Monday, December 2, 2013

Challenges from The Condo #9

Challenges from The Condo #9

Chapter 2: A Gated community


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

More and more suspicious, Jasper decides that the only way he can get away from Paradise Point Condominiums is to walk through the park  to the highway and flag down a passing car. He reaches the highway and sees cars passing, but finds that he is separated from the road by a continuous line of sound barrier fences that seem to disappear in the distance, but grow impossibly high when he approaches.  He goes to the gate, but the guard refuses to let him leave. Jasper waits for a changing of the guard and tries his luck with the new guard, whose name is Paul.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

 Jasper thought he might have a girlfriend. “Do you live here too?”
“Depends what you mean by live. Do you mean do I reside here? Yes I do.”
           Another quibbler, Jasper thought. But he pressed on. “Don’t you ever feel tempted just to sneak out?”
Paul laughed without amusement. “I did at first, but I soon realized that it was impossible.”
“Impossible? Why?”
“Well, perhaps not impossible. One day someone might discover a way, but right now no one knows how to crawl back through the wormhole.”
The wormhole! Was he talking about a parallel universe? Whoever brainwashed this guy sure sold him a bill of goods.
Paul was in a talkative mood. “I guess the only way to get away from here is to go in for the treatment. But you’re not going to catch me falling for that nonsense.”
“Treatment? What treatment?”
“I don’t know exactly what’s involved,” Paul said. “Everyone I talk to tells me something different. But anyway, it seems to be no picnic. And who knows if the whole procedure is worth it. I think I’d rather hang on to my job here and carry on as usual. What is it they say, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’”?
“So, the treatment is not mandatory?”
“Nothing is mandatory here.”
Jasper saw his chance. “If nothing is mandatory, why do they have a guard at the gate? Why can’t I take a walk out there on the highway?” He thought Paul could handle a joke. “I think I’ll just step outside if you don’t mind.”
“You can try,” Paul said, “but I don’t recommend it.”
“All right then, I will,” Jasper said, and he started walking toward the entrance barrier. He was amazed to see the barrier lift, clearing the way for him, but as he got nearer, he felt as if he had heavy weights on his legs. He struggled to drag his feet toward the highway outside. With a sheer effort of the will he pushed himself on.
“I’m almost there,” he told himself. But then he suddenly lost control. He felt his heart pumping and his blood surge through his veins. His ears were engulfed with the noise of beating rain and screeching tires, and then the explosion of a final crash—an explosion that did not stop.
He felt someone pulling him back. The confusion subsided, and he found himself in the calm of the Condo grounds. Paul released him. “See what I mean? If you pass the barrier, you relive the moment of your death fore 


What now for Jasper? Tune in next Monday.


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