Experiment of time

Experiment of time

A Story by Bob
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A fast paced action drama that focuses on time

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He awoke in a cell, clothes were half torn. His shirt was dirty with mud all over, jeans had holes in the leg areas as if he was attacked by a few dogs. This cell has a small bed with thin sheets and a soft, medium sized blanket. Its walls were thin as he could hear a few other people but he started to wonder where he was and how he got there. He has a watch that is cracked and as the hands started to slowly turn he realized that it was the only way he would be able to know what the time is so he decided he needed a way to keep track of it. He had a small knife in his pocket and he knew he could use it to carve into the walls. After he checked his watch and carved the time on the wall as tally marks he found that under his bed was a change of clothes. As he was already skeptical this drew his curiosity even more because he changed clothes and they actually fit him perfectly. After a few minutes his memory started to come back and he remembered his name and it was Trevor. Trevor was a middle-aged man who had some training on survival through his time in JROTC in high school. He had been working as a security officer as a side job for the past few years and the last thing he remembered was working a concert. He was married with one child, a wife named Karen and a son named Charlie. Their last day together went like this. “Good morning” sweetheart, proclaimed Trevor to his wife. “Morning” said Karen as they woke up from their slumber. They owned a 2-story house with two cars and a garage. Karen worked as an accountant and Trevor was a construction worker. Their son Charlie went to a private school and he was in his second year of high school. “What are your plans today honey” asked Karen as Trevor was off today. Trevor replied “I have to go to the job sight and pick up my check and later this evening I have to be security at the concert but I can take Charles to school before I go to the sight”. Karen then said that “After the concert are we still going to meet at the restaurant for our anniversary dinner?” “Yes, honey and I’ll make sure to pay the babysitter double because we are going to have a long night” and they both chuckled and kissed as they went to shower and get dressed for the day. Trevor was the first to go downstairs and was shocked to see that Charlie was already in the kitchen and he had made breakfast for everyone. “hey dad, are you still going to take me to school? If so you don’t have to my friend is coming to pick me up.” That was good news to him as he didn’t have to rush his son to school and he could run a few more errands before the dinner. Trevor was a little curious and asked his son what friend he was riding with as the last time Charlie went out with friends they had to bail him out of jail. “I met this girl named Lila, she’s a freshman in college.” Trevor was ecstatic that his son was friends with a college female but he then said, “hey don’t tell your mom because she would flip out and kill both of us, she wouldn’t like you talking to an older girl”.  He then gave his son a high five and gave him a nudge on the head. Karen then walked down the stairs and heard them in laughter and asked what they were talking about. “Dad was trying to tell me how to talk to girls”. Karen laughed and said “You shouldn’t listen to your father because when we first met he was shy, I guess he was intimidated by me, I guess it’s because I was a strong woman who wasn’t flattered by his charm.” They all started laughing and got ready for the day. They told him that the babysitter would be there around 6pm. Charlie said why do I need someone to watch me and I’m a sophomore in high school and they said because he couldn’t be trusted so for the next couple of that would be his punishment. A horn honked outside and it was Lila. Charlie gave his mother a kiss on the cheek and his father a hug as he left out the door. They looked at the time and noticed that it was time to leave and start their day. Karen left first as she took their 2015 Chevrolet impala and went to her office. Trevor then made a call to his friend bob who had a few connections and he hooked Trevor up with a table at the best restaurant in town. Trevor then left the house in their 2015 BMW 3-series.  He stopped by his construction sight and was welcomed at the front gate and then preceded to his building. Before he could get through the gate the guard warned him to tread carefully as people were getting fired left and right but Trevor wasn’t worried as he was sure his job was safe as he had been with the company for years. He drove up to the building and got out of the car and went into his boss’s office and on the way into the building two men in black suits came out and bumped into him but because they had on black glasses he couldn’t make out their faces. He watched as they walked down the stairs and got into a black SUV. He then walked into the office and saw his boss. His boss then stopped him before he could take a step closer to his desk. “Hey Trevor I’m glad you are here I was just about to call you.” Trevor asked who were those guys in the suits as he was skeptical. His boss Dan said that they were from corporate but Trevor knew his boss wasn’t telling him everything. Dan said, “look Trevor I’m going to be as blunt as possible, we’ve been through a lot but I’m going to have to let you go.” Trevor was shocked and said, “I’ve been here longer than you how can you just fire me”. “It’s not me its corporate that’s why those suits were here”. This argument went on for quite some time but the reason that Trevor was getting fired was not as plain as Dan was making it seem. After some time had went by Trevor ended up leaving and preceded to finish his errands and make it to the concert. Before getting to the concert he stopped at the deli to get a sub. The stopped took longer than he expected because he ran into an old friend and they caught up. His friends name is Ray and they went to school together and now he was the CEO of some company, at least that’s what he told Trevor. Ray told Trevor he had to go and make a phone call so they gave their farewell’s and each left the deli. Because he did security Trevor had to arrive a couple hours early and meet with the security team and go over a few things. After they went over the plans for the night they each took to their post and people starting coming to the front gate to attend the concert. The place was packed after an hour and it got loud. After the show was over the cleaning crew came out to clean but a few of them were not as they seemed. The security team finished their sweeps and headed to the lockers to change and go home. Trevor’s station was the furthest away and, on the way, to change he was blindsided by some of the people who were pretending to be cleaners. He fought off a few of them but not before they knocked him down and got in a few hits. His adrenaline was rushing and without thought he ran to his car to get away as a way of self-preservation. He sped threw the gate as soon as he got to his car there were a couple SUV’s parked waiting for him just in case the three guys didn’t accomplish their mission. A high-speed chase ensued between him and the SUV’s but they had to have had custom motor’s because they were able to keep up with his BMW. The first truck got beside him after weaving through traffic. The truck rammed into the car trying to knock it off the road but wasn’t successful as a big rig truck came up quick beside it and after ramming the BMW the SUV ran into the big rig and wrecked. The next car weaved through the wreckage and caught up as there was a traffic jam that stopped Trevor from putting further distance between him and the people who were after him. There was an exit to a dirt road to the right and Trevor quickly took it not thinking twice as he didn’t realize what would happen next. As the chase continued they got about 10miles from civilization and the car flipped as it was trying to make a steep turn. The wreck rendered him unconscious and while he was out these people kidnapped him and took him to a facility in the middle of nowhere. As his watch was slowly dying he took out his knife and carved the marks on the wall as a way of keeping the time, date, and days. He decided that whoever was holding him in this cell he would wait until they revealed themselves as yelling and driving himself crazy wouldn’t help. He started doing push ups and other small workouts to pass the time. Each hour he would mark a tally on the wall. After a few hours someone came with a trey of food and to his surprise the trey contained green beans, steak, and macaroni pasta. If you’ve ever read stories about people being kidnapped and held against their will this was not typically the food of choice given. He asked, “Could you tell whoever is in charge that I would like to speak with them.” The server shook his head and left and after Trevor devoured the food the boss revealed himself. Shocked to see his old colleague he had ran into at the deli he exclaimed, “You, I thought you were the head of a company and why am I here.” Ray chuckled, “I’m not the person over everything but I can tell you that I am the CEO of a company but what we do is not legal.” “I can tell you that you are here just like the two other people here as an experiment; we like to see how people perceive time once its stripped away.” “Don’t worry you will be compensated afterwards.” Trevor then said, “Am I go be compensated for my car and I didn’t agree to this so why did you kidnap me of all people?” Ray explained that they like to experiment with different types of people and each time its random people but he revealed they had been watching him for a few weeks. After the talk Ray left and left Trevor alone and that’s when he got the idea to ask the others how long they had been here and they exclaimed that the couldn’t remember after a few days. Trevor said great and laid down. His time sense was pretty good as another few hours had passed and he made markings on the wall. After a few days the marks on the wall where starting to pile up. Trevor had been here four days and started to get irritated as the man he wanted to meet hadn’t shown up yet. During that day he noticed that one person wasn’t there anymore. That night he went to sleep wondering what had happened to the other gentleman that would sing bible hymns. When he awoke the next day, he saw that all his tally marks were gone. This was a shock to him as he would have woken up if someone came into the room at night and painted over the marks but what surprised him even more was that the marks weren’t painted over they were just gone as if they were never there in the first place. He yelled for someone to come speak to him as this was an urgent matter. Ray came down and asked what was going on. “the marks Trevor stuttered, the marks I made on the wall are gone.” Are you sure you made markings on the wall” said Ray, “because they just don’t disappear overnight.” Not discovering it yet but this was a psychological experiment and each room had built in tech that could do wonderous things. “My knife is gone as well” and again Ray said are you sure you ever had a knife. Trevor wasn’t crazy and was sure he didn’t dream these things so he would go on to accept that they were messing with his mind and he continued to count the time in his head. The next few days got harder as he soon lost count of the date and day and his time estimates got wrong as Ray would come in every few days and mutter the time but not directly towards him. The only thing Trevor could help keep him leveled headed was that he had a wife and kid to get back to. The days felt like they got longer to him as he lost his way of keeping track of everything and as they let him out the cell to wash every morning on his walks to the shower he didn’t see a clock and because they headed in what seemed like circles he couldn’t get a sense of hot to find a way out. After another week to what seemed like months to him he finally decided that the next time they let him go wash he would try to escape. Every time they went to wash they opened the cells up electronically and they had a hologram show them the way. So, the next day when the cells opened and everyone gathered around to walk he made a break for it. He remembered walking around in what felt like circles but he also remembered that he managed to see a doorway to the left right before they turned the last corner to get to the showers. As he got close to the end of the corridor he noticed another door before the one he remembered seeing. He opened the door and saw a bunch of computers and some cameras. He noticed that one of the cameras was zoomed on his cell. He then noticed two buttons; one for opening the cell and what the other was for amazed him. He pushed the button and what happen next was beyond disbelief. He witnessed that the button caused some sort of effect because after pushing the button the wall did something magical and the tally marks he wrote on the wall reappeared and also beside the foot of the bed his knife reappeared. He started mumbling to himself “what the f**k.” One of the guards came in and before they had a chance to react Trevor quickly struck him in the head with a bar that was propped up against the wall. Trevor then ran out the room to the next door and when he opened it up he saw a room of scientist and upstairs he saw his boss Dan and the two guys he saw walk out of the office. He then wondered what the hell was going on and he then headed towards the stairs to go up and approach his colleague’s. He ran up the stairs and demanded to know what was going on. Ray told him that it was just as he told him before they were doing an experiment but Trevor told them he didn’t like the ruse and they could have just come to him with the idea and they said it wouldn’t have had the same affect it had if he knew what they were doing. So, Ray and his company went to Dan’s office a few weeks before Trevor got laid off and pitched this idea and Dan told them about Trevor and that he would be able to beat the experiment. He told them that Trevor had always been precise and aware about things and that his mind was as solid as a boulder. The time experiment only lasted two weeks but it seemed more because being in a small room behind bars limited perception and being locked up gets you out of touch with reality the longer you stay there. What Trevor mistook as a month was only two weeks and he didn’t go crazy. The whole cell area was built with holographic images and advanced software that it could imitate real things. They told him that the people he thought were there were people from earlier tests and that they were holograms and that everyone who goes through this test is subject to be alone and they use holograms to get them to think they’re not. The real twist was that the Lila who his son left with was behind it all. That day after his son and wife left Lila cut her off on her way to work and told them everything. She was too old for Charlie and he wasn’t her type she just needed a way to get closer to her subject.

© 2021 Bob


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Seriously? You've not heard of a neat little tool called the paragraph? Nearly 3000 words, or 12 standard manuscript pages without a single break? It's unreadable. Forgetting everything else, if the reader turns away for a second, they'll not find their place again.

One simple rule: Change the subject or the speaker and you begin a new paragraph.

Next, and of more importance, this is a report, not a story. You, who can't be heard or seen by the reader, are reporting and explaining, as if giving an oral report to a class. The format is, "This is the situation...the place looked like this...he did this, and then did that...and after that..."

When the story opens, do we know where we are in time and space? No, Saying he's in a cell could place him in one in Sudan or New York, Now, or any time in the past...or future. Do we know who we are. No... Apparently, our name is "he." Do we know what's going on? No to that, too. You know. Th guy in the cell knows, but shouldn't the reader know, so it makes sense as it's read?

In the present format you're presenting a report, not a story. Stories aren't talked about, second-hand, they're lived, in real-time, from within the moment the protagonist calls "now."

It's a very different approach from how we were taught to write in school, but that's because they only teach us the skills that employers want us to know, like how to write reports and essays.

Professions, like fiction-writing, medicine,etc. are learned in addition to the general skills that school gives us.

Bottom line: It's not about how well you write. It's not about your talent for writing fiction. It's not about the story. It's that you're missing the skills necessary to create writing that will—as E. L. Doctorow put it: " evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”

If that's not the direct and continuous objective during the writing of the story it will read like a report. No way around that. And we're not told even that such an approach to writing exists in our school-days.

Does that mean you can't write? Of course not. It just means you need to dig into the tricks the pros take for granted. And the place to begin is the library's fiction-writing section.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Bob

1 Month Ago

Thanks for the honest critique, this is exactly what i hoped for and glad you were brutally honest



Reviews

Seriously? You've not heard of a neat little tool called the paragraph? Nearly 3000 words, or 12 standard manuscript pages without a single break? It's unreadable. Forgetting everything else, if the reader turns away for a second, they'll not find their place again.

One simple rule: Change the subject or the speaker and you begin a new paragraph.

Next, and of more importance, this is a report, not a story. You, who can't be heard or seen by the reader, are reporting and explaining, as if giving an oral report to a class. The format is, "This is the situation...the place looked like this...he did this, and then did that...and after that..."

When the story opens, do we know where we are in time and space? No, Saying he's in a cell could place him in one in Sudan or New York, Now, or any time in the past...or future. Do we know who we are. No... Apparently, our name is "he." Do we know what's going on? No to that, too. You know. Th guy in the cell knows, but shouldn't the reader know, so it makes sense as it's read?

In the present format you're presenting a report, not a story. Stories aren't talked about, second-hand, they're lived, in real-time, from within the moment the protagonist calls "now."

It's a very different approach from how we were taught to write in school, but that's because they only teach us the skills that employers want us to know, like how to write reports and essays.

Professions, like fiction-writing, medicine,etc. are learned in addition to the general skills that school gives us.

Bottom line: It's not about how well you write. It's not about your talent for writing fiction. It's not about the story. It's that you're missing the skills necessary to create writing that will—as E. L. Doctorow put it: " evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”

If that's not the direct and continuous objective during the writing of the story it will read like a report. No way around that. And we're not told even that such an approach to writing exists in our school-days.

Does that mean you can't write? Of course not. It just means you need to dig into the tricks the pros take for granted. And the place to begin is the library's fiction-writing section.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Bob

1 Month Ago

Thanks for the honest critique, this is exactly what i hoped for and glad you were brutally honest

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Added on February 9, 2021
Last Updated on February 9, 2021
Tags: suspense, thriller, drama

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Bob
Bob

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A writer who loves to create and share ideas more..

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