Chapter One: The Test Subject Wakes

Chapter One: The Test Subject Wakes

A Chapter by Luna Evangeline

The hole that I wake up in is deeper than I am tall, but impossibly narrow. I wake slumped against one side, rich black earth crumbling into my hair. I move groggily, my joints groaning as if I’d been sleeping for days. I wait for the rush of memories, wait for the disorientation to fade away, but it doesn’t come. I gaze upward, out of the hole, and see that the sky is dark. Frowning, I move in a circle, looking hopefully for an exit. The walls of the hole never change, the smell of deep, damp soil still filling my nose. I push for the memories again and find with growing terror that I don’t even remember my name. When I delve into my mind I am met with a blank, indifferent wall of white. On the other side of it, I am sure, is all of my history, all of my knowledge. I am ramming and pounding and clawing, frantic, beginning to sweat from the mental effort. Finally I know it’s no use.

                  I have no idea who I am.

                  I know I am a girl. I know I am young. The rest is a blur that gallops faster and faster away from me until it disappears.

  I look up. High above my head silhouettes of huge leaves stretch across the blackened sky, odd triangular leaves that seem unnatural. They're big enough for me to use as a blanket, and they stir in a slight breeze that sends an acidic smell swooping down into my hole. A distant, eerie chorus of howls fill the air. They sound almost feline, and very angry.

Where the hell am I?

                  I spin in a circle again, becoming more and more keyed up. As I shuffle in circles my foot nudges something lying on the ground. The hole is so narrow that I can’t even bend over to pick it up. I have to squat.

                  It’s a journal, the leather cover thick and hardy. The clasp is elaborately carved with intricate designs. I unlatch it and squint at the first page in the unnaturally bright moonlight.  A line of carefully printed blocky leaders on the heading reads:

                  WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN.

                  And beneath that:

                  DAY 1

                  And it goes on, all the way to Day 30, one page for each day.

                  What happens on DAY 30? I stupidly wonder, of all things to question.

                  A small piece of parchment slips out of the pages, and again I must squat to pick it up. Squinting so hard my eyes hurt, I read:

                  YOUR TRIAL BEGINS NOW.


 I’m being tested?

My mind races, working so fast my thoughts are tumbling over each other, and I feel like I can almost remember something, but then my heart stops.

There’s something sniffling outside the hole�"

Snuffling so close that small stones fall down onto my head�"

The creature lets out a low whine.

The sounds the animal�"the it�"is making are foreign to me at first. It grumbles, deep in its throat, huffing gruffly, then begins to howl. It howls again and again, pausing in between each.

And then I realize.

It’s waiting for an answer.

The reply doesn’t come in howling. It comes in a soft flurry of padding feet, whispering closer and closer. They thunder to a stop outside of my hole. I hold my breath, trembling.

Hoping maybe they’re friendly.

More snuffling, a lot more. They sound almost calm. I begin to hope�"to be almost sure�"

A talon-adorned paw, nearly the size of a dinner plate, swipes into the mouth of the hole. Its jagged claws rake into the soil, gleaming like steel even in the dark. The owner of the paw lets out a feral growl.

Shrieking, I crash to the ground, which is hard to do in the cramped space. I continue to scream, even though the things above have stopped making noise. No more gigantic paws have swooped down towards me, but I can’t help being infected with the image of those claws raking into my skin. Finally I hear the herd pad away, yowling to one another as they go.

I know that sitting in this hole won’t keep me alive. I need food, water. I don’t know how long I’ve been without these things and my body gives no indication. I know I need to get out, but I curl on the ground, shaking, whimpering uncontrollably. My shirt is soaked with tears and I can’t seem to stop sobbing. My ribcage aches.

I don’t know when I fell asleep. When I wake�"for the second time confused and terrified�"dawn has passed. The sun is slowly clambering into the sky.

Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I try to stretch and realize�"again�"that I’m confined. I can hardly move.

The journal slips off my lap, its cover cool and smooth, opening up to DAY 1. The only thing that was left in the hole with me. I look at the handwriting carefully, sure it’s not mine, but of course not entirely remembering.

It’s got to be mine. Whose else?

But I’m almost certain I’ve never kept a diary.

Do I take it or leave it? The one thing that could be a reminder of home, wherever that may be? Indecision rages inside of me. I reach for the journal then jerk back, as if it’s poisonous.

Take it, you coward. What else have you got to lose?

I snatch up the journal and look up to the sky. The circle of cheery and blue.

Time to climb.

© 2013 Luna Evangeline

Author's Note

Luna Evangeline
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Wow this is really good. Kept my imagination going throughout, was just long enough to get into yet not so long that I had to stop and come back to it. I am terribly curious about this - the journal, the hole, why the subject can't remember anything and the wolves, terrifying. I hope you continue this.

Posted 3 Years Ago

This reminded me of two thing: the first being a book I've read(Before I go to Sleep), in which the main character would lose her memory every time she fell into deep sleep, and the second would be a 'choose your path' story, where you would decide what action you would take, and as a result go to another page (this is only because of the "Do I take it or leave it? "), which I think would be amazing.

The story itself has an even pace throughout the passage, it doesn't slow down, nor does it speed up to excite the reader. I'm only saying this because I've read a fair deal of horror books, and enjoy them, but this was a bit slow, and if it were an actually book I would not read it. However, as someone who reads from time to time, I think this would actually be a nice leisurely read.

This seems to be the beginning, of a series/ of a book. Did you post the second part already? Or is it still in the makings? Hope to read on and see how it goes.

Posted 4 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on December 11, 2013
Last Updated on December 11, 2013


Luna Evangeline
Luna Evangeline

If Walt Whitman were still alive I'd be his groupie. more..

One One

A Chapter by Luna Evangeline