The Twilight Zone

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"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone." Rod Serling.

Walter Brannigan
by Barbara Lynn Terry

"Good morning, Wally," said Jeff Hunter, Walter Brannigan's neighbor.

"Morning, Jeff. Monday morning, again."

"I hear ya, neighbor. I have a meeting first thing, then I have to call on a few customers,

then go back to the office to file the paper work on the sales."

"Are you and Kate doing anything this Saturday afternoon?"

"Not that I can think of, Wally."

"Well, Jeff, I have these four tickets to the Braves/Cardinals game. Would the two of you

be interested?"

"I would, but Kate isn't too keen on sports. She does like tennis, golf, badminton and

volleyball. But, she's not inteerested in baseball, football or basketball. She also doesn't

like soccer or ice hockey. She thinks their too violent for a sport."

"Well, I will see you tonight, then. Take care, Jeff."

"You, too, Wally."

At eight thirty in the morning, Walter Brannigan left for his office just twenty minutes away from his house. As he pulled in to his parking space, he noticed his reserved sign was not there. He got out of his car and walked to the building. As he approached the security officer, who is charged with checking employee ID badges, he started searching for his ID badge. But it wasn't in his brief case, where he normally put it.

"Good morning, Sam," Walter Brannigan said to the security officer.

"Excuse me, sir, but who are you, and how do you know my name?"

"I work here, on the fourteenth floor."

"I am sorry, sir, but I have never seen you before."

"Sam, it's me, Walter Brannigan. I have been working here for the last twenty years."

"Sir, show me some identification, or I will be forced to hold you for the police."

"But, I am Walter Brannigan. I work on the fourteenth floor for Stryker Investments."

"Sir, I know every company in this building and I never heard of Stryker Investments, and I have never seen you before. Now, please leave, or I will call the police."

Walter, not knowing what was going on, left the building. He got in his car and headed for home. While he was driving, he thought he would stop at a restaurant for a cup of coffee. He paid his bill, and then went outside to his car. He sat behind the steering wheel for several minutes, before he gave a big sigh and decided to go home.

As he drove in to his drive way, Jeffery Hunter was watching the man in the car. When Walter got out, and started for the house, Jeff went in his house and called the police. He told them that there was a strange man in the vacant house next to his, and gave them the address.

As Walter entered the house, he saw no one there. With a chill at his back, he called out.

"Jeannie! Jeannie, are you here?"

The echo in the house told him he was the only one there. That was when he noticed there also was no furniture either. Then he heard an "ehem" behind him. He turned to see two police officers standing just inside the front door.

"Excuse me, sir, but we had a call about a strange man entering these premises. May I see some identification, please?" Walter Brannigan gave the officer his driver's license, and the officer went outside to call it in. The other officer stayed inside with Walter.

"2640, wants and warrants."

"All units standby. Go ahead 2640"

"Wants and warrants on a Walter Brannigan, Caucasian male, d.o.b., 06/10/1967, 46

years, 6'2", brown and blue and for license number HML - 3456."

"Standby 2640." It took about five minutes, but the dispatcher came back with the required information. "2640, your license plate belongs to your suspect, and this is curious. Walter Brannigan, who is a bonded stock broker, disappeared about a year ago, on his way to work. Have your suspect follow you to the station, take his prints, and run them against what we have in our files. 2640, treat him with respect, because if he is Walter Brannigan, we don't want a lawsuit."

"2640, 10-4." The officer went back in the house. "Mr. Brannigan, I would like you to follow us to the station. We need to check your fingerprints. See, we have been having a string of burglaries in this area for about three months now. We just need to eliminate you as a suspect."

"Of course," Walter Brannigan replied.

Walter followed the two officers to the local station, where the officers took his fingerprints, and then showed him in to a conference room, and offered him a cup of coffee. Walter accepted the coffee, gratefully.With what seemed like an eternity, one of the officers came back in the conference room.

"Mr. Brannigan, we are sorry for the delay, but you check out. Also, there is someone by the name of Jean Brannigan who keeps calling to see if we found you yet. Do you know her?"

"Yes, she is my wife."

"Well, she said, if we found you, to give you this note."

The officer handed Walter the paper that had Jeannie's new address and phone number on it. But, Walter didn't have to call, because as soon as he left the conference room, Jeannie was waiting by the sergeant's desk.

'Jeannie?" She ran to him and threw herself in to his arms.

"Oh! Walter, I have been so worried. Where have you been?"

"I wish I knew, dear, I really wish I knew."

(Narration:) We must always be aware of our surroundings, and even more so when we are driving. We must be aware of children running out in to the road, we must watch out for the pedestrian as well as other drivers. But, we must also be very aware of that sudden turn, that takes us in to ... The Twilight Zone!



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This story is 1022 words long.