Solitary confinement

The static-filled buzz echoed in the large empty room. Kell looked around from his supine position on the small metal bed attached to the white metal wall. Across the sterile room, he saw a small red light blink, three flashes in quick succession followed by a single sustained light.

Groggily the small, dark man sat up, staring at the flashing light and listening to the intercom buzz away. Kell swung his bare feet off the bunk, letting them dangle for a second before he pushed himself out of the bed. He walked to the shining silver speaker housed in the flat white metal wall directly opposite his bed. The floor was also metal, white as the walls were white and shockingly cold.

The buzzing invaded Kell’s mind, shaking the fragile mental hold he had on himself. He moved close, near enough to nearly kiss the shiny metal intercom. His breath fogged the silvery spot, his chest heaving with pent-up fear.

“Mr. Davis,” the voice that came through the intercom was of indeterminate sex, the sound distorted and almost synthetic, “welcome. We are aware that you must be confused and possibly afraid. Do not be. We are here to help you.”

“Who’s ‘we’,” Kell whispered into the intercom. “I don’t remember how I got here. I don’t know who you are. I barely remember who I am…,” he trailed off.

The middle-aged man looked around the room once again, noting the harsh sterility of the cold metal walls, floor, and ceiling. Everything was white, including the thin shirt and too-short pants he wore. He didn’t remember getting dressed in the ridiculous outfit. But then, he didn’t remember much after his getting home from his best friend’s bachelor party the night before. If it was the night before. Kell had no idea how long he’d been held in the stark coldness of this room.

The mechanical voice returned, “Mr. Davis, you have been our guest for just over six weeks. Do you remember?”

Kell stepped away from the intercom, horror rushing into his soul. “Six weeks? That…that can’t be! I was just… I…”

The intercom buzzed again, “You do not recall? Then we must begin the program once again.”

Kell slowly slipped backward, searching for the hard edge of the metal bunk. He needed to sit and think. He needed to remember how he got here, where here was, and what was going on. The need to remember weighed on his mind, some instinct telling him he must find the answers before the sexless voice restarted the ‘program’.

He remembered, too late. Just as he stood to return once again to the shining silver intercom, hidden vents in the top of the wall opened and a glowing purple gas rushed into the room. Kell pushed against the thick, heavy fog, desperately trying to reach his salvation, but the mist pushed his small body to the floor. The purple tendrils wormed their way into his mouth, his nose, his ears.

He drowned in the purpleness, gasping for air, pleading silently with the watchers. He knew, just before the world went black, what the soulless voice wanted. But it was too late.

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