The Village | Teen Ink

The Village

May 18, 2021
By eNVythe1 GOLD, Temecula, California
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eNVythe1 GOLD, Temecula, California
15 articles 3 photos 17 comments

Author's note:


“Hello? Are you awake, Newcomer?”, some light voice spoke.

"This always happens, Mary. They get sent in here and it takes hours for them to wake up!", said another, more masculine voice.

The voice named Mary spoke once more,“Liam, I have to at least try! I can’t just let her sit here! It’s almost night time.” 

“Wait, I think she's waking up!” Liam exclaimed.

“Umm... Hello?”, I say in a dazed state of confusion,”Where am I? Who are you?” I struggle to open my eyes and it’s all a blur. I see the figure of two people, seemingly kids… Maybe the same age as me.

“Oh, wow! Her eyes are so pretty! Aren’t they, Liam?.... Liam? Oh, Liam… He’s probably gone off to bed. Anyways you are in our village! Brought to us by-” , Mary paused.

“Umm... by what?” I ask nervously. I try to sit up on the wooden table beneath me.

“Well, I actually don't know… all I remember is waking up here after seeing a bunch of freaky scientists.”

“Uhh- You don’t think that’s a little weird? Scientists? Again, where am I? This is so confusing. Wh-Where is my family? Do I even have one? Oh, gosh.” I stuttered.

“Shhh… somethings coming!” She quickly whispers to me.

At that exact moment a shadowy figure pops into view and comes running at us. I get an intense feeling of sadness as it comes closer.

“Shhh.. It’s blind...”, the girl whispers again after backing us up underneath the table.

I peek out from under the table to try and see what it was, and all I see is particles sweeping through the air, as if nothing was there.I look back at the lady in confusion. She puts her finger up to her mouth again. She looks at me with the most stern look and I see a tear fall out of her eye. At that same moment, a tear slides down my cheek. I start to think of my family. How I don’t remember them… After maybe five minutes of silent sadness, I start to feel better.

“Mary, what was that?” I say in disbelief of what I was just put through.

“It was Triste Prodigium, the sadness monster. We’re in a house right now so it wasn’t that bad. These monsters give off emotions. Some are really intense and some are weaker. It all depends on if we’re in a house or a mansion.” Mary struggled to explain.

“Wait...Emotion monsters?? Okay, where in the world-”

Mary cut me off, “Villa Animo is where we live. Some people have crazy theories that we’re in a lab or some crazy stuff like that. I just believe that we live here because it’s destiny… It’s a way of life I guess. And we’re your family now!” 


“Wait but you said it yourself,  you remember seeing scientists before getting here so maybe this is an experiment.”

“Well, I think of them as… heavenly peoples. Maybe they’re just trying to teach us? Plus, everyone has seen the scientists… they’ve never hurt us!” Mary stammered.

“We should probably get going before the monster comes back.” Mary states with a quick glance at the doorway.

“Where are we going?” I ask a little nervously

“We’re heading to bed. It’s the house where we all sleep. There is a Vreedsame there so it’s a perfect place to rest.” Mary spoke as she led me out of the house I came from. We then emerged onto a street. It was too dark to see anything, but I could make out the outlines of houses. I assumed they might be the emotion mansions Mary mentioned. We walked down a paved street, lost in the silence.

“I forgot to ask,” I finally spoke, “what’s a Vreedsame anyway?”

“The peace monster. It makes us feel safe.”

“Are Vreedsames like protectors when it comes to monsters?”

“Not really, more like peace makers.”

“Wow… how many ‘good monsters’ are there?”

“There are more ‘bad’ monsters here. We just do what we’re told I guess.”

“‘What we’re told’?”

“Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you! We have a schedule… a schedule that tells us which houses or mansions to go to at different times of the day.”

“Okay... and you still think that the people telling us what to do are just guardian angels or something because they never hurt anyone?” I say incredulously.

“Well.. I-... I can believe whatever I want to believe! I choose not to think that they’re evil! Some people do… but I don’t care!” Mary shouted as she started walking quicker.

I stayed silent. I knew I had gone too far.

“I’m sorry for yelling. Hurry inside.” Mary opened the door and gestured inside a separate house.

I walked inside what seemed to be a cabin. There were 11 kids that all seemed about my age sleeping in bunk beds.

“Welcome to the Big House. This is where we all go when we finish our schedule.”,Mary said waving her hand around the room, “This is your bed right here. It's not much but it's still better than sleeping on the ground.” Mary pointed to a bed that kinda looked like something you'd see in an army boot camp.

“Oh! And one more thing, here's your schedule for now” Mary handed me a clipboard.

I looked it over. The schedule was really specific. I looked up at Mary in confusion.

“Something wrong?” She asked, worried.

I began to read off the schedule, hoping she would understand, “7:00 - Wake up. 7:30 - eat breakfast in Masaya mansion. 8:00 - Go to Herrgård mansion. 9:30 - Take a break at Big House. 10:00 - Go back to Herrgård mansion.” I looked up at Mary.

“So?” She shrugged.

“So!” I repeated, “It sounds like this thing controls your entire life! Do you guys decide things for yourself at all?!”


“When?” I asked, skeptical.

“I… um...” She paused, searching for an answer, “I don’t need to explain it to you, newcomer! I’m going to bed now, see you in the morning!” She stomped off.

“Fine, good night. And stop calling me ‘newcomer,’ my name is Mickie!” I yell as she leaves.

“Will you two keep it down! Some of us are trying to sleep!” A voice said from the bunk bed somewhere close by. I couldn’t see who it was but it sounded like a boy.

“Sorry!” I whispered back. I crawled under the covers of my bed. I had no idea what was going on in this place, and now the first person I met is mad at me. I pulled the covers over my head, turmoiled, when I suddenly grew very peaceful. I heard something behind me, and I realized it must be the Vreedsame that Mary mentioned. I felt so calm that I didn’t turn around to look at it, I wasn’t nervous that there was a monster behind me. Instead I closed my eyes, and soon fell fast asleep, hoping I’d wake up and realize this was all a bad dream.

“Hey, newcomer, wake up! It’s 7 o’clock!” A familiar boy’s voice said.

“Wha-?” I opened my eyes to see a boy around my age standing over me. I didn’t know who he was, but half of me secretly hoped he was my brother that I didn't remember.

“See? This is why you shouldn’t stay up so late, you're not ready for the morning. Now get up!” He tugged my arm off the bed, in an attempt to get me on my feet.

I opened my eyes to see if it was really my room this time, but no. I saw a large room lined with bunk beds. Besides the boy attempting to wake me up, there were 11 other kids crawling out of their beds. On the other side of the room, I saw Mary talking to another girl. She glanced in my direction and looked away, probably still mad about the night before. I looked back at the human alarm clock and realized he was the one who told me to be quiet last night.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Oh, right, I’m Noah.” He turned and pointed to the girl Mary was speaking too, “That’s Emma,” he pointed to other kids, “Liam, Olivia, Isabella, Charlotte, Jack, Chloe, Jason, John, Ava, and Mary. And you are, newcomer?”

“Mickie, it’s Mickie.” My eyes locked with Mary’s once more.

Noah noticed me and Mary staring at each other and cut in, “Oh, don’t worry about her. Mary’s annoying and weird, but mostly harmless.”

“Well that’s rude.” I defended her.

“She is, trust me, she thinks that the scientists are angelic people sent to protect us.” He rolled his eyes, “Take my advice and just ignore her, it makes life a lot more pleasant.”

“Ok guys!” I was about to snap at Noah but then the one named Jason called for everyone's attention, “We need to head out to the Masaya mansion now, but be sure to welcome the newcomer Mickie.” He gestured to me before turning and walking toward the door, Mary following.

I stood up and started walking towards the door, everyone was welcoming me as “newcomer” despite already knowing my name. I rolled my eyes, this habit of theirs is getting quite annoying.

“Everyone! To Masaya Mansion to eat!”, spoke one of the older kids. “Masaya Mansion?” I thought to myself.

Noah noted my confused look as we walked out, “ It’s where we eat, Mickie. There’s another Vreedsame there but it just has less power. So we don’t fall asleep while we eat.” He chuckled. I smiled and noticed that he was the first one so far to call me by my name.

During the day, I could get a better look at the cabin I was sleeping in. There were 6 bunk beds and one normal bed. They all seemed pretty old compared to the ages of the people sleeping in them. I was about 13 years old and everyone else seemed to be close to my age.

As we left the house, I broke into a jog, “Mary! Wait up!” I exclaimed.

At her sides stood two girls Noah called Emma and Charlotte. Charlotte waved happily but Emma just looked the other way.

“Hello newcomer! I’m Charlotte!”

“It’s Mickie,” I looked back at Mary, “I’m sorry for snapping at you last night Mary. I was just freaked out with all this.” I gestured to our surroundings.

Emma spoke up, “Leave Mary alone-”

“It’s ok Emma.” Mary interrupted, “I forgive you newcomer, it is scary coming here for the first time… But you’ll get used to it. Friends?” She held out her hand.

I shook it back, “Friends.” Charlotte clapped her hands in excitement.

At that moment, the boys named Jack and John ran up, “C’mon girls! You're gonna miss breakfast!” John teased.

And with that, we all left for the Masaya Mansion.

“Alrighty! Here’s your first mansion for today.” Jason said as he led me on to a large building, after we ate. The building towered over my head, and just being near it gave me an eerie vibe. The shutters were half falling off and there were no glass windows, just curtains. Cold wafts of dusty air seemed to blow out of the front door, even though there was no wind outside. The walls of wood on the outside of the mansion were tearing apart.

“Th-This is where I go?” I nervously inquired. Jason nodded. My heart seemed to pound out of my chest and goosebumps formed on my skin. “Why? This is the first place on my schedule and it looks so… so…-”

“Depressing? Yeah, this is the Herrgård mansion. There’s a really bad monster in there. But you’ll get used to it.“Jason cut me off. He shuffled his feet around while I analyzed the building.

“Wha-what do you mean by really bad?”I asked.

“Well… err. I’m not supposed to tell you. You just have to figure it out.” Jason gave a sort of ‘Welp I can’t do anything now so go on’ face. I looked at the building once more and took a few steps closer. It was like a wave hit me. After the second step, I felt empty inside, it was like I had no reason to be alive and I couldn't bear that fact.

Jason made a shoving motion as if to say go in. The moment I walk in I see a figure standing in the hallway. Just the sight of it made me feel depressed. The monster must have sensed something because it instantly rushed at me, but it disappeared right before colliding with me. At the same moment the hallway I was in changed into a living room with nothing but a single noose hanging from a fan. 

The noose seemed to be beckoning me like an old friend would, it felt comforting as if it was saying come here, I won't hurt you. Slip your head in and after a little while all your pain will go away. As I was about to kick the chair and allow the noose to take it from there I saw an image of a group of people who looked familiar mourning over a grave with my name on it.

The thought that this simple action could hurt those people that much, made me feel so guilty that I yanked my head out of the noose almost falling off the chair and ran out the living room desperately looking for an exit. 

Just as I reach the door I feel a cold hand grip my arm and feel a wave of depression hit me. The hand seemed to be pulling my back into the house but when I look behind me all I see is a black whole with a single noose still beckoning.

Just being pulled back into the black void a hand reached out and yanked me out of the house.

“You spent too long in there! You’re only supposed to take an hour! We’ve been over this, Newcomer!” Mary exclaimed. 

“For the last time, my name is Mickie.” ,I say in a dazed state still trying to recover from what just happened, “and do you really think I wanted to be there?”

“You’re supposed to have your alarm set! Where’s your watch? Wh-Where is it?”

“I never got a watch. Why do you all want to get upset at me for not knowing how this place is ran and then not give nor tell me anything?!?” I scream getting frustrated

“Sorry… Hold on one second.” She put her hand in front of me, “JASON! GET OVER HERE!”

“Y-yes, Mary?” Jason ran over as quickly as possible.

“You didn’t give her a watch! What are you doing? We’ve been over this!” Mary yelled louder than ever. I giggled because now I wasn’t the one getting yelled at. Jason shot a ‘seriously?’ look at me and continued into our sleeping cabin for my watch.

“So are you guys like the main people who help new people?” I ask Mary

“Yup. Jason always forgets to give the new people their equipment so it's mostly me who helps newcomers like you.” Mary replied

“Oh, okay… hey Mary, can I talk to you about something?”

“Mhm, what is it?” 

“Umm... when I was in the mansion I saw a group of people who looked very familiar… do you think that might have been my family”

“Oh dear… See, those monsters can put things in your head. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. That mansion has made all of us see things…” She paused for a moment, “Horrible things.”

“But why would it keep me from suicide by showing me that?”, I asked a little confused,”Wouldn't a monster who gives you depression want you to kill your self?”

“Maybe the angels were protecting you from the monster.” Mary siad,” I don't know... This is all confusing, do you really care?”

“Yes, Mary, I do care and since you're supposed to help newcomers, maybe you can help me figure this out.” 

“Fine, meet me outside of the ‘Big House’ once everyones asleep… I have something to show you”


“You're not part of some cult about to sacrifice me to your angels right?” I say teasingly

Mary rolled her eyes,”No, I'm not gonna sacrifice you to angels."

After everyone was asleep I snuck out of bed and put on a jacket. Mary was waiting outside with her friends Emma and Charlotte. 

“Hey Mickie!'' Charlotte loudly whispered. Emma looked more tired than usual. She almost seemed to be dizzy. Mary and Charlotte both had a very welcoming smile.

“What's up with Emma?” I ask

“Oh, don’t worry about her, Mickie. She had a rough schedule yesterday.” Mary answered me a little nervously. I assumed she was just antsy to get me to this ‘surprise’.

“Oh,what did you go through? I had to go to the depression mansion.” I tried to ask Emma to see if she would talk.

“Nun ya, quit asking stupid questions newcomer.” Emma said in a stone cold voice.

I was shocked that she was so mean towards me. I wondered to myself, “How is she friends with Charlotte and Mary with that attitude?” It was an awkward silence between me and Emma for a while. After about five minutes of quiet and death-stares, Mary chimed in out of nowhere, “Well! We should probably head right?” She gave a bright smile. Charlotte smiled but she also had a hint of fear and worry in her expression. I took note of that and we all started walking towards the ‘surprise’.


When we got to the “surprise” I saw a giant statue with an angel holding a baby, and what looked to be an abandoned church. At that moment, I knew what Mary was trying to do. “Mary, I said I didn’t bel-”

She cut me off, “Shh… Believing helps you cope with the pain. It keeps us all from thinking that this is a never-ending hall of sadness and despair. Besides, you haven’t seen what we do yet!”

“Okay but if you do anything freaky... I'm out of here.”

“Uhh… yeah. Nothing freaky of course.” Charlotte added. Emma still looked drowsy. I even got a little tired. I looked at my watch and it was 2:45.

“Hey, um... can we do this tomorrow? It's kinda late...”, I ask, getting freaked out by how everyone was acting.

“No way!”,Mary shouts,”This stuff can only be done at night.”

“Oh… are you sure this will help me figure out who those people were?”

“Just shut up and go with it!” Emma says, clearly getting annoyed with my hesitation. Another great pause of silence.

“Fine, fine I’ll go” I give in trying not to make Emma any more mad. Mary looked at both of us very gravely and gave a quick smile. I noticed she wasn’t wearing her watch. Neither was Charlotte. Emma and I were wearing ours. 

Mary led all of us to a shrine. In big, bold, red letters wrote, “Mendacium”.


“What's ‘Mendacium’?”I ask

“Our religion, when the angels spoke to us they told us to call our religion Mendacium”


I rolled my eyes as she said ‘The Angels’ again. “Mary… If you only brought me here for this, I don’t wanna be a part of it.”

“Oh no no no… Sweetie, I brought you here so you could see what we do! I was sure you had a lot of questions, right!” Mary nodded to Emma and Charlotte, looking for them to agree. They both “Yep”-ed at the same time. I looked at my watch, 2:55 am. “I’ll stay here until 3.” I thought to myself. Half of me was telling myself that this wasn’t right, but the other half was telling me that I should try to see what she sees in this.

After a long walk we made it to a room that looked somewhat like what you would see in a church. 

“This is where we do our prayers,” Mary explained,”Emma, would you like to start us off?”



“Okay then let us begin”

“We are here tonight, to appreciate how we live. We are here to appreciate that we are still living, and have certain luxuries like a place to sleep.” Emma said in a booming voice. The three girls arranged themselves in a circle in front of me, leaving a space for me to sit. Mary suddenly got up, “I need to go get something really quick… Wait here girls.” I nodded. I looked back down at the ground. I kneeled down as the other two did the same. I looked at my watch again, 2:58 am. It felt like this was taking forever. 

Mary hurried back with a candle and a weird-looking statue. The statue had wax poured on it’s head seemingly… The wax was red. The candle was red. It was pretty weird.  

Mary grabbed a match and lit the candle. She grabbed Emma’s and Charlotte’s hand. Emma reluctantly reached for my hand and so did Charlotte.

“We need to baptise you” Mary said in a matter of fact voice

“Wait, I never said that I want to join this.” I said quickly.

“Don’t worry, Mickie.” Charlotte added, “You don’t have to join us… We’re just showing you what we do.” She nodded to Mary for her to agree.

“Yes… Yes, sorry I know this is a lot. We won’t baptise you now…”

Emma quickly let go of my hand. Mary kneeled down and positioned the statue in the center of our circle. Mary began to speak a foreign language that I didn’t know, “Sanctus agimus, virtutem habemus etiam nova sunt orationes nostrae. Nescio si non manebo.”

“What is she saying?” I whisper to Charlotte. She quickly shushes me. I look at Mary’s hands and she is moving them to make different shapes… “Is this some Muslim stuff?” Emma starts to do the same. Charlotte adds in. I feel a little left out… as well as creeped out by what was happening. “Gratias tibi. O, quid vis? Ad sacrificium? Oms? Emma?” Emma glanced at Mary. Mary tried to keep a calm face.

 “They say they appreciate how you’ve acted, Emma.” 

“Oh, wow…” Emma smiled. I had a feeling that Emma didn’t know what Mary was talking about either. “‘Sacrificium’? That doesn’t sound like appreciation.” I thought.

“So what did Emma do?”I ask with mock curiosity.

“She was-excuse me- is the most devout out of all of us” Mary explained.

“Uh… ok..” I say in the most boring tone. I knew something was up. I looked back at my watch, 3:03. “Hey girls… um I have to go. I don’t want to miss too much sleep, you know?” I giggle nervously. 

“Oh, yeah that’s fine, we should get going too… but a little later.” Mary said.

As I walk out I start hearing Mary and Charlotte chant, And then a scream from who I assume was Emma. After waiting a while, I started to run when someone grabbed me and put a hand over my mouth. The person took me behind a pillar.

“Shhh, relax it's me Liam.”

Baffled, I say, “What- What…. Huh? What are you doing here? What are they doing? Are you in on this?”

“No! I promise I’m not in on this… But Emma’s my friend. We were talking and I thought something creepy was going on and I decided to check it out. Then I noticed you were here too… We have to save her.”

“Uh- Ok… Alright, fine.” I was reluctant to go back there.

We peeked out from the pillar, only to see nothing there. “They couldn’t have gone that far.” Liam said.

“Wait what are we saving Emma from?” I ask

“Well… Mary and Charlotte have this religious thing… That you know about now of course. And well… Emma was part of that for a while, but she was being treated as an outcast. I was part of Mendacium too, until I kinda got creeped out and I followed Emma. A lot of other people left Mary too… to follow Emma. Mary got angry of course but she waited. She waited until Emma decided to come back. And now that she’s back, as you may have heard from Mary herself, Emma will be getting sacrificed.”

I stood there, speechless. “I was right.” I thought, “They were up to something.”


“I’m with you.” I spoke after 30 seconds of astonishment. 

“So, explain again what's happening?” I ask Liam as we walk farther into the church building.

“Basically Emma left Mary’s cult and Mary treated her like an outcast, completely abandoning her until Emma rejoined. Now Mary is going to sacrifice Emma in order to get rid of a threat to her cult. Trust me if any of the other ex-cult members re-joined they would be sacrificed too… it's the only reason they aren’t rejoining,” Liam sighs,” I've done everything to convince them not to return to the cult but there are still some people who are going to… Anyways we need to save Emma. I can't lose another friend in this dump that we call a village.”

“Alright… Emma always seemed a little unfriendly to me but I’ll help you.”


“Thanks.” Liam smiled. At that, we rushed towards the back of the church, searching desperately for Emma. We decided to split up to cover more area. I set off for the left, Liam set off for the right. I walked for about 5 minutes, until I heard a distant scream. I knew it was Emma’s… but I didn’t know if we were too late.

While searching for Emma, I stumbled into an eerie room full of writing on the walls.I looked around the room I was in. I hear muffled screaming and see Emma farther down the room. The longer I stared at Emma, the farther away she seemed to be. It almost seemed to turn into a hallway. Emma is in some sort of chair, that I was sure was used for torturing people. Or… sacrificing. I start to walk down the dark and eerie hallway when a pounding headache begins to boil. I closed my eyes in pain and started to hold my head. I almost felt that my brain was going to explode. I opened my eyes and everything was blurry. The colors in the room are blending together and I can barely read the words on the walls anymore. I looked down at my hands and they were warped and I could barely make out which finger was which. I tried to walk closer but all of a sudden I fell through the floor, I feel like Alice going down the rabbit whole. 

I landed at the bottom of the tunnel with a thud. Everything started to ache and hurt. I felt like I was going blind as well as getting old. I struggled to get up and a few feet before me, I saw Liam. Behind him, was Mary and Charlotte. I started to say, “Liam, lookout!” but something in the way he was watching me… Something was off. 

“I’m sorry, Mickie, but it's for the greater good.”  

“Wha-what do you mean?” I struggle to speak, as my throat starts to hurt. I look down at the floor… there’s blood everywhere.... But it’s cold. I know they didn’t kill Emma yet. I still have time.

“Mickie… You should’ve just joined us… It would be so much easier to kill you then.” Mary cackled.

I started to tear up… What in the world was happening? What even was this place? I glanced back  up at Liam… I felt horrible because I truly thought he was my friend… Or at least trying to help. After staring at them in disbelief, I notice something shuffling in the shadows behind them. It steps into the flickering lamp light above… It’s a monster. I noticed that the monster must’ve been giving me the headache. I look at it straight in the eyes… My head starts to pound even worse… but I keep looking. The monster suddenly backs up in the shadows, making some sort of demented whimpering sound. I can tell… that by me looking at it… or whatever I did… It somehow must’ve felt what I felt. Or worse. 

Mary, Liam, and Charlotte all turned around in disbelief. “What did you do?” Mary asked me, worriedly.

“I- I don’t know… I think I scared it.”

“SHE’S AN ANTICHRIST SHES GONNA KILL US UNLESS WE DO IT FIRST!” Mary screams. She turns toward the monster and screeches at it, “ DEVOUR HER YOU WORTHLESS GHOUL!”

At that exact same moment I see a shape walk up to her, there's a gasp and blood splurts out of her mouth. I can see metal poking out of her throat.

“Devour this you sadistic witch.” Emma says in an angry tone.

Liam and Charlotte stared at Mary’s now lifeless body with fascinated horror. At the speed of light the monster devours her body leaving only her skull staring at us with its dead grin. I decide to look back into the monster’s glowing white cloak. I couldn’t see what the monster’s face looked like, but it somehow seemed peaceful now. It turned towards me, then it pointed a tentacle-like arm towards the way I guessed Emma came in. I think it was telling us to leave. I quickly got up and ran towards another trapdoor with Emma. I turned back to see Liam and Charlotte try to follow, but the tentacle-like arm threw them back. Emma yanked me out of the dungeon and started to close the trapdoor. I stared at Emma in horror when I saw blood spurted onto her from inside the dungeon. Screams followed. Emma quickly shut the door. 

“Come on there's an escape route somewhere in this tunnel.” Emma whispered, trying to wipe the blood off of her face.

As we’re running, we hear large footsteps running after us. I quickly throw back my head to see who is hunting us down and I see the monster running like a killer clown is chasing it. I wonder why it is now coming for us… but I see that it doesn’t look the same. It’s cloak is now deep red. We come upon a door to our left and we quickly walk inside. As soon as we went inside, the entire setting was different. I saw the brightest room with the cleanest floors and walls. It was almost blinding to see. The blood from Emma’s clothes dripped onto the floor, ruining the pureness of the room.

“Why hello there.”

The author's comments:

end of the story we are making a sequal this story was made with my freind mojo and hazel

“Who are you!?” I start to say, my mind still overloaded with what just happened.

“Well, I'm not legally allowed to give you my name but you can just call me your supervisor.” A man in an all white scientist jacket stood in front of me, speaking in a British accent.

“Where are we, you dingbat!”, Emma yelled.


“Heh… It’s ‘supervisor’, thank you. And you are in your mind, Emma. I’m not real, this room isn’t real… What happened in there wasn’t real. It’s all in your head.” He said with a polite and innocent smile.

“Yeah right, if this were happening in my head you would do whatever I want you to.” Emma shot back.

“Well… I am real...ish. I’m sort of a hologram.”


“Wh-why?” I stuttered, trying to take in everything that was going on. There was blood all over Emma’s clothes… How could this not be real?

“Well, it’s an experiment. Ya’ know before we erased your memory, you volunteered to help us.” He smiled again, as if that was enough said.

Emma shouted again, “There is no way that I signed up for this. This! This is insane!”

“Calm down, Emma. It’s not insane, it’s science….” He waved his hand and all the blood on Emma’s clothes evaporated and disappeared. 

Emma showed the first sign of fear on her face. The entire time she seemed confident, until now.

“So… It’s really... all in our minds?” Emma spoke quietly.


“Yep! And you two will receive compensation for what you’ve gone through. $200 dollars should work for you kids, right?” The scientist declared.

Emma and I glanced at each other for a moment. Was this really how it was going to end? It didn’t seem right. The scientist snapped his fingers and all of the sudden Emma and I woke up on beds 3 feet away from each other, with wires connected to needles attached to our arms. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk. It was as if I had been there, hibernating for years. My mind was swirling with emotions and thoughts. Had I really agreed to this? Did I really agree to be terrorized, depressed, and sad all at once? 

All of the sudden, things started to come back to me. I do have a family. I started to remember the moments leading up to this. I did agree to it. I’m just glad I’ll be able to go home. I need to get away from this… As far away as I can.

After a couple hours, the experiment was officially over. Emma and I walked out of the front doors of a large office-looking building. We looked back at each other, hugged, and then left on our separate paths with $200 in our pocket. We hadn’t said a word since we woke up. I had a deep feeling of regret as well as some sort of relief. It was finally over… I hoped.

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