WRITTEN BY NICHOLE HAINES
©2017 NICHOLE HAINES
"Baby, you're going to make me late. Let's go already."
Chrissy yells as she picks up her coat and slips her feet into her shoes. She smoothed her pants and look toward the stairs before sighing deeply.
"For a scientist, you suck at keeping to time and you are going to make me really late. Get down already, Brian."
Brian runs down the stairs, looking a little unkempt and his eyes carried heavy bags that depicts his tiredness and stress. He smiles at Chrissy who rolls her eyes at him and he places a chaste kiss on her lips.
"I'm sorry," he says contritely, "I was up all night trying to figure some stuff out. It's going to be a very good day in the lab today. I made a headway."
Chrissy could not help but smile as he beams with pride.
"I'm happy, Brian. Let's go, you can tell me all about it in the car. You know Larry is not the most understanding boss, he'd get mad if I'm later than I already am."
"Right." Brian replies.
He takes an apple from the fruit bowl and rushes out after Chrissy. His wife's car is the only car they have in the family now and so, she takes him to work and sometimes pick him up after work, mostly on days when he is not working his ass off in the laboratory. He is a physicist in one of the top leading labs in Chicago and they are trying to make a headway about some new projects. The project would be a big one when it is successful, he and his team are very sure that the military would find it very useful when the final work has been done.
"Let's go, let's go." His wife chants.
The couple talked and talked on the way to work and Brian shares his new discovery with his wife in the most excited state and Chrissy cheers him on, encouraging him and giving him as much support as she could for his ground breaking research even though it was siphoning funds, she didn't mind. The end result he projected was the best and her eyes are well on the prize. She pulls up in front of his work and they kiss each other before Brian alights from the car and Chrissy drives off to her office.
At exactly 6pm, Chrissy parks her car in front of the lab and calls Brian who begged her to wait. After some time, she leaves the car and enters the building. The receptionist greets her politely and leads her to Brian's office. He is the lab and Chrissy sits on his chair, waiting for him to show up. Bored out of her mind, she stands and walks around the office trying to while away time and her attention falls on something covered in white cloth on a table at the corner of the office. She removes the cloth and marvels at the strange machine under. She rubs her finger over it, admiring and fascinated by every intricate detail. She presses a button and a ray hit her, causing her to fall and lose consciousness.
"Hey baby, sorry..."
Brian starts to say as he enters the office before his sees Chrissy lying and looking pale in the floor. He rushes to her.
"No,no. Chrissy? Wake up baby, wake up. Somebody help. Who's there? Help me."
He yells and soon the receptionists and a couple of other workers burst in through the door and sees a very scared Brian trying to lift Chrissy off the floor. The receptionist, Zoe dials 911 as one of the guys tried to check for Chrissy's pulse and do CPR on her. The medics arrived in record time and help moved Chrissy to a hospital in their van, with Brian panicking beside her still and white body.
"She's barely holding on, her pulse is faint and she is slowly ebbing away." The doctor informs Brian, " We are trying our best, I'm sorry, Mr Coleman."
"Doctor, you have to try. That's my wife in there. She's gotta be okay, she's gotta be." Brian cries.
"I'm sorry but we are losing her."
Brian punches a nearby wall, before returning into the room where Chrissy lays and pulls a chair beside her bed.
"Baby, you gotta come back. You have to fight, stay alive. I need you, I don't want to go through all these alone." He holds her hand in his, "I should have told you to go home. How did you find that machine? It's the one I told you we were trying to work on to help soldiers project a n illusion during war but kept on killing our test subjects. I can believe, baby girl, you let the beam hit you. Please, don't die." Brian cries.
"Mr Coleman," a nurse says as she enters the room, "Please, I'd need you to excuse me for a while."
Brian nods and leaves after kissing Chrissy's forehead.
Her eyes open slowly as she tries to take in whete she is. She blinks continuously in a bid to focus and see the blurred form in front of her clearly. She moves her hand and realises that though she was weak, she coikd move it and then she slowly toughens Brian's hair, causing him to wake up from his sleep.
"Hey" She says weakly.
Brian raises his hand and is taken aback to see Chrissy awake.
"Oh my God. Baby, you're alive. I thought you left me." He hugs her tightly, kissing her face after I'm his excitement.
The doctor and nurses enter the room and checked on Chrissy before eventually turning to Brian.
"It's a miracle. I have no idea how this happened. However, she's emaciated and we would like to keep her for a week at least before letting her go." Dr Jai informs.
"That's fine, doctor. Thank you."
The doctor nods and leaves with his team.
"What happened? How long have I been here?"
"Six days, baby, six days. The worst six days of my life. " Brian narrates what had happened to her while Chrissy listens with rapt attention, soaking every detail in.
"I had no idea what I was doing, I was just trying to keep myself occupied while waiting for you. What's the machine for? Why were you so scared I could die?" She wants to know.
Brian sighs and holds Chrissy's hand. "It's the machine I told you wasn't successful when we tested them on our lab rats, it killed them. The point of building it was that when the ray of the machine which consisted of a lot of complex things you don't need to know," he chuckles nervously, "hits the subject, it modifies the particles in their body such that when another person looks at them, they are not there. It is to create an illusion of absence but it went wrong and killed every test subject. I still can't believe you survived see you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine. You don't look good, you need to go home and get some rest please. I'm fine really."
It took Chrissy an hour to convince her husband she was doing okay before he leaves. She looks around and finds a book Brian must have been reading and she tries to distract herself with it. She had not read the book for along period when she felt her spin. She closes her eyes and opens them after sometime.
She is shocked to find herself in a maze. How did she get here?
She closes her eyes and opens them again, finding herself on her hospital bed. She chuckles and she realized she was hallucinating. She continues to read and after some time, fatigue set in and she closed her eyes to sleep.
How did I get here? What is this maze?
"Hello, hello, is somebody here? Hello." She shouts into the empty maze and her voice echoed back to her. She looks around the compartment and saw some crazy writings on the wall, it alarms her that she understands what it means and she runs out in fear, into the maze, trying to find a way out of it.
Something was buzzing up ahead and she looks up to find a couple of UFOs floating in the sky above the maze, she screams and continues to run.
"Anybody there? Help me. Help me."
She runs into a corner and a strange looking not-so-human stands there, smiling at her. She stops and screams before turning on her heels and running back the same way she had come. She runs at fast as her short legs could carry her, screaming, she looks back to see if she is being followed but she misses her step and falls on her face. She starts to cry.
She wakes up with a start, sweat soaking her pillow and her body covered in sweat. She looks around and realizes she is still in her hospital room and sighs. It was just a bad dream. She feels a sting on her knee and raises her gown to check, she gasps as she sights a fresh wound like she had when she fell in her dream. She screams and starts to hyperventilate.
A doctor and a nurse rush into her room and starts checking her vitals while encouraging her to relax. She was able to steady her breathing after some time and she starts to sob.
"Ms Coleman,, we need you to calm down and just relax. Get as much rest as you can."
She shakes her head, " Please get me my husband, I want my husband. I need to see him, now, please."
"Okay, we will do that but I need you to stop crying and relax. Doctor's orders."
She nods but didn't stop crying until after a while and the doctor takes his leave. Brian rushes in and is by her side in record time, sitting by her and scooping her in his arms.
" I got a call and was asked to come, are you okay?"
She starts to cry again, "I had a bad dream, I found myself in a maze and there were UFOs, then this strange looking person was in the maze and I started to run and i fell."
"Oh, my baby. It was just a dream." He pets her, kissing her face.
"It was more than a dream, I bruised my knee when I fell in my dream and the bruise was there when I woke up."
She raises her dress to reveal her perfect knees and it took Brian all within his power not to laugh at her, Chrissy however turns ashen, surprised and shocked, as she is sure there had been a bruise earlier, not just any bruise at that, the exact same one she had in her dream.
"Baby, you need to rest, it's an hallucination."
"It's not. It was real." She argues.
"Okay, baby. Just rest, real okay?"
"I can't believe you think I'm making this up, I'm not, it's real. Something is off." She purses her lips and stops talking is she realizes her husband is beyond amused by her from the look on his eyes. She sighs and they remain quiet.
It is late at night and Brian is snoring softly in the corner. Chrissy is very tired but is scared to close her eyes because the dread of her dream loomed over her. She yawns repeatedly and wakes up each time she dozes off. She continues until her brain submits to the will of her tired body and she falls asleep.
"Chrissy...Chrissy... Wake up... Wake up."
She groans, tired and wanting more sleep but the whisper continues until she pries her eyes open, slowly. She seem relieved now to find herself in a maze this time and she looks around to see who had called her awake.
"Who's there?" she asks in a whisper, ensuring she didn't wake Brian from his sleep.
There was no reply. She tries to return to sleep when the voice calls out again.
"Chrissy, get up. Get up now."
She is at alert now and she looks around again, trying to decipher where the voice is coming from or whose it was.
"Don't shout, just follow the light."
She immediately notices a green light at the entrance of her room and her curiosity piques, she would like to see however is playing this kind of prank with her or maybe she is hallucinating again. She closes her eyes and opens it but the light was still there, she closes it a couple more times but each time it was the same, she slaps herself to be sure but the light remained and it dawns on her that she was not hallucinating. She gets down from her bed and removes the IV attached to her and follows the green light.
The green light takes her through the long corridor of the hospital and she is surprised that she passed beside the nurses and even through the reception without anyone stopping her to ask questions or to go back to her room. She continues and follows the light into the darkness of the night.
She finds herself in the maze again but she isn't as scared as the first time. She walks through the maze, trying to figure out why she is there but nothing made sense to her. The UFOs were in the sky above the maze, only this time, they were about seven of them. She raises her head to the sky and yells.
"What do you want from me? Do you want me dead? Kill me, kill me already. "
"No one wants to kill you."
The voice came from her back and she turns immediately to see who it is. It is the same non-human she saw earlier in her dream. She takes a step back, suddenly losing strength but gaining courage.
"Who do you think you are? What do you want with me. Let me go."
"I'm afraid, we can't. You see after you were hit with that ray, your body experienced change. We got a frequency and you have been activated."
"Activated? For what? Who are you?"
"I am CxJ-89. I am a Crophen... "
"What? What in God's name is that?"
"Just asked you are a Caucasian, I am a Crophen and I live on Mars. You have a frequency that resonates in Mars and so we have come to get you."
Chrissy is alarmed and starts to cry, "Leave me alone. Let me be..." She starts to back away but CxJ-89 appears behind her.
"There's a test for you. "
She screams and she notices it had disappears in front of her to her back, she turns and faces him.
"Don't kill me, please."
"Like I said, there is a test, to determine if your human instincts and feelings is more than your alien resonance. Good luck." It disappears.
Chrissy screams in terror and runs out of the compartment and through the dark alleys of the maze, trying to find a way out. She runs at fast as her legs could carry her, panting as she runs. The UFOs remain overhead, buzzing and following her every movement. She runs into a fairly lighted compartment of the maze and stops in her track at what she sees, it looks like her childhood bedroom had been lifted and fitted into the compartment. She saw her teddy bear, Mary Louise on her pink bed and she rushes toward it. She carries it and hugs it to her chest, sobbing heaving
She feels a movement on her shoulder and she holds the bear it arms length, watching with eyes open wide as it transforms into a wild and horrible looking puffy bear with saber tooth. She screams and it growls and she runs out of the room, even more terrified. She runs fast as the bear chases her through the maze and she gets to a dark alley, turns into it and hides there. She covers her mouth as the bear walks to where she hid but it goes back. She stays there for a minute and soon enough she hears two voices from behind her, she turns and screams as she sights some zombie-look alike behind her. The creature throws a knife at her and misses and she runs out of the room with the creature throwing knives at her as she ran, the bear joins too and they both pursue her relentlessly round the maze. She screams and yells for help but she could only hear the echo of her own voice.
Her strength was leaving her and she knows that soon, one of them would catch up to her and then she would die but she continues to run. She trios and falls into some warm hands, she looks up expecting to see another horrible looking human but there is Brian, looking at her in a worried way and suddenly she was back in the hospital corridor.
"Are you okay? Are you okay?" He asks, worry creasing her forehead and she falls on his chest and starts to sob.
She continues to sob, trying to tell him her woes when she notices the hallway was dark again and she is back in the maze. It dawns on her that it was an illusion, it was Brian and it transforms into another creature and it's hands covers her throat, choking the life out of her ĺ. She trues without effort to pry it's hands off her throat as she feels her supply of oxygen reduce but it was stronger. She struggles against it, hitting it on the chest severally but the creature seem to enjoy the process of sniffing the life out of her.
Tears fall down her eyes and as she feels her death coming closer, she attempts one last attempt at freedom. She raises her knee and hit the creature square in its crotch. The attack affected it and his girl loosened off her neck and it staggers backward in pain. It growls and it's eyes sparks red as he regains it's composure, causing Chrissy to dash off in the opposite direction, away from it.
She continues to run and stumbles. She struggles to get on her feet and tries to run but runs into the creature that had tried to choke her. She backs away and her back hit something, she turns and it was the evil teddy bear. She is trapped, she knows, trapped between two things trying to rid her off life. She backs the wall and holds her breath as both creatures move towards her, ready to snap her like a twig.
Her back hits the wall and she takes a final deep breath but the wall gives way and she loses her balance, falling into a dark hole that seem endless and she screams on top of her lungs, terrified of what her next fate would be.
She tumbles and realizes she has stopped falling through the tunnel, she lifts her head and sees people running toward her. Somehow and unexceptionably, she is the middle of the road.