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Arise and go
I wake up with my cheek pressed into a puddle of cold, sticky glop.
Again. It's not the kind of gooey matter that calls up memories of pleasant revels from the night before. The puddle surrounds my whole body.
What is the matter? I don't know and my colleagues can't figure it out either. No known substance, not chemically reactive, not as dense as water, does not evaporate but gradually disappears.
Matter. Energy. Matter again, but always more of it on the down side.
Not possible according to the Laws of Physics but there it is. I've weighed before and after. There's definitely a few pounds more stuff on the return.
I sit up. The taste in my mouth is something else. I pat myself down.
Clothes intact, as usual, but not quite the same, also usual. I find a pack of smokes. Goopy.
I put the pack back in my pocket. They'll be dry in an hour or two.
Abruptly my ass buzzes. Now that hasn't happened before. I rise to my knees and find my cell phone in my back pocket. Caller ID comes up with nothing but I answer it anyway.
"Mr. Wilson, good morning."
"We've got a little situation developing down south. Seems we sold more tickets than we had seats for a little show we staged last month. Now one of our angry ticketholders has turned up on the Appalachian Trail.
So far we've managed to contain the incidents. We're calling them 'bear attacks', closed casket, all that. Anyway, this assignment is tailor-made for someone with your, uh, qualities."
"Sounds delightful." I'd rather eat my own shit.
"Travel arrangements have been made as usual--no need to pack. You'll meet Jim Johnson, Forestry Service, at the trail head on Springer Mountain. And Mr. Wilson--"
"Just in case there's any doubt, this operation has been classified Delta Green."
Whoop-dee-god-damn-doo. I dig at my teeth with a thumbnail and come up with a medium length brown hair. Christ, I've got to start eating better.