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Stay Sane

By , Chapel Hill, NC
The cold chair presses against my back clothed with a thin shirt. What am I doing here? I squirm uncomfortably, wanting to escape this place. To escape from this world. I look at them, all of them watching me. Their eyes are like piercing coals as they press their snotty noses and clammy hands against the glass. Don’t look at them. It’ll just make it worse. How can I not? They watch me so intensely, taking notes on my every move, it’s as if I’m some sort of animal. I’m many things; I am not an animal. Not a lab rat nor alien, just me. A high school girl who really, really wants to go home.



How did it start? No one can be sure. Junior year? Sophomore? I don’t know. All I remember is the sign up sheet. It was inside of a perfect cube of glass. A bright, blood red sheet of paper with five slots on the page. You didn’t want to be on that list. Everyone knew that. No, you didn’t sign up for this, you were chosen.

Five names. Five names were already on that list. Mine was among them. As I saw it I cried out. I smashed my hand against the block and prayed that it opened. It did not. My name was inscribed upon that piece of paper along with four others. We were whisked away from our school and off into a distant building. Which brings us to now.

I don’t move. What’ll they do to me? My brain tries to kill me with these horrifying thoughts. It’s all I can do ignore them. Some of them leave, they’re almost done. Thank God. I am pressed so hard against the chair that I can feel it’s rusty bits breaking my skin through the white tee-shirt. A door opens and they’re all gone. In a bright flash of white lab coats they’ve left. In steps a man. Dark haired, light skinned. He has the scar of a criminal, a bright burn sliding down the side of his thick neck. When he enters a smell of chemicals mixed with cigarette smoke enters with him. I’m going to be sick. He halts about five paces away from me. I wish…Oh, it’s no use. My mouth seals itself and I am silent.

“ Hello, ma’am,” he calls me by a respectful name. As if it’s suppose to make up for this. There’s a tint of sympathy in his eyes as he gazes and me and says, “ such a pretty girl.” Like it makes a difference. I hope he drops dead. I want to be tough. I want to be strong, but I’m pretty sure I’m crying. Please, let me go home. He looks at me again and smiles, I’d like to punch him. “ Come with me.” His hand reaches out to me. I don’t take it. I can get up by myself, thanks. The man’s mouth curls into a sneer and he leads me into another room. No fighting, no resistance, be strong. Yeah, right.

This room is bright. I know what it is immediately. All my horrors and nightmares have come to life, I’m here. They are going to alter me forever. Lights flood the white room. White lab coats are everywhere. Please, let me go home, my eyes beg them. No one listens. I am ordered onto a bed in the center of the room. They stare at me. I look down at myself and sigh. This is the last time I will ever look like me. My head hits the pillow, the lights are dimmed.

Nighty night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.





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