Joe's shoulder. 

“I can't remember anything else.” Joe turned and saw the same look of
confused fear on the passenger's face.  “I don't know how I got here or 
anything about myself other than my name is Joe and I'm a pilot.” 

The man in the ball cap went pale and sat back, his eyes seemed to be
searching for answers that weren't there.  He looked up at Joe shook 
his head, searching his pants pockets.  “I don't remember much either.  
I know I'm a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs....but.....I can't remember 
any family or even my teammates.” Joe watched him remove his cap and 
wipe his sweaty brow with his sleeve.   The man in the back seat was in 
excellent shape, had a short brown hair and strong features.  Joe 
thought he looked kind of like himself when he was in better shape.  
Wait, how would he remember that?  He didn't remember anything.  This 
whole thing was nuts. 

“Can you remember anything other than that?” Joe asked the man. “Yeah,
one thing.” 

“What's that?”  Joe saw an outline of land in the distance, perhaps an
island of some sort.  But could he land on it?  He was so busy worrying 
about the land and possibly getting the plane down that he didn't hear 

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