This place… There was something not right about it. It looked like home; everything was where it should be, but the stillness… It was eerie. Nothing moved, even the wind seemed still. I pushed the covers off of my body and slowly, one leg then the other; I placed my feet on the floor. Something was definitely not right, every pore in my body knew it, yet I could not place what it was. As recollection seeped in, I rapidly felt my arms and shoulders and found nothing, no wounds, no bruises, no scars, no pain.
It’s over, I thought… I am home now. I stood up and without consciously meaning to my feet started moving, running, out of my bedroom, out into the corridor, towards the door leading out. As I feared, the corridor elongated. The door seemed to move further and further away. I tried to scream, nothing came out, my throat and mouth were dry with the fear of knowing. I heard a loud noise behind my back that came with a dull pressure so strong it pushed me forward. I stretched out my hands as I staggered and fell forward, trying to push myself just a little closer to the door, even though I knew there really was no door.
I hit the floor and then darkness…
When I came to everyone else was still there, in that big metal room, empty but for the presence of us 15 people. We were 23 when they first brought us here all those… days? Weeks? Months ago? We couldn’t even tell how much time had passed anymore. Those things did their best to disconnect us from any sort of grounding, we never knew what would happen and when. We didn’t know who would be taken, when, where or even by what means.
We had seen three fingered hands reach out from above and grab at us until they caught one and took them up to certain death, we were convinced. We had seen the metal floor shift and turn to some sort of metallic quicksand and suck us down until they had another one of us, there had been thick vines slithering from the edges of the walls grabbing us by the feet and dragging yet another one of us away. These things sure were creative in their sick little game.
They got me by having what seemed like little robotic bird-like creatures fly me out through the roof. At least it seemed to me that I passed through the roof, I must have, for their cold little razor shape talons sunk into the flesh of my shoulders and arms as they flew me up, took me up towards the roof and as I screamed and tried to wiggle myself free but every time I moved, the pain. We got to the wall and went through it. They flew me up, I felt the wind hit my face and I struggled to breath. They were taking me somewhere, I saw a wall fence ahead of us, we flew over it and they took me down.
It was all thick forest, had it been another day I would have been dazed at the unearthly beauty of it. I had never seen trees that thick, had it been another day I would have questioned why the sky had 2 suns that cast an orange hue over the place…
The little birds released their talons about 3 metres to the ground. I hit it hard. It took me a minute to ascertain that I was in running condition, I got up and ran, ran until my legs gave out. As I let myself fall and lay on the ground sure that this was death, between quick painful breaths, I realised that the tiny robotic birds weren’t there anymore. I was still thinking what this meant when I took a good look at the wall fence, it was impossibly high and fall steeply towards the bottom. There was no way any of them could climb out of there even if they did manage to escape their square metal prison. Then I heard barking and turned sharply towards the sound. I could hardly believe it but I saw 4 men and a dog approaching, I screamed to them for help. They cautiously approached me and hurried when they saw I was injured. “Christ” One of them shouted, “what happened to you man?” Aliens, I said. They looked at me the way I would have looked at someone had they made such a claim. “It’s alright brother”, another one of them said, “we’ll fix you up and take you home”.
“Then I woke up in my home, but it wasn’t really my home, I promise you that’s what happened.” I said as looked up at my fellow cellmates, Christopher didn’t believe me, I could tell, and the words he said next proved it.
“But why bring you back? What about the others? None of them ever came back John, why is that?
I honestly cannot give you an answer; I have told you all I know.
Ok, but you have to give us something more. You can’t expect us to accept you back after all we have been through and seen here, we all saw how those birds hurt you, where are your wounds? You don’t even have scars!”
He said it like an accusation for it was an accusation.
“Christopher truly, I don’t know what happened or what they did to me. All I know is that I am me, the same John who was abducted while on his evening run, nothing has changed.
We’ll just have to see about that now won’t we? But I wouldn’t worry too much about that, we always see things here”
With that Christopher moved to his corner and sat there watching me suspiciously. The rest said nothing. Marta was still lying on the floor in foetal position as she did every day since her husband was taken. She spoke to no one, only got up to eat the 2 meals those things fed us daily and to run when the picking begun, then resumed her foetal position.This time she watched me too, I could not tell what that look in her eyes was though.
Some of us did refuse to eat in the beginning but we quickly discovered that we needed the energy to run or eventually, if it ever comes, to fight.
These things that I called aliens, they seemed like shadows, formless. Of course none of us had seen one of them, until that one day one of them came in and personally picked one of us, it was Marta’s husband, Henry. Her screams still pierce my ears sometimes, we tried to fight but how do you fight a shadow? After our blows went through it all we could do is hold Marta back as the creature’s dark gaze filled us with terror; it had some sort of torch-like machinery it shined on us until it settled on Henry. It was fast, so fast that only when dragging him away did we see that it had a weapon it used to capture him, it wrapped him in a web-like material. It made sense, if we couldn’t touch it, it couldn’t touch us.