The Documents of Hector Maze: 5.3

I woke up in a state of confusion. The sun was punishing my eyes and I couldn’t seem to remember where I was.

I sat up and put on my sunglasses. That helped with the sun, and as my eyes adjusted I made out the rollercoaster in the distance. It all came flooding back: the phone call, the job, the theme park. Right. Everything’s under control.

I had a hard time standing up for some reason. After a moment I steadied myself and started walking, but I felt unusual. Almost as if…

Then I remembered: The last time I’d quit smoking loco weed, I’d baked everything I had left—which was quite a bit—into these cookies and put them in the freezer for an emergency.

This was going to be an interesting afternoon.

I felt a little panicky. Unfamiliar surroundings + drug paranoia = a bad situation. But I reminded myself of the wise words of Douglas Adams: “Don’t panic.”

My first instinct was to get back to the car and get out as soon as possible. But if this was just the leading edge of a heavy-duty high, I wasn’t going to want to deal with extricating myself from the parking structure and then driving home. So I reminded myself of the wise words of Hunter S. Thompson: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

I was here now and I was going to have to deal with it. It wasn’t like I’d never been in this type of situation before. The best strategy is to find something to do, keep from getting sucked up into your mind. I took a couple of deep breaths and started walking again.

I found a path that led into a short tunnel and when I came out the other side, I was looking down at a silver, pyramid-shaped building with a long line of people in front of it, and I seemed to be looking down at it from a great height. Was it the dope that made me think so, I wondered, or was this really true? Given that we were at sea level, it seemed unlikely; but after what I’d already seen, I was ready to think anything was possible.

Stairs were cut into the hillside in front of me, and several people were already on their way down. For lack of a better plan, I decided to join them. The steps were on the narrow side, but I was suddenly feeling absurdly confident and light on my feet. I knew from experience, though, that this is exactly when you’re in the most danger, so I resisted the temptation to take the steps two at a time.

At the bottom I attached myself to the end of the line and tried to act normal. This is not easy for me under the best of circumstances, and doubly difficult with my mind running in circles as it was. But I figured if I kept my mouth shut and didn’t make any sudden moves I’d be OK.

Over my left shoulder I caught sight of a flashy blonde in a flesh-baring black top, and just behind her a cute brunette in glasses, playing with her hair. This led to a reverie the details of which I prefer to keep private. Let’s just say it distracted me long enough that I was almost to the front of the line by the time I realized I had no idea what I was waiting in line for.

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