Friday, March 27, 2015

Story Day 27


~

They untied him without a struggle and half carrying, half dragging him, they got around the edge of the room and out of the door with surprising ease.  The door was on the opposite side to the one that they had entered through.  Zack went through first.  He stopped dead in his tracks, Casey smacked into the back of him.
“Ow!”  she rubbed her nose.  Her father muttered behind her as he fell against her shoulder.
“Give me a break, Dad.  I’m trying my best.  Okay?”  As soon as she said it, she wished she had swallowed it back.

Her sass got his attention.
“Casey, It’s you,” he said, “you’re the key.”
“Yeah, we figured that out already. Come on, pick up the pace!”
“They wanted to destroy you.”
“Yes, we know,” said Casey, gently. “That’s why we need to get out of here.”
“They wanted to kill you to open the door,” he said, getting her attention again.
“I thought they wanted the key to lock the door, to keep everyone else out?” ventured Zack.
“No, they want to be free, have revenge on our world. We have to hurry, only we can seal the door shut forever.”




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 


Story Day 26


~

Casey agreed. As her doppelganger came closer and lent over her, Casey felt the smooth steel of the knife slipped into her hand.  Zack was still smiling.  Jabbing upwards, she caught herself off guard.  Casey stood up as the woman fell backwards, oh so slowly and landed awkwardly against the table.  She began to disintegrate before their eyes.
“I guess this is our cue to leave,” Zack commented as they backed towards the door.  The workers all rushed to the table, scrabbling around on the floor as if trying to put her together again.  Nobody noticed Casey and Zack leaving. 

“Wait,” said Casey, “Dad.”
“I thought you said you said you hardly knew him.”
“That’s no reason to leave him behind. Then we need to find your brother.”
“Alright, deal.”
Back inside the room, Casey and Zack tried inching around the edge of the room, tried to avoid attention. The workers, some of which seemed to be the disgruntled teens from before, didn’t seem to know what to do without the woman around to direct them. Many of them stood around where her body once was, other were walking around aimlessly. They snuck easily to the back of the room.



Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Story Day 25


~

Suddenly, the energy shifted in the room and with it, the colours and clarity. Everything became blurred and the sounds seemed to be inside Casey’s head, hammering to be let out.  Then she realized.  Trying to gain some sense of control over herself, she finally understood what it was this woman wanted.  ‘It’s me’, a voice which was strange to her whispered in her head.  ‘I am the key.  She is going to kill me’.  Casey didn’t think she’d said that aloud but somehow her captors knew too because she was shoved onto a table.  On it lay a knife.

There was a commotion, everyone in the room started reacting at once. Casey’s cheek hit the ground and she almost blacked out. When her vision came back she saw Zack’s face inches from her own. He looked her in the eyes with an unusual grin, and although she had only known him for what felt like the longest day of her life, Casey felt comforted.
“I guess this is goodbye,” said Casey. “It was nice to meet you, Zack.”
“You’re the girl who walked into the fire,” said Zack with a smile, “I don’t believe you’re giving up that easily.”





Go HERE to see how this mess started!  

And by mess I mean very fun experiment. We're in the home stretch now! 


Story Day 24


~

The room pulsed with an energy that Casey could feel but not see.  She felt trapped but free at the same time.  Brushing a hand across her forehead, she breathed deeply and tried to take it all in.  At some point, she guessed, she had been waiting to wake up but now it seemed that there was no waking up from this reality.  These people meant business and she was in no position to argue, try to persuade or even ask for more time.  She knew something but what was it? 
“Come on,” urged Zack, “please just give them something.”

“Dad,” said Casey, stepping forward, “It’s me, it’s Casey.”
“Who are you?” He seemed dazed and confused. Casey wondered how anyone expected her to reason with him if he didn’t even recognize her.
“It’s Casey,” she tried again, “your daughter. I mean, you don’t know me that well; you left when I was little. Remember, we used to play baseball. I was really bad…”
“No time for sentimentality,” said the woman. “Find the key.”
“HEY,” said Casey, rounding on the woman. “If I do this, I do this my way.”
“If you do this, you won’t do anything ever again.”




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 


Story Day 23


~

If he recognized her, he chose not to show it.  Blank eyes in a grey face stared out and past his daughter.  Casey had felt as though she was in a dream, now it became a nightmare.
“I don’t believe you!”  she shouted, swinging round to herself.  He’s just an ordinary guy.  Leave him alone.  If I knew what you wanted, I’d give it to you.  But I don’t.  You people are crazy!’ with that, she dissolved into tears. The woman remained impassive.

“Overly emotional.  We found that with all the trials.  This man, your ‘father’ is the root cause.

“He holds the key, somewhere,” she continued, “and we need it to close our borders.”
“Why?” asked Zack.  “Why would you want that?”
“I haven’t seen him in years…” Casey said softly.
“This is a world of genetically enhanced beings,” said the woman, “isn’t that clear? We must keep Others out. Am I not superior to my ‘sister’ here in every way? We only brought you to get key. This is the true interview.”
“And if I pass?” asked Casey.
“Then you can stay,” said the woman. “If you fail, all of you, Zack’s brother included, will be disposed of.”




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Story Day 22


~

The scene which met her eyes was not what Casey was expecting.  They stepped into a brightly lit room buzzing with energy.  Banks of computers and lights flashed and hummed as red overall clad workers lent over them frantically typing.  As she took in the sight and wondered what was coming next, Zack sidled a little closer.

“I only did what they asked me to.  If you tell them, they will let you go.  They have my brother – I’m doing this for him. I’ve been here such a long time, I just want to go home.  Please just tell them, Casey.”

“I will if I can.” said Casey. “But I still don’t know what they are talking about.”
“Here we are,” said the woman, and opened the door. In the center of the room was a chair, and in the chair sat a man. His arms were tied behind him, head down, face hidden: Casey knew exactly who he was.
“This is impossible,” she said, turning to the woman who was also impossible. “He’s been gone for years.”
“Not gone,” she replied, “lost. And now you’ll tell us how to break him.”
Casey inched forward as the man looked up.
“Dad?”




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Story Day 21


~

“You’re a quick learner.  I like that.  Maybe you weren’t such a dud after all.”  The woman kept talking as she walked.  Casey and Zack had to move fast along the corridor to keep up.  Casey had been called a few names in her short life but being referred to as a dud came closest to being the rudest anybody had ever been to her.
“Hey, I’m doing really well, if you’re interested…”  she trailed off as it was clear she wasn’t being listened to.
“Whatever.  Give us the information and you will be allowed back to your little life.  Possibly.”

“Again with this information,” said Casey, getting increasingly madder the longer she spent around the woman, “I’m telling you, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Well, you will in a moment,” said the woman as she led them forward. “And your friend too.”
Casey looked over at Zack and noticed he had started to sweat. She suspected he knew more than she did, but was not in the mood to be lied to again and asked him nothing.
“The information we need,” said the woman, opening a nondescript door, “is how to crack this code.”
The door swung open.




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 


Story Day 20


~

“Lost sisters?” both Casey and Zack echoed.  The woman carried on walking away from them while everyone else stayed sat at the table, seemingly oblivious to what was going on around them. 
“They’re preparing for the big shut down,” Zack said as if that would explain it all.  Casey didn’t answer, she stared at the retreating back of herself and felt as though she was going crazy.

“Lost sisters – the ones who didn’t quite make it.  Version One if you like.  I’m your better version, can’t you tell?”  the woman muttered over her shoulder.  Casey trotted to catch her up.

She couldn’t tell if the woman was being sarcastic. She looked at Zack for answers as they flowed, but he just shrugged and continued on. Casey always felt there was something not quite right about herself. Her inability to ever have any sort of style, keep a job, find a direction…she felt she had been lost since she was born. If this really was a place for lost things, and lost people, maybe this was where she actually belonged. This however did not explain the woman’s last comment.
“Better version?” Casey asked, laughing a little. “What are you, a clone?”




Go HERE to start from the beginning. 



Story Day 19


~

There was nobody on guard at the gatehouse so slowing down, Casey darted down the first alley way she saw.  The place was eerily silent.  She could tell that although the ringing still continued in her ears.  Leaning over to catch her breath, noticed an open door just to the left.  She could see shadows moving across the gap.  Creeping forward, she saw several figures sat around a table.  They looked normal as far as she could tell.  Without warning, the door opened.  A woman at the table turned, looking directly at her.  Casey screamed.  She was looking at herself.

That was it; that was her limit. Casey knew that was all her mind could take- the next thing she knew she was on the floor, the back of her head throbbing. She felt someone touch her arm, but she tried to ignore it. Casey squeezed her eyes shut, trying with all her might to disappear. A familiar voice brought her back- it was Zack.
“I know what this place is,” he said.
“What is it, then?” Casey’s heart jumped as the woman with Casey’s face appeared ahead.
“It’s the place where lost things go,” she said, “and lost sisters.”




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 


Story Day 18


~

Without warning, all hell broke lose.  Casey had never heard noise like it.  Afterwards, she could have sworn that she saw the sound sweep through the narrow street but that was impossible.  You can’t see sound, her brain insisted.  But she knew she had. The presence that had been holding her suddenly left and she found herself slammed back against a pile of red bricks that perhaps once was a fine looking house.  Her ears ringing, she pried open her eyes and rubbed the brick dust out of them. The silent road was littered with bodies.  Casey stood and ran.


She looked wildly around for Zack, but as seemed to be his way, he was nowhere to be seen. She further she ran the more signs of distress she saw around her. There were burned out cars parked casually in front of pretty front lawns, broken windows on nice houses. Hardly any people to be seen. Casey just ran, ran forward as fast as her legs would let her, her ‘power heels’ abandoned long before. If her bare feet were bleeding she didn't notice or care.
The city loomed in front of her, buildings gleaming in the sun. She ran. 



Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Story Day 17


~

Although she shouted, pleaded and eventually, much to her shame, cried, nothing she did seemed to have an impact on her captors.  After what seemed like hours, she was finally addressed by the voice again.
“When you give us what we want, you can have your little friend back.” The voice was monotone and oddly genderless.  Casey pushed her hair out of her eyes, stood up straight and addressed the voice, trying to sound in control and unafraid.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.  This is illegal you know.  I’m going straight to the police the first chance I get.”

“There are no police. They are the first ones we disposed of,” replied the voice. Casey had no answer.
“You are only here because we permit you to be,” said the voice. “You and your male companion have information we need, and we will not hesitate to extract this information using force, if needed.”
“But I don’t know what you want,” said Casey, pleadingly.
“You know,” said the voice, “you just need to remember.”
Casey was marched down the suburban street, surrounded by teens who were now quite, staring forward. The roads were abandoned. Until they turned another street corner.




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Story Day 16


~

As they were marched by invisible hands along the cracked asphalt, Casey found herself being separated from Zack.  She was pulled behind the barricade and confronted with a motley bunch of … pirates?  If the situation weren't so awful, it would be comical.  These were nothing but kids playing at war games.  The invisible hold on her slackened as she was dumped, scraping her leg on a jagged piece of car door daubed with slogans.  She noticed a symbol which appeared several times over.  The kids, teens, she couldn't tell exactly through the face paint were drinking and laughing manically.

“You two,” said the invisible voice again, “get in line.” This time the teens reacted as if smacked, their smiles vanishing. One came over to each of them, grabbing Casey and Zack by one arm each and marching them forward, apart.
“Wait,” Casey called to anyone who would listen, “Don’t…” She found herself panicking at the thought of being alone. Up until then, she had been more confused than scared, like there was not enough room in her brain to consider the situation to be anything but frustrating. But now, seeing the teens march her only ‘friend’ away, Casey panicked. 




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Story Day 15


~

“Any idea what language that is?” she whispered from their hiding place.  Zack shook his head.
“Nope, but they sound pretty angry.  I can tell that in any language,” he replied.
“Well we need to get past so what’s our next move?”  Before he had a chance to answer, another voice entered the conversation.
“You there!  You’re late.  This will not be tolerated.  Get to your posts immediately.”  The voice was in the air, all around them and although the pair of intrepid travelers looked wildly about them, they could see no source for the voice.

“I don’t like this.”

Casey made a move to stand up but Zack pulled her back, bruising her arm.
“What are you doing?” Zack hissed.
“I’m feeling brave,” said Casey, “and I’m sick of secrets.” She tried to get up again but Zack’s grip was like iron.
“You two cannot hide,” said the voice again. “We see everything.”
“What is going on?” shouted Casey.
“You’re late.”
If Casey had been feeling brave before, she wasn’t now. Something she could not see gripped her other arm, the one Zack was not attached to, and they were pulled to their feet and forced down the road.




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Story Day 14


~

With her taking the lead, he seemed to snap out of wallowing in the whatever and nodded his head.
“You’re right.  We won’t find anything out about anything by just hanging around here.  Let’s go and investigate.”
They jumped up and began walking purposefully towards the city.  Everything was quiet, it felt like being miles from anywhere not pretty much a stone’s throw from what looked like a major city.  As they neared the outskirts, Casey felt her pace slow and Zack stopped dead in his tracks.
“Are you seeing what I’m seeing?”  she questioned, not really wanting an answer.

“If you’re seeing a barricade, then yes.” Casey instinctively pulled Zack behind a nearby parked car, wondering where those instincts actually came from.
The gleaming city looming ahead of them as Casey and Zack peaked over the top of the car, down the suburban street. Picturesque front yards full of flowers and billowy trees lined the road, almost making a tree tunnel over a smoking barricade. Made of half burned out cars, pieces of wood and what looked like any sort of found junk, it was completely blocking an otherwise beautiful neighborhood street. From behind the barricade, they heard voices.





Go HERE to start at the beginning. 


Story Day 13


~

“But that didn't happen to me.  I just woke up in this freaky place and knew I had to get out.”
“Maybe that’s the difference between us – I didn't have the balls to get out and now I don’t know what the hell was going on or what they've done to me.”
“But I don’t understand.  You were at the car, you pulled me out.  That’s how I recognized you.” 
Zach scratched his head.
“Look, I don’t know.  I just don’t remember that, at least…” he looked pained.
“There’s something there but it’s a fog.  Casey, what have they done?”

“Now listen,” she said, putting a hand on his arm, “There’s no point worrying until you know what there is to worry about.” She could hear her mother’s voice in her own. “Come on, let’s walk.”
Casey looked at Zack for the first time. He was fairly normal looking, brown hair and a five o’clock shadow pebbling his face. She enjoyed the curve of his jaw and felt herself blush, looking away quickly toward the city.
“I thought I knew the skylines of all the major cities,” she said, “but that looks more like the Emerald City than anywhere else.”




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Story Day 12


~

“Okay, so far so familiar.  What’s the deal here do you think? She was desperate for answers and not half as calm about the situation as her new companion appeared to be.
“Forgive me for not having all the answers...”  He sat down, indicating for Casey to follow.
“This place, it just doesn't feel right – you know?  I don’t know what’s going on, at first I thought maybe alien abduction…”  Casey snorted, trying to stifle a laugh and failing.  Zack shrugged.
“Yeah, yeah, I know, that whole scene has been pretty well debunked but the car not working,,, the lights…

“But in the facility, it did feel like an interview.” Zack’s face completely fell as he spoke. “I have no idea how long I was there or why, but it felt like I was being tested. Other people came into other rooms, and then left again. Strange things would happen, like the hallway being on fire and then not. Our rooms would change temperature out of nowhere, then stop. Lights and sounds would appear and then go away. It was like someone was monitoring all our activities, judging us. I don’t know what they did with the ones that disappeared.” 




Go HERE to start at the beginning. 



Story Day 11

We're a little behind!

~

With nothing else to do, they started walking.  Casey’s stomach rumbled.
“What time is it?” she asked.  She left home at 6 that morning and missed breakfast.
“Time? No idea.  They take away your watch when you arrive.”  Zack pulled up his sleeve, indicating a light strap mark where a watch had sat while the rest of him tanned.  Casey never wore a watch.
“My phone! I can get the time from that!” she shouted, almost in excitement at the thought of something as normal as being able to look at her phone.  She checked.   It had gone of course.


“Alright, Zack,” she said, putting out an arm to stop him, “I need some answers.”
“Me too, that’s why we’re walking.”
“Stop being vague! Tell me what you know about where we were. About the fire and the other people. What other people?”
“Ok, cool it.” Zack’s easy and unnerving smile faded and he looked suddenly venerable. Casey almost felt bad for pressuring him.
“So the other day, or week or month, I have no idea now,” he started, “I was driving to work for an interview. The third one that month, I was desperate. Then I think I wrecked my car, got disorientated, was told I was going to the hospital, and ended up there.” It was Casey’s same story. 





Go HERE to start from the beginning. 




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Story Day 10


~

They spent a few minutes looking around their new environment, not finding much more than grass and trees.  In the distance, a city skyline towered into bluish smog.
“Recognize it?” Zack asked as they stood wondering what to do next.
“Not really.  Is it even real do you think?” she considered, half talking to herself.  She shrieked as she felt a hard pinch on her arm.
“Hey, what was that for?” she demanded.
Zack shrugged, kneeling to tie his trailing trainer lace.

“Just checking your reality – think of it as a helpful service.”  Casey rubbed her arm, “thanks. Too kind.”

“The door is gone,” she continued. “And the building…” The free feeling came back for a moment, like it had when she thought she was going to the hospital. Only for a moment.
Casey wished the grass was purple. If the grass was purple, she wouldn't be on earth, and things would be different. She wouldn't be unemployed, wouldn't need money like air, and wouldn't miss them. If the grass was purple, she’d have no past and there’d be no debt and she could sleep so deeply. A breeze picked up and the grass tickled her ankles, green as envy.  



Go HERE to start at the beginning. 




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Story Day 9


~

They ran.
Smoke began to overtake them, curling down from the ceiling and wrapping itself around Casey’s face.
“Faster!” she shouted and although her lungs were burning, she found herself out pacing the guy.   The hairs on her arms were sizzling as she got closer to the flames but she was almost there.  Almost.  Just as suddenly, the fire was gone. 
“What the?” Casey slowed to a jog and looked around.  The guy had been behind her and now he wasn't.  She was alone again.  No matter, she couldn't worry about him now, she needed to get through the door.


It started to close in front of her. Casey dove.
When she opened her eyes, the sky was blue above her and tall grass tickled her cheeks.
“You’re the only person who thought of running into the fire,” said a voice. Casey gingerly turned her head to the right and there was her illusive companion. She couldn't think of a single intelligent thing to say.
“I’m Zack, by the way,” he said, reaching a hand out to shake hers. “And I’m just as confused as you are.”
“I’m Casey,” she said, taking his hand, “and I doubt that very much.” 






Go HERE to start from the beginning. 



Monday, March 9, 2015

Story Day 8


~

Casey rubbed her hands through her hair, trying to erase the image in front of her.  She was sure she would wake up soon.  This must be some crazy dream she was having because of the interview stress she’d been storing up lately.  This guy was clearly on something and she needed to get away.  Fast.
“Okay, yes of course I've figured it out.  You’re right of course.  I apologize.  Could you show me to the bathroom before we get started?  Nerves, you know…”  She waved her hands in front of her and smiled.  “All I need is a minute.”

“There’ time,” he said, looking up over her shoulder, his smile fading. “Come on, we've got to go.”
“What?”
Casey looked back over her shoulder toward her ‘room’ and suddenly it didn't matter if it was all a dream or not. Even in a dream she’d run from a burning hallway.
“Come on!” said the man, grabbing her arm and pulling her away from the rapidly approaching flames. “Not again…”
“Wait.” Something caught Casey’s through the flames.
“What are you waiting for?”
“Look,” she said, “there’s a door at the other end, through the fire!”
“What?”
“It’s open! Run!”



Go HERE to start from the beginning. 


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Story Day 7


~

Taking a deep breath, Casey tried to calm down. 
“My interview?  Here?  What the hell do you mean?  Who are you?”  He smiled again and shook his head.
“Really, Miss Travers, that is no way to impress them.”  Torn between crying and punching him, Casey’s head was spinning.  The guy just stood, looking at her as though expecting something.
“Hang on a minute.  I do know you. Don’t I?  In the car, the guy with me in the car when it crashed – if it crashed.  You were there.”  He nodded, the smile gone.
“Am I in trouble?  Help me.  Please.”

“You’re not in trouble, not with me,” he said gently, “but I think this is the interview, I think you figured it out.” He put his hand on her arm to comfort her but Casey flinched. “I’ve been here for a while,” he said, “I’ve seen people come and go and they all said the same thing. They were late to their interview. So was I, before I ended up here.” She noticed that his suit was worn and she wondered how many nights he’d slept in it. “I thought it was the same,” he continued, “I thought I’d fail.” 





Go HERE to start form the beginning. 


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Story Day 6


~

She was just congratulating herself on her stealthy getaway when a voice behind her made her swing round.  Her left boot came off in the process but she was still ready for danger.  Not for nothing had she taken those three kick-boxing classes.  She was like a coiled spring ready to be unleashed on the unseen enemy.  On turning however, the unseen enemy looked completely un-startled.
“You’re going in the wrong direction!” he hissed while pulling her into the recess of the next doorway.  He looked faintly familiar. 

“I need to get out.  Where’s the exit in this crazy place?”

In the dim lighting Casey could hardly see his face. It was all suddenly too much, too unreal. The ridiculousness of her situation hit her like caffeine straight into her brain- she grabbed the stranger by the shoulders.
“WHAT IS GOING ON?” she shouted. “WHERE ARE WE? I’M LATE FOR MY INTERVIEW!”
The man gently removed her hands from his shoulders and motioned for her to step forward. Now in the light Casey saw that the man was about her age and dressed in a business suit.
“So am I,” he said with a little smile, “maybe this is it.”




Go HERE to start from the beginning. 



Story Day 5


~

“Hello?” her voice sounded far away, thin and scared.
“Hey, anyone there?”  No answer.  The words echoed off the white walls of her room.
“Please?  I’m fine now, really.  I just need to get somewhere. I don’t need to stay here.  Thanks for you concern and all that...”  Sighing, Casey resigned herself to the fact that nobody was coming to rescue her or even explain where she was.  She couldn't just sit around all day with no idea what time of day it even was.  Gingerly, Casey swung her long legs off the narrow bed and made for the door.

The room looked sort of like a hospital room, but with dark walls and quite a lot of dust, not a window to be found. She tried the door. To her great surprise, it easily pushed open without a sound.
Casey found herself more unnerved outside the room than she was inside- freedom never made her so uneasy. She padded forward in lace-less boots, thankful now that she’d never liked clicky heels. Powerful? No, they didn't make her feel powerful, they were annoying. As she suck forward down the hallway she’d never felt more strongly about heels with rubber soles. 



Go HERE to start from the beginning.