His head inside what smelled like a bird cage cover, Jackson focused on the horror of what was tasted like a very used, very unclean sock stuffed into his mouth.  The chair his kidnappers placed him in was hard, the sort of chair an angry high school basketball coach would use just to ensure they kept their angry attitude constant.  His hands were loosely tied behind him and he felt his phone buzzing every few moments.

They left me with my phone? Jackson thought.  He was pleased the kidnappers were at least of the dumb variety.  He formulated a plan to call his fiance, just a week away from being his wife, and ensure rescue and escape would follow soon.

He listened for voices, footsteps, breathing; anything to indicate there were other people in the room.  He mumbled incoherently through the sweaty sock.  No response.  He mumbled again.  Only the buzzing sound of his cell phone filled his ears.

I can rock myself free, action movie style he thought.  He rocked the chair side to side gaining momentum to what would ultimately be a very painful fall to the ground.  The chair tumbled, his shoulder screamed in pain and he realized that in the movies the chairs are designed to break; real chairs are not.

The room erupted with the sound of laughter.  Jackson screamed in surprise, but it sounded more like a seal barking underwater and accidentally swallowing some of said water.  More laughter followed.

He felt the stinky head covering move off his head, and the sock was torn from his mouth.

“Brad’s living room?” Jackson questioned.  He recognized an ugly orange chair Brad had won at a college raffle years ago, a shelf of books that had never been -and would never be- read.  “What the heck?”

“Bachelor party time, numb skull!” Jackson’s friends shouted in unison.  Jackson never understood how he came upon his nickname.

“I really, deeply, trust me on this one, loathe each of you right now,” Jackson said.

Brad unbound Jackson’s hands and urged the groom to be to check his phone.

“Oh come on guys, you Periscoped the whole thing? And people outside our circle are watching? That’s crazy messed up,” Jackson protested.  His friends did not stop laughing.


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