I wake up.
It’s bright in here. Extremely bright. What is this place? A prison? A hospital? There are 4 solid walls, a stiff cot, and a small vent. Is there a door? I don’t see a door. Where the hell am I? How did I get here?
Think… what happened? Remember what happened… Where was I last night? Where did I fall asleep? Shit… I can’t think. I can’t think of anything. Is this some fucked up experiment? I can’t think. I can’t even think of my damn name! Who am I?
WAIT! Look around you, idiot. Solid walls. Locked in a room. I’m in an insane asylum. That’s it! I’m nuts! I was nuts, at least. I’m with it now. Am I cured? Can I leave?
I stand up. I check in with myself. I’m nude. I’m extremely clean, though, just like the rest of this room. Everything around me is white and spotless. It’s so damn bright here.
“Hello? Is there anyone here? I need help!” I shout. There’s no response.
I begin to walk around feeling of the walls. Where is the door? There has to be a door here. What the fuck? There HAS to be a door!
There’s nothing. Smooth, seamless walls. I look under the cot to see if there is anything else at all in this room. I’m unsurprised that there’s nothing down there.
Am I in an insane asylum? This seems too surreal. Where the hell am I? Why can’t I even remember my own fucking name???
“Hey! You’re finally up, are you?” I hear an old man’s voice coming from the vent. I run over, extremely excited.
“YES! What’s going on? Who are you? What is all of this!?” I yell enthusiastically. I look into the vent to see nothing but darkness.
“You don’t remember any of this, do you?” He asks me.
“No. I don’t remember anything from before waking up just now.”
“That’s okay.” He says with a hint of a chuckle in his voice. “I think that you will do great.”
What? I’m so tired of this feeling of being so fucking lost. I want to understand.
“Please,” I beg. “What is happening? Who are you? Who am I?”
I hear only silence.
“TELL ME!” I scream. It echoes through the vent, and I am answered with nothing.
I’m left alone with my thoughts. I try so hard to reach into the corners of my mind, and figure out who the hell I am. This is all so alien to me. I don’t know why, because I don’t have any memories of my life to compare it to, but I know that I want out of here. I have to get out of here.
I walk along the walls, feeling every single inch for any sign of an exit. There HAS to be something. It isn’t like this place was built around me! Why can’t I find anything? Hours and hours go by, with nothing. I scream for help until my throat is sore, but there’s no point. If anyone’s listening, if that man is still out there, he’s not going to answer. Finally, exhausted, I lie back down.
When I awake there is food here. A tray with bread, rice, and a piece of steak sits in the corner. There is a glass of water with it. I’m extremely hungry, so I have no hesitation as I walk over and dig in. It’s delicious. I’m so happy. After it’s all gone, I finally come to my senses and begin to once again ponder on where I am.
I go over to the vent and yell, “Hello?”
“Hello!” I hear back, in a cheerful tone.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“Did you enjoy your food?” is the response I get.
I’m in no mood for fucking games. I want answers.
“WHERE AM I? LET ME OUT OF HERE!”
“You will get out soon. We have to make sure that you are healthy!”
What the fuck? Am I just some fucking experiment? I’m healthy enough. I want fucking answers, I want to know where I am. Most importantly, I want to be free.
“LET ME OUT NOW YOU FUCKING BASTARD! I WANT OUT OF HERE!”
The voice has gone again. I scream at him more, but it’s useless. I’m alone.
As the hours pass I go through my routine of checking for a way out. I, of course, find none. Eventually I feel the need to use the bathroom, but there is nowhere to go. I yell this out loud, but get nothing in response. I’m too proud to just go in the corner. That’s degrading. I won’t let them see me like that. If they can even see me. Something tells me they can. I have a feeling they’re always watching me.
Eventually I lie back down and cry. I yell and scream and cry until I completely exhaust myself into sleep.
Something weird happens then. I dream.
In my mind I am flying. There are trees and rivers and sunlight and it’s all so strange. I can feel a weird sensation in my stomach and mouth. It hurts a little.
I wake up back in my prison. I still feel a little pain in my stomach. I rub it with my hand, and feel something weird. When I look down, there is a protruded scar there. What the hell is this? I feel the same thing on my cheek. I’m shocked, but mostly pissed off. They’re playing with me. They wait until I sleep and start with their fucking games. I look at the walls and scream. I want out of this.
“Are you okay?” I hear the familiar voice ask.
“YOU HURT ME YOU SON OF A BITCH! YOU CUT ME OPEN! WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME!?” I hit the vent as hard as I can. I’ll fucking break it. I’ll break my way into wherever this man is and MAKE him give me some fucking answers. I hit it and hit it over and over. My hand hurts badly. I think I’ve broken it. I don’t care. I just keep pounding and screaming.
“Please, calm down. I’m sorry that you’re hurt. I’ll make it all better soon. Are you lonely?”
I refuse to answer. I’ll ignore him, just like he ignores me. FUCK him. He doesn’t seem to care if I respond or not. He doesn’t care about me. Nobody does. I’m an animal. I’m an experiment. I’m a fucking toy.
“Please don’t worry. Things are about to get much better. I promise!” With that he is gone.
I sit in my hard little bed, looking at my hand. It hurts so bad that I can’t even start to move a finger without intense pain shooting up my arm. The bones are all going in random directions making it barely recognizable as a human hand. It’s now that I realize just how fucked up it is. What did I do to myself? That vent isn’t going to move or break, no matter what I do. Nothing is going to move or break. I’m stuck. That’s all there is to it. I’m stuck and I’m not going anywhere. As my mind starts to wander, I finally come to a strange realization. I don’t have to go anymore…
When I went to sleep I had to use the bathroom BADLY. But now that feeling is completely gone. Did they cut me open to take out my shit!? Why the fuck would they do that? What is going on here? I try to play it out in my mind for hours, try to think of any possibly scenario where any of this would make sense. I think of all kinds of things, but nothing seems to be ‘it’ for me. This is just random madness, and there is no way for me to understand it. So I give up. I just accept it. That’s all I can do.
And time passes.
I don’t know how long. I wake up. I yell, I scream, I cry. There is food for me, and I eat. The voice speaks every now and then, telling me some cryptic bullshit that I don’t even care to try to understand. Then I sleep. I dream sometimes, but not always. Sometimes they’re bad dreams. Sometimes I dream that the walls close in smaller and smaller until there’s no room left and I get crushed. My bones break and my lungs collapse and I feel it all, slowly. I’m terrified. I’m mad. I want out. I WILL get out.
I awake once to find more pain in my body. There is a new scar on my chest along my rib cage, and another on my head. The scars are part of everyday life for me now. Nothing new about that. These seem a bit bigger than usual though, and hurt a lot more. This is not, by far, the most unusual thing about this day though.
I look across the room and I can’t believe what I’m seeing. There is a girl here. A girl, she looks about 17, is lying on the floor asleep on the other side of the room, completely nude. She is beautiful. I’m filled with such joy. I don’t know what they have in mind, but I don’t care. There is another person here! Someone to touch, to look at! Someone that I know is real! Someone that might be able to help me get out of here. I’m… I’m too excited. My mind is racing. Where did she come from? What should I do?
I jump up and walk over to her. I touch her shoulder and begin to talk to her.
“Hey. Hello? Wake up.” Her eyes blink open and she focuses on me. She is terrified. I don’t know what she’s been through, but she doesn’t share my enthusiasm for being with another human. She screams and cowers in the corner of the room. I try to calm her down, but she won’t have it.
“Please, no! I’m not going to hurt you!” I say as calmly as I can. “I’m on your side! I’m with you! Please, calm down. Trust me. Are you okay? Do you know where we are?” She just stays curled up in the corner.
“Listen, I’ve been here for so long. I don’t know what this place is. Do you know anything about any of this? Do you know who’s keeping us here? Are there others where you came from? Do you know your name?” She only responds with a quiet and panicked sob. “We’re in this together. We’re together here. You don’t need to worry. We’ll be okay. We’ll figure this out. We’ll get out of here. Okay? We’ll get out of here.” My words mean nothing. I realize that she may need some time to get a grip on reality, so I go over to the vent and give her time to calm down.
“She will be okay.” I hear come from down within the vent. “She just needs time to get use to this.”
I have to agree. Whoever this person is, he’s calling the shots. I discovered a long time ago there’s no use trying to argue or persuade him. I just look into the darkness in the vent and say nothing.
Eventually, after hours of crying, she calms down. I sit down with her and try to ask her some questions. She never responds and in fact doesn’t seem to actually comprehend what I’m saying. I feel like the sound of my voice sooths her a bit though, so I keep talking. I tell her about my experience here starting from when I first woke up. I try to relay every detail I can think of about my time in this prison. Eventually she hugs up to me and I feel amazing. The warm, soft skin of her nude body hugged up against me is different than anything I’ve ever experienced in this hard, cold room. I run my fingers through her hair and she moans softly. We sit there on the floor together for hours. I know now that she understands. It’s me and her against whatever this is. Whatever happens, we’re in this together. Despite this completely fucked situation, I feel a lot better now.
Days continue to pass. The scars start to fade and no new ones appear. The food comes and now we’ve been given the “luxury” of having a place to use the bathroom. This girl and I have gotten very close. We’ve actually made love a number of times. She is my everything now. I swear if they try to take her away from me I don’t know what I’ll do.
We lie on the ground kissing now. We just made love again and it was beautiful. She trusts me, and I her. I would never hurt her, and I would never let anyone else. “I love you” I tell her as I kiss her hair. She smiles and repeats it back to me. I know that she understands its meaning; I can hear it in her voice. As she drifts to sleep I promise myself that I’ll get out of this room and take her with me.
Then it happens. I wake up and she’s gone. I knew it was only a matter of time, I just made myself believe it wouldn’t happen. I cry. I scream. I go to the vent. “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH HER!? GIVE HER BACK TO ME!” I hit the vent and scream.
“Don’t worry!” says the voice I am so accustomed to. “She’s okay. She’s just in the new place! It’s something we’ve been working on for quite a while. Would you like to see?”
I’m confused. I’m upset. I’m scared. There’s no point in fighting. This is my master. He has control. He has my will. I wipe my tears and tell him yes. I beg him, in fact. I tell him I’ll be good, I’ll do anything he wants. I tell him I won’t try to leave or hit the walls or do anything bad. “Just please, please let me be with her. Please.”
“Soon enough.” He says back to me, almost mocking me with his words.
“PLEASE!” I scream. I cry, I beg. I can’t do this without her, I know it. I will do anything to be with her. The voice leaves me alone again and I want to die. I would do anything to kill myself and be done with all of this. But I can’t leave her. She needs me, and I promised her I would never leave her. I cry and scream in the corner until I begin to cough up blood. Finally I throw up and pass out from exhaustion.
I wake up somewhere strange. Is this a dream? It must be. There are trees. There is grass. The beautiful sky is over me. I’m not in my prison! This can’t be real! But it is. It really is! Wait. Does this mean?
I run. I run everywhere looking for her. He promised me. She has to be here. I start to really take in my new home. I look around and realize that I’m still locked in, it’s just much bigger. I see grand white fences surrounding the area going up at least 20 feet. I’ll worry about that when I’m with her again. Right now I just have to find her. The trees are all so beautiful. Everything is so beautiful. I just need her.
Finally, I hear her. She squeals with joy and runs to me. We embrace and cry as we kiss each other passionately. I’m happy. I’m so happy they let me be with her again. I’m whole now and can finally relax. After we both begin to calm, we decide to look around this new place.
For hours we wonder the room from wall to wall. Whoever our captors are, they really went all out on this place. There is a river that flows through the entirety of the vicinity. There is a giant machine that runs up to the sky and over the top of the fence. When we approach it we are offered food. All the food we could ever want. And it is all delicious. This is incredible. We sample as much as we can before we are completely filled. We are so happy together. But still… there’s something that stops this new place from being freedom. Those damned walls. If we’re ever going to get free and find out who we really are, where we really are, we have to get past those walls. So now we just have to work on a plan.
Days go by. We enjoy each other and our private paradise, all the while secretly trying to find any way at all to escape. The man from the vent never speaks to us here. But still, I know he’s watching. They’re all still watching. I can feel it every second of the day.
One day we happen upon something. When she sees it she gets excited. “Look! Look!” she whispers to me. I’m proud of her language skills. Recently she has really been picking up a lot from me. What we notice is a tree, just like any other. This one, however, is dangerously close to the wall and just tall enough so that one could climb it and jump over. It’d be a hell of a drop, but it would be worth it to just get to the bottom of all of this shit. This is it. I know it. This is our way out. We’ve got to be careful though. I tell her that we need to wait, to pace ourselves. If we rush this without thinking we could fuck the entire thing up. She understands, I know, but she doesn’t like it. I tell her to just hold off for a day or two and we’ll figure out the best way of doing this. I know that they’re on to us. They’re just waiting for us to make a move so they can punish us. They’re going to separate us, put us back in that little room, or both. And I CAN’T let that happen. There’s no way.
Surely enough that night I finally hear from my old friend again. I’m awoken by his voice whispering to me. I look around, but I see nothing. The voice is everywhere and it’s nowhere. Is it in my head? Am I imagining it? I don’t know anymore. I’m not willing to risk gambling if it’s just my imagination, so I talk back. “What do you want? What have you done with us? Where are we?” He ignores all my questions. I’m not surprised in the least. He tells me. He warns me. He knows about our plan. I KNEW they did. We have no secrets from our captors. They are everywhere, always watching.
“Forget it.” He tells me. “Just enjoy your new home.”
“PRISON” I correct him. “This is a fucking prison. All I’ve ever wanting since I woke up that day is the fucking truth, and I’ve never gotten anything from you. You are fucking sick. I’ve been here, captured, for months, YEARS. JUST TELL ME WHO I AM!” The voice is gone.
I walk around thinking about all of this. Today is the day. We’re getting out of here. No matter what is over that fence, I know it has to be better than this. Freedom is over that fence.
The sun rises and I make my way back to her. I expect she should be waking up right now. When I get to where we sleep I see that she’s not there. She never runs away from me like that. Where is she- Oh no… She’s already going. Did the voice come to her in the night too?
I run for that tree. I know she’s there. I know she is. When I finally get to it I see that she is already half way up. “WAIT!” I yell. She looks back at me and smiles. She motions me to come on up with her. I’m still scared but I realize that I can’t let myself be. I have to stand up to these people, these bastards. I go for it with everything I have.
Together the both of us quickly make our way up the tree. We go higher and higher, and finally, FINALLY we are close to the top. She gets to the top branch and leans over the side of the wall. I look up at her face and see an expression of total, unbridled rapture. She has won. She knows it. Whatever she sees over there, she knows that it is her freedom. She smiles down at me and I see the childlike curiosity in her eyes. Without being able to wait any longer, she reaches down, kisses me, and climbs over the wall.
SHIT! I hear her claw at the top of the fence and then make her way down the other side in a fall. She screams as I hear her body hit the ground on the other side. Please let her be okay. Don’t let anything happen to her! Without thinking I make my way up to the fence’s top and jump over myself.
The fall is hard for me too. When I land I feel a pain unlike any I ever felt from the scars. I don’t think anything is broken though. If it is, I’m too worried about her to focus on it. She is crying and holding her leg. I check on it, but she seems to be okay. Something is different about her, though. Maybe it’s from the light or from hitting the dirt so hard, but her skin seems rougher. She’s dirty now. I am too. I finally stand up and take in where we are now.
We fell in mud. Dirt and mud. We are bruised and hurt and scared. But at least we’re free. At least we have a chance. I look up over the wall we just climbed, proud of our accomplishment. Then I hear something. A bit off from us I see another building. A large saucer shaped building with a mechanical door that just opened.
We walk over to it slowly, taking care not to hurt ourselves any more. My legs are still killing me, but I have to know what this is. As we approach it, the building makes an incredible sound that stops us in our tracks. Out of the door walks… others. The only other people I’ve ever seen.
There has to be two dozen of them at least. They aren’t like the two of us, though. They are taller. They are thinner. They wear clothes. The tone of their skin is much lighter than ours and their digits seem to extend much longer. They are like us, there is no doubt, but there is something very different. One of them approaches us.
He walks within about 15 or 20 feet of us and stops. He looks at us intensely. All we can do is stare back. When he finally speaks it hits me hard. This man, this man that I’m looking at face to face, he is the man from the vent. He is the voice that has kept me and locked me up and tormented me for so long. He is my only friend and my only enemy.
“What have you done?” He says to the two of us. I can’t tell from his large, black eyes if he is more upset or sad. “You have ruined everything we’ve done for you.”
“FUCK YOU” I shout at him. “We’re not going to be your fucking slaves anymore!”
He stares at us in silence for what seems like minutes. He looks back to his peers, still inside the building. He lets out a heavy sigh, and looks back at us.
“We knew it was only a matter of time. You will have to do things for yourselves now. This is, I’m afraid, the only way for you to learn.”
I don’t know what to say. I’m not sure what he means. I’m not sure if I really care. I just stare at him, holding on to my love. No matter what I know that I won’t have to go back to the way things were. That’s all that matters.
He walks back to the building and the door shuts. Suddenly, amazingly, the entire building lifts into the air. In an incredible flash the walls and everything within them in our previous prison disappear, without a trace. The flying building rises higher and higher into the air until it’s out of our site. So now, finally, we are alone.
Together we wonder the area, looking for answers. I’m starting to feel uneasy now. I’m hungry, and for the first time that I can remember, I have no food. There is no dispenser, there is no machine, there is no magic tray waiting for me. It’s just me and her and the world.
It’s been very different these last couple of years. We were so lost when they left. I hate myself for saying it, but I want to be back with them. I want to hear his voice again and get my food and get cleaned up and taken care of. The food we eat now is terrible. The way we live is terrible. We get dirty now. We get hurt now. Whenever we sleep we don’t get cleaned and fixed like we use to. We wake up the same way we went to sleep. We have to clean ourselves and take care of ourselves. It wasn’t until they left us that we realized how much we needed them.
It’s cold out here. We have to kill animals that roam around here and wear their skins just to keep warm. We feel stupid, dirty, helpless. We hate what we have become. Sometimes I lie awake at night and try to get his voice back in my head. I try to talk to him and I keep hoping and hoping that he’ll answer. But he doesn’t. Whoever they were, they’re gone now. It’s just me and Eve now. Just like when we first met, I know that no matter what, we’ll have each other. This helps me make it through the day sometimes.
We’ve grown so close out here. She’s pregnant now, so we’ve been working hard to try to build a nice shelter for a family. It’s hard, but I know we can do it. A lot of nights she breaks down and I hold her head and stroke her hair as she cries. “Where do you think they went, Adam? Do you think they’ll ever come back and help us?” I know they won’t.
I try to be brave for her. “I don’t know. Maybe they will. They loved us. I know they still do.”
I kiss her hair like I’ve done so many times before. I hope, more than anything, that what I just told her is true.