Consciousness flooded back to me, I had no recollection of where I was, who I was, what I was. Am I thought furiously, not was, am. It seemed vital that I remember this above all else. I looked around to try and answer at least some of those questions, and winced as blood started circulating faster through my body.
Where I was seemed to be a blindingly white room. Everything was white, the walls, the floor, the bench I was laid out on, even the thin gown I was wearing. It was all just white. As to the other questions, who I was would come later, it had to. Nobody could just forget who they are right? And what I was.....
I looked down at myself, watching my hand as I twisted it back and forth. I shook my head, sitting up, and examined the rest of me, everything felt human, looked human. That left me, whoever me was in a white room, sitting on a white bench, wearing a white gown and looking positively human.
I looked around the room more carefully, all the white was confusing, and everything seemed to glow, there were no shadows anywhere, but I saw something that I had missed before. There was someone else in the room, a girl.
She looked to be about sixteen, or older maybe. She was dressed in an identical gown, lying on an identical white bench, and her skin and hair were so fair she blended right into the surroundings. I felt better for having someone else here, it was good not to be alone in this.....place.
She started to stir, and I tried to stand up, feeling my body protest to the movement after so long asleep – or at least I think I had been sleeping for a while.
I couldn’t see any door to the room, but that didn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t one. I had no idea where the thought came from to feel along the walls, but I followed it regardless, trusting that whoever it was that made up me knew what they were doing.
I didn’t find anything, but I was sure there had to be a way in. I didn’t just get to wherever here is without a door.
I kept feeling around the room, again and again, but every time I came up empty, I slammed my hand against the wall, and tried hard not to cry. I didn’t want to stay here.
I sat back down on the bench, and tried to remember something, anything that might give me a clue as to why I was here, or even just how I had gotten here. Nothing.
Everything was blank, but I kept trying. After a moment I felt something, something important, but every time I tried to find out what it was, it slipped away from me, like I was trying to grab a bar of soap with plastic tongs.
I turned my attention back to the other girl, who was now fully awake and attempting to sit up.
“What’s happening?” She slurred at me, rubbing her eyes and looking like an innocent angel in all her white.
“I don’t...” I started to say, but stopped as she started to convulse.
She fell, writhing on the floor, and I stayed rooted to the spot as scales erupted all over her body, the same colour as her skin, giving her a glistening sheen.
I heard a soft hissing sound, and the room filled with a white haze. It smelled slightly, and I felt dizzy. I grabbed at the bench as I slid sideways, landing awkwardly and falling onto the floor.
It wasn’t long until the door opened; it was in a location that I had checked at least four times, and must be very well hidden – or all the white was throwing off my senses.
People poured into the room, I couldn’t tell if they were male or female, they were all dressed in the same white, full-body suit that came up over their heads. There was no part of them that wasn’t covered, it made them look like creatures from legend.
They picked up the scaled girl and put her carefully into a cage, and then they came for me. I couldn’t move, couldn’t run, couldn’t stop them, as much as I might have wanted to. They shoved me into another cage and left as quickly as they had come.
The metal was cold on my skin, and as time crawled past, the harsh, unforgiving bars kept growing colder and colder, searing my flesh.
The thin gown I was wearing was no match for the cage, and I could see frost forming on the bars. The minute I could move, I did so. I could only move a little bit at first, but soon I was thrashing around. I couldn’t stand the cold.
The cage was too small, I barely had room to crouch, and the bars were still getting colder, the metal sticking to my flesh and tearing my skin as I thrashed. Soon the bars were coated in my blood, but I didn’t really feel the pain, the cold numbed that.
The scaled girl was screaming in her cage. It was giving off a harsh red glow and smoke was wafting up from her flesh. Blackened stripes crisscrossed her body and her skin was curling in large flakes, blood searing before it could drip and cause a mess.
She fell quiet and I really started to panic, the silence was worse, somehow. I kicked frantically at my bars, bare feet becoming as bloodied as the rest of me.
I don’t know how, but I found myself sitting amongst a wreckage of cool metal scraps.
Warm liquid coalesced at my feet, sending an odd sensation through my legs. I looked down. I was sitting in blood, and my legs were shredded. I didn’t feel the pain, it was all a distant shadow, but I knew I should be in agony. I looked over the rest of my body, there was not one part of me that was not cut, bruised or bleeding.
I looked over at what remained of the scaled girl, she was still, too still, and the cage was still glowing red, her skin still steaming, charring.
All I could think of was the smell in the room. That vile smell. The smell of blood, and waste and burnt flesh. The smell of death. A shudder ran down my spine.
The door opened again, and those same people moved through it, they were fast and well-organised, sweeping through the room and leaving not a speck of dust behind.
They picked me up and took me from the room, whisking me down the hall and away from the dead girl. I couldn’t see anything but white. The people blended right into the walls. My body started to hurt, bit by little bit, and by the time we got to where we were going, I had curled up tightly to fight off the waves of agony. Every slight jolt from the person carrying me sent a new wave of pain throughout my limbs.
They dumped me unceremoniously on the floor, sending fresh bolts of agony through my body. I curled up again, hurting too much to scream. A few tears leaked from the corner of my eyes as tight shudders wracked my body.
The whole room was dark, black really. I had thoughts that being away from the glaring white would be a relief, but this colour was just as stark, as blinding. When the door closed there was not a single speck of light to illuminate the darkness, and there was no sound either. Maybe that was scarier than the cage. I started to feel cold again, but it was different this time. The room wasn’t cooling, I was. I think. My energy fading away, being eaten by the soulless darkness.
I shut my eyes to try and fight off the shadows, or at least trick myself into thinking that the darkness was of my own creation, and then just tried to ride out the waves of agony.
“Get her up on the bench.” The sound was muffled, like I had cotton stuffed in my ears, it didn’t really matter anyway, I couldn’t focus on much for long.
“She’s our most promis’n’ subj’ct.”
“Fantastic, how’s she acclimating?”
“Bett’r ‘n most.”
“Great, prep her for the procedure, this is the final phase, let’s hope she does better than the others.”
I couldn’t see anything, eyes open or not and had no idea of who was in the room with me. They sounded male, one of them gruff and harsh and the other with a voice smooth as butter. Hands lifted me from the ground and started moving over me, making me feel even more as though I was floating. The sensation churned my stomach and made me tense, causing new, fresh pain to crackle through my limbs. My skin felt like dry, cracked earth – a fragile shell trying desperately to hold in my insides.
The hands retreated and placed me back on the floor, footsteps fading away into nothingness. I couldn’t avoid the darkness any more, the cold was gone, and the pain had lessened a bit, but that just meant there was nothing to distract from the lack of light, the lack of sound or feeling. The longer I was in there, the less I felt the floor beneath me. I craved light, I was desperate for sound, I wanted so badly for whoever had been making those muffled sounds to come back, I didn’t want to stay here alone, I couldn’t.
I started shivering again, and I curled up, hugging my knees. Whoever had been in here before had laid me out flat on the ground, but I just needed to hold onto something, anything. I started sobbing, losing track of time. I didn’t want to be there, I just wanted to go – I would even go back in the cage if I could just get out of here.
I don’t know what I did, whether I babbled or screamed. I might even have hummed, I’m not sure. I just wanted noise, any noise, so I made it myself. I know that throughout the whole thing I was crying, I was frustrated, scared and hurting with not even my memories to keep me company. I was no-one, maybe I wasn’t even real. Was this what it was like to die? I hoped not, I don’t know if I could bear this for eternity.
The darkness stretched on and on forever on all sides, it never ended, swallowing everything up. All my words and all my sobs, gone, into the dark. I could almost see them being swallowed - never to return.
I lost my sanity to the darkness, and I lost myself, giving into the black, soulless room.