Monday, November 18, 2013

Challenges from The Condo #7

Challenges from The Condo #7

Chapter 2: A Gated community


The Condo: or...Life, a Sequel by Dalma Takács is available from (Pap. $17.99; / Kindle ed. $9.99)

Jasper has no choice but to get out of his wrecked car. To his surprise, he succeeds, and his dubious paramedics promise to give him a ride to Paradise Point Condominiums.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Jasper was regaining his strength and his sense of humor. What a story this will make, he thought. Marguerite will like it.
Sitting between his two escorts in the front seat of the ambulance, he watched the vehicle eat the miles. Wishing he had grabbed the brochure for his condo, he tried to recall the directions. He wasn’t sure of the details, but one thing he did remember. “From the turnpike, take Exit 37 West to route 86.” He watched for Exit 37. Exits 34, 35, and 36 peeled off the freeway in quick succession.
He turned to Gene, who was driving. “The next exit is the one I need. Go west on Route 86.”
Gene kept his eye on the road.
Jasper saw the sign for Exit 37. “That’s where we turn off,” he said, louder than before.
Gene kept driving.
“Better change lanes, so you can turn off at Exit 37.” He felt his voice rise.
Gene continued in the center lane. Cars were crowding in the right lane. Soon it would be too late. Jasper turned to Michael, who was looking out the window. “Does your partner have a hearing problem? We need to exit here to get to Paradise Point Condominiums.”
The next minute took them past Exit 37. Gene kept driving. Jasper felt his temper rising in his throat; then he realized that he was trapped. He thought he had a better chance with Michael. “Where are you taking me,” he asked.
Michael put a hand on his arm. “Don’t worry, sir. We are taking a shortcut.”
Jasper knew he had no choice. His only chance of escape was to stay on speaking terms with his captors. Gene kept driving, and Jasper kept looking for the next exit. Hours seemed to go by with no exit in sight.
He tried humor. “This shortcut sure is a long time coming. If you keep going this way, we’ll end up in Havana.” His weak joke was tactfully ignored by Mike. Gene kept driving.
At last it came: an exit without a number, but at least it would take them off this merciless freeway. Gene turned off onto a shady country road winding between orange groves. Jasper caught sight of a fruit stand and café ahead.
He suddenly had a plan. “Could you stop at that fruit stand? I need to go to the bathroom.”
“No you don’t,” said Gene.
“I’m sorry, sir, but that’s impossible,” said Mike.
“What do you mean impossible?” Jasper said. “I need to relieve myself. I need to urinate. Do you want me to do it here in the car?”
Gene shook his head in frustration. “He still doesn’t get it, Mike. Explain it to him.”
“Well, it’s like this, guv’nor. It happens to everyone sooner or later. You had a bad accident. You feel all right now, but there are some things missing.”
“You mean I’ve lost . . .”
“Believe me, sir, you won’t miss it. Just hold on until we get to Paradise Point. You’ll see . . . It’ll all turn out right as rain.”
Desperate, Jasper unzipped his pants. Everything was still there, but without life; his balls and penis looked like a plastic model in the doctor’s office. He knew that nothing could turn out right any more. He thought of Marguerite. This was going to be their second honeymoon—the first really. On the first, fifteen years ago, he was much too busy with his designs for the Infinity Building, his first major project. The board’s final approval came through on his wedding night. . .
The ambulance was speeding through the narrow winding lane. They were alone on the road. There seemed to be room for only one vehicle. This must be a one-way road, he thought idly. It could not possibly lead to Paradise Point. Or if it did, he had made a huge mistake in buying the condo. He cursed himself for not checking out the place before signing the papers. What a lousy way to buy a home.
His anger spilled over. “You still haven’t answered my question. Where are you taking me?” As he struggled to reach the doorknob, he tried to dig his elbow into Mike’s chest. It felt like hitting a stone wall.
“Now, now, guv’nor. There’s no need to get upset,” Mike said.
“Better give him a sedative,” Gene said.
“You are not going to drug me,” Jasper shouted as he felt a needle that appeared from nowhere prick him in the arm.
When he came to, the ambulance was driving up a smooth winding drive flanked by lush green lawns dotted with beds of bright flowers. They pulled up before a handsome five-story building. The letters above the marble entrance said “Paradise Point Condominiums.” The place looked exactly like the picture in the brochure. Relieved, Jasper smiled sheepishly. “I’m sorry I lost my cool,” he said.
          “No need to apologize, sir,” Mike said. “Happens all the time. Now, if you’ll follow me, I’ll get you checked in with the concierge.”
          Next Monday, see what the concierge has to say.


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