Wherever or WHENEVER he was, there were significant dangers nearby that he wasn’t prepared to deal with. He was alone in a strange place. Hunger was gnawing at his gut. The pack of peanut butter crackers in his glove compartment was long gone. If he didn’t awaken from his very lucid nightmare or feverish delirium soon, he would have to go out and find something to eat. Just the thought of having to hunt or forage for a meal, made him cringe.
Several times during the evening, the massive birds of prey glided over his rooftop. It was a valuable reminder that he could just as easily become ‘food’ for one of them, or the lurking river reptiles. It was a dangerous world he had fallen into but he couldn’t afford to just stay huddled in his car. His survival depended on getting out and taking certain risks.
He also didn’t want to spend time or energy dwelling on the macabre circumstances. It was too much to accept. The disappearing bridge and road were bad enough but the strange, unfamiliar creatures were basically impossible to explain. The complete lack of other humans and man-made objects pushed his level of denial into overkill. He wasn’t ready to consider any logical scenarios or possibilities because none of them seemed rational. Deep down, he was still hoping to wake up.
The powerful motivation of hunger snapped him out of his indifference. Along the riverbank he found some dark berries and picked them. He didn’t know if they were poisonous or not. The safest way to test them was to eat only a couple and gauge how they made him feel over a few hours. Once the results of the quarantine was over, he’d have a better idea if eating them was safe. The hardest part was making himself eat only a few. Once the semi sweet berry juice hit his stomach, it triggered full scale hunger pangs.
Water scooped from the river seemed safe enough to drink but for all he knew, it was full of dysentery bacteria and parasites. As rapidly as he was becoming dehydrated, it almost didn’t matter. Until he could devise a means of boiling it, he had no choice but to take the risk. The body had to have water. Everything else was secondary.
After a few hours, the rumbling in his stomach pushed him to ignore his safety protocol and eat all the berries. What the meal lacked in variety or sophistication, it made up for in volume. As nighttime approached, he scooped up another full coffee cup of water and retired to the relative safety of his car.
In those long, unoccupied hours; he had nothing but time on his hands to sit and think. The topics he had been deliberately avoiding, couldn’t be put off any longer. He dared to articulate what he had long suspected on a subconscious level. He’d somehow went though a time portal into the very distant past. As much as he would have loved to dismiss the horrid theory as pure fantasy, the facts provided a convincing argument. No other hypothesis could come close to explaining things. The most rational possibility would surely secure him a padded room in an asylum; if there were any nearby.