Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Melissa R. Mendelson would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

A Trace of Life

By Melissa R. Mendelson All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Scifi

A Trace of Life

The room was white.  A sickening white.  I hated it.  The sunlight against its walls were almost blinding.  The ceiling was so plain, but I couldn’t help but stare up at it.  I focused on the nails that were coming through due to age.  This way I did not have to stare at the damn white.  

Every day was the same.  They would lift me up from the bed and place me in this damn metallic chair.  They would change me and force feed me.  They would give me daily injections, as if they were going to cure me.  They knew the truth, and so did I.  There was only one cure, and he kept me waiting for a very long time.

Every afternoon, my husband would show.  He would sit in the metallic chair beside me.  He would look at me, lost for words, and I would just return his gaze.  We waited together in silence for the nurse, who would come in shortly after with those damn wires in her hands.  I hated those wires.  Didn’t he?  I thought that I couldn’t feel pain anymore, but I felt that wire pushed into my right temple.  It hurt.  It hurt a lot, but he merely winced.  And then after a long moment, he would talk to me, thought to thought, but it wasn’t talk.  It was bullshit.  It was always bullshit.  How are you?  How are you feeling?  Did you have a good day?  Would you like to know what is happening with your family and friends, who have not visited me in such a long time because they cannot stand seeing me like this.  Can you, I asked him, and that’s when the conversation would normally come to an end.

Today was different.  Even after the wire was pushed into his temple, he just sat there.  He looked away, almost like he was wishing to be somewhere else.  He didn’t touch my hand.  I might not have felt it, but he always touched my hand.  Today, he didn’t.  Then, I saw the tears, and I realized this was it.  This was the end, and he had to tell me that.  But he couldn’t, and if I could cry with him, I would.  But I couldn’t.

“This is the end,” I thought, and now he looked at me, slowly nodding in response.  “This is it.  This is good-bye.”

“It is,” he thought, “And it isn’t.”  If I could look confused, I would.  “It is the end.”

“I said that.”

The nurse returned.  Our session wasn’t over yet.  I wanted to know about my family, my friends.  If this was our last conversation, our last time together, then I wanted to know about their lives.  Were they happy?  What were they doing?  Did they miss me?  Did they talk about me?  Did they forget me?  Then, I noticed a strange, small black square in the palm of her hand, and she was bringing it toward me.  And if I could feel terror, I would scream.  But I could not.

“It’s okay,” he thought.  “There is a way to save you.”  My eyes darted back to him.  “They would put your consciousness into that,” and he pointed to the small, black square.

“My body,” I thought, but what about my body?  It began to fail me five years ago, and slowly, so slowly, it became my worst enemy, my prison.  All this because of a drug that the government had approved.  I just had a cold, and they gave me that pill, never telling me what side effects awaited down the road.  This was an escape.  Finally, an escape, but to what?  “What will happen to me in there,” I thought.

“As they explained it to me,” he thought.  “You would be as you are now.”  I tried to frown but failed.  “But you would be free.”  I tried to feel surprise but failed.  “You would exist and never die.”

“Never die?  Would I still see you,” I thought, and he shook his head.  “Then, what would be the point?”

“You can hear me like now.  You can be with your family and friends again.”

“But inside a black box.”  He looked away.  “I’ll trade one prison for another.”

“Your time is up.”  He didn’t mean to snap, but he did.  “They can’t do anymore for you.  The injections are done.”

I realized then that they had not given me any injections today.  They barely fed me.  There was something in the nurses’ eyes, but even if I wanted to hear their words, I could not.  They couldn’t tell me, but they did.  Their facial expressions gave it all away, but I missed it.  Until now.

“I’m sorry,” he cried.  “It’s the box, or…  Or…”

“Or Death finally stops keeping me waiting.”  He looked at me in surprise.  “I suppose…  It wouldn’t be all that different.”  He looked hopeful.  “We could still talk and be together, but what happens to me if you die?”

“I never thought of that,” he thought.  “I guess your kids and grandkids would take care of you, or maybe when it is my turn, I can join you in there.”  He smiled.  He smiled for both of us.  “I would like that.”

“So would I.  It’s just…  I don’t know.”

“What?”  Now, he took my hand, and I could almost feel him gripping it tight.  Almost.  “What?”

“My soul.”  He looked surprised.  “My body would be dead, and my mind would be in there.”  I looked over at that black box, which she brought closer.  “But what about my soul?  Do I leave that behind, or would I be as they say a ghost in the machine, or in this case,  a little, black box?”

“I don’t know,” he thought.  “I could ask them, but they might not know.”

“I just want to be me, but the me from before.  Before that damn cold.”

“You are you, and you will stay you.”

“How can you be so sure,” I thought.

“Because you are already inside that black box,” he thought back.

The room was white.  A sickening white.  I hated it.  The sunlight against its walls were almost blinding.  The ceiling was so plain, but I couldn’t help but stare up at it.  I focused on the nails that were coming through due to age, but then he walked in.  He stood before me with an open hand, and I reached for it, feeling his flesh against mine.  And I cried.  It was great to be able to cry again, and he held me.  And as he held me, he thought to me, and I returned his thoughts with a smile on my lips.  I was not in prison anymore.  I was finally free.  

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Melissa R. Mendelson
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Liz Aguilar, author of To Have And to Hold a fast-paced, gripping, adrenaline rush from start to finish, one of perhaps the finest pieces of writing I've ever read, in particular because of its' telenovela-like feel, May she continually find success as an author. Bravo my dear, bravo!

Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...

Tanya Daigle Rusheon: This book is a long and twisty tale full of sweet romance, adorable fluff, anxiousness, trust issues, mind games, things that don't make sense until suddenly they do, heartache and reconciliation just when you need it the most. If that all sounds a bit vague, it's because I really don't want to s...

Janaki Sundararaman: The frame of the story has a beautiful structure on which the narration is spun with twists and turns tolook forward with lots of expectations about the coming chapters.There are many characters in the story line,all woven into intricate style to speak the story in its own way.The protagonist is ...

_JosephJacobson_: I don't understand why this has such low ratings. I really enjoyed it!I think that the whole idea behind the plot had something very special and that was something that I really enjoyed. It was new, unique. I think that some of the writing was a little strange in places but overall it made sense ...

rajastreet: I enjoyed this piece! I loved the treatment of time and the premise! Some of the wording seemed a little out of place, but easily overlooked for a good a plot.

Steve Lang: I thought this story was imaginative, and well thought out. I also think it was an original piece, and not a rehash of previous scifi stories I've read in the past.Thank you for the effort put into this tale, and I look forward to reading more of your work!

cwoelk: I enjoyed reading this book, thought the characters were interesting, the premise exciting, and liked the happy ending.

aeratheninja: Interestingly enough, this story touches on different psychological states and was very informing, on top of being a solid story. Although somewhat predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this; I could feel the fear and the frustration of the characters, and was happy when they were happy.Even ...

More Recommendations

John Reed: Seadrias masterfully captures the impressiveness and complex scope that a science fiction novel should provide while carefully crafting an entire universe that will leave a reader in awe from start to finish. The only flaw I could find is that I wish I could have read more. This book is certainly...

Ashley Stryker: So I'm writing this review, keeping in mind that this is a work in progress and it's part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so my "deeper" critiques will be saved until it's all finished up.+ Chapter One: A stewardess would not talk to anyone quite like that, particularly a clear minor...

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."