I had no ideas when I sat down at the computer tonight. I wanted to write something quick. I finally settled on something like a mystery. Obviously, this wants to be expanded into something bigger, maybe a conspiracy or something, but I think I'm pretty happy leaving it where it is. It could be polished up, edited, if that word makes you feel better about the process, but I'm not married to the story at all. It's more of an exercise than anything else.
I'd appreciate feedback,
Consciousness came to him, crashing over him like a wave of frigid water. It left behind the gifts of a blinding light and a dull ache behind his right eye. The walls around him were bright white, the same as the ceiling, and he was having a hard time telling just how far away they were.
With a groan, he rolled to his side. Focusing was its own special hell, but it was a focus of the involuntary sort, like when something startles you and suddenly it’s all you can think about. The woman lying, faced away from him, did startle him. She was clothed. He was not, he noticed all of a sudden, and his attention to the girl broke apart.
As he spun his head around, looking for something to wear, it occurred to him that he might be under observation. He could not remember the night before, assuming it was morning -- Why did people do that, anyway, assume that when they woke up it was morning? Habit, surely.
Behind him, out of reach, but not by far, were a pair of pants and a shirt. He struggled over to them, groaning at every lurching movement he had to make. Something was out in his back -- not a rare condition for him, but one that he steadfastly tried to avoid. He made it over to the clothes and struggled into them. No underwear. But he’d gone commando before. He’d done a lot of ill-advised stuff before. Obviously. You didn’t end up in a blinding white room with some girl, short any clothing, by watching the news and turning in early.
Dressed, he finally felt confident enough to go wake up the girl. He didn’t remember agreeing to anything like this, and he was sure that if he were asleep in a place like this, he’d want the only other person in the room to wake him up before they go-go. Maybe when there was only one left, the probes came out.
Shuddering, he crossed the room. It was a little easier now. Maybe the vertebra hadn’t slipped and it was just stiffness. He wasn’t young anymore, though he’d fight the label of "old" for a couple more years. He bent over and touched the girl on the shoulder. Nothing. He shook her. Nothing again. They really had done a number on her. He rolled her over to face him, and froze. Her eyes were wide open.
Dead. She’s dead.
There was no other way she could be lying like this, right? He racked his brain, but nothing came to mind. Not anything he’d googled or wikipedia’d. There was nothing like that.
Was it a door slamming? Or was it the large clack of power being cut? He didn’t know, and he didn’t care. He couldn’t remember signing up for anything like this. He hadn’t signed up for it. Simple as that. If someone were coming, slamming doors, or worse, shutting off the lights as they approached, it was time to get the fuck out of here.
But not by himself.
Bending over, he grabbed the girl. Despite the sharp pain in his back, she was not heavy. In fact, she might be a child. He hadn’t paid much attention to anything other than the fact she was dead, but the more he thought about it, maybe twelve, maybe thirteen.
He hunted for something that looked like a door. Frantic minutes. He eventually had set down the girl and run his hands over the walls, trying to find something different. Finally, he found it. A slightly raised panel in the wall. He should have seen it before, it was just the
panic in him that had kept him from seeing it. He tried prying at it with his fingers, but they were too thick to do the job. So he looked around the room for something. He started in his pockets. Then he gingerly searched the girl. Nothing. Finally, he scoured the floor, and found a slender metal strip that would have been lying under the girl. He grabbed it, and as he ran toward the door, two more slams echoed through the ... what? The room? The building? All he knew was he had to get out of this room. He shoved the piece of metal into the crease of the door and pried. The door opened inward. Sighing in relief, he turned back to grab the girl and left the room, her inert body draped over his shoulder like a sack.