As I began to
regain consciousness, I slowly peeled open my crusty eyes to find myself
in damp and dark surroundings that felt like a dingy metal box. I
couldn’t hear anything, so I was alarmed by the uncomfortable quietness.
I started to realize that I couldn’t hear, see, or move. My hands and
feet were handcuffed to the floor, and my eyes were covered with what
seemed to be a bandana. In a giant surge of movement, the box hiccupped
forward in a jolt of movement. The cuffs unlocked themselves and, as if
by instinct, my hands shot up and my nimble fingers undid the knot that
had kept me from seeing my surroundings.
My eyelids blinked, trying to adjust to the darkness that had enclosed
me, wiping my eyes as if they could wipe away a layer of blackness that
was covering them.
Feeling around to get a sense of where I was, I learned that there were
eight flexible metal walls surrounding me. I guessed I was in an octagon
shaped box. I started trying to remember how I got into this
predicament, and that is when the pure terror filled me. I couldn’t. I
had this terrible feeling in my gut, almost as if there was animal
inside me trying to eat or scrape its way out. The same words started
ringing in my head over and over. Gone. Lost. Alone.
I thought unbelievably hard to try and figure out names and places, just
normal things a person would know. I thought to myself, “My name is
Emily and…” That was it. That was all I could remember.
I had full recollection of vocabulary and names of most things, but I
couldn’t connect them to anything! I had all of my memories, but the
people in them were missing, almost as if the faces were nothing but
black holes. With all of this worry about my memory, I drifted away from
the fact of where I was and what was going on. As I started to feel
around some more, a minute door on the top of the box opened up and a
piercing ray of golden sunlight shot through gradually as the door
opened. With my eyes closed and still adjusting to the lights, I felt my
way out of the box and into the blistering weather. It must have been
over 100°F out there.
My eyes had now adjusted enough for me to get a peek at my surroundings.
I was in a desert. I had seen this place before … before they, whoever
did this to me, wiped my memory. I noticed similarities, but I couldn’t
put my finger on them. I was looking around and all I seemed to see was
a few poisonous reptiles, and out in the horizon a camel with one hump.
It looked very sickly and dehydrated.
To the left there was a brown brittle palm tree. From the looks of it,
it hasn’t rained here in years! I took a few steps to the right to see
what was there and, before I knew it, I was face first in the sand. I
had tripped over an antler. It had probably been there for ages and the
rest of its body was probably underground.
I dusted myself off and got back up and there was a boulder in front of
me. Just as I looked up, what looked like a leg disappeared behind it.
“I saw you!!!” I screamed out excitably at the figure that was behind
the huge boulder, as if they were my way out of here. I went over to
look behind it and see who was there, but nobody was. All that was there
was a turquoise tray with a blanket, a magenta bowl, a glass cup, and a
hairbrush. “Hmmmm, why would somebody leave this here?” I said as if I
was talking to the person who disappeared behind the gigantic rock. I
carefully picked it up and noticed that my name was engraved in the
I took the stuff over to the palm tree and set up camp for the night.
The sand felt coarse and thick; it probably hadn’t rained here in
months, maybe years. I curled up on the blanket anyway and realized how
exhausted I was, and slowly drifted to sleep.
I woke up the next morning and it was a little cooler than when I first
arrived because there was a breeze in the air and according to the sun
it was about 6 a.m. I slowly sat up and turned around and look at the
tray. The glass was filled with orange juice and the bowl had some
chicken parmesan in it! I scarfed it down, noticing how famished I was.
I barely even noticed the beautiful violet colored hibiscus flower in a
glass cup. When I was done, I was very grateful for the meal, and I
wiped my mouth with the tissue next to the bowl. Then, I briskly trotted
over to “my” brush and put my hair up in a bouncy black ponytail.
I was about to embark on a journey to figure out where I was and see if
there was a possible way out, but I was interrupted by the sound of
small whispering voices. They seemed to be coming from the boulder that
the foot had disappeared behind before. I quietly tip-toed over to the
boulder and peered behind it to see eight boys sitting in a circle like
formation talking about something. Me. All of a sudden, they stopped
talking and the tan kid who looked about seventeen pointed at me. Now
that I was given away, I just stepped out from behind the massive rock
and said, “Hi, my name is Emily.”
At first they just stared blankly at me. Then the boy that looked like
the oldest and by my guessing the one in charge said, “Hello, I am Jack
and this is Derek, Thomas, Alfie, Theo, Sam, Oscar, and Robbie.”
“Cool. Nice to meet
you. By any chance, do you know how or why I am here?”
They all exchanged a glance and the smallest one, Robbie, who was pale
as a sheet and had light blonde hair and piercing green eyes, walked up
to me and quietly said, “We have all been sent here like you, and we
have been forced to adapt to the lifestyle. We have no idea how we got
here. We just remember waking up in a box with only the memory of our
first name. About every month, ‘they’ send up a new person. “They” also
send up supplies like food and water and clothes and necessary stuff.
For example, as soon as you arrived, the tray filled with the stuff that
had your name engraved in it. That is how we know your name.”
“So none of you know how we got here or how to get out?!” I said, almost
yelling at them “Wait. But there is only eight of you, so this obviously
has not been going on for too long.”
“No, some of us have been here for years trying to find the answer to
that problem. It has been going on for way longer than you think. We
are just the strongest, so we survived. The others couldn’t adapt that
quickly, so they didn’t make it,” Sam said with a glum look on his face.
“So it was you guys who filled my bowl and cup? Am I the only girl
here?” I questioned.
“Yes you are the first girl we have ever had. Yeah, we thought we would
help you out, it being your first day and all,” Theo said smiling a
“Thanks. So how do things work around here?” I asked, hoping to get a
“Yeah, we spread out and look around to see if there is a way out of
here,” said Theo.
I just nodded my head and followed them towards the open desert. All of
a sudden, they all started off in a sprint and I quickly caught on and
trailed them. We were off at a brisk pace and all of a sudden something
bit my foot and a deep pain coursed through my veins. I looked over and
one of the purple snakes had bitten me. I started to fade in and out of
consciousness. Black. White. Black. White.
I shot up with sweat pouring all over me, and I was I a dark room. I was
in my bedroom, in my bed. I sat there and thought for a minute, it had
all been a dream! I looked at my foot and surprisingly there were two
scars where the fangs had gone into my foot. That’s when it hit me: “It
wasn’t a dream. When you die you go back to your life.”