Funny story, before we start this... this was actually a really old demo I found in my Docs and it actually fit pretty well with the prompt. It's like over six months old. Hope you like it nonetheless!
I’ve been here for a long time. The sad thing is, I don’t know where here is.
It’s a cell, I know that. It’s a square, and medium-sized. I have a pretty comfortable bed, and it has a blanket in my favorite color- red. I have a little bookshelf full of books I’ve read over and over. There is also a little clock. When the numbers say 9, then 12, then 6, a woman wearing a yellow cat mask and black jumpsuit walks in and brings me food. At 9 I get bread with peanut butter, an egg, a stick of celery, and a glass of milk. At 12 I get a roast beef sandwich, a bowl of tomato soup, an apple, and a glass of fizzy orange pop. At 6 I get two chicken legs, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, a brownie, and a bottle of water. After every seven nights, I get a stack of seven red tee shirts, seven pairs of grey sweatpants, seven pairs of white socks, and a fresh pair of red slippers and red sneakers. There is a mirror in the room, above the bookshelf. There is a shelf on the wall next to the mirror that holds a hairbrush, a pair of nail clippers, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. I brush my teeth over a bucket with a faucet above, and there is a small toilet in the corner of the room. There is one door, and it is locked from the outside. It is metal and has no windows, but a bronze handle.
I wake up to the masked woman setting the plate of breakfast on my bookshelf.
Neither one of us speak.
For some reason, though, she sets down another plate. I stare but do not speak, as the woman walks out. Suddenly, I hear screams.
“Let me go! Let me go, you murderer! Let me go!”
I scramble backward onto my bed and scoot into the corner as there is a bang on the door and the masked woman comes in. She is dragging something, and I gasp. It is a girl!
A very pretty girl. She has long brown hair and a blindfold is tied around her eyes, black against a slightly tan face. She has a pointed nose and perfect teeth. But she looks scary- sweat drops down the side of her face, which is red, and she is crying as the woman drags her in by the hair and drops her at the foot of the bed. Then the woman yanks off the blindfold, strides out, and slams the door behind her.
The girl runs up and pounds on the door, sinking onto her knees. “No!” she screams. “Let me go, let me go, let me go!”
I tiptoe up to her and touch her gently on the shoulder. She whips around, fist outstretched, but she misses me. I jump back, frightened. She sees my face and relaxes.
“Sorry,” she whispers, the tears running down her face. I touch her again, gently. Her sobs slow, and eventually, stop.
I tenderly hand her the plate. She nods a little. “Thank you. What is your name?”
I stare at her.
“Do you talk?” she asks.
“Don’t know.” I meet her eyes.
“You don’t know your name?” her eyes widen.
I shake my head.
“Wow,” the girl says.
“Talk later,” I say, my voice quiet and smooth. “Sleep.” I point to my bed.
The girl nods and sets the plate back on the bookshelf. She curls up in my bed and within minutes is asleep.
The masked woman comes in this time with a man with a blue bear mask. They carry in a yellow bed, the same size as mine, and set it next to mine. They push the sleeping girl onto the yellow bed, cover her, then leave.
I sit on my bed and stare at her, then pull back the covers a little. She is wearing strange clothes. A black and white striped tee-shirt and stretchy black pants that go down to her ankles. Bright yellow socks and gray sneakers. Her fingernails are painted lime green. I admire her look, but it is strange and unfamiliar.
After many hours, she stirs. I am eating my second meal when she wakes.
“That looks as good as my father’s,” she says mournfully, twisting her hands together. She sits cross-legged on her bed and looks at me.
I hand her the second plate. She nods and starts on the sandwich. “So, you said you don’t have a name, right? And you don’t seem to talk much.”
“No need to talk,” I say. “Alone all the time.”
The girl nods slowly. “I guess. Well, I’m Sadie. Would you like a name, just so it doesn’t sound weird when I talk to you, I guess?”
I stare at her. “Name?”
“Wouldn’t you like a name?” Sadie asks.
I shrug and nod slightly.
“When were you born?” Sadie asks.
“I came here in the spring. I have never left.” I meet her eyes and we stare at each other for a few seconds.
“Okayyyyy. If you came here in spring, maybe you should have a spring name.” Sadie tapped her chin.
“No,” I interrupt.
“What?” Sadie replies, cocking her head.
“Not now.” I avert my eyes.
“Okay.” Sadie looked a little confused, but then looked around the room. “So, what is this place? It’s so different.”
“Home,” I tell her.
“This is the only home you’ve ever known?” she gasps. “Have you ever been to school?”
“School?” I reply, confused.
“You know. It’s a big building where hundreds of kids go to learn and stuff. Do you have any friends? There are other kids here.” Sadie met my eyes curiously.
“Others?” I say, eyes widening.
“Yeah… have you never been out of here?” Sadie gapes.
“Oh no,” Sadie groans. “I’m going to be stuck here forever!”
I shrug. “It is home.”
“You’ve never lived anywhere but here?” Sadie goggles at me, and I frown, scooting back a little.
“No,” I repeat. “Have you?”
“I lived in a huge city,” Sadie told me dreamily. “I had many friends. It’s called Washington D.C., and there are so many tall buildings and places to go. My father works for the CIA, which is an agency of spies. Then, out of the blue, two days ago, he died.”
Sadie sniffles a little. I touch her shoulder tenderly, and she looks at me. I give a tiny nod. “Too hard?”
“No, I’ll keep going.” Sadie inhales sharply. “My mom died giving birth, and I have no siblings, so we were everything to each other. Then, after he died, the CIA told me they didn’t want me to go to an orphanage. Then two masked men showed up at my house, and I slammed the door in their face, but they busted it down anyway and took me. I had a chance to grab this, though, after they patted me down to make sure I didn’t have my phone or anything.” she pulls a tiny stuffed bear from her shoe.
I stare at it, then smile. I pull a regular teddy bear that is missing an eye from under my pillow. “Teddy,” I tell her before squeezing him to my chest. “Woman gave it to me.”
“That masked creep?” Sadie scowls. “When was she ever nice?”
“Never speaks,” I say. “But is kind. Makes sure the food is warm. Brings clean clothes. Will sometimes give me a new long book.” I point to the bookshelf, which is packed to the brim with medium-sized books.
“Wow,” Sadie replies. “I thought she was awful, but I guess that’s just a first impression. Dragging me in by the hair made me kind of upset, you know?”
I nod and laugh. Sadie grins.
Suddenly, the door swings open. It is the masked woman, carrying two sets of clothes.
“I’m not taking off my clothes,” Sadie snarls at her.
The woman grabs Sadie’s arm and yanks her to her feet before hitting her back, making her cry out. “What the heck is wrong with you?”
The woman does it again. I turn away, cringing.
“Fine! Fine!” Sadie shouts, pulling herself from the woman’s grasp. “I’ll change, but just so you know, you’re evil!”
The woman shakes her head. Then she comes over to me and takes off a backpack I didn’t notice before and hands it to me before nodding and walking out, closing the door behind her. We hear the lock click shut.
“Do you mind?” Sadie asks. “It’s your room, after all.”
I shrug and turn around, facing the wall so she has privacy. Then I open the backpack, which is a black leathery material, and gasp. Inside are two books, one called Wonder and another called Island of the Blue Dolphins. I run my fingers down the glossy covers and silently thank the woman for her gift. Inside, there is also a small lantern and four metal sticks.
There is a lamp hanging from the ceiling, and I am allowed to keep it on until the clock says 10. Then I must turn it off, and the woman comes to check every night. But now, if I have trouble sleeping past 10, I can read!
I go to plug in two of the sticks, but it is already full. I grin.
“Okay, I’m ready,” Sadie tells me.
I turn around, and she is wearing a yellow tee-shirt with grey sweatpants, white socks, and yellow sneakers. I grin, point to her clothes, then to mine. She laughs. “Twins, huh.”
She folds up her old clothes and sets them by the door, puts her teddy on her bed, and then comes to sit by me. “What did she give you?”
I show her the books and grin.
“Hey, I’ve read that one!” Sadie exclaims, pointing to the book called Wonder. “It’s really good.”
“We can read the other one together?” I ask timidly.
Sadie laughs and throws her arm around my shoulders. “Of course!”
“Is this all we eat?” Sadie snaps at the woman as the woman brings her fourteenth roast beef sandwich.
The woman rolls her eyes. I finish off my apple and hand her the core. The woman takes it in a gloved hand and nods, then points to the bag. I nod quickly and gratefully, and her eyes crinkle like she is smiling. Then she turns back to Sadie and rips the plate from her grasp.
“Hey!” Sadie cries. She holds on tighter to her bowl, but the woman grabs it from her. The soup sloshes around and splashes, ending up on the front of Sadie’s tee.
“Now look what you did!” Sadie snarls, trying her best to dry the stain with a napkin.
The woman takes away Sadie’s apple but leaves her fizzy pop. Sadie grunts in thanks but rolls her eyes anyway as the woman leaves.
“How do you stand her?” Sadie demands, glaring at the locked door.
I shrug. “Many years. I spent lots of time with her.”
Sadie frowns. “I can’t believe I’m going to be here for the rest of my life with that thing.”
I draw my eyebrows together, then sigh. “Do not fight with her. Then you don’t get punishment.”
“Yeah, thanks, but no,” Sadie growls. “I’m letting her know she’s not a gift to humankind.”
“She is not too bad to me,” I protest.
“You’ve also been here your whole life,” Sadie grunts. She sits down on the bed with a sigh. “Can I talk to you?”
“Yes,” I reply, feeling a little anxious at the random question.
“I just want to talk about home.” Sadie sighs.
I nod. “I want to hear.”
“Well,” Sadie begins, “I lived in a big yellow house. It had three bedrooms and a huge bathroom with marble floors. We had a big kitchen, too. I had a big bed with my little tiny teddy and a big fluffy pillow. I had neighbors on all sides, and all of them had kids. There was a big basketball park at the end of the road-”
“Basketball?” I interrupt, confused.
“It’s a really fun sport,” Sadie explains, enthused. “You dribble a ball up and down a flat court and try to get the ball through a hoop. There are two teams, and the team on defense doesn’t want you to score. It’s so fun! Usually, it would be five against five, but we played three on three. I was always on a team with my two best friends, Mara and Brooke. We would play the three boys on the street- Damien, Zack, and Jason. We all went to the same school, too. And we would go to each other’s houses to jump on the trampoline or play games.”
“Trampoline?” I ask.
“A big black net that you can jump up and down on. You can do flips and stuff on it too.” Sadie sighs. “I would usually go to Damien’s every day and sit on his trampoline with him. He was my boy best friend, and we sat next to each other in three of my middle school classes. We would just lay down and look at the clouds and talk. The day before my father died, we were just laying there, and he held my hand. He came over with flowers and spent the day with me when my father died after they carried him out.” her voice cracks a little.
“Why did he hold your hand and bring flowers?” I ask, very very confused. “Like the woman grabbed your hand?”
“Not like that at all,” Sadie spits at the mention of the woman. “When someone holds your hand, but like gently, it means they like you. People bring flowers to other people when they want them to feel better or as a nice gift.”
I take her hand gently. She smiles painfully. “You have smooth hands. He did, too.”
“Go on,” I whisper.
“My two best friends, Mara and Brooke, lived on either side of me.”
“What is a friend?” I ask.
“Wow,” Sadie breathed, shaking her head. “They won’t even tell you what a friend is? A friend is someone who you keep close to you, but you don’t love. You tell them everything and you go places with them. You talk to them every day like you’re their sibling. Like us.”
“You are my friend?” I whisper. “But what about other friends?”
“You can have more than two friends.” Sadie smiles.
“Mara looked kind of like you,” Sadie goes on. “Long white-blonde hair. Blue eyes. Freckles. But she’s not nearly as quiet as you.” she laughs, and I grin a little.
Sadie looks around, then fixes her eyes on the door. She gasps a little, then glances at me, her eyes wide with excitement.“I know what to do.”
She reaches into her hair and pulls out a Y-shaped pin, then hops over to the door and starts picking the lock with it. I raise my eyebrows, confused, and then with a loud CLICK the door swings open.
“Come on!” Sadie whispers, grabbing my hand, and she pulls me out into the hallway. It’s bare, like the rest of my room, and very quiet. We tiptoe down the hallway, and the door at the end swings open perfectly when Sadie opens it. We barely have time to breathe a sigh of relief before the sirens start to scream.
WOOP. WOOP. WOOP. WOOP.
“RUN!” Sadie screams, grabbing my wrist as the masked woman and man explode out of a room and come barrelling after us. Sadie drags me down another hallway, searching for an escape, glancing out the low tinted windows. Red lights begin to flash, and my heart is pumping faster and faster. I scream as the man nearly grabs my waist, pushing myself faster, as Sadie throws open a final door and we escape, falling onto a patch of grass.
The heavy door swings shut behind us. Sadie throws herself up to her feet and grabs my hands, her eyes staring into mine, wide and scared. “Are you okay?” she whispers.
I nod, my entire body shaking nervously. She wraps her arm around my shoulders, leading me away from the low igloo-shaped structure.
Long story short, we got found by two police men who sent in a surge to the small building. The masked people were arrested, and I went to live with Sadie’s grandmother.
We sit down at the kitchen table one day, and Sadie passes me a mango. I look out the window, enjoying my new softer red dress as the sun soaks up the table.
“Whatcha thinking about?” she asks around a mouthful of fruit.
“I’m not used to freedom,” I say softly. “Do you think I’ll like it?”
“Just you wait.” she smiles. “We’re going to have so much fun.”