Gerald awoke from his coma like state, an envelope laid out in front of him with the text, “For Gerald.” He looked around, there was no-one in the train car with him. He opened the envelope and dumped its contents out on the table. His gun, three extra clips, a silencer, a photo, and the instructions that simply read protect with a arrow pointing a section of the train ahead of him. He took the gun, placed it in his holster, threw the instructions out the window, memorized the young man in the photo before burning it and placing the silencer in his pocket as he stood up.
Opening the door to what Gerald thought was the way to the front of the train lead him only to almost falling off the train as the car he was in was now the caboose. “How long was in that coma?” He thought to himself. He walked to the other door only to find the same thing. “What is going on?” He stepped out of the still train car onto the tracks bewildered at the site of the rusted train car he was in.
The forest around him was alive with the various flora and fauna of its pine tree city. Taking a few steps into the trees Gerald found himself sinking into the ground with no way to escape. Panic, desperation, Gerald tried to grab at roots but they too turned into the same weird substance that was dragging him under. Up and over his head the ground swallowed Gerald whole. He found himself briefly floating in an abyss before falling through a crack that shone with an eerie green glow.
Gerald fell through the skylight of the train car into the presence of a newlywed couple celebrating their marriage. The two young men gave a frightened screech and quickly covered up.
“Who are you? And what are you doing in here.” The larger of the two men said moving in front of his partner. Gerald stood up and brushed leaves, glass, and some dirt off his clothes.
“I’m terribly sorry. Gerald Scalia is the name. And I’m not sure how I got here.” Gerald said holding out his scaly hand.
“Well, Mr. Scalia, my name is Fredrick and I would like you to get the fuck out of my cabin!” Fredrick said as he forced Gerald out into the hallway. Gerald stood there somewhat bewildered at what just happened. He adjusted his clothes and moved to the car to his right. He found himself in the dinning car, famished, and decided to get a bite to eat. A crispy spider salad with crickets and tomatoes. He found the spiders were a bit burnt, and he was disappointed that the crickets were dead. Live crickets always tasted best.
With his hunger satiated, Gerald went back to the task of locating his charge. He asked a conductor where the executive suite car was and was shown back to the car he had fallen into earlier. He opened the first room finding an old couple enjoying some morning tea. The next held the newlywed couple he interrupted several hours before, they were not happy to see him again. In the last room sat a single young man reading a book.
Winston turned to Gerald, “Hello. Can I help you?” Winston said.
“I am Gerald Scalia and I’ve been hired to protect you.” Gerald said as he entered the small room, “What is your name if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Winston Trembley, good sir. And Gerald what makes you think I need any sort of protection?” Winston replied.
Just then the door flew open and the old woman ran in with a knife making for Winston. Two steps into the room Gerald’s hand struck her in the throat causing her to drop the knife and clutch her neck trying to catch her breath. Gerald grabbed the knife and forced the metal blade through the old woman’s eye leaving her to collapse on the ground, Winston giving a frightened yelp. Gerald stepped out into the hall, seeing the old man struggling with a machine gun Gerald drew his pistol and put a round through the man’s head.
Gerald returned to Winston cowering in the corner of the small room, “You were saying about why you need protection, Winston? That is why. Apparently someone wants you dead.”
-To be continued. What will happen next time? Will Gerald get to eat a crispy spider salad with live crickets? Will the newlywed couple get a break from seeing a seven foot tall lizard man on their honeymoon? Who wants Winston dead? Will that candy bar ever get eaten? Will my foot stop itching? These questions and more will be answered next time, on Seeking Herpetologist!–