ME-466 (PART II)

By: April Feng

You are experiment ME-466. And you are the future. The flowery handwriting looked almost like it was printed because of how neat it was, the silver ink glinting under the harsh fluorescent lights.

Maya’s head started throbbing as she began to process the information. What exactly was going on here? Sure, the laboratory she was now in looked fairly suspicious, but wasn’t it stretching it a bit too far with the outlandishly dystopian name and situation? She was supposed to be just an ordinary girl, trying to earn a living and go to college.

Shaking the thoughts from her head, she cleared her mind and began to concentrate on reading the booklet.

After dinner tonight, search for these items while there is still light, the second page read.

A bullet pointed list followed:

  • Screwdriver

  • Open compartment under the sink, find note

  • Scissors

The remaining pages were blank. Maya scratched her head. The list seemed so ordinary compared to the strange situation she was in, but there was nothing else she could do. Might as well go along with this, she sighed.

Although Maya was in the completely glass enclosure, the other side of the room still remained visible. Since there were no windows, her sense of time was completely reliant upon the old grandfather clock on the wall opposite of her enclosure. The clock’s constant ticking and gonging every hour was enough to keep her alert. After examining her surroundings a bit more carefully, Maya felt a small crack in the wall. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a small flap that could be lifted up. The opening flap seams fit exactly within the wall, making it almost impossible to spot. As Maya reached her hand inside, she felt a ridged surface. Possibly a platter or a tray of some sort? Because of the heavy duty construction work she had done as “Maya”, her fingernails were short and blunt, making it difficult to open the flap. Eventually, she managed to pry it open. Sure enough, upon lifting the tightly fitted opening flap, a platter of breakfast foods awaited her. A tall glass of creamy white milk sat on the tray, with a small bowl of oatmeal right next to it. An entire bagel was also leaning against the oatmeal bowl, with various jams and condiments placed alongside the platter.

Maya reached her hand into the small space once again, trying to figure out where the food came from. After groping around, she surmised that the small opening must have been a dumbwaiter. There was no upper surface she could feel, so there was probably a shaft on top that connected to a level above her, where the food could have been lowered down into her glass enclosure.

She thought back to the strange melodic humming sound she had heard earlier this morning, when she was washing her face at the sink. Before, she had ignored it, but now, she realized that it must have been the dumbwaiter.

Finishing her inspection of the dumbwaiter, Maya turned her attention to the platter of food that now rested upon the small nightstand next to her bed. The bagel’s aroma was filled with the enticing scent of spices and herbs, enough to make her mouth water. Finally unable to resist anymore, Maya quickly sliced off a portion of the bagel and shoved it into her mouth. The buttery richness melted in her mouth as the burst of flavors made her taste buds tingle. She suddenly realized how hungry she was. Immediately, she grabbed the small container of cream cheese that had been placed next to the bagel. She opened it, smeared it across the surface of the bagel using a spoon that had been placed there, and shoved the small bite into her mouth, all in one move. After a couple of minutes, the platter was completely clean, save for an empty glass, a bowl that looked like it had been licked clean, and a couple of littered empty condiment packages. Maya leaned back contentedly, her stomach bulging from the dramatic intake of food that had just occurred.

She placed the platter back into the dumbwaiter, then closed the tightly sealed flap once again. It was now time to deal with the booklet. Based on the information she gained, it was safe to assume that the dumbwaiter would probably send her three meals a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. According to the booklet, there would also be a “lights out” period for her to sleep. Of course, by then, maybe she would already be out of the dreadful glass enclosure. At least, she hoped. On the other hand, the food was great...maybe staying here wouldn’t be all so bad either. After a couple more hours of boredom and lounging around, the time for dinner finally came. Maya sat in anticipation, waiting for the melodic humming to come. Finally, she heard the familiar sounds and pried the small flap opening, thinking of the mouth watering food that was to come. However, as soon as she opened the dumbwaiter flap, an enormous cloud of black smoke came rushing out, filling her lungs. Maya began to cough violently and slumped down onto the floor. Then, everything went black.

A blinding flash of white light woke Maya. Somehow, she had managed to get onto the bed. Maya sat up, feeling an uncomfortable lump underneath her head. The lump turned out the be the smooth black leather booklet; it had been underneath the pillow. Strangely enough, the booklet was open, and a new page was now written in.

Day Two… it read.

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