What the hell, thought Marcus
He looked around. Sunlight was beaming into what appeared to be a homely little kitchen. And also directly into his eyes. “Jesus..”, he scrabbled on the table and his hand closed over something that felt like sunglasses. He put them on and the world fell into blessed shade. His head felt like both Donald Trump and Kim Jong Il had declared war on it and fired their entire stack of nukes, timed to land perfectly when he opened his eyes..
As his eyes gradually came into focus, he noticed an empty bottle on the table….
Marcus/Abraham stopped. He’d been through this before. The jagged shards of his brain rattled in discordant harmony as he tried to remember! Zlatan!, he remembered hazily. Drugged! By God! he thought and said so out loud.
“No, by the Zlatan, but the effect is much the same!” A voice came floating in from a room off to the side of when he was slumped. Marcus/Abraham slowly rose and shambled into the
next room. There he found Zlatan, naked and in bed with a horse. “Don’t worry. He’s only sleeping. Don’t make it weird.” said Zlatan, whipping off the covers. He stood, facing Marcus/Abraham in all his glory and started doing lunges.
“To know thyself is to look in the mirror and not be frightened at what you see” He said, effortlessly reaching the ground before rising. “Have you looked in the mirror recently?” Marcus/Abraham replied in the negative, but couldn’t stop himself looking in the full length mirror across from him. Expecting to see his new face, Marcus was stunned to see his own face in the mirror. What in the absolute FUCK, thought Marcus, touching his face in shock
“A post-hypnotic suggestion! Lifted by my voice and a code word” said Zlatan, still lunging away, “Every time you looked in the mirror, you saw what we wanted you to see. You were very easy to manipulate” Marcus asked why had he done this.
“Well, we needed someone for a very ambitious project. You were perfect. But we had to get you out of Milan. Everything has happened as you have experienced, although the drugs have messed with your time perception. It’s only been a month. But you’re still fired from Milan, Bryan Klug is still in jail for your crimes and you’re now free”
Marcus didn’t feel good about this. Something had gone badly wrong in his life to be stuck in this moment. And who was we? he thought..
“Because we have got you free for this moment, you will help us in our endeavour. The Zlatan has hated Barcelona since his days at that wretched club. That short fool. The bald fraud. I hate them. The Zlatan hates them all. My partner, Joan Gaspart, is widely regarded as the worst Barcelona president ever. Because of the Bald Fraud. So. We are going to have our revenge!”
Zlatan finished his lunges and faced Marcus. “We have purchased a club in the shadow of the Camp Nou. You will be the manager there. You will become bigger and better than Barcelona. You will only be allow to sign players cut from Barcelona’s La Masia academy. In time, we will create our own academy and you will use the players from there. All of the money will go into the club to make a profit for us and to build up the club. This is your job. Accept it and we will be fine. Refuse and a package will find it’s way to the Guardia Civil. And you DON’T want that..”
Zlatan nodded and, without waiting for an answer, strode out of the room. Marcus followed him to the front door of the house, where Zlatan exited and walked out onto the street, exclaiming to a woman shocked at his appearance. “It is just the Zlatan, madam. Come, let me buy you a drink”. Marcus shut the door on the scene and rubbed his hand over his face. In debt to a madman and forced to take a lower job. What next???