Discover more from The Giggler
Over the Top Secret - Chapter 2
AKA Wakey Wakey, Scared and Shakey
You’re reading Over the Top Secret, a zany spy adventure! Subscribe to get new chapters delivered to your inbox. Upgrade to a paid subscription for access to audio chapters!
Start at the beginning (Prologue - AKA Mission Report)
Read the previous chapter (Chapter 1 - AKA Keep Calm and Take a Quiz)
Read the next chapter (Chapter 3 - AKA Recycled Air Farts)
Paid subscribers: listen to this week’s exclusive audio chapter in The Giggler Podcast, here!
I bolt upright, heart racing, covered in pools of my own cold sweat. The shriek of my iPhone alarm slowly seeps into my consciousness. I whip my head around in search of the blaring alarm, sending a sharp pain throughout my whole body.
“Agh!” I cover my eyes with my shaky, clammy palms. What happened to me? Slowly, I reach for my phone. The screen brightness temporarily blinds me. This must be how vampires feel when they’ve just turned.
It’s 1:30 pm, my battery is at 10%, and I have an hour until my flight boards. Holy smokes, I must have really knocked out last night! Uncharacteristically, I decide to ignore the little red bubbles telling me I have twelve missed calls from my mom and sixteen unread texts. I cautiously stand up, fighting a wave of nausea. The room wobbles beneath my feet.
What exactly happened last night? Looking around, I see the curtains are still open, suitcase overflowing, lights on, laptop dead.
A cold tingle trickles down my spine at the sight of the laptop. The virus.
What kind of computer virus makes a person spasm uncontrollably? How could it have affected my brain like that? Maybe I had a seizure. Or perhaps it was just another case of Vasovagal Syncope. More likely, though, it was my existential crisis going into overdrive.
I shiver at the memory of my ridiculous outburst. I’m fine. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.
My phone vibrates. A FaceTime call from Mom. If I answer, she’ll see I haven’t left my apartment yet and start hyperventilating at the thought that I might miss my flight home.
Oh, right—I have a flight to catch! Decline.
I rapidly type a text message to her saying I’m heading to the gate now (not entirely untrue). Love you. Yadda yadda. That should hold her off for at least another 10 minutes.
I shove the overflowing contents into my father’s hand-me-down suitcase and button it shut (apparently, they hadn’t invented wheels or zippers back then). Slip a few extra chewable Lactaids into my travel fanny pack (the kind that you put on underneath your clothes so pick- pockets can’t get to your goodies—especially your Lactaids. It’s the most practical replacement for a cumbersome purse), and jam my feet into some sneakers.
Suddenly I’m freezing. Large sweat stains begin forming under my armpits, adding a dense layer of sopping chilled grossness to my situation.
I change into a long-sleeved shirt and grab a handful of wintery layers to take with me on the plane. Looking around my apartment one last time, I cringe at the mess I’m leaving behind.
Shake it off, Julie. I rush out the door with a dairy-free granola bar in-hand.
As I race to my car in the apartment parking complex, the sight of my neighbor’s motorcycle makes me stop dead, against my will. My shoulder jerks upwards and my neck and eyes twitch as images related to the ones from last night flash through my brain. The throttle of a motorcycle engine. Gunshots ripping through flesh, blood pounding in my ears, a silhouetted figure emerging from an explosion. The images are gone as quickly as they arrived and the intensity of the moment causes me to trip, sending my suitcase sliding across the floor.
A terrible realization grows inside me as I lie on the un-swept parking lot, panting with my arms and legs outstretched. That was no ordinary computer virus. Whatever happened to me was not normal, and it definitely wasn’t a pathetic episode of Vasovagal Syncope.
Fighting another wave of the shakes, I start my Honda Civic’s engine and speed toward the highway, silently vowing to never take another online quiz again.
✨🎧 Become a paid subscriber for exclusive access to confidential T.O.P.S.E.C.R.E.T. audio files (AKA audio chapters)! 🎧✨