Abe's Inquisition (AI for Short)
My name is Abe, and this is one run of my story (or so I've heard).
The snailmail letter came on a Saturday. That was my first tipoff that something smecky was up. Because everyone knows that snailmail is only delivered on Mondays an Thursdays. The letter itself, or rather the envelope that contained the letter, had been cancelled. Cancelled despite there being no return address. Cancelled despite there being no address of any kind anywhere on the envelope, mine included. A closer look at the cancel mark revealed that the post office location was "no place you know" and the date was from "pretty soon now". Woah! Who cares enough about me to create an elaborate joke like this?
When I opened the letter I was startled to find a mostly blank page. It was short. Very short. For some reason I expected anyone who would make a joke would take the time to at least make a long and intricate letter. This looked to be only a dozen words or so.
As I read those dozen or so words my stomach clenched. It read: "Abraham! Go to the mountain I will show you."
I think I may have blacked out at that point, because the next thing I remember is standing by the sink sipping from a glass of water that felt incredibly heavy. I knew what the letter meant. My reading group had just read all about this situation. Not without some trepidation. A few of the group had even stayed at home that night, because they knew the topic. Maybe it was just a joke from someone in my reading group? Surely this is just a joke from someone with VERY poor taste.
I decided that the best thing I could do would be to put the letter out of my mind. And so I consciously gave the letter no further encouragement. I quarantined it from my thoughts. Too little, too late.
I almost became convinced that it really was a joke as several days passed without further incident. Alas. Not so.
Second contact was via a text message on my phone. I had been playing a game on the phone instead of sleeping and the hour was late. I had barely registered the 20% power left notice and had immediately swiped away the 10% power warning. So the phone was completely dead when I finally placed it on my head board and reached for the cord to plug it in. As I was berating myself for staying up so far past my bedtime, AGAIN, a text message arrived. Yes, a text message arrived on my completely drained phone. This text was even shorter. "It's time. Leave now."
Even before I had consciously followed through the implications of this message on my dead phone an older part of my brain had reacted as if I'd stepped on a snake. I flung the phone across the room where it crunched as it landed. I stared at the stricken phone across the room, breath rasping in and out too fast. Much too fast.
To avoid answering I asked a question of my own. "What becomes of us?"" The answer came immediately, this time not as a text message, but as words hovering in the air in front of me. "It does not matter. You cannot and will not ever know what happens. Yours is to do. Here. Now."
I licked my thick, thirsty lips and swallowed around the lump in my throat. Finally I croaked out. "Here I am. What do you require of me?"
The next day knife in hand, muscle contracting, blade starting its stroke a voice interrupts me.
"Abraham, Abraham! Now I know that you fear me. You have not withheld from me that which is more precious to you than even your own life."
The simulation is over.