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The Gap

He woke up in darkness not knowing where he was. He was flat on his back looking up at nothing. No, not nothing, a cloudy, starless and moonless night sky. He could see the clouds moving slowly against the dark. There was no sound at all: all was still, eerie. He could feel, though; field- stubble was prickling his hands. And he could smell something, a trace of something detestable. He rolled his head sideways and the smell remained, stronger. Suddenly there was a squeaking as from a small animal. Just one short noise and then nothing, the quiet returning.

He rolled his head back to look at the sky. His instinct, up to now resisted, was to get up. He just could not remember how he had got here! All events leading up to his present position were lost. Long-term memory was fine, but the short-term was absent, shot. He suddenly realised he must find out where he was. Where was this place, so quiet, so dark, so threatening? Yes, he had suddenly thought, this place has unknown threats. He rose to a sitting position and the smell receded. Quietly, fearfully, he got to his feet and looked around.

All was black - the sky was totally obscured by clouds. He had expected clarification of his location but was denied. He moved forwards slowly, taking small steps through the stubble. The smell had gone, replaced by one like wet hay. He slowly moved through the dark, like a hunted animal. After a very long time his advancing foot touched something. Something that gave slightly to his foot's pressure, before firming. At the same time a slight ringing noise told him - ring-fence! He brought himself up to the fence and reached up. The fence was higher than he could reach on tiptoe.

He would have to climb the fence, and then over! He lifted his right leg seeking to grip the fence. After a wriggle or two, he found a slight hold. The mesh had holes too small for his shoe's toe. But, it was enough for him to think it possible. He swung up on his precarious foothold and gripped hard. His hands clung to the mesh while his teeth ground. He slowly moved his free leg, looking for a foothold. His foot gripped, and he reached up again, seeking handhold. Grip, reach, haul, grip, reach, haul, grip, reach, haul - rest!

The hanging man had to stop, his body was resisting. Fatigue overwhelmed him, forcing him to stop and rest. Whatever had happened to him last night had drained him. He would normally be fit enough to climb a ring- fence. He hung there, sweating, four metres off the ground, afraid. Through his fatigue he realised the reason for his fear. Although the quiet remained, the smell had returned in force. Completely indescribable, just as completely frightful, it rose in waves. It rose from beneath him - the source was below him! Fear galvanised him into action and he quickly climbed higher.

His head struck an overhanging ledge extending from the fence. His scrabbling free hand groped in the dark, seeking hope. The top of the fence was slanted inwards, hampering progress. He drew himself up to the structure and reached out. He could not feel the end of the overhanging fence. He was trapped here between the smell and this overhang. Suddenly the fence swayed as if something had hit it. There was unmistakable movement in the fence under his hands. Something was climbing it, coming towards him, noiseless and reeking. He started to move sideways along the fence, mewling softly.

Sideways movement was harder than climbing, his progress was slow. He took deep breaths to relax his mind and muscles. Slowly he began to move in rhythm, swinging along steadily. The dark was oppressive, but the quiet was more so. This silent flight from an unknown menace sapped his will. He fought against sudden urges to let go and fall. He had no idea of the distance to the ground. He breathed deeply and swung himself along the bouncing fence. The smell was lessening and, thus encouraged, he speeded up. Suddenly his grasping left hand grasped at nothing - the end!

Again he was forced to stop and find his whereabouts. The darkness was now relieved by glistening to his left. He realised he was near a large expanse of water. A sudden breeze brushed his cheek, cooling his face quickly. The fence was still - could his pursuer have abandoned pursuit? He scrambled to the fence's end at the lake's edge. Could he escape here round the end of the fence? His scrabbling left hand found a cruel system of spikes. Each of these stuck out 2 metres over the lake. Could he drop into the water and swim round safely?

The stillness deepened into a sudden tension in the air. He gripped the fence tighter, looking intently through the darkness. There was a faint fizzing now, coming from above him. He looked up, seeing, as always, nothing in the dark. He looked out again, his eyes boring though the dark. Suddenly, with an audible crack there was blinding light everywhere. He looked for a second, then closed his eyes tight. He voluntarily returned himself to the darkness, his erstwhile enemy. His mind registered what he had just seen for a second. What could it mean to he who knew absolutely nothing?

What had he seen in his brief and bright enlightenment? His fence was one of two: the other faced him. To his far right the field was bordered by buildings. The remaining side was bordered by a lake, rippling lazely. All along the tops of the fences were many floodlamps. But it was the image of the field which haunted. It was full of animals just looking up at him. All different types and all quietly looking up at him. The quietness had now assumed a different level of horror. A host of animals and not one bark, neigh, hiss.

He opened his eyes again and they were still there. From top left to bottom right, below him, in ranks. Then he noticed another fact (and this the final terror). The animals were all ordered, shockingly, in strict alphabetical order. Aardvark in the distance to the Zebra just below him. Though there seemed to be a gap in the Ws. He had a sudden thought and, yes, there - the Man! Right in the middle of the array, with the Ms. He was wearing navy overalls, was very tall and thin. Suddenly he started to move, weaving through the compliant animals.

The Man stood below him, looking up at him, steadily. He had a fresh, open face and clear grey eyes. He radiated calm and proficiency as he looked quizically upwards.

"What you doing up there so high and so lost?".

Incongruously, he had a lapel badge saying "World Cup USA". The black lettering was against a stars and stripes motif.

"Don't you think its time to rejoin the ranks?"

He raised his arm with a gun-like object in it. The man on the fence stared at the lapel badge. He fell as the Man fired his weapon, blacking out.

He woke up in darkness not knowing where he was. He was flat on his back looking up at nothing. No, not nothing, a cloudy, starless and moonless night sky. He could see the clouds moving slowly against the dark. There was no sound at all: all was still, eerie. He could feel, though; field- stubble was prickling his hands. And he could smell something, a trace of something detestable. He rolled his head sideways and the smell remained, stronger. Suddenly there was a squeaking as from a small animal. Just one short noise and then nothing, the quiet returning.

Scenario

Your location is the Farm. Actually, you have the part of the farm without the farmhouse. In your location there is no house, only a big open field with one or two trees.

The field backs onto the lake, and is just north of the Estate Agent's shop. Just to the north of this location is the farmhouse.

There are no specific characters for this move. Rather, the move is a location where characters often meet for moonlit walks, or romantic trysts. Providing, of course, that the field isn’t full of goats or bulls (which it may be).