Have you ever seen the rain?
The question hung in the air. A booming silence enveloped the room. I was trapped, but I wasn't scared. My hands were folded in my lap and I was sitting on a hard-backed chair. I could sense others around me, but I couldn't see anything, no matter how hard I tried to focus my eyes.
The voice repeated the question: Have you ever seen the rain?
This time a chill carressed my skin, raising goosebumps on my arms, and sank into my bones. I shivered. My breath was caught in my throat for a moment, but I swallowed the panic. Emotions were warring within me; calm and collected to frantic and panicy.
There was another voice. It was small and shaky; it sounded a few feet away from my seat to the left. "I have."
Fool! The voice boomed.
There was a thud! from the direction the second voice had come from. A heartbeat later, everything was eerily still. I didn't dare to move, not that I could anyways. I could hear the fear of the others around me. I wasn't sure how many of us there were, but I guessed about fifteen total. All of us stayed perfectly still, still as a statue. The only sound in the room was the rush of fear pulsing through the group.
An inmesurable amount of time passed. Then the voice came back, but it wasn't as big, as booming. "It is time you all learned what you were brought here for. Though none of you remember how you got here, know that it was necessary for your own protection. Please rise."
We all rose mechanically from the seat we had been in, even though we were still blinded. There was the sound of air moving silently from behind me. I guessed that the chair I had just risen from had now vanished.
The not-so-booming voice returned. "You will be allowed one hour to get to know each other. Use it well."
As the last echos of the voice died away, my sight was suddenly returned to me. I blinked hard, my eyes burning from dryness. It was another few minutes before my eyes adjusted to the pristine white that shone all around. I glanced around the group I had been left with. I had been right; there were now fourteen of us there, with an almost even split between men and women.
I turned to the man next to me and stuck out my hand for him to shake. Before I could say anything, he took my hand and raised it to his lips. His actions caught me off gaurd and my greeting stuck in my throat. "How do you do?" he asked.
"I am slightly shaken, but overall I feel fine. How about yourself?" I asked. We were the only ones talking. The rest were afriad to speak or couldn't find their voices yet. We continued our conversation, getting to know each other as we had been instructed to do. Slowly the rest of the group began to warm up to each other. Being the social butterfly I am, I knew everyone within the first hour and could list their jobs, current place of residence, relationship status, and one interesting thing about all of them by the time limit.
The voice was back, the only indication that an hour had passed; although it could have been one or four and the group wouldn't have known the difference. "Please split into partners."
The first man I had talked to offered me his arm, a true gentleman at heart. I graciously took his arm and watch the others get into pairs. There was a mix of coed pairs and same sex pairs.
We had been walking and had drifted a slight ways from the group. At least far enough to ensure we could not be over heard. Keeping his posture exactly as before, his tone took on a confidential tone. "Do you see that pair of little ones? The two women who look only fifteen but are actually almost thirty? They won't last long. Their conceited and annoying. Their IQs cannot possibly be high enough for the tests we are going to have to take. And them over there? The man and woman who are chatting as if on a date? They're going to be real competition. But I know they won't be a match for us."
"You sure know quite a bit about what it is we're supposed to be doing here." I pointed out.
A cocky, side smile spread across his face. "I listen. The walls talk."