The Amberly Chronicles Episode 14: Area 2.

I’m in a car with a girl. I know we are close, but I can’t remember who she is, the memory lingering just out of reach. She could be my best friend, my sister, or maybe even a cousin. A song blares from the radio and she sings along, taking her eyes off the road to sing at me, her cherry red lips filling my vision. She isn’t a great singer, but she is giving it all she’s worth. The window is down and her dark hair whips across the big, black sunglasses covering half her face.
A deep sadness wells inside of me. I miss this. Miss singing at the top of my lungs with this girl, not a care in the world.
I blink and I‘m standing in a glaringly white room.
“Hello?” I call out. There’s no answer.
I walk forward and smack into a wall. It shimmers and becomes transparent. My heart jolts at the sight of Oliver. He is sitting against a wall, off to the side, his knees pulled up and his head down. I bang on what feels like hard plastic and Oliver looks up. He jumps to his feet, sprinting over to me. He places his hands on the plastic, over mine. His mouth moves but I can’t hear him.
“Are you okay?” I shout, though it’s useless.
He mouths something but before I can make out what he is saying the plastic shimmers and white spreads over it. I bang against it, crying out for Oliver.
I hear the familiar whoosh of a door opening and spin around.
Lyssa saunters into the room, a huge smile on her face. I’m relieved to see her, but that relief is short lived as my eyes drop to her arms. I gulp. She is carrying something in a pink blanket.
“She’s so beautiful, Amberly.”
My eyes widen and I press back against the wall.
Lyssa tries to give the baby to me and I throw up my hands. “Whoa, wait, who is that? Why are you trying to give her to me?”
Lyssa’s brow furrows. “She’s yours of course.”
My heart feels like it is going to explode in my chest. “No, Oliver and I never…”
Lyssa frowns, holding the baby out. “Stop being silly, Amberly, it’s time for her feed.”
She thrusts the baby into my arms and turns, walking away.
“Wait,” I call, but she ignores me. “I don’t have anything to feed her with.”
The baby squirms and I look down. I gasp. The baby has a woman’s head, silver hair spilling around her face, looking up at me with navy blue eyes.
“We are watching you,” the baby-woman says. “All the time.”
I scream, dropping the baby and stumbling back, black rushing over me.
I startle awake, panting heavily, my heart racing. I swallow hard, looking around. I’m in a room, a real looking bedroom this time; no glaring white, no swirling grey, no metal. The smell of wood is strong. The walls are made from panels of it, like I’m in a log cabin. The single bed I’m in has a cedar wood frame. I’m covered by a knitted blanket, its squares of wool different shades of yellow and green. At the foot of the bed is a large, deep brown chest that matches the free standing wardrobe across the room. An oval mirror stands beside it, its frame the same colour wood. My hair looks terrible and I’m in the grey clothes I had on when I woke up the first time with the Talented.
The only other furniture in the room is a bedside table with two draws; a lamp and a glass of water on top of it. Above the bedside table is a window.
A window! I’ve been dying to look out a window all week.
I leap out of bed, only vaguely aware of my socked feet hitting a sand-coloured rug.
I yank the lace curtains aside and suck in a sharp breath.
A farm spreads out before me. There is a large green field directly outside the house with different types of leaves sprouting out of the ground, a cornfield sits behind it and beyond that is a vineyard. Further back there’s a group of trees evenly spread out, so I gather it’s an orchard, though I can’t tell for sure from this distance.
Where am I now? Is this the other area Pax saw on the map when he hacked into the computers? This is nothing like where I thought they’d put me; it’s completely different from what the Talented called Paradise.
At least they didn’t kill me.
The door swings open and I jump, spinning around, pressing my back against the window.
A girl walks in. “Good, you’re awake.” Another Australian. She smiles, stops in front of me and places her hands on her hips. She looks to be about my age and is about my height, with a thin build. Her black hair is tied back in a ponytail, and her face is covered in freckles. She is wearing bottle green shorts and a white singlet, with a lighter green button up shirt over the top, unbuttoned. She wears camel coloured hiking boots.
Her hazel eyes rake over me. “Hi, I’m Laura.”
She doesn’t try to shake my hand, keeping her hands on her hips.
My mouth is dry and I have to swallow to answer her. “Amberly.”
“So you’re Talentless, huh? That’s sucktastic. I hope you didn’t get too used to the high life.”
I stare at her, having no idea how to respond.
“Not much of a talker or just in shock, probably shock, right? It’s a lot to take in, right? First you wake up in this strange place and have no idea where you are, can hardly remember who you are, and then you find out you’re worthless, or at least unwanted because you’re just an ordinary girl without a talent and you wake up here.” She waves her hand around, indicating the room. Does this girl ever take a breath? “How about some breakfast? Do you need to pee? Would you like me to show you the bathroom? I’ll show you the bathroom and then you can get changed.” She points to the wardrobe over her shoulder. “You’ll find clothes in there. Once you’re ready I’ll explain how everything works, yeah?”
Her hands fall from her hips and she starts to turn.
“Wait.” She pauses, her eyes meeting mine once more. “Where are we? What is this place?”
Her smile widens and she is all gleaming white teeth. “We call it The Farm.” She laughs. “Not very original, right? Some call it Hell, you know since the other place was known as Paradise. Anyway, I said I’ll catch you up after I show you the bathroom. C’mon.” She waves me forward. “We need to hurry, breakfast is almost over and everyone is dying to meet you.”
I follow her out of the room, surprised at how relieved I am that there is a normal door with a handle. There is no window in the hallway and it’s dark, but I can still see well enough not to bump anything, not that there was anything to bump into. The walls are bare and made of the same wood panelling as in my room. The floor is wooden and a long dark coloured rug lines it. I count five other doors as we walk, and there are stairs halfway along – no fancy elevator here. The bathroom is at the end.
It’s small, simple. White tiles cover the walls and sand coloured tiles spread over the floor. There’s a shower, toilet and vanity, with a three tier towel rack on the wall beside it. There is a window above the vanity and someone has put a small vase of yellow flowers on the sill.
I relieve myself, wash my hands and then stare at the door. I’m not ready to go out, to meet a bunch of new people. I don’t know if I can go through that all again; I just want to go home. I need to find a way out this time because I have a sinking feeling this nightmare is never going to end if I don’t, and I’m not sure I can go on like this for much longer.
Laura knocks on the door. “Everything okay in there?”
I place my hand on the door handle, close my eyes, take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“I can do this,” I whisper, opening my eyes. I brace myself, and then open door.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s