The Secrecy

Chapter 1

Adam West’s eyes flickered open. White. The only thing he could see was white. No object, just a solid shade of totally blank white. Perfect. Pure. Blinding.

 

He threw himself forwards, his stomach lurching slightly, his head filling with blood from the movement. Even though his vision was blurry, unnaturally dull due to the blood filling his head, he could still see what was in front of him. A room, empty with smooth, blank walls. In the corner in front of him sat a toilet, the type Adam would have thought that prisoners would use. Prison.

 

The idea made sense to him. Was he in a prison? Solitary confinement? No, that couldn’t be right. He could remember climbing into his bed in his bedroom, in his house. Where he was now didn’t resemble his room, size or shape wise. He was somewhere else entirely, but prison wasn’t the correct location. Surely.

 

He turned his head, his neck stiff from sleeping on a solid surface. The barren walls continued, stretched around him to form a square. In the middle of the wall parallel to him sat a door, white, of course, with nothing except for what looked like a wide, metal cat flap at the bottom. There wasn’t even a handle.

 

The dangling light in the centre of the ceiling, too close to the ceiling for him to reach, sat there without a lightshade. The glow was, of course, a bright white, reflecting from the white of the walls and shining into the pupils of his eyes. Adam began to wonder if even those would turn white within time. It would fit the aesthetic of the room if they did.

 

He slid his legs over the side of the bed. No. It wasn’t a bed. Standing up and turning around revealed what he had been lying on: what looked like a slab of bright, white stone protruding from the wall, thick enough to avoid snapping from his weight, wide enough for him to fit comfortably without being stuffed into the smooth concrete. Was it concrete? Adam couldn’t tell, not even by feeling the walls. They were perfectly smooth. They didn’t even feel slightly sticky like he expected them to feel due to them having been painted. It was almost as if the architects who had designed the maddening monstrosity which was the chamber had created a new material, almost like plastic but much stronger, less slippery but not firm like brick or concrete.

 

Adam began to walk around the room, stretching his legs slightly. Despite the situation, he wasn’t panicked, just confused. How had he gotten there? Had he been dragged there by someone, pushed through the handle-less door, laid to rest on the slab of stone and left to rot?

 

As he thought, a sound came from the door. Adam froze, turned and stared at the flap. It moved, ever so slightly, but it moved. Someone was on the other side.

 

Adam tried to speak, tried to tell the other person, or other being, that he was in there, trapped, hungry, thirsty, scared, but the words didn’t come. He could feel his vocal cords vibrating against each other, a light buzz in his chest proving that they were functional. But no sound came from his mouth.

 

He opened his mouth wider, slowly putting more effort into talking, shouting, yelling, screaming, but, still, no noise came.

 

The flap was pushed open, a hand appearing. Adam leaped forwards, wanting to grab the hand. If he couldn’t communicate through words, he could communicate by actions, force the person to explain what was going on. Though, when he reached the hand, trying to grab it, it slipped away.

 

Adam dropped to his knees at the flap as it closed. He tried to push it open, but it wouldn’t budge. It was one-way. Maybe, just maybe, he had ruined his opportunity for answers.

 

He adjusted himself so he was sitting on the hard, shiny floor before he slid back, not stopping until he was pressed against the wall of unknown substance. Running a hand through his dark blonde hair, Adam took a deep breath. At least there was oxygen. Though, with how the situation was, he wouldn’t have been surprised had the supply suddenly dwindled, leaving him to grasp at his throat, choking on nothing.

 

Then the flap opened again. Adam watched as the hand returned. It slithered in, holding the flap open. Then came a small tray, a second hand holding it, stuffed through the opening and placed on the floor, the first hand retracting, disappearing, leaving the metal flap to swing shut again.

 

Adam darted forwards, springing to his feet only to fall down again moments later. Food. There was a sandwich, carrot sticks, an apple and a bottle of water.

 

Adam immediately grabbed the bottle, twisting the cap off before he thrusted the top into his mouth, leaning his head back and taking in the cold liquid. Even though, being almost sixteen, Adam had tasted plenty of water in his lifetime, he swore that the liquid in the bottle was the best tasting drink he had ever consumed.

 

Then he attacked the food. He savagely snatched the sandwich from the tray, stuffing a large portion of it into his mouth and letting out a near soundless groan of satisfaction at the taste. It was white bread with English mustard slathered on the surface, a slice or two of ham between the pieces to add extra substance. It was gorgeous despite it being so simple.

 

After he’d brutally demolished the sandwich, the apple was next in line in his onslaught. He tore at the fruit with his teeth, taking more per mouthful than he could realistically swallow, though he managed it, somehow.

 

As soon as he finished, he began to ravage the carrot sticks. There were only five in total, meaning that they had been devoured within a minute or less, but Adam enjoyed them anyway.

 

Feeling slightly better, he took another swig of water, returned the cap to the top of the bottle and, not knowing what to do with the tray, pushed it to rest in front of the flap again. Maybe the person who’d posted it was waiting on the other side.

 

Satisfied with the meal, Adam stood. The sudden hunger problem had been dealt with, but that wasn’t nearly the biggest problem. Questions floated around inside of his head, asking the same things over and over again, sometimes worded differently though meaning the same thing. Why was he there? Who had put him there? What was the purpose of him being locked in a room? Why was everything the exact same shade? Was he insane, that being the reason why he was trapped? How had he arrived? How had someone, something or, even possibly, no-one at all, taken him from his cosy bed and thrown him into the prison?

 

There was the word again. Prison. Logic told Adam that he wasn’t in prison, solitary confinement or anything similar. But did he believe it? Originally, yes. He was a logical person, always looking for an answer that made sense. He didn’t believe in anything supernatural, he didn’t believe in any higher power like a god, and he definitely didn’t believe in superstition. But even though he dismissed those ideas, he couldn’t help but look for an answer using them. Had some form of god decided to take him and throw him into what was gradually being envisioned as a torture chamber? Had he been dragged there by non-realistic creatures? Had what had been dubbed as “bad karma” built up and struck him all at once? If any of those possibilities were true, Adam wouldn’t have been surprised. But no. Nothing came. No answer, no explanation, no reason. Nothing.

 

He sat on his “bed” again, looking around at the walls. Maybe one of the walls were weak? A secret door? Maybe there was a trapdoor hidden in the floor or in the ceiling? The room seemed to be too barren, so empty that it felt like a trick. A deception.

 

Adam reluctantly stood again, though, at the same time, motivated to escape. Escape. While that word described what he was doing, or at least, what he was trying to do, Adam couldn’t tell if it felt right or silly to describe his intent and actions as “looking for a way to escape.”

 

He bent over, looking under the slab. Maybe there was a vent. The oxygen was coming from somewhere, wasn’t it? Unless there were tubes pushing oxygen into the room from the other side of the wall on non-used hinges, there would be somewhere for the oxygen to enter and exit. But where?

 

Despite his expectations, a study of the enclosure revealed no vent. No miniscule window, not even a hole in the wall. The walls were, as they appeared to be, perfectly smooth from top to bottom.

 

Adam walked in circles, staring at the walls, shifting his gaze to the makeshift door, to the toilet, to the bed, to the door, to the toilet, to the bed, door, toilet bed.

 

There was a crack beside the toilet. It was tiny, barely noticeable, but there. Adam rushed forwards when he saw it, dizzy, almost falling over and having to stabilise himself on the wall. He leaned his head closer, gawking at the truth. It wasn’t a crack, it was a seam. A seam which made a square surrounding the prison-like waste funnel.

 

Adam felt it. It was like a tiny dip in the wall. Not like a crack which could have bent inwards or outwards in various places, interchangeably etched into the substance which made the walls. Instead, it was almost like the gap between a door and a door frame. Door.

 

He grabbed the rim of the toilet bowl and tugged. He knew that it could only go one way because the wall would obstruct the necessity. It swung open. It was stiff, but with enough force, Adam pulled it open.

 

He let go and walked around the hatch. There was a tunnel. A metre wide, a metre tall. A tunnel which stretched into darkness. It could continue for miles for all Adam could tell. Metres, miles, lightyears. Despite that fact, it was better than staying in the room. In fact, the direct contrast of colour and light was vastly more appealing than remaining in the empty room. At least the tunnel went somewhere.

 

A chill ran up Adam’s spine. What if it didn’t go anywhere? What if it stretched for ages and abruptly ended? What if he ended up trapped at the end, unable to turn around and crawl back? He dismissed the thoughts. It was a risk he would have to take.

 

Adam slid onto his stomach, only just realising that there weren’t any pipes coming from the toilet. It was useless, anyway, so it was lucky that he hadn’t needed to use it. He started to slide forwards, his hands stretched past his head. Stretch, grab, pull. Stretch, grab, pull. It didn’t take long for him to get into a rhythm. Stretch, grab, pull.

 

Light. Sudden. Perfect. Pure. Blinding. White.

 

A voice. “Come.”

 

Adam looked up. A woman, tall with straight, brown hair which ended at her shoulders. She looked young, maybe in her late twenties, and she was stern-looking. Impressed, maybe, if Adam squinted.

 

He didn’t hesitate. What did the woman want? Why did she want him to follow her? The questions swarmed his mind for a moment before he hushed them, supressed them. No time for questions.

 

The woman turned and began to walk away. He had emerged into a corridor, the very end of the corridor, the only way being straight ahead, behind the woman.

 

Adam stood and followed.

The Secrecy