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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)

TITLE: Not Completely Gone
By Ruth Neilson
03/06/13


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The room was white. Blindingly so, and she blinked several times. She wasn’t sure where she was—or even how she had gotten there. Plastic tubing ran down from a bag into her hand. She looked around, trying to make sense out of everything. It wasn’t a hospital, but everything about it felt like one.

The last thing she remembered was trying to meet Simon at the Serenity Family Bistro, except she never made it there. She squeezed her eyes closed, trying to remember more. She was missing something.

Who was she?
What was wrong with her?

She could vaguely remember Simon with his wide smile and strawberry blonde hair. He was a leader…someone that had to be protected at all costs. But she couldn’t remember who she was.

She opened her eyes, and tugged at the leather straps that kept her bound in the chair.

“It’ll be easier on ya...” A man’s voice floated throughout the room causing her eyes to dart around. "If ya stop struggling. Ya might keep your name." The voice faded as quickly as it emerged, only punctuated with a cackle. Her eyes widened and she struggled against the leather bindings. The man’s voice became crazed as he started to repeat quietly as it faded away, “Two by two, hands of…”

“I’m not sure what’s going on around here,” She informed the voice before a door slid open. A lean man entered the room. He was wearing white scrubs and a pair of blue latex gloves. He studied her as a malevolent smirk grew on his thin lips.

“Glad to see you awake, Miss 4367.”
She stared at him. “What are you doing to me?”
“Just some simple reprogramming, is all Miss. I’m just fixing a few personal belief quirks that your family finds repulsive. Now just relax, Miss. This won’t hurt at all.”

His voice reminded her of snake oil and she shivered as he reached up and squeezed the bag that was connected to her IV.

“I’ll fight it.”

“As expected, thus the set up you are in. Now, before the reprogramming kicks in, is there anything else that you wish to say? Perhaps, about information about any of your contacts in the underground?”
She spat at the ground before pulling herself up higher despite her restrains. “I have no other choice but to aim to misbehave.” She paused and cleared her throat, feeling the drugs tighten their hold on her mind. “And I pray that I will never be completely reprogrammed into your will!”

The man laughed as he sneered at her. “So be it.”


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This article has been read 181 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
Whoa, what a suspenseful thriller this is. I could almost feel the panic. You drew me right in and my mind raced to try and figure out the captors. Perhaps government gone wrong, a cult or a deprogramming of a cult member. I struggled a bit st first to see the topic, but then a duh washed over me and the restraints tied in the topic. This is a great story. My biggest complaint is I want to read st least another 300 pages or so. :-)
Allen Povenmire 03/08/13
I read this twice, both times finding myself gritting my teeth and squirming along with the MC. Very effective writing. Left me wanting more.
Virgil Youngblood 03/08/13
You did a great job of building increasing tension, thus readability. I thought the tie to the topic was a little weak but other than that -- great story. Well done.
lynn gipson 03/08/13
You had from hello on this one. Very suspenseful, emotionally charged piece. Great writing.

God Bless
Lillian Rhoades 03/08/13
The "Tie" theme was weak, but the suspense was not. And I keep thinking, what am I missing that everyone else seems to get?

Your open-ended last sentence REALLY left me wanting more. :-)
Noel Mitaxa 03/08/13
Creeeeeepeeeeee. Unreal descriptions and atmosphere, with just enough hope to invite readers to rethink our own course.
Well done.
Cheryl Harrison 03/08/13
Great descriptions, but I was left wanting to know more about your MC. Was she a human or was she an android? Write another chapter and fill us in! :o) Thanks for writing.
Phee Paradise 03/09/13
I loved the suspense and the references to Firefly, and the story was intriguing. Since you asked for red ink, I'll tell you about the one thing that threw me off. I need to visualize the setting when I'm reading. When the MC said it felt like a hospital but wasn't, I wanted to know what made it not be a hospital. Then when I discovered she was in a chair, I wondered what made it seem like a hospital, besides the IV. I'm sure your descriptions were intended to create the sense of confusion the MC had, but they made it difficult for me to get into the rest of the story.
Bonnie Bowden03/09/13
Haunting and spooky. Really well though out: however, I want to know more. Who was her family? What had she done?, etc.
Danielle King 03/09/13
The atmosphere and the suspense gripped me. I forgot to breathe. Brilliant writing, but I'm left bewildered. Was it sort of loosely based around Satan's attempts to force the MC to abandon her faith in God? Sorry to be so dumb. I'm old!
Alicia Renkema03/09/13
Like Danielle, I was reminded totally of the enemy of all our souls trying to wreck havoc with our beliefs, even the talk about the feel of snake oil. It didn't seem as if she were even on earth, it almost seemed as if she had been captured by demons and put into one of their "think tanks" of sorts." There were so many missing pieces, for something so short, I would have preferred not to have quite so many questions by the end of the piece. I was left wondering what exactly it was that I had read. Very suspenseful and gripping to be sure and totally scary scenario, but what was it that the MC was facing? Maybe I need to back and re-read. Maybe there is a clue there that I am missing...
Bea Edwards 03/09/13
Whoo eee creepy!
I'm still trying to figure out if the MC was a spy or a Christian in the end times...looking forward to a sequel as I'm not creative enough to figure this one out. Well written and suspenseful but left me hanging. Perhaps that was you point and I'm too dense to realize it :-0
Judith Gayle Smith03/09/13
I felt the tie at the start - the leather bands just tied it together.

We are in danger of losing our identities and becoming mere numbers if we aren't in the Christ. Tie our hearts to His . . .
Joseph Veseli03/10/13
This is a very cool sci-fi story! I'm a big fan of Star Wars, but I did watch a few Firefly episodes to get the connection.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I do understand why a lot of the other comments talk about being confused. If you don't read a lot of sci-fi type stories, it will leave you over-thinking the plot. I also know that 750 words is short for this type of work.

I liked it and I really enjoyed the parallels I saw within the story.
Vince Martella03/10/13
Very cool - I can totally see this as a modern day Twilight Zone segment.I have to agree that 750 words is not nearly enough to do this story justice. I might have left some of the Simon narrative out in favor of some more storyline since he's incedental. But, then, maybe that's just selfish - you've got a word count and I just want to read more of a great story. Creepy, edgy and very creative. Love it! Hope it places well.
Richard Hicks03/11/13
This is a very mysterious piece. It left me wanting to read more. It was easy to read and did flow well, in my opinion.