That’s My Jam
By Linton Bowers
So you want to know how I ended up chained to this chair?
It started earlier today. I was sitting in my conveyance, one of those on-a-budget automated hunks of plastic and aluminum, jamming out to my favorite radio station. The song ended then the D.J. announced a new premier song. This did not sit well with me. New songs are hit and miss, usually a lot more miss these days.
The first few notes of the music were magical. I felt like my soul was getting a sensual massage. Until the words started that is.
The band, one I enjoyed immensely, sounded great. The problem was the words themselves. They matched a song I had written years ago. To the best of my knowledge the song I wrote had never seen the light of day, but there it was.
A small part of me was excited to hear the way it was artfully produced. It was exactly what I heard in my head as I wrote it.
“Car,” I said out loud, ” change course to Devon’s house.”
“Course correction acknowledged,” the pleasant female voice of my ride responded. “Warning, this will make your timely arrival at your place of employment impossible.”
“I’m aware, continue with the new destination.”
The vehicle slid out of its lane and onto a new street. I called Devon as the trip progressed.
“Devon, did you hear the new song on the radio this morning?”
“Oh yeah, man. That shit was righteous! I gotta gets me a copy,” Devon said.
“Its my song,” I replied tersely.
“I know, man, its my new jam too.”
“No, dude, I mean I wrote the damn song!”
“Wow! You’re gunna be rich, like Oprah Winfrey the third rich.”
“No I’m not, at least not yet. I didn’t sell the song, someone stole it.”
“Oh no! That’s bogus, dude. What are you gunna do about it?”
“What are we going to do?” I asked.
“I don’t follow.”
“I’ll be at your place in five. Fire up the Engine. I need to find out what the heck is going on.”
Seven minutes later Devon and I stood in front of the Engine.
“Dude, like… Dude! I don’t know about this, I mean, you know what happened last time. We barely made it out of there. My ass still hurts when I sit down too hard, dude.”
“I’m will to take the chance that you may never be able to sit on your ass again, man,” I said.
“I hear that, dude. Wait… What?”
“Shut it and fire it up, Devon.”
“Its on, we just have to get in. You sure, dude?” Devon rubbed his rear as he asked. I could tell from the far off look in his eyes he was reliving an unpleasant adventure we survived.
“Yeah, get in,” I replied.
The Engine consisted of two pods barely big enough for a grown person to curl up in tethered to a black box the size of a rubix cube. I have no clue as to where Devon got it and he ain’t talking. What I do know is that getting into the main pod and concentrating on what I need to know will transport us both to the answer. And that it doesn’t work unless there are two people.
I waited for Devon to crawl in and his hatch to close before getting in the other pod. Had to make sure he didn’t chicken out. The hatch of the master pod closed, sealing me into darkness.
I focused my thoughts onto the song, letting it play in my mind once more, feeling it wash over me. I remember the sheets of paper stuck in a shoebox in my closet. The words I wrote that match exactly to the song we heard on the radio.
The engine doesn’t take long. A few seconds after the hatch closed the pod is filled with blinding light, then the hatch slid open.
My body ached from the transition. I uncurled myself and spilled out of the pod. The blasted thing managed to make a few seconds of discomfort feel like ages. I stood and stretched my back. Devon was doing the same.
“Where are we, dude?” Devon asked.
“Looks like some sort of warehouse,” I replied.
“Wonder why it took us here,” Devon said.
“That is what I would like to know,” came a deep voice from behind us.
I spun and froze. More guys than I cared to count stood in a loose semi-circle with wicked looking black weapons leveled at us.
“Dude! Are those P727 Night Hawks?” Devon asked as he took a step forward.
The man closest to Devon shot probes from a module mounted on the underside of his barrel. Before the muffled thud of the shot could clear Devon did the dance of the tazed. He crumpled to the dirty cement floor and moaned.
“Yes it is,” the guy said.
I raised my hands above my head.
This takes us back to where you found me chained to a chair. Our assailants lead me to the room with said chair and secured me to it. They tied up Devon and dropped him on the floor next to me.
Hours passed with no one coming to visit. I think it was hours anyway. Hard to tell when your sitting in one spot with nothing to do and unable to check the time. I was just beginning to doze off when the door unlocked with a loud click.
A man in slacks, a white shirt, and a lab coat entered. He stopped a few feet from me and sized up Devon and myself.
“Why have you come?” He asked.
“I’m the one asking the questions here,” I said in a low bark.
“Is that so?” One of his neatly trimmed eyebrows rose. “I can always come back in four or five days when you’re thirsty and hungry to ask again?”
“You stole my song!”
I could see confusion written on his face.
“It was on the radio this morning. I wrote it three years ago and some how you stole it. I want what’s mine!”
“Ah, I see now.” He tapped his ear twice then spoke again as he turned his back to me. “Scan local proximity for nanoworm signal then send me all relevant data.”
“Huh?” I said.
He ignored me.
“Ah yes. Now I see. Tell you what,” he said as he faced me. “Since you are of no use to me I’ll leave you with a final thought before you die. When you vacationed in Cancun you drank something with ice. That was your downfall. You were infected with my nanoworms. Little devices that transmit to me every creative thought you have. In your case I have only received one transmission from you. Since you have not had a creative thought since then you are no longer useful to me. Good day.”
He turned and walked out of the room. The lock snapped back into place. Naturally we would have to sit in the most boring room in the world before dying.
“Damn, dude, that was harsh.”
“Devon! You’re alive!”
“No doubt, dude. Guess what.” He said as he sat up.
“Those dweebs forgot to check me and take the engine remote.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“It means were getting out of here, dude.”