It was 108°F when I fell out of Stasis for the last time. I hit the road, the asphalt lacerating my face like a candle furiously rubbed against a cheese grater. This would be the last time that I tumbled out of Stasis with a crash and a burn. Cause I’m fucked if I’m doing this again.
I was well aware that I only had five days before Stasis took me back for another year. Five days to piece together something that had thus alluded me for the last ten years. What is Stasis and why am I there?
It was July 1st 2012. A leap year. A similar thing had happened in 2004 and 2008. Leap years had a curious affect on my falling out of Stasis; some sort of wobble in the calculations I assumed, as every other exit had been smooth and regimented. And most importantly, had resulted in a soft landing.
But the leap year also gave me the advantage as the agents of Stasis had to find me first. Conversely, I also had to ascertain just where the hell I’d fallen out. In 2004, I’d fallen out in the middle of a cricket match in England and in 2008 I was lucky to be alive after I plunged onto a German Autobahn during rush hour. Both incidents had attracted instant attention and the agents had tracked me down very quickly . This time, the isolation may very well play to my advantage, but I had to get moving as soon as I could physically pick myself up from the road I’d connected with in an unwanted manner only seconds before.
As I gingerly rose to my feet, I surveyed my immediate surroundings. I instantly recognised the terrain as Andalucía and guessed that I was somewhere to the North East of Almería.
I started walking, knowing that I would soon come to a sign post. Or get picked up as a dishevelled drifter by the local Guardia Civil, an option that I could not even begin to consider lest I want to spend five days in a Spanish jail cell before Stasis summoned me back. To avoid that, I decided that my best option would be to find refuge somewhere and make it look like I hadn’t lost a fight to a manual kitchen appliance. Up ahead I could see the vague outline of what could only be a petrol station, the universal shape rising above the barren landscape as a beacon of relief for those that required it.
As I slowly covered the distance to the petrol station, I began to assess what I knew about Stasis and how I was going to escape the endless cycle of five days living and 360 in Stasis. My first thought was right back at the very start – July 6th 2002. The day that I first entered Stasis.