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Thriller Fiction Mystery

They said I would be disoriented. That the present and past would be lumped together and pureed into a mixture of confusion and deliria. At least I think. I can’t quite remember anything clearly anymore.

“Darling Breanna dear.” People in ironed white coats wave their hands in front of me, vying for my attention. I am not stupid. I can see, I just don’t want to. They can stay in the blur that was my peripheral, the white wall was the only constant in the blend of reality.

1,2,3,4. They ask me to count. It is not algebra I struggle with. Numbers make sense, exist in a separate area of the brain from the memories. Memories, memories, memories.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m going crazy.

I didn’t think it would be so painful. Not physically, they aren’t doing anything to my nerves or muscles. Not even pins and needles. But no icefire running through my veins could ever compare to the absolute helplessness that was being stuck in your own mind. Confused about what was real and what was another hallucination.

The doctor with a tight bun purses her lips and studies me, looking back and forth at her monitor. I feel naked, even though she has not laid a single finger on my skin she sees everything. Knows everything. I don’t doubt she can read my thoughts like simple code on a computer. My thoughts aren’t my own. They belong to The Project.

I didn’t agree to this. At least, I don’t think so. I remember why I’m here, they left that knowledge alone. One of the only memories that is truly clear was the arrival at The Project’s Headquarters.

My hair was tucked into a nice bun. How I managed to pull off the messy bun look in the sharp, white-washed lobby, I don’t know. But I was confident in my slim jeans and Harvard hooded jacket. Even now I see I was out of place there, my smile not held back, my mind not yet exposed to the darkness hiding beneath the artificial lights.

The secretary looked me up and down, and she pushed her glasses up her nose to get a clear view. “Are you here for stasis?” She said it as if she was reading off a script that she had said a thousand times over. Devoid of all emotion, careless yet precise. Quite obviously annoyed by my mere presence, my energy and enthusiasm.

“Yep. I’m Robyn.” I tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear, before remembering I styled it and pulled it back in front. I was nervous. I couldn’t remember the last time I was nervous before that moment.

Of course I can’t. They’re muddling with my memory.

The irritated secretary sighed and typed away at her computer. I fiddled with my hands. Nobody spoke, all I heard was the near nonexistent hum of the vents circulating. “I’ll need you to sign this.”

I was surprised, at first. Hand held papers were rare, almost everything, including signatures were digitized years ago. But the paper was fresh off the printer, the ink perfectly unsmudged, and after fourteen pages of size nine Times New Roman font. It was dizzying, the only clear thing a highlighted line labelled Signature. Even my name and date were on the paper, already printed. Robyn Finn.

My eyes instantly started glazing over the words, until the secretary pierced me with a glare. “You don’t need to read it. Just sign so they have the right to put you in stasis.” She said it as if I didn’t know how contracts worked. I did, that was why I was reading it.

“I’ll be a few minutes.” I said to her, looking around for a seat and finding none. They really didn’t want us to read the fine print. My sweater said Harvard, I recall. So I must have been a lawyer, smart. I smile sadly at the thought.

They came and received me before I got the chance to finish. Gave me an ultimatum, sign or go home. There was no reading and backing out. I should have known those were red flags, that I should have booked myself out of there as soon as I got the chance.

Shivers run through me, from the tip of my toes to the top of my head. A gut feeling tells me they’re messing with my head again. I can’t be sure, I don’t really remember when they work on me. Or who they individually are. 

It’s torture.

All I have to go on to answer the never-ending questions is the ten minutes in the lobby of The Project. The contract I got exactly five and a half minutes to read before they cut me off and forced me to sign.

I knew how I got in The Project’s hands, why I was put there. To enter stasis, to take the trip to the end of the universe and start a new colony on another planet. I was not responsible for anything, I was just another young person looking to make a real difference in the world. How ungrateful I was of my life on earth, if I was so willing to give it all away.

I can’t breathe. My body is not uncomfortable, I do not feel an intense need to inhale and exhale like one would usually. In fact, I am completely motionless. There is no blood being pumped through my veins, no feeling or electrical impulses through my nerves.

I’m beginning to think I couldn’t move my eyes from the white wall if I wanted to.

I can’t. 

I am truly trapped in my own mind, among the mess that is my unstructured memories and dreams. But this is what I signed up for, when I put my name on that piece of paper. When I agreed to put myself under their will.

Thoughts are getting harder. I struggle to form sentences, gaps in my consciousness making it impossible to function inside my own head. I would scream if I could.

But I am here, trapped in my own body, getting ready. Ready for stasis. Ready to start my second life. 

October 02, 2020 21:28

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