I sit in the dim parlor, waiting. The stiff horsehair cushions beneath me are a gaudy orange that nearly matches the peach of the drapes – both glaringly bright and sickeningly pale at once. The roses on the sampler in my hands weep in despair as I prick my finger yet again in my boredom. Across the room, the bright sunshine of the forbidden outdoors gleams tauntingly around the drapes. My eyes remain fixed on the dust motes sparkling in a sharp lance of light that pierces the gloom to land on the floor near my feet. Far in the distance, I can hear the sounds of people – voices shouting, the crunch of footsteps on the rough gravel paths, Cook yelling at someone out back in the garden. If only I could join them instead of being imprisoned in here.
I yawned, glancing at the clock. 11:30?! Why did this report have to be so long? And about Ancient Egypt of all things. If there was ever a subject to send a person to sleep, it was studying the rise and fall of the Egyptian pharaohs.
I stood in the laboratory door, savoring the feeling of success. I had finally done it; I had achieved my certification in the fields of biochemistry and microbiology at our Dome University and was now called Dr. Aisha Holston. I was ready to begin my career as a scientist, researching the Plastic Plague and ways to end its devastating impacts on our planet Earth. Could I finally achieve my dream to help the suffering life in the Outside? As for what led me to this spot, it all begins many years ago with an early morning walk on the beach…