It's dim, the first hint of dawn floating in with a single distant birdsong on the wind. It's calm--or it should be, soothing--or it would be, if he knew where he was, or how he got here, or who the person handcuffed to him is. He tugs gently at the cuffs to confirm that they're real.
He can have the writing supplies, then.
"Hey, what's the last thing you remember?"
"Convincing you to give me the notebook."
"That's not what I meant."
"Getting ready for bed. Which kind of suggests an explanation for all this."
"I was in a library, I think."
"Looking for anything in particular?"
"...No. Not that I can remember. No clues there, I guess."
He makes a note and then they leave the cabin.
There is in fact no car. There are tire tracks leading off in a direction that is less dense with trees than the other directions.
"Who dropped us off here and why don't we have a note about it?" Sigh. "Follow the tracks?"
Before they've even left eyeshot of the cabin, they find Mica's phone crushed near the tracks, and blood. It's dried but there's a lot of it, probably more than a human could live without.
He writes that down.
"Well, that must be why it isn't safe for you to go for help alone."
He bends slightly to pick up the phone, then changes his mind and stands back up.
"I don't... feel injured?"
"Maybe it's not memory loss. Maybe it's time travel and the notes are from the future."
"Then why is my phone here?"
"Maybe everything's the future except that we get replaced with earlier versions if anything happens. Except... I don't know, it doesn't make sense, I don't think it's real."
"Do your nightmares often feature cabins in the woods?"
"No and it's not much like a dream but that just means it's probably weirder. A prank or an alien AI in orbit simulating ways of making first contact."
"If it's an alien they could have just said hi."
"If it's an alien they're either very confused or in the middle of a dictionary attack."
"A dictionary is a book with the definitions of words. A dictionary attack is trying to convince someone to do something by trying everything you could possibly say or do and... resetting them afterward, somehow."
"Throwing the book at us, so to speak."
"They've probably tried throwing some books at us already. Or maybe they're going to. No way to know for sure but this is weird, I wouldn't expect it to be in the first hundred situations they'd try putting people in."