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by TANIKA SMITH WHEATLEY 2 months ago in Sci Fi
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AWAKE

FROM

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say…

Or is the scream inside my own head?

Chapter One

AWAKE

Where am I? I have woken up in what can only be described as a glass coffin – it’s probably not glass, more like plastic, perhaps – I attempt to reach out, to touch it, but I am unable to move my arms. I don’t feel as though I’m strapped in, but somehow, I am unable to feel or move my body – it’s not a tingly sensation, it’s more like my body is numb - wait – I can move my head, a little, if I strain hard enough, from side to side…

I know I’m in an upright position, I know I’m not in my bed, in my home, and I strain to peer around myself in the darkness…

There is no obvious lighting, but it’s not pitch dark in here either, I can make out other people, like me, all in these coffin like capsules, not only on either side of me, but above me, and below – and I gasp – it seems like hundreds of us, as far as I can see upwards, and downwards - all lining some kind of a large tubular cylindrical room – with nothing in between us, only perhaps 4-6 meters between me and the person directly opposite, and as I scrutinize the others, I gasp – no-one else is awake, conscious, they are all in a deep trance-like state – that’s when I realize, I’m supposed to be like that also, yet here I am, awake, looking at the others and wondering what happened, when, and what is happening…

I twist and turn my head in every direction – surely, I’m not the only one not sleeping – I try to call out, but no-one else hears me – why can’t I use my arms and legs and bang and kick on the enclosure? Why am I the only one awake?

I stop calling, no-one can hear me anyway, these individual capsules lining the dark inner wall must be soundproof, so I quietly concentrate on my surroundings – that’s when I realize that I think that we’re moving – without twisting and turning, without rocking or shaking, without engine sounds, I can only describe it as though we’re swiftly and silently – sliding? As though this tubular contraption is sliding through an elevator shaft maybe? And with a gulp, I also realize that it’s not completely silent as I had at first thought that it was - there is a sound – so quiet that I must strain my ears to hear it – a sound of spinning, if there is such a thing – from the outer side of this tubular cigar shaped contraption – yet we are not spinning on the inside – again, I strain my neck, looking everywhere, trying to figure out this place, what’s happening, why are we here? And where are we going?

Looking upwards, it only gets darker, no matter how much I blink and strain my eyesight, the capsules getting smaller in the vast distance, into complete blackness at the top – I presume that’s the top end, as we’re all in standing position in our capsules, and that sliding sensation means we’re going downwards – dropping – without windows with visible ‘things’ passing us, I have no way of knowing or measuring the speed, but I have a feeling that it’s faster than humans have, or could, withstand – which is probably why we’re all in these capsules and put into a very deep sleep, except, seemingly unlike any of the others, I woke up…

Perhaps, if I strain to look at the bottom end, I might be able to see anything else other than sleeping people in capsules lining a long giant tube, and I do…and I gasp….surely not, I manage to whisper to myself, and strain some more to be certain…

I blink, I swallow, I can’t believe what I’m seeing – there is no floor at the bottom of this thing – at the end of the rows of capsules, there is nothing at all – and I gasp – I have seen enough globes and maps to know what I’m looking at. “That’s Earth,” I manage to whisper out loud, “Our Earth…” And we seem to be approaching our very own planet – I am unable to take my eyes from the scene – our blue and white Earth, in space – and I gasp as I realize, oh my gosh, we’re, I’m, in outer space…

I am mesmerized – I cannot take my eyes from the sight – we seem to be falling towards Earth – we are speeding so fast that I see Earth getting larger as we approach – too fast – will we burn up when entering the atmosphere, as there is no floor – unless it’s a glass floor, but I have a feeling, no, although we’re all strapped to the inner part of this cylindrical vehicle, just on the other side of our capsules, we’re actually, in space – the plastic-like capsules are obviously all tiny spaceships attached to the dark cylindrical larger space vehicle so just on the other side of my protective capsule, is - space. The only obvious window in this thing is the bottomless bottom – we don’t seem to be slowing down – Earth is so large in front of us now that there is no visible space surrounding our planet and it only seems like moments before I can make out some of the countries, like Australia – and yes, Asia, and the Pacific – we must have crossed the atmosphere by now, this structure was not affected by it, nor were we, these capsules in this craft just slid through, obviously the technology is such that we’re not affected by entering the atmosphere, but…it’s still not slowing down – I’m not sure what I’m looking at now, but I see dry desert-like land, some greenery and rivers – and we’re still not slowing down…I look around me, everyone else is still quietly sleeping, unaware of what’s happening to them. Then, as quickly as I came out of it, I have either gone back into that deep suspended animation type of sleep again, or, we have crashed, with the last sound of my own scream reverberating through my mind…

Sci Fi

About the author

TANIKA SMITH WHEATLEY

When I was a young child, I would wake up in the night screaming because of nightmares. As time went on, I realized that I was looking forward to my dreams. They were much more exciting than my real life. So now, I write about my dreams...

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  • ROGER LYNNE TESSIER2 months ago

    Nice take on the challenge! Very compelling. Good writing!

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