Waking (chapter 1)
My neck is stiff. I roll over, shifting the pillow in an attempt to get comfortable. Ugh, why do they even make pillows so thin? I suddenly pause; I always had two fluffy pillows on my bed. My eyes shoot open. Before me is a silver-grey wall. I roll on my back and see a gray ceiling. Dread fills me. I roll to my other side and see that I am in a small sterile grey room. The thin mattress and frame on which I lay is in a corner. The thin white sheet that had covered me slid off as I abruptly sit up.
What the..? I glance around, trembling slightly, my heart beating fast. Fisting my shirt over my heart, I remember what little I knew about how I got to my current predicament.
After much goading from my friends, I had given up and decided to go on a date with a cutie I had met online. It was my first date after Tristan had broken my heart. It was fine, it was time to try again my friends kept saying. It wasn’t that I didn’t agree and it wasn’t that I wasn’t over Tristan; it was that I found dating to be a bother. I hated the dance- the nervousness, the wondering, the waiting to see if there was chemistry and if he felt it too.
My date was even more handsome than his online profile. He had beautiful warm brown eyes and perfectly combed hair, and dimples that showed whenever he laughed. He had taken me to an adorable Italian restaurant lit by candles where we had spent the evening drinking wine and chatting away. He knew the owners.
We got along so well. He told me about his family history and I told him about my job. We laughed about current politics. He got my sense of humor. I had worked up the bravo to lightly touch his arm from across the table. He had smiled.
I lick my lips and look down to see that I am wearing a long-sleeved plain white top with matching white pants. A small blue bracelet is wrapped around my wrist. On it, the number 352 and a small keyhole. I try tugging on the bracelet but it won’t budge. I frown. I had been wearing a red dress. I didn’t remember how the date ended. Bastard…
Drowsily, I woke up to men’s voices. I sat up. I was inside a dirty cell, cold. The stale air a mix of sweat and mold. Next to me a woman whimpered and cowered into the wall of the cell. Hiding my face behind my hair, I glanced up at the voices. Behind the bars stood four men including my date. The only source of light was from a barred window coming from the side of the room.
“You’ll like this one” My date’s voice was no longer gentile, his dimples long gone and his warm smile replaced with a smirk.
Clicking noises filled the room as a short stocky redhead turned keys into a lock.
Women around me scampered back from the bars, deeper into the cell. Even with my mind hazy, I knew to cower. I drew closer to the floor, wrapping my arms around my knees making myself smaller, bowing my head down. Why was my mind so foggy? I tried to concentrate, squinting my eyes at a large piece of dirt on the floor.
A large squeak filled the air as the barred door swung inwards. I didn’t dare look up as loud footsteps approached. I tried to cower further into the floor. My heart beat so loudly I thought the approaching man must hear it.
Large rough hands grabbed my upper arms and jerked me to a standing position. I winced from the painful grab and glanced up through my hair to see my date before me. He hauled me out of the cell and pushed me to stand before two tall men.
Terrified I had no voice, so ability to resist, nothing. I was too scared to look up. I gripped the bottom of my dirtied red dress. It was one of my favorites- I had always looked so elegant in it. Now it had small tears and smudges along the hemline. I tugged it down with my hands, feeling exposed in front of the men.
Long fingers gripped my chin and yanked my head up. My eyes met the inspecting blue eyes in front of me. He nodded.
A sharp pain pinched the side of my neck.
“What..?” I moaned as I tried to turn my head.
I reach up to touch my neck. Though sore, there was nothing there. I glance around. Oh God, this is going to be a sex thing. I tremble slightly. On the wall across from the bed is a grey screen with black lettering reading “Touch here.” I’m not sure I want to know what will happen if I were to touch it.
I look around the room again. It is plain. To the right of the bed is a grey door. I stand up and scratchy grey carpeting meets my feet. At the end of the bed is a small grey closet with two doors and grey handles. On the wall next to it a black screen showing the occasional small white lights streaking and fading into the distance. I touch the screen gently and it feels cold, but nothing happens.
Slowly, I open the closet doors. Inside hang several more white shirts and pants. I purse my lips. Too clean. Perhaps not a sex thing, maybe a medical experiment? I swallow a lump in my throat.
I hug myself in a poor attempt at self-comfort, rubbing my hands up and down my arms. My right hand feels something odd. Pushing the white sleeve up, I see a small bandage across the inside of my elbow. I rip it off without hesitating. Small bloodied marks dot my skin from a needle of some sort. God knows what they did to me.
I move back to the bed and sit down, staring at the screen. “Touch me.” If only it were so simple. Touching it could bring them in and who knows what they will do to me. Of course, if I don’t touch it they might punish me. They are going to come, either way, better to not get hurt.
Quickly, I jump up and touch the screen before I lose the will. Sitting back down, I watch the screen come to life. A smiling middle-aged woman appears on the screen, behind her a garden flooded with sunlight.
“Hello, my name is Gertrude. I know you are scared but I am here to tell you that I have been where you are and everything will be okay”
The woman on the screen continues. “You have been rescued from a life in a sex trafficking ring by the Pinns- an alien race. And in return for saving you, you are returning with them to their world.”
I look over to the screen with the occasional fading white dotted lights with wide eyes. Was it passing stars? Shit. I shake my head. Maybe it is some sort of prank? Or maybe scientific test to see if they can make me believe anything?
“Due to a genetic abnormality, the details of which I will not go into here, the Pinns have not been able to produce female offspring leaving the race without natural born wives and mothers.”
Oh God, it is a sex thing. Shuttering, I panic imaging green alien tentacles touching me.
“You will fill that role. However, do not be afraid, due to centuries of breeding with humans, the Pinns look very much like human men”
Images of what looks like male models flash across the screen. Some dressed in different uniforms, others without shirts. All in ridiculous poses smiling at the camera.
“And you will get to choose your male. Females are treasured and worshiped on Pinn. You will be treated well. It takes 8 days to reach Pinn and during that time you will be taking classes with other chosen to help you transition into Pinn society.
For now, please open your door and follow the signs to the cafeteria where food will be waiting for you. Once there you can talk to other chosen”
I gulp and slowly stand before slowly turning the handle on the door.