The Imaginarium - Chapter 1

     Chapter 1

     "If you happen to see the bed empty, I want to say that I'm sorry"

     Adam grumbled. He sniffed and rubbed his nose but other than that, he kept on sleeping. The sound of door closed and the lock clicked echoed down the living room but silenced from his ears. He mumbled something, rubbing his eyes and his face as he did. The room was dark, the windows were shade of blue and black of shadows. There was little to no sound coming, only the silence of night lulling those around not to wake up.

     The first light from the sun was rude and vulgar. It pierced Adam's eyes, forcing him to squint hard at the sheer brightness. He mumbled, scratching his jaw and cheeks. He ran his hands behind him, groping the cold white sheet, crumpled blanket and empty pillow. He frowned. Something felt wrong. He took a deep breath and turned to his back, opening his eyes into a slit. Melissa wasn't there. It opened his eyes. He shot up. The room was empty so does the house. He called out for her but the silence replied back. He frowned again.

      Adam slid out of his bed and went to the living room scratching his head. He yawned and scanned the room. No one. "Where the hell did she go?" he said alone. He went to the front door and peeked through the glass panel. The car was still outside in front of the front porch. He yawned again and heads to the kitchen. Still no sign of her.

      So he went back to his room and turned the TV, something he always do after waking up beside giving his wife the morning kiss. It was the news and the newscaster was talking about a break in at the Presidential Tower. There was an attempt on the life of the Director of the Tower and somehow, the suspect was detained without any resistance. Adam yawned and looked to the remote to change the channel. He turned back to the tv just as he was about to push the button on the remote when he saw the face of the suspect.

      His jaw dropped. His eyes widened.

      He rubbed his eyes. He slapped himself and agonize at the pain. This was real, he thought to himself. So he pinched his arm. This is not a dream, another thought ran to his mind.

      "Oh shit!" he said. He pushed the volume button on the remote to max and listened to the newscaster as they explained about the attempted murder. The suspect had somehow managed to infiltrate deep into the tower, avoiding security both personnel and cameras. There was no evidence of information leakage nor any outside interference not to mention nothing was stolen from the attempted murder. The news then showed his face with 'POSSIBLE ACCOMPLICE' written underneath. He gulped. This is not good, he knew.

      Adam took out a small knapsack from his cabinet. The TV was still showing the news on the attempted murder and his face still stamped the little upper corner of the fifty-two inch LCD TV. He clenched his fists, unsure of what to do. He packed his shirts and jeans and caps. He need to travel light and he needs to disguise himself.

      The ringing sound of a newsflash grabbed his attention from the knapsack. He turned to the TV and saw Melissa being brought into the National Penitentiary. He closed his eyes. This cannot be happening, he thought. Yet he knew, the only way to understand what is happening is to get to his wife. Now that he knew where she is, it is only the matter of getting in. He grabbed his pouch and a pack of neatly cut rectangle shaped papers. He grabbed his black marker pen and pushed them inside his pouch. He is going to need them.

      He sling the knapsack to his shoulder and clicked its lock around his waist. He tightened the shoulder strap close to his body and slide into his running shoes when his ears caught the whisper of sirens.

      "Damn." he said. He pulled out the packet of paper and his marker pen. He pulled out a piece of paper and without doing anything to it, he wrote down 'TITANIUM' with his marker. He looked to the walls of his house and placed one on the door and the other on the wall next to it. "Try and break this one down" he said smiling. He went to the kitchen and opened the door to the cellar. He closed the door slow and let the click whisper instead of shout. The siren was apparent and footfalls rain around him. Escaping will be hard if they surround his house. He crouched to one knee and crept silently down the stairs. He heard his name called above and again for the second time. Another footfalls followed shortly.

      He looked to the small mirror that link the cellar to the ground above. Underneath the dark shadows, he make his way towards it and pushed himself up just enough to peek through the window. It was as he thought, he was surrounded and it was the FRU. The best from the Tower, equivalent only to the Navy SEALS or the SAS. They were paramilitary and they lack sympathy. He slide back down and crept towards the small rack near the wall facing his neighbor's house. He grabbed one of the toolbox and pulled out a philip head screwdriver.

      Above head, there was shouting and cursing and thumping and banging. Adam smiled. "Try and break down titanium!" he said in a whisper.

      Adam make his way towards the wall next to the rack and ran his fingers groping the bumps and holes the wall carry. It took him a while but his finger finally struck gold and he pushed the cement colored cap to the side revealing a small screw inside. It was Philip head. He knelt down and placed the screw driver into the hole, matching its head with the screw and twisting it counter clockwise. The screw turned and numerous clicking sound erupted into the confined space just as gunfire rained the 'modified' house above.

      The wall shuddered and a part of it slides into a door that leads deeper into the earth. It was dark and there was no light around it. Adam went back to the toolbox and returned the screw driver, taking next the flashlight. He gave it a click or two to test its usability. Satisfied with it, he looked back to the closed door and the deafening sound, though muffled to him, of gunfire still screaming above head. He grinned and disappeared into the darkness of the secret passage.

      It took him a while, turning through the twisting and winding cramped cave. He had secretly created the passage as a way to escape with his wife without anyone knowing when they needed the rest from the relentless barrage of people coming for their help. The light flashes to a glittering door, wooden and bolted from the inside. He smiled. The earth shook and dusts and dirt rained his head. He looked back and wondered what had happened to his house but he knew, he has something more important he needs to do. He needs to see his wife and settle the commotion.

      He undid the bolt and pushed light on the wooden door. He peeked around, looking out for any signs of patrols or passerby who might gave him away. Confidence no one was around, he pushed the door open just enough for him to slide out and exit the passage. He pulled out a baseball cap and stick it to his head. He donned a red tinted sunglasses before leaving the secret passage and followed the sidewalk towards the train station.