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Beep beep! Beep beep!

By: Ann Zhao

Beep beep! Beep beep! I flail my arm to my nightstand next to my bed and shut off my alarm clock. I sit up groggily and rub my eyes. I hear the soft, muffled sounds of raindrops pattering on my window. It’s 6:00 A.M. on a dingy Tuesday. With my eyes half-open and my mind half-asleep, I briefly review the contents of my day in my head. Catch the bus by 6:45, a project due in the second period, and band practice after school. Swinging my legs to the side of my bed, I rise to my feet and trudge sluggishly to my bathroom down the hall. The light in the bathroom is still turned on but the door is closed. That’s weird, I think to myself. I live with only my mom, who I know for a fact has left for work already because I heard the garage door close. Cautiously, I open the door.

I expected to see the cramped space, with the toilet and the shower on the right side of the room and the sink on the left. However, I am greeted by the sight of dull yellow walls and floors that seemed almost maze-like in placement. The previously cramped bathroom appears to have transformed into an open yet eerily empty room and the toilet, sink, and shower are all gone. Confused, I took a step further into the room, making sure I wasn’t dreaming. The strong, humid smell of mildew and mold hit me instantly and I instinctively reach my hand up to cover my nose. I look up and see a low, tiled ceiling with occasional lights in the same square shape disrupting the pattern. A constant, low buzzing noise emanates from the lights, similar to that of an old PC monitor. Somewhat disoriented and alarmed, I turn around to reach for the door.

There is no door. My hand smacks into the flat, dry, yellow wall where the door used to be. The horrible realization hits me, and I feel my legs give away as I fall to the floor.

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