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By @aaron_stiefel


People yell something far away, and I realize my mistake.

I start sprinting, the weight of my metal leg slowing me down slightly, I have to keep going, I tell myself.

I continue sprinting, then find a closet, a closet, in the middle of the hall.

I sprint towards it, pulling on the knob.

It’s locked.

I curse, tears starting to form in my eyes, I’m screwed, I’m going to get killed for knowing too much.

And at that moment, the knob rips right off, and I jump back, blinking.

I did it again. I shake my head, opening the door and slamming it shut behind me, leaning on it and collapsing to the floor. I hear people running nearby, and a woman barking orders, and immediately recognize her voice, the woman that took Elaina.

“Find patient 228, get her back here, I don’t care if it’s dead or alive!”

Tears run down my cheeks, I didn’t ask for this, not at all.

I close my eyes, and immediately a memory comes to me.

I’m walking to my small studio, when I suddenly hear gunshots, and I run into the road, spotting the man with the gun. I scream, continuing to sprint, as he shoots me in the leg, then the arm, and the next thing I know, a car shoots towards me, the world turning black.

I yelp, clamping a hand over my mouth.

What happened to me?

Nothing about this can be possible… can it?

I trail my hand over the metal leg, feeling the smooth texture of the material, and try to remember anything that might help me figure out what’s going on.

A name comes to my mind. The name Elaina yelled, almost as some last ditch effort to try and save me.


A memory washes over me.

I’m sitting in a backyard, the sun shining down on me. I have a cup of iced tea in my hand and a book on my lap. Some fluffy romance book, with not much weight, just for some light reading. I’m not reading it, though. I’m smiling over at a little girl, who’s playing in the garden.

She hums a little song and it fills the air. It’s a familiar tune, something sung to her as she goes to sleep, or is being comforted.

It’s a sweet tune.

She picks some flowers, humming to herself, and skips around the brush and trees like a fairy. She’s wearing a blue tutu and a silver crown.

I feel overwhelming love at the sight of her.

Someone comes to the back door, and I look back briefly to see Elaina, looking out at the trees. “Come on, Ariel. It’s time for lunch.”

With that, the memory fades, and I’m left sitting in the cupboard again, more confused than before.

One thing that I am certain of, though, is that I love the little girl with the blue tutu, and though I don’t know how, or why, but somehow, I need to save her.

The beating of my heart is stronger than the shouting that is going on around me. I haven’t been detected yet. It’s only a matter of time.

I need to find some way to get out of here, some way to reach Elaina, and some way to get back to Ariel.

I need to save them.

The thought won’t go away. It is like a memory that I can barely grasp, yet can feel in my heart. I don’t know what I need to save them from, or how. I just know that I do.

The reasons escape me. The past, where that memory came from, is locked in my mind. I don’t know why I am here, or what is going on, but I know that I need to save them.

I desperately rack my brain to try think of a plan, but nothing comes.

My panic grows.

I’m running out of time.

I can hear the calls of the guards. They’re far away at the moment. Maybe too far to find me.

It’s my only hope. I think, desperately.

With a deep breath, I open the door to the closet and without looking, or hesitating, I begin to run as hard as I can.

As I run, the world around me seems to blur. I can feel my heart beating in my chest, a steady pulse that echoes across my skin.

As I run, I remember.

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