Being kidnapped wasn't the strange part. The strange part was where I woke up. I woke up on a couch in front of a tv that didn't seem to work.
The apartment had no windows. It had no doors. The kitchen was fully accessorized. The fridge and cupboards were fully stalked. The living room had a couch and TV, but not much else. There was one bedroom with a large king-size mattress. It was minimalist in design, but still somewhat stylish. I searched every nook and cranny and tried to find some means of escape. I couldn't figure out how I had wound up here.
Flaps in the ceiling, near the walls, opened up and a blue mist started to pour into the apartment. The mist had an unnatural weight to it as it quickly pooled around my feet.
I looked for a means of escaping the rising gas. In the end, the best I could do was stand on the headboard of the bed and wait. The gas slowly rose, but with time my panic receded. There was something pleasant about the blue swirling gas below. The room had acquired a gentle smell, like the first breath of fresh air after years in the smog of a city.
I closed my eyes and imagined I was running through a field of flowers. Suddenly, I was falling face first toward the ground, but instead of dirt, I landed in a pile of feathers. I curled up with the feathers and let their warmth envelop me.
When I awoke, I was still in the apartment. My last memory from the day before was of standing on the headboard. I reasoned that the gas had put me to sleep, causing me to literally fall into bed. I was glad I hadn't chosen the kitchen countertops to stand on.
Hungry, I left the bedroom and headed toward the kitchen.
"Good morning test subjects 231B and 411L."
That sounded like it was coming from the TV, I headed for the living room and quickly realised there was a girl on the couch. She looked both frightened and as though she'd just woken up. The TV featured a woman with deep red lipstick and a labcoat on.
"You are currently in experimentation room 4, the aphrodisiac room. You will find that have you plenty of healthy nutritional options in the kitchen. Should you run out of something important, it will be restocked while you sleep. The kitchen also houses your garbage and recycling shoots, please be sure to separate your garbage and recycling appropriately. A list describing what may be recycled can be found on the fridge. Finally, the shower in the bathroom may only be used once per day. New items will be given to you as you reach behavioral checkpoints.
There are two rules which govern this room. A subject's failure to comply will result in the subject's termination. First, you may not do excessive harm to one another. Second, all pre-meditated sleep cycles must be done using the supplied bed.
Lastly, the aphrodisiac room has only one release condition. If, at any stage during your stay in the room, you do not have sexual intercourse for 144 hours, you will be released. That is all."
Then the screen went dark again. On a little display, mounted to the wall above the TV, there was a clock which started counting backward from 144 hours. Currently, it read, 143:59:45.
The girl and I looked at one another. By most standards, she was pretty. There was an actress she reminded me vaguely of, but I couldn't place it. We were silent for a time, but as it grew, I looked around.
"Any idea where we are?" I asked.
She looked at me, then shook her head.
"I'm, uh, I'm William - who are you?" I asked.
"Alison. Why are were here? What happened?" she was still taking it in.
I looked around, "I was on my way to work and then I woke up here. I have no idea what happened."
She looked at me for a time, "I was getting home from a party..."
"I looked for a phone, a window, a door, I can't find any way out of here."
"Oh," she said, for some reason she seemed scared of me.
"Do you want to look around?" I asked.
"I guess so, you're not strapped down are you?" I asked jokingly. She didn't laugh. In my defence, I didn't find it funny either, but the tension was miserable and I needed some way to break it.
She got up and started looking around. I sat down on the couch and ignored her while she explored. Between the couch and TV sat a coffee table, and on the table sat a deck of cards. The deck of cards seemed to be just about the only form of entertainment in the house. I opened it and started playing solitaire.
I was just finishing the first game when the girl came back in and started watching me. I looked up at her and tried to smile, she just looked back down at the cards, so I shrugged and kept playing.
"How did we get in here?" She asked suddenly.
"I have no idea."
"There has to be a way out or else how did we get in?" she asked.
I stopped playing and looked up, "There's probably a door and it's probably very well hidden. I looked for a few hours yesterday and didn't find anything. You're welcome to try as well."
"Yesterday? How long have you been here?" She asked, she seemed a bit less suspicious of me now.
"Since yesterday, I think. All the lighting is artificial and that clock hadn't started yet, so I'm not sure."
She looked at the clock and then at me. We sat in silence for a while.
"What are we gonna do?" she asked.
I shook my head, "What can we do? I'm gonna see if I can find a tool that will let me get out of here, but for right now I'm gonna finish this game and then make myself something to eat. I'm starving."
I was shocked at how calm I felt. She looked like she wanted to freak out and my calm was probably the only thing keeping her from going over the edge. It reinforced my need to stay calm and rational.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!" she screamed, ran at the TV, and started kicking it as hard as she could. Well, so much for keeping her calm. The TV broke the way you would expect a TV to break. Just as it fell over, the ceiling flaps opened again and the same blue mist-like gas started pouring into the apartment.
"What is that?" she screamed panicking.
"I think it's sleeping gas," I answered in what I hoped was a soothing voice.
"It's what? Sleeping gas? Oh my god, they're gassing us? This is illegal! This is poison! I'm going to die here," she ran at a wall, "Let me out! Let me out! Let me out! Let me out!" she yelled while banging at the wall.
Running toward the wall meant the mist got to her faster than it did me. She quickly collapsed onto the floor. I took a deep breath while the air around my head was still fresh and then stooped to pick her up. I gently placed her on the couch and then ran to the bedroom while I still had some oxygen in my lungs.
I collapsed on the bed and waited for the gas to put me to sleep. It did.
When I woke up, the girl was eating a bowl of cereal. I walked into the living room and quickly noticed that the TV had been replaced while we slept. I looked at the clock. 143:41:13; only 19 minutes had passed? That seemed impossible. The only thing I could think of was that sleep didn't count. This also meant that we couldn't count on the timer as a reliable clock.
I went back into the kitchen. I felt like I hadn't eaten in days. I grabbed a bowl and spoon and sat down, "how're you feeling?"
"Sorry for yelling," she said sheepishly.
"I probably would have done the same thing if I had somebody to yell at," I said earnestly by way of forgiveness.
She looked at her cereal, "My family doesn't even know to look for me. I haven't talked to them in months."
I poured a bowl and started to eat.
I was halfway done when I broke the silence, "My family has all passed on, so they're not going to be looking. Do you have anybody else that would notice you were kidnapped?"
She nodded, "My boyfriend will figure out what happened. He'll call the police."
"I hope it doesn't take them too long, I'm gonna get fired if it takes us six days to get out of here." I said.
"Six days?" she asked.
"The woman on the TV, she said we'll get released once the timer runs down."
"Right," she said, "well, if we don't have sex."
"Irresistible as you are, I think I can manage six days of abstinence. Also, you have a boyfriend, so you had better be able to manage it."
She smiled and it lit up her features, "Yeah."
"So, Alison, what do you do?" I asked.
"I'm a student at Cataraqua U," she answered, "you?"
"Cataraqua! That's halfway across the country!" I said.
"It is?" she asked.
I shook my head, "I work for a little startup company called Rooster. We're on the east coast."
"Oh," She said, "we could be anywhere."
"We could be anywhere, we might not even be in the same country anymore."
That depressed us both.
We talked for a while longer. We looked around the apartment but couldn't find any clues on how to break out. We decided not to try to break anything in case the blue mist returned.
Over the next few days we entertained ourselves by playing every card game we could think of. We discovered that the shower really could only be used once per day. We tried to keep it running while we switched, but the second she left the shower, it turned itself off and didn't turn on again.
.... There is more of this story ...