Author's Note: This is the beginning to a novel that I am currently writing. I would greatly appreciate it if some of you would give me some feedback on how it is so far.
A bright white light shines on my face, bringing me to reality. I open my eyes, which feel like they are glued shut and I'm forced to squint until my eyes adjust themselves. A click tells me that whoever was holding the light turned it off, but the brightness is still sinking through my eyelids. I wiggle my toes and fingers, which are numb with sleep.
When my eyes can finally open, I prop myself up on my elbows to see where I am, but I find myself face to face with an older woman dressed in a white lab coat with a tag that says her name is Marlene. Her face is soft and caring, and she has laugh lines on her cheeks and at the corner of her eyes. She wears blue rubber gloves on both hands, one holding an empty syringe, the other resting at her side. I look down at myself, and see that I'm in a hospital-type gown.
"Do you know who you are?" Marlene asks me in a sweet voice.
I think about it for a little while, racking my brain for any trace of who I am, and finally shake my head. "No actually, I don't . . . Why don't I know who I am?" I question, my voice quickening as I speak.
"Whoa there, slow down," Marlene chuckles. "You don't remember that because we gave everyone who survived an injection which made the human brain forget all it knew that was personal, historical, and things having to do with the old lifestyle, while keeping all general knowledge like Math, Science, English, and basic functions like eating or going to the bathroom."
"Survived!? What do you mean survived! Survived what?"
"I'm afraid I can't tell you that right now." She tells me, standing up and walking towards a door at the other side of the room. She opens the door and what I expect to be a hallway is actually a built in refrigerator. "What would you like?"
"Err, you pick. I don't remember what I like," I say, almost spitting out the word remember.
Marlene searches the fridge, and grabs out a bag of bagels, a case of meat, a bottle of mustard and a slice of cheese. She swiftly takes a bagel and pulls it apart, smears on the mustard, carefully places the meat, puts the slice of cheese on top of it and tops it off with the other half of the bagel. She pulls a napkin out of a pocket, puts the sandwich on it and carries it to my side. "It's turkey, if you don't like it, too bad, you have to eat something and there's nothing else," she tells me, putting it on my lap. "I'm going to get you a glass of water," she says, making her way to the same wall that has the fridge on it. She presses a spot on the wall and it opens, revealing a padlock. She puts in a code, hits enter and steps away from the wall. I look around expecting a door to appear somewhere, but nothing does. Instead, tiles in the floor just in front of where the padlock is slide into the wall, revealing a staircase. Turning to face me, Marlene smiles and
descends into the floor, the tiles clicking back into place once she is gone.
I have already finished my turkey bagel, which was delicious, considering who knows when the last time I ate was. Now I stand in the middle of the all white room, pacing. There is no clock in the room, but I estimate Marlene has been gone for about 5 minutes. I sit back onto the bed and look around for a mirror, but I don't find one. I lift my hands to my head, and find that my hair is in a tight bun on the back of my head.
The tile on the floor where Marlene had left starts to slide back open; the echoing of approaching footsteps on the metal staircase fills my ears. Marlene steps into the room, and when she moves aside I see that she isn't alone.
Next to her now stands a boy who looks to be about eighteen. He stands tall, his toned arms resting lazily at his sides. He has cherry blonde hair cut so it stops near the top of his forehead, and his emerald eyes are piercing. He wears dark distressed jeans and a tight gray shirt that defines his muscles.
"This is your guide, Jace," Marlene informs me. "He will help you as you get used to it here. His job is to show you around, teach you how your life here will work and keep you out of harm's way. He'll be with you for a few months, until you can fend for yourself in your new surroundings."
I look Jace up and down. He may be intimidating, but there's no denying that he is very attractive. Butterflies started flying around my stomach at the thought of spending all day with Jace for a few months. I quickly take my eyes off him in fear that he knew I was examining him.
"Make sure at 5 o'clock you bring her up to the twentieth level, Jace," Marlene reminds him. "That should give you guys about two hours."
"Sounds good," he says. His voice is deep, making him even more intimidating yet attractive.
Marlene turns on her heel and retypes the code into the padlock so that she can go back to wherever the stairs lead.
"Uh, Marlene?" I stammer. "Where exactly do those stairs lead?" This was the first time I had talked since Jace came up, and I felt out of place.
"To Commons A, there are about 5,000 other rooms identical to yours that are attached to Commons A. Also, there's a food court, arcade and pools, all that good stuff." She says to me with a smile.
"Thanks," I say.
Marlene turns and presses enter, and once again the tile in the floor slides back open. Marlene gives Jace and me a nod before she leaves us alone.
Once she has descended and the tile is back in place, Jace strides over to my bed and sits next to me. He folds his hands together in his lap and looks me straight in the eye, making my heart skip a beat. "What do you want to know?" He asks, his face softening.
I suddenly become very self conscious about being this close to someone like Jace. I could feel the heat coming off his body, and I just want to cuddle with him, despite that I?ve only just been introduced to him. I avoid his gaze and look down, pretending to be interested in my finger nails. He clears his throat, and I'm forced to look back up at him. "Well . . . Everything. Why am I here? Where are we? What's on floor twenty?" I begin to list off just a few of the questions that I have.
He sighs heavily, and I can tell he has little patience. "I can only explain certain things to you, other information you will be taught by your history professors once you are sorted into your clans, which are based off of your personality. As of right now, there are six different clans; Phoebeous, Zamous, Mexous, Karamous, Insamous, and Agamous, however, more clans can be made under circumstance. In each clan, there will be roughly 3,000 other people who have similar personalities. We do this to ensure there is less violence, we can't afford to lose more people then we already have."
"As for where you are and why you're here, we're in Taide, the capital of Naura. 8 years ago the world underwent a meteor shower. There were thousands of meteors, some as small as your bed, some as huge as Australia, hurled toward Earth. It was all within a 24 hour time, so no one was prepared. The meteors took out every place, except for the state of Wyoming. There were about 30,000 people who survived, but nearly 8,000 starved until death or were attacked by animals. After everyone still alive was gathered in a general place, a scientist created an injection that would put a person to sleep for about 6 years and wipe the brain's memory, which would give us time to fix up any damage and draft a new government plan."
My head felt like it was going to explode from trying to interpret all of this information after being awake for less than an hour. I lie back on the bed and cover my eyes with my palms, which were sweating, to keep the room from spinning.
"I know it's a lot, but you'll learn it in depth once you start up your schooling. They can make it understandable," Jace tells me, standing up from the bed. "I'll go get you a glass of water, you look dehydrated. You should try and rest."
"Thanks," I say, sliding myself up the bed so that my head was on the plump white pillow. The last thing I see is Jace heading down to the Commons, and then I shut my eyes awaiting sleep to take me away.