Tied Down

It was like he was Gulliver among the Lilliputians. Alan awoke with tiny strings wrapped around him, restricting him to his bed. They looked thin but were inexplicably strong.

Alan could not get up or out of bed.

It was a work day and he could not go to work—for which he was grateful. But still he was confused and annoyed. Who had done this to him and why?

He scanned the room for clues. The window was open and the curtains were shifting gently in the breeze. Had he left that window open last night? He believed he had. But he could be mistaken.

On his night table were his wallet, his keys, his expensive smart phone with the cracked screen, and the pills he took every morning. If there was an intruder, he wasn’t a robber. Or a drug addict.

Alan could just barely tilt his head far enough to see the screen of his Fitbit. It was 7:10am and his heart rate was 72, and going up. He was starting to feel agitated. He had zero steps and if he couldn’t get out of bed, he was unlikely to make his daily goal of 10,000.

His cell phone rang, and he could see the number on the screen but didn’t know who the caller was. The ringing stopped and the caller left no message.

He heard the coffee maker from the next room and an odd looking fellow came into the room, sipping espresso. The guy looked a bit like Alan, but he was translucent.

“Good morning,” said the guy, like an old friend. “Don’t get up.”

“I can’t,” said Alan. “And who the hell are you.”

“Have you ever heard of a guardian angel?” said the stranger. “I’m not one, but I’m sorta like one.”

“Could you untied me, please?” Alan asked trying to sound calm.

“I could, but I won’t,” said the non-guardian angel. “You need some rest and I’m covering for you at work today.” With that, the stranger took Alan’s briefcase and headed for the office.

Alan glanced at his Fitbit to see his heart rate had spiked to 110. He struggled against the string without success. But he notice one end was tied in a slip knot. Alan managed to pull the end, loosen the strings and free himself. He sat up. He grabbed his phone to call the office. He would let them know he would be late.

On the other end he heard a voice much like his own. “This is Alan,” the now-familiar stranger said. Alan hung up.

He was confused. He didn’t know what was happening or what to do. He got up, stretched, washed his face, brushed his teeth and reflected. What could he do? His translucent twin was at his office. He wasn’t needed there. He had no other immediate obligations.

Alan went back to bed, pulled up the covers and returned to sleep. I mean, what the hell.