The Compound

WIP, NaNoWriMo 2010. A story about a group of teens taken from their homes, and their new environment. They try to escape, and find their way home.


Bright light - the first thing I saw then I opened my eyes from what felt like the deepest of slumbers. I groaned and rubbed my eyes sleepily, blinking a few times. My eyes slowly adjusted and an unfamiliar room came into focus. “Huh..?” I mumbled, sitting up to take in my new surroundings. There were no windows, all the light came from flickering fluorescent ceiling lights. 

A brown cotton blanket scratched against my legs as I swung them off the bed. The laminate was cold under my feet, and my toes curled reflexively. Besides the blanket I was clutching around myself, everything around me was tan. And not a warm, attractive sort of beige, but a cold, dull tan… as if no one could be bothered to paint it with a real color. I spotted a door and hurried over to it, blanket trailing on the floor behind me. Twisting and turning the knob frantically with one hand, pounding on the door with the other, I realized with great dismay that I was trapped. 

“Oh my god. Where am I? What is going on?” I cried out. Tears streamed down my face, though I’m not sure if the cause was hysteria or pain from my fist. I turned and leaned against the door. The room started spinning and my eyelids suddenly felt heavy. I quickly closed them and took a deep breath, hoping to avoid passing out. “Okay. Deep breaths. You can do this, Nik.”

Slowly my breathing became more steady. I took another look around the room, tucking my bangs behind my ear. The room’s only furnishings were a bed and a small dresser. The dresser drawers opened with a creak, and I discovered some dingy clothing inside. I pulled a grey sweater over my camisole and dug around for some jeans. “Cool. Now what?” I muttered to myself, shoving my bare feet into a pair of tennis shoes.

Suddenly, a voice came from the ceiling. “Good morning, Danika. Glad to see you are settling into your new environment.”

“Who are you!? Where am I? Let me out!” I yelled back, looking up, even though I knew it was entirely futile to yell at my captors through an intercom.

The voice laughed, “Now, now, Danika. You will be released from your environment in a few minutes for your first meal. Until then, just relax.” With a click , the voice went away, and I was left alone again.

Shortly after, the door clicked open, and a funny looking creature appeared. It was half my size and was unbelievably round. I leaned forward so I could better see his… tentacles? I gasped as I noticed the strange creature had no arms or legs but instead looked very similar to an octopus - I could count six tentacles he walked on, one coming out each side (similar to arms?) and another came straight up out from his head. 

The creature muttered in a squeaky, high pitched voice. “They are waiting for you. You are the last to awaken. Come.” He stretched a tentacle out for me, beckoning me forward. I inched away from the curious thing, more scared than interested. “Come,” he repeated.

Against my better judgement, I followed the creature out into a hallway. “What are you?” I asked, knowing it was rude, but unable to stop the words from spewing out of my mouth. But the creature didn’t even pause, he just continued leading, down what felt like a never ending hallway. We turned right, and left, and walked through a large set of double doors, coming across a sight completely different from anything I had ever seen.

We were in a large room with many tables. It looked like a mess hall from the old military movies my father always made me watch with him. Rows and rows of these tables. But that wasn’t the strange or unusual part of the situation. Seated at these tables were hundreds of these creatures, nearly identical to the one that lead me. We walked through the mass of tables, until we reached a second set of doors. 

“In here. They are waiting.” His antenna pointed towards the doors. With a deep breath, I wiped my sweaty palms against my jeans, and pushed my way through.

“Ah, yes. Come to me, child.” I recognized the mysterious voice from the loudspeaker speaking to me. I slowly inched towards the darkness, towards the voice. 

“Where am I? Who are you?” I repeated my questions from earlier halfheartedly, knowing I wouldn’t get the answers I so desperately desired. 

The voice chuckled, as if it knew doing just that would aggravate me. “You are not here to ask questions. You are here to answer them. Step closer, my dear.” I followed the instructions I was given, and I must have stepped on something, because my shoes squished whatever it was to the ground, and a pungent odor overcame me. Bile rose to the back of my throat and I swallowed hard. My hand rose reflexively to cover my mouth and nose and I moaned, taking several steps backwards.

Lights flickered on, and I could see purple smear in front of me. It was such a vibrant purple, so unlike any color I had ever seen before. “Ugh. What is that?” I crouched down to the floor to get a better look.

A loud noise startled me, and I looked up just in time to the ceiling break apart. More of these purple things started falling down on me and there was a very high pitched squeal. I automatically held out my hand to catch one, and discovered that they were small creatures. Horror struck me, and I wondered if they were sentient beings. I started hyperventilating, trying to make my way backwards to the door I came in through, but the creatures were piling up all around me. “Move! Can’t you see I’m bigger than you? Run away!” I flailed my arms wildly, hoping to scare the stupid beings into scurrying away from me.

Alas, no such luck. Either they couldn’t understand me, or they just didn’t care. They started clinging to my legs, and climbing up, covering my body. With the realization that they were not friendly creatures, I had no choice. I flung them off of me the best I could, stepping towards the back of the room. I looked around, spotting a door on the opposite wall from where I came in. With a new goal in mind, I held my breath and started towards it, still beating the creatures away from me. 

The twenty foot walk to the door felt never ending. With each step, the creatures clung to me even move, and my entire lower half was covered with them. I made the mistake of catching one between my elbow and my hip, and winced as the creature popped. Lifting my arm to get a better look at the purple mass covering my elbow, creature remains slowly dripped to the floor. I tried to wipe it off with my other hand, but the remains became stickier the more I touched them. I quickly rubbed my hand on my sweater and continued towards the door.

Sheer relief flooded my body as I reached the steel door. As I twisted the knob, the creatures all disappeared from the room. My confusion was quickly pushed to the back of my mind as I realized that there were people in the room I just walked into, and they were waiting for me.

The End

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