December 14, 2009
Caleb breathed in deeply, testing the air for a hint of pollution. It was clean. Well, as clean as it was going to get. Cautiously, he padded outside. There was a light breeze passing through the area. Collapsed buildings quivered and alarms dinged, but other than that the city was quiet.

Slowly, beings began emerging from the rubble. It was like watching a creepy back from the dead movie, because everyone was covered in dust and in complete shock. There had been no warning from the government. No news stations had been alarmed. It may have just been nature’s way of paying them back for what they had done. But as Caleb stood in the silence, he wondered if this had happened for a reaon. It could be a warning.

He suddenly wanted to run, to get out tof this wreck fast. But that urge was replaced by a knowing that if he left the area, no one would find hem. Sirens were already buzzing the police were on their way.

As the first cop car pulled up, an announcement was made.

“Everyone please stay calm. Anyone alive in the area needs to approach the vehicles.”

Caleb pondered this for a moment, not knowing if he could trust the authorities again. But he emerged from the disaster scene anyway and trotted calmly over to the bulky officers. Many others were with him, several hundred or so. It looked as if most of the city had survived this not-so-fatal accident.

A few people emerged crying, searching for lost loved ones. Caleb had nothing to fear. No one from his family was here in Detroit. Or, what was left of it anyway.

Although he was still a little shaken, Caleb felt a calming, woozy sensation rush through his body. He hardly noticed as the enormous officer grabbed him. He didn’t think anything when the guard led him to the car. But as Caleb was about to be shoved into the police car, something in his head clicked.

This isn’t right, he thought.

So Caleb ran. Faster and faster, he felt as if the ground was moving him instead of his feet. He was running so fast, he only thought he imagined the gunshots go off. But they went off, all right. They went off and hit him square in the back.




Beep. Beep. Beep.
“What the…” Caleb stammered.
He was staring at a blank wall.
“So I’m alive.” He stated.
“Not for long,” a dark voice growled.
That was when Caleb’s instincts kicked in. Answers, he needed answers.
“Where am I?” he asked.
“Where do you think you are?” The voice, coming from a blonde evil looking woman, shot back. Caleb glanced around at the scattered array of tubes hooked up to the pulsing needle that had been, it appeared, forcefully shoved into the vein in his arm. The room consisted of about fifteen cots, all occupied. He wasn’t stupid. He had a pretty good idea about where he was. But he was simply exhausted, he’d had a very long day. Or night. Or…week? He realized he didn’t know what time it was. How long had he been out? And why was he alive in the first place?
He continued to give the evil lady a hard stare.
“Where am I,” he demanded in a forceful tone.
“Kid, it’s hard to look dangerous when you look like that. We both know you are the one strapped to a cot here.” Her tone was sickly sweet, it oozed out of her mouth like pure molasses.
“Where am I,” he repeated, one last time.
“You’re in rehab,” she said calmly.
“No I’m not,” he shot back.
“Yes, you are. Check out the sign!” she gestured to a black plaque next to the wooden door.
“Why am I here?” Caleb asked.
“You are here because you were shot with two tranquilizer guns straight in the back seven times.”
Seven times? Wow, the police must have had some fun with me once I collapsed.
“Huh,” Caleb muttered, unable to say anything else.
Suddenly a speaker system blared above him. He flinched.
“Code 402 in room 24, Code 402”
The woman groaned.
“I’ll be back. Don’t try escaping,” she warned, with a laugh.
“Wasn’t planning on it,” he said to no one in particular.
It wasn’t until the woman left the room that the other people started talking.
“Who are you?” asked a little chubby boy with dark brown hair.
“I’m… I’m Caleb. Who are you?”
Everyone was the opposite of loud for a few minutes. Caleb broke the silence.
“So, uh, is anyone gonna tell me why I’m here?”
God these kids are quiet, thought Caleb.
“We’re here because they want us. They test on us but they want us to forget.”
“So…how do you remember? How are you telling me this now?” Caleb questioned.
“Because we are special. Everyone in here has not only survived the testing but remembered it too. You are in here because you remembered.”
“No I didn’t. I don’t remember anything.”
“You do. Think back. Remember the terrorizing Detroit scene where the police grabbed you? Now think back before that.”
“Oh,” It all hit Caleb like a big wrecking ball. It came to him in flashes, a slow torture. His parents. Being taken away in a big black van. His friends. The large black needle being forced through his thick skin. The pain. The horrible agonizing pain that haunted him like a bad dream.
“We’re unlucky though, in a way,” Caleb jumped with a start, realizing he had slipped away for a moment. “We remember everything we miss the most, and we also still get tested on.” Luke moped.
“So, what are we being tested on exactly?” asked Caleb.
“Trauma endurance. They want to see if minors can be used as weapons for the country.” Said Luke.
“We should get out of here. We should run.”
Several other people in the room nodded their heads in agreement.
“Yeah, but where will we go?” asked Luke.
“Well, the human race has pretty much destroyed nature and created more buildings than anyone needs. It can’t be too hard to find somewhere to stay.”
“Well, I want to sleep on it.”
Caleb remembered how tired he was.
“Kay…” he whispered and drifted off into sleep.

The next morning, the evil blonde lady was still gone, along with all of the tubes, the needle, and everyone in the room. He was no longer strapped down. Caleb was free. He jumped out of bed and stood up, testing his balance. He was a little wobbly, but he would have to do. He approached the open door with caution, glancing around like a lost puppy. Soon he realized no one was going to come and that the coast was clear. He passed many empty rooms.
Where did all of the people go? Were people even here in the first place?
Suddenly, Caleb stopped in his tracks.
He’d stepped on something soft.
He peered down slowly. It was a body. It was Luke’s body.
“Oh god…”
More people, in the same condition as Luke, were strewn over the floor in a disorderedly fashion. People he knew. His parents, his friends, even the cops that had probably got him here in the first place.

A gurgling sound was coming from Luke’s mouth.
He spoke in a clear voice, “ It’s real. This is all real,”
“Don’t listen to him!” the blonde lady screeched, “It’s FAKE!”
“None of it was ever real,” interjected Luke, “everything you’ve been through your whole life was never real. They’ve been tricking you your whole life.”
Caleb was shaking.
“How do you know this? Who ARE you?” Caleb shouted.
“I am your past.” Luke smiled, and closed his eyes.

Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

OU812 said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm
Good Job Natalie.
I was also on the edge of my seat til the last sentence. I thought it sounded like something Steven King would write.
Abby said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm
great job Natalie!! you're a good writer;)
Favorite Aunt said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 10:52 am
What a great writer you are Natalie. Very good story, very descriptive. I am very impressed with your ability.
dexterdaddio said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 7:55 am
Excellent dialogue. I was on the edge of my seat right up until the suprising twist at the end! Nice job.
Mrs. Kemp said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm
I am proud and impressed! You are a creative writer, and I love that you are now a published writer, too.
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