About two years ago, I had a chilling encounter.
On a frosty morning, I prepared to head to campus for class. I found a note on the windshield of my car. "Meet me at the Eat n Sip" the note read, scrawled in what looked like a blue Bic pen from a gas station counter. Who left this? And why? The invitation doesn't even include a day or a time, so how do I know when to even be at that greasy drive-in north of town? Crazy. I crumpled up the note and threw it away.
In hindsight, I should have kept it as evidence.
Because a few days later, I was at the coffeeshop here on campus and I suddenly felt the sharp point of steel in my back. A deep voice growled to me in a Southern drawl.
"I told you to meet me at the Eat n Sip," it said.
I looked over my shoulder and saw the biggest white man I've ever seen in my life. Steel blue eyes, long blonde hair, and beard of similar color and length, and an overweening demeanor. He was decked out all in camo and smelled of sweat, cordite, and venison. He was also holding a really big knife to my back.
Later, I would learn that it is called a Ka-bar. It's military issue, painted black so as not to cause a glint in sunlight and give away your position. But I digress...
He forced...er...asked to sit and talk with me. So as I drank my latte, he introduced himself as Jake Timber. He loves the Dallas Cowboys and going to church on Sunday. He is also a combat veteran.
From the future.
A future where "commie liberals" have taken over, sparking him to spend years fighting to "take his country back." I asked him just how he was able to time travel.
"Doesn't matter," he snapped back.
What did matter to Jake was that his story gets told. That way, the people of our time would wake up and prevent the "wussy libs" from taking over, thus preventing decades of war, strife, and free college education. There was only one stumbling block to his plan.
"I'm a good ol' American country boy," Jake explained. "I'm not so good at the fancy book learnin'."
As such, he needed a writer. He needed someone who could take his story and pour it into a text that is at least lucid and coherent, even if lurid and mind-numbing. I was selected for this task because I "look easy to push around."
I spent a few days at Jake's house. Well, "house" is probably overstating it. I'm not allowed to tell you where he lives, other than it is a survivalist hut somewhere in the woods/cornfields/pasture thingies outside of Medaryville, Indiana. Here's a photo of a similar structure:
Jake lives "off the grid." He has no connection to the Internet or anything digital. This is so that he can't be tracked. He will even wear disguises to throw off facial recognition software and duck underneath things to avoid spy satellites.
"Someone's always watching," he'll tell you. "Someone's always tracking. You don't think they are but they are."
"Actually Jake," I began. "We all know about it since Snowden."
"Then you're all just rolling over like pussywimps!" he bellowed. "Typical college professors!"
However, "living off the grid" poses something of a problem for Jake. If you want to get information out these days, you pretty much need the Interwebs. Also, if you're a writer and you're releasing a book, social media is a non-negotiable need.
Jake Timber recognizes all of this and is quite content exploiting my own social media connections.
So I spent all this time with him, writing down his tale. It was hundreds of pages of graphic, military combat action, lewd liaisons with women harboring insatiable desires to please men, and long diatribes against socialism, gun laws, and clean water. I felt my brain cells dying with each keystroke. Not only that, but Jake kept coming up with these wacky side schemes that somehow involved me, only to make my life more miserable. It was the beginning of the rout of my sanity.
Then as suddenly as he appeared, Jake vanished.
I thought I was free. I thought in time, Jake would become a dim, unpleasant, alt-right memory. For a time there, that's exactly what he was.
Then it all went to shit.
Two weeks ago, there was another note on my windshield. "JAKE TIMBER LIVES," it read. Then another knife point in my back at the coffeeshop. I sighed, defeated.
"When do we start writing?" I asked without even turning around.
"Now!" he barked with almost a trace of fear in his voice. "We've got to stop Hillary! If Trump doesn't get in office, we're all screwed."
So I went back to the survivalist hut. He has a portable generator now, allowing for at least a few conveniences. While writing what felt like grade school-level adventure, I looked up at Jake and asked what happened. Why did he disappear for so long?
"I went to the woods to take a dump and..." he trailed off. "I'll tell you about it later."
He has yet to do so. The narrative is on the way, no doubt, and I will post it on these pages. I'll also give samples of the first brief, Kindle Single in the series, Jake Timber Lives. Unfortunately, my social media channels will also be laden with broadcasts of his "message," warning us all of what will happen if the "libs" get control of "the gubmint."
Stay tuned if you want, but remember that I am not responsible for your mental well-being.
Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets