One: The Awakening
How did I get here?
Why are flames so high and fumes clogging up any thoughts that may pass through my brain? Why is there blood dripping from every open cavity on my body, and why can’t I move? Why can’t I remember anything that may have transpired in my whole life?
Who am I?
What happened to me?
What am I doing here?
“Awaken number two-twenty-seven.” My eyes flutter open, and I am met by sterling, white lights, and treacherous gases flowing through my head. I want to move my arms, but I can only notice the shackles that leave me bound to where I lie.
I can’t find the source of the voice, so I decide to remain still. I look around with my peripheral vision; the room is nothing other than bare. For there is nothing but the chair I sat in and the other person with a lab coat, a chart bound in their hand. They appear to be looking at my reaction, and so, I simply do not respond. The more minimal the response, the more I can figure out the desperation of the situation.
My mind ponders what in the world is going on.
What is this place?
Who is this person?
Why is my name two-twenty-seven?
“The subject is awake and looking around. This is the fourth awakening today. Vitals appear to be stable, and the mood seems to be tranquil. Threat level remains low, perhaps a two.”
“Who are you?” The person in the lab coat freezes, and I notice the device in their hand. Is it a radio? A tape recorder? Perhaps both.
“Subject is speaking. It seems to be able to comprehend my words; this is a major accomplishment regarding subject two-twenty-seven’s early success.”
Research? What in the world are they talking about?
I go to move my arm, attempting to lift myself up, but the restraints keep me grounded. I can only let out a whimper of pain as the feeling of needles drive through my skin.
“Please refrain from moving around two-twenty-seven. It will only hurt you.”
“Where am I?”
“I am unable to answer that.”
I close my eyes and take in a deep breath, my heartbeat is calm, but my mind is racing. Where in the world am I?
The person wrote down a few notes on their clipboard while they look back at me; they start to inch forward and look closer at my body.
I notice that I am wearing a plain white tank top and leggings. Multiple IVs run out of my arms with fluids of all colors dripping through my body. What is baffaling, however, is that underneath the IVs, on my left arm, lies what looks like markings or possibly a tattoo. I have no idea what it means or says; for there is no specific shape that I can identify. It almost looks like I am -- branded?
It appears as though flames paint my arm like art flying onto a blank canvas.
“If you are well behaved, we will allow you to walk around in a few days time.”
“Will I get any answers?”
“It depends on the questions you ask.”
Before I get a chance to speak, the person freezes, and I only now notice the earbuds that they have in. They seem to be in thought as it appears that someone, or something, is speaking to them. They nod their head occasionally before softly agreeing.
“Would you like to know your name?”
“You mean... I have a name other than two-twenty-seven?”
“Indeed. Your name is Willow.”
“Willow,” I breath out. I feels like this is something everyone should have known about themselves, but it seems foreign to me. There must be something wrong with my memories, obviously.
What if I was created in this bore of a place? Why am I here?
“Do you have any other questions?”
“Where am I?”
“I am afraid I do not have permission to answer that question, two-twenty-seven.” I narrow my eyes before the person stops in their spot. The voice in their earbuds speak once more. They nod their head before walking over to the bag of my IVs. They grab one of the multitudes of medications and took it off. The bag was placed in a bin at the back of the room before they stall for a second, seemingly in thought. Not long after, a sad smile was given in my direction, and they reach the door and walk out.
My eyes race around the room; my head bored beyond belief. I yawn before looking towards my feet, moving my toes. They felt a bit stiff, but it didn’t hurt as my arms did. The mere thought of the needles that stick out of my arms is terrifying enough to make a tremor run down my spine.
Within a few moments, the person comes back with a new bag of a bright blue, unknown liquid. They proceed to attach it to the tree of IVs. They twist a bit of the bag, and I can feel the liquid reach my arm as a bitter cold dances around my veins. I can only bite the inside of my cheek as my eyes start to close shut, pain echoing throughout the entire left side of my body.
I soon find my eyes getting heavy, and I shift uncomfortably in the seat; my body starting to stiffen up. The world soon starts drown out as I am lulled about, driving into the deep, dark. For there I rest until my next meeting with the breath of life.