Chapter Two: Shae's POV

Chapter Two: Shae's POV

A Chapter by Vanessa Rico

This chapter was written by Dog Meat Todd


Chapter 2



I jumped back with the petite grace of a startled cat, my limbs out in front of me in case I had to spring into a mode of self-defense.  Reaching into the waist of my jeans, I whipped out a 9mm pistol and aimed it in front of me with intent, pulling back the hammer.  The figure that had appeared beyond the door was not at all what I’d expected.  My fear and confusion had swelled and swelled, until I anticipated that the first form of life I might encounter would try to kill me. Instead, a girl stood in the doorway with the same expression of shock and disbelief that my own face likely displayed.  A sudden wave of relief washed over me as I realized that she was close to my own age, though that didn’t eliminate the possibility of her being an orchestrator of the test, or even the test itself.

Wearily, I kept a reasonable distance from her reach.  My mind was reeling from trying to figure out where I was, and how I came to be there.  Both eyes were heavy, and my legs were swaying, though I tried desperately to control my exhausted body.  Appearance was everything, because if she was a threat, then I dared not let her know I was in a weakened position.  The heavy fog of a high still lingered over my consciousness, and the terrible grip of amnesia accompanied it.  Thus far, the only way to effectively quell my increasing fear and regret of the situation was to put my calculating brain to work.  Meticulously, I examined all the details of my current situation.  I knew why I was there to begin with; I’d signed the paper, which I had now developed a venomous loathing for.

Through the grape vine, I heard that a study was being conducted on the ‘stamina of man’, as they called it.  Normally, I wouldn’t be attracted by something as strange and vague as a scientific study, because science was nothing compared to the front-burner issue of getting enough to eat from day to day.  My parents were kind to me, being that I was their only child, and they never pressured or forced the obligation of working.  However, there was no doubting the severity to which we were impoverished.  My father was strong; what he lacked in academic intelligence, he made up for in raw muscle.  His expertise was in construction, and jobs that pertained to building or lifting.  Luckily, that was a marketable skill because everyone needs buildings, and anyone can dig a trench, but the speed at which he accomplished those two things was unbelievable.  After falling from a two story roof while laying shingles, he damaged his shoulder irreversibly, and lost the closest thing he had to a career.

My mom was so grossly under-educated that was no hope for her.  She wasn’t weak, but couldn’t do the things of which her husband was capable.  Quickly, she resorted to jobs usually occupied by the homeless, such as windshield washing and outright begging.  While she pulled in her share, my mother couldn’t shake the guilt and humiliation of doing so.  I’d picked up work digging, performing mediocre repairs on cars, and everything in between.  If a person was willing to pay me for a task, I was there to do it.  Not even the income I picked up from various odd-jobs fully filled our stomachs at the end of the day.  Eventually, I resolved to remove myself from the situation, for the sake of their survival, because one less mouth to feed would make a significant difference in their meager lives.

Anger welled in me when I thought of those rich b******s, the ones who had accumulated most all of nation’s collective wealth.  They partied on top of their high horses meanwhile we scrounged for food in their refuse.  Like the unduly wealthy of any culture, they used more than their share, wasted what was left, and tossed street rats like us to the wayside.  With what little currency that we still had in our possession, we managed old, tattered clothes and basic accommodations.  I was no stranger to hunger, and I knew that none of those upper-class hacks had ever experienced the pain and discomfort.  None of them had worked a day in their lives, nor had they earned the wonderful things that they owned.  The thought itself was purely tormenting. Where was karma when we needed it?  And what became of the great equalizer, the force which balanced the forces of life?  What I thought to be an opportunity to support myself and earn money, via the intense, though peculiar, experiment had drawn me in.  Now, I knew it was something more than I had previously expected.  Closing my eyes, I breathed deeply; I’d come here to get away from my old home, even beyond the money, and not just because my parents were hungry.  Kidding myself wouldn’t help.

I’d been tricked.  The memory of what happened after my hand drew ink across the dotted line of the contract, spelling my name, was all gone.  The only thing that I could remember was hearing their spiel one minute, and waking up in a cell the next.  Blurry visions of white-coated figures and a needle danced in between, but they weren’t coherent enough to make sense of. Suddenly, I’d been dropped awkwardly into a steel box, which felt horribly like solitary confinement.  Upon realization of the fact, I slammed myself against the door and walls, desperate the escape the confinement.  Delirious, I fought, planned, and tried everything else that I could possibly think of.  Unfortunately, nothing worked to open tight door, which had no handle.

My heart began to thrum in my chest; this girl… did she know?  The look on her face was so distraught, and it spelled out to me that she’d been through the same things as I had.  She did; she knew about the cell, so I watched her for some kind of clue.  Reluctantly, I gazed at the scenery behind her.  The only true relief that had come to me and my situation in the cell was a single, tiny piece of paper.  I’d stared through the closest thing that the metal box had to a window; an air vent.  Nothing was visible on the other side but a white wall, aside from shadows, which danced across it like the legs of passing figures.  After what felt like an eternity, delirium claimed me and I began screaming into it, begging to be set free.  Just when I thought that madness would claim me, that little paper was shoved in.  I ignored it at first, trying desperately to contact the person who had given it to me.  No one responded to my calls, or even acknowledged my existence.  After a while, I began to think that I may have hallucinated the shadows all together.  Compared to human communication, a note meant nothing to me.

After a long time of yelling and no success, however, I decided to save my voice.  I scratched the wax seal from the folded paper, tossing the broken pieces to the floor.  Reluctantly, I unfolded it.  There was just a bit of small type at the center, at which I cursed in anger.  Not even the courtesy of hand writing was permitted to ease my turmoil.  The note read; ‘what is the worst thing that you’ve ever done?’  My heart sank when I saw those words.  It was like I was being stalked; they knew my secret.  Insecurity and fear infiltrated my mind until I was paralyzed with panic.  Eventually, I figured out their game and whispered with the most timid voice that I could muster into the vent.

I told them what happened, and why I’d left my parents in favor of a roaming work life. Promptly, the massive door slid open to release me.  I ran from that room like I had never run before, only to be met by some twisted depiction of my parents’ home.  Everything was the same as I remembered it, down to the minute details of the cracked sheetrock and water-stained doors. A chill ran down my spine as I thought of the shadowed prison of a home that these strange people had fashioned.  My mind was whirling; I tried to understand it, but nothing made sense, and there was no conceivable escape.  I’d thoroughly read the papers before I signed them, knowing better than to do otherwise, but they were so vague.

The experiment was explained in minute, tiny details.  Feeling that I could trust them, I signed my name, thinking that I would be given living accommodations and a better explanation later.  Work experience had led me to believe such a thing, but I’d misgauged the scientists, and their crafty nature.  The experiment consisted of my not knowing.  That was, until I found the glistening, polished weapon that was lying on the kitchen table.  A loaded pistol had been placed there with another small tag attached to the trigger loop by a length of white string.  The tag simply read; ‘for you’ in looped, black ink cursive.  Sucking in a breath, I tried to understand.  As soon as I slid the cold weapon into my belt, I found the courage that had been hiding within me and ventured through the back door.  I’d prepared myself for whatever lay ahead.  Why would they give me a gun, of all things?  My heart pounded when I’d touched it, my fear swelling back to panic.  What was behind the door that I needed to greet it with a gun?

I reached for the doorknob, and to my surprise, it opened before I got the chance.  Then, standing before me was the stranger.  Her revealing outfit caught me off guard; the tight skirt, stockings and tiny shirt together made her look defenseless.  Desperately, I tried to keep focus and not be distracted by her scant outfit, though my male instincts were conflicting.  Beyond that, I was hooked on the sight of her entirety.  Her glittering green eyes led to her dark hair, and all the way around with a pull and flow that I couldn’t shake my gaze from.  I suddenly realized what was actually behind her.  It was another house.  Startled, I backed away and shook my head in confusion.  If the outside of my confinement led to the inside of hers, then it stood to mean that there were others.  Where did my front door lead, into another house?  What about her back door?  My mind began to draw a picture, a chain of houses.  Either it was just her and I, or more than we could imagine.

Lowering the gun, I put on the safety and tucked it back into my jeans with reserve; it was idiotic to do so and to trust this strange girl, but I couldn’t help myself.  More than anything in the world, I craved communication.  I needed to interact with her, or risk losing it completely. Stepping toward her, I leaned around the corner of the door like a timid, wild animal and beckoned her inside the house that was mine.  Closing my eyes in a long blink to regain myself, I led the way back into her ‘house’.  Creeping through the kitchen, I looked both ways and continued on to the entry hall, stopping only at her back door.  Lowering my head, I pointed at it and spoke.  My voice came out a hushed, almost inaudible whisper as I debriefed her on what I understood to be true about our common plight.

“I don’t know if you’ve figured a better way out of here, I mean out out.  I’ve got a feeling that the doors lead to more houses, like a chain.”  I motioned with my finger, “This back door probably won’t help us much, but we’ll have to see where it goes.  There’s can’t be an infinite amount of houses, so the last back door will have to lead somewhere else.”

I watched as she nodded reluctantly at my instruction.  There was reluctance in her expression, and I could tell that she was not used to being told what to do, perhaps even the reverse.  However, I was doing my best not to appear threatening or overbearing.  Just as much as her, I was afraid and confused, wanting nothing more than to find something that made sense, even if it was just discovering the test itself.  Waving her over, I rested my hand on the gun handle to remind that it was there, simply for our safety.  Averting my eyes in an attempt to not come off as perverted or uncomfortably interested, I sucked in a breath and pushed open the back door, ready for whatever was on the other side.


© 2011 Vanessa Rico

Author's Note

Vanessa Rico
I have co-wrote this story with Dog Meat Todd. All of Arielle's POV chapters have been written by me, Vanessa Rico; and all of Shae's POV chapters have been written by Dog Meat Todd! Constructive criticism is appreciated.

****All artwork has been done by my fabulously artistic co-writer, Dog Meat Todd********

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Maybe it's just me, but I thought Shae was a girl until he came face-to-face with Arielle. I also noticed a form of the word "reluctant" in back-to-back sentences in the final paragraph. As Tom already suggested, you might want to change the placement of the memories. Other than that, this was enjoyable to read. I'm looking forward to the interaction between Arielle and Shae.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


So far I love the book and can't wait to see what happends next well I am on my way to read the next chapter

Posted 7 Years Ago

This is cool! This is what I mean, now I know that ariel is beautiful, a lusty boy told. Me so haha. I really like this, could use a final proofread for awkward wording anf dlow in some places. Other than that I like it!

Posted 7 Years Ago

Looking forward to reading more, reminds me of The Prisoner ; )

Posted 7 Years Ago

Wishing I had time to read the next chapter but I'll definitly get to it asap:)

Posted 7 Years Ago

I enjoyed your story Vanessa and I plan on reading more. The one thing I would change is the use of "that." I often have found myself using "that" to often, and unnecessarily. If you go back and read those sentences I think you will find the meaning quite clear without the "that."

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I hope you don't mind me picking out a few technical things you might want to double check. I hope it helps.

"Wearily, I kept a reasonable distance from her reach." - I'm not sure about the word wearily. This sentence distanced me from the story.
"how I came to be there" - maybe "how I came to be here."
"though I tried desperately to control my exhausted body" - might be though "I desperately tried" as desperately describes the trying.
"However, there was no doubting the severity to which we were impoverished." - I don't think you would start a sentence with "however".
"After falling from a two story roof while laying shingles, he damaged his shoulder irreversibly" - maybe "irreversibly damaged his shoulder".
"My mom was so grossly under-educated that was no hope for her." - that there was no hope for her.
"Eventually, I resolved to remove myself from the" - I resolved to removing myself
"horses meanwhile we scrounged" - meanwhile, we scrounged
"There’s" - should be "There"

I found myself becoming more and more drawn into the plot. This is getting more and more interesting. Having two point of views in a story is a great approach. I'm curious where this will lead.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was fantastic! I am very curious to find out what happens next...

Posted 7 Years Ago

I agree with Blue Moon Ice Cream I also thought Shae was female up until his meeting with Arielle, There were a couple typos now all that aside. I really enjoyed this chapter. Your writing always leaves me wanting to know more. This was a really easy read and very nicely detailed. I like how you put the back story into just one chapter. Great job!!! on to reading the next chapter.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You got me into the story, can't wait for more. ;)

Posted 7 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I can relate a lot better to this character, he's a guy, but I also get the feeling I know a lot less about him, making his possibilities for good or bad much greater.

He also doesn't really say what his fear is, the reader is left to fill in the blanks.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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31 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on April 24, 2011
Last Updated on May 1, 2011
Tags: Experiments, Teens, survival of the fittest
Previous Versions


Vanessa Rico
Vanessa Rico

Walhalla, SC

Hey writerscafe! Its been a very long hiatus since I have been on here and actively writing. I have missed both writing and this community. When I was first on here, I was a mom of 1 but now I have be.. more..

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