I Just Wasn't Myself
This fic was a response to the following challenge -issued on the magnificent7challenge list a few years ago(okay good night it was 7 years ago!):
Do you believe in the supernatural, the unusual, the out of the ordinary things that can not be explained? What would the boys do when faced with such a situation? Write a story where one or more of the boys are caught up with forces beyond their control. My one stipulation is that there most be some otherwordly figure, (ghost, alien, angel, etc...) there to help them along. Note: This should not be a horror story!
I was sort of at a loss as how to approach this challenge at first and then it went this way- Some of you might remember the tv show "Mysterious Ways" staring Adrian Pasdar in his pre Heroes days- This idea was completely borrowed from one of those episodes (I loved that show).
I hope you enjoy it.
Belated Mother's Day greetings from the beautiful and breath taking country of Zimbabwe. I'm not positive that you have ever graced this fair land with your presence but if not, I highly recommend you add it to your traveling itinerary in the near future.
Why am I- your only son who continually refuses to take you up on your generous offers to tour Europe- here on the mysterious continent of Africa to begin with? Well, Mother dear, it is a long and extraordinary tale that if I hadn't just experienced first hand…I wouldn't believe myself. But, alas, I will do my best to elucidate.
It began approximately a week and a half ago when, inexplicably, yours truly began to behave in the most odd manner. It was almost as if I lacked any will or control over my own mannerisms. I would find myself doing and saying extremely out of character (and appalling, I might add) things.
At first it was merely small occurrences like after a lifetime of habitual late rising, I would find myself awake and looking forward to my day before the first rays of the sun were even visible in the sky. Then I developed an atrocious desire to consume food that I normally do not even consider edible.
Mother, I ate corn dogs.
I don't men to imply that I simply tried one; no…I ate the detestable creations daily. Whoever considered those things adequate sustenance in the first place?
By this time, of course, my compatriots' curiosity had become aroused and they were beginning to inquire about the changes that were occurring, particularly when my wardrobe took a turn for the worst.
Now, Mother, I know that you have always instilled in me that appearances are everything and as you well know, I pride myself on being well groomed and handsomely attired. Imagine my personal consternation when I found myself passing over the fine suits that I would set aside each morning before my shower to instead don jeans and t-shirts. I looked like Mr. Tanner, Mr. Wilmington and Mr. Dunne except I actually seemed to have –less- taste if that is possible. Mr. Wilmington was quite taken with my sudden affinity for Elvis and on a good note, now at least I'll have someone to pass on my frightening large collection of Presley adorned T-shirts.
I'm not sure if I can describe for you how truly disheartened I was becoming with the inability to explain these changes. It was as if I couldn't even remember making these decisions myself and if you can suspend your disbelief, the situation began to worsen rapidly.
If you haven't already Mother, please find a comfortable chair or lounge to be seated on before you finish this missive. Five days ago I crawled out of bed at another ungodly hour of the morn only to discover that I had sometime the evening prior further changed my physical appearance. Imagine my surprise to glance routinely in the mirror and find that I was now blond and had an eyebrow ring. Rest assured, the facial adornment has been removed already and when I return to Denver I intend to rectify the matter of my hair color, post haste.
I admit that I began to seriously consider that I might be going insane. The gentlemen I work with were questioning me non-stop now, trying to evoke an explanation for these changes. I could not bring myself to be truthful with them for fear that they too might question my sanity so I obfuscated a cover that the FBI had conscripted my services for an ongoing case that I was not at liberty to discuss. This avenue worked with everyone save Mr. Tanner and Mr. Larabee. Though the two in question didn't press the matter, I'm certain that Chris requested that Vin keep a close watch over me. For this breach of my privacy I do find myself extremely grateful.
Now, I have no memory of what took place but according to Mr. Tanner I simply got up from my desk and left the office with no word to anyone else. He, as per Mr. Larabee's earlier instruction, followed me. I led him to the building's roof where to his shock I proceeded to climb onto the building's ledge. Not wanting to startle me into a fall, Vin approached with caution. He said I didn't appear like I was ready to jump but that my body language signaled that it was my eventual intent.
My only memory of the incident is of Mr. Tanner's rather gentle voice calling my name and the sudden vice-like grip on my wrist. Obviously I was visibly shaken by the circumstances and was finally forced to admit to the others that there was no federal case, but that rather, I feared that I was actually losing my mind. To my surprise, my friends offered complete support. They would not, however, allow me to be alone under any circumstances and in normal cases like injury or illness this probably would have bothered me but I admit that this time I found the presence of friends reassuring.
In the next two days my behavior not only continued to be erratic but worsened. Mr. Wilmington lost track of me one afternoon and barely located me in time to prevent me from getting the name Victoria tattooed on my shoulder and three times more one of my co-workers found my perched on high structures as if preparing to jump. It was after the third incident that Mr. Jackson made the discovery that my unusual treks were all taking place at 5:15 am and pm, like clockwork of you'll pardon the pun. The pattern failed to give us any solid answers but it was something to work with at least. Mr. Dunne and Mr. Sanchez began to scour the Internet and newsgroups for anything that might enlighten or help and finally on the afternoon of the third day since my original trip to the roof, Mr. Dunne found three other cases reportedly similar to my own.
One gentleman in Alabama, a woman in New York and a third man in L.A. had all made local news reports because of apparent attempts to leap from high buildings at the times of 5:15 in the morning and evening. In all three cases the three involved claimed to have no memory of the incidents. Mr. Larabee was on the phone immediately and the next thing I knew he was flying these individuals to Denver.
I have been in many situations, Mother, and you've taught me very well how not to show visible physical responses to whatever comes my way. I must confess, however, that in the airport that evening my mouth hung open in the most ungentlemanly manner when we met Mr. Corbin, Ms. Sewell and Mr. Littlefield. All of them had the same bleached blond hair, eyebrow ring and Elvis T-shirt. It took quite a few moments for us all to collect ourselves and I'm certain we made a truly ridiculous sight walking through the terminal but eventually we were once again safely ensconced at Mr. Larabee's ranch. It was there that we began the long process of compiling any and all information about the four of us that might lead to revealing something we had in common.
I admit that I was skeptical but the visual proof that we were somehow connected was right there in front of me. Finally it was discovered that all three of our new acquaintances had been transplant recipients about twelve years ago. (Liver, heart and kidney if you're interested) Mr. Dunne started researching right away, working his magic with the telephone and Internet while I tried to figure out how I fit into the picture seeing as you and I both know I've never received a transplant of any sort. I shared this information with Mr. Sanchez and he asked me if there was –anything- medically significant had happened to me in that time frame. At first I said no but then I remembered the summer between graduation and the academy, visiting you and Maxwell Waters in Mobile. I'm sure you recall that incident as it was unpleasant but regardless- I recalled that I'd required a transfusion when I'd first arrived at the hospital that night. I skeptically shared this information with Josiah and he in turn passed it on to JD.
You can surely see where this is leading and you are correct. All four of us shared the same donor, a Mr. Timothy Black. Mr. Sanchez was elected to call the family, for though we didn't desire to be intrusive; we were in dire need of answers for our illogical behavior.
Timothy Black had been thirteen years old when he was killed in a car accident and his parents had donated his blood and organs to medicine. Mrs. Black shared over the speakerphone with us (she had requested to speak with us after Josiah explained what was happening) that Timothy had had pale blond hair and in the weeks before his death had been begging her continually to allow him to get his eyebrow pierced. When asked about the jumping attempts and the 5:15 connection, Mrs. Black choked up. It seems that Timothy had been a young adventurer and it had been his dream to bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge before his twenty-fifth birthday, which would have been May 15, 2002, or today to be more precise.
So, there you have it, Mother. I am in Zimbabwe because earlier this morning Ms. Sewell, Mr. Corbin, Mr. Littlefield and I-along with Mr. Tanner, Mr. Dunne and Mr. Wilmington- all walked across the border to Zambia and then one by one hurled ourselves off the Victoria Falls Bridge with only a glorified rubber band to save us from certain death. (Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sanchez had better judgment than to attempt the jump and it was recommended that Mr. Larabee abstain due to an occasional yet reoccurring knee injury)
It was an exhilarating experience that I most assuredly do NOT want to endure ever again. You'll be relieved to note that 5:15 here and in my own time zone came and went peacefully and it appears that all of the strange and unusual tendencies have disappeared. I am once again impeccably attired and thank heaven I have no desire to eat anything but the finest cuisine that Zimbabwe has to offer. Mr. Corbin, Ms. Sewell and Mr. Littlefield have caught a return flight stateside while the seven of us have decided to stay and extra day and enjoy this mini-vacation.
I pray this finds you well and I again beg your forgiveness for the tardiness of my mother's day greeting but as you have read, I just wasn't myself.
Happy Mother's Day
Ezra P. Standish