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Lab Rat

He felt the palpable beats of his heart against his ribs as he nervously scanned the white towering walls. The bright yellow light hurt his eyes and he smelled like a fried cockroach, baked in an oven for too long. His breaths came in rasps, twitching a bit as he jerked his head to the left and the last vestiges of the electricity raced through his body.

His ears perked and he leaned forward, listening, waiting… The roar was first an echo and then, a crescendo, escalating to a reverberating thunder, quaking and shaking the ground like it was a bowl of jelly. And, then it came: a monstrous vehicle, nearly half the size of the looming walls, its headlights blinding, its vacuum mouth vast of darkness.

Threatening. Life-threatening.

And then he ran.

The atrocious monster, challenged, let out a roar and with a screeching piercing roll of its truck tires raced after him, relentless. He fled for his life, feeling the heat of its headlights on his back, his heart pounding, his legs flying. Left out. Right in. Right out. Left in. Right. Left. Right. Right. Left. Right. The blaring scream, the burning lights. 90 feet. 80 feet. The endless hallways, the white walls. 70, 60. The tires screeching, his lungs exploding. 50, 40. Scrambling, shouting. 30, 20. A dead end. A dead end! 10.

He dove, screamed, prayed, cried! He was dead! Oh God, he was dead!

0. It was too late.

It flipped mid-air, helpless airborne, and then crashed against the high wall, exploding into a beautiful blossom of red, yellow, and orange. The dead-alive machine wheezed and sputtered and coughed and trembled and finally the light in its iridescent, monstrous eyes slowly died out and there was an uncanny comfortable aura in the now-brighter alley. He exuberantly gaped at his livid doing. In excitement, awe, relief…and then he laughed. Laughed until his chest hurt and the pain behind his eyes was unbearable.

How lucky he was! Oh, how lucky!

He had dove to the right side just at the right moment, leaving little room for the machine to change course, to devour him, to kill him. And, and, the massive tire slipped, undoing its invincibility, and let loose the dogs of Hell! Let loose the dogs of Hell! The Herculean fire greedily licked at the broken heap of steel and wire and plastic and glass. The flames burned orange to lavender to yellow to red, dancing in the silenced air. Just as he absorbed the remnants of the machine crumble to ashes, the fervor in his eyes died and he felt the cloak of suspicion and drowsiness fall upon his shoulders again. The crash, a shattered dream –no, a nightmare- rudimentally made of wire, glass, circus mirrors left a black victorious stain against the pearl candy white, and yet it was not over- never. It was only a nightmare in a thousand nightmares in another thousand nightmares in yet another thousand nightmares in a million more thousand nightmares and…and like a boundless gray sea, unrestrained, wild, turbulent, inhumane, like Hell.

On cue, there was a roar above and then, the routinely shut yellow light. The darkness enveloped him, rushing at him like a great tsunami wave. He heard a click and a slam. The familiar cold claw pinched at his skin and dragged him across the ground. He closed his eyes, his muscles loose, his senses lowered, his light of life and hope now only wavering, bounded to its blackened wick.

It threw him, a doll, into another cold dark playhouse, but this was his quarters, his haven. There will be no more silly games with Barbie’s or Ken’s anymore until tomorrow. He shivered, hugging his bruised knees to his chest. His foot touched something soft and he immediately groped the ground, reaching for the object. His eyes squinted, outlining the shape of his dinner – cheese – and like a starving lion, ravenously and savagely dove his face into the heavenly mass, swallowing and gasping and hardly breathing as he devoured his meal, his reward.

There was a burp in the piercing gray silence and a slump. He collapsed on the ground, panting like a sick, broken dog, and stared, stared into the darkness and thought and remembered. His home. His family. His friends.

For a moment, he remembered the warm sun basking his body in a blissed warmth with the open cerulean skies pinpricked with wisps of cotton candy, his family gathered around him, laughing and cheering, his friends giddily patting his back and punching the air triumphantly and…and…who he was-

The cold returned, relentlessly slapping him back to reality. Who he was. Who was he? And then he remembered again.

A lab rat.

Yes, a lab rat.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

thegoldenllamaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 6 at 1:39 am:
I would love any comments, ratings, or just general feedback! :)
 
KateyKatThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 7 at 6:04 pm :
It's a decent piece of work, I'm suprised you didn't get an editors choice for the imagery. Keep up the good work and thank you for the feedback on my story Lurking Shadows.
 
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