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Change the World - Lab

by BP | Score: 6400

The lights cut out. Whether it was instinct or fear, Nathan felt his body lower itself toward the floor in a protective couch. 

"Shit." Even whispered, his voice still echoed throughout the lab.  Thoughts entered his mind. Stories. Old tales about how the lab had been built in the grounds of the old sylvan living commons. Fire burned it down. Started by a suicide attempt. Or a ceremony meant to summon the dead. Or witches. Or dead witches. Bunch of dead kids. That sort of thing. Real Sylvia Plath meets Shirley Jackson meets, who the hell knows. Lovecraft. It always comes back to Lovecraft.

Something shifted in the darkness. A desk being bumped. Or moved. Or dragged in front of a door, ensuring a nice claustrophobic, fiery death.

Nathan shook his head. He needed the thoughts out. He was a scientist for Christ sakes. He knew better.

Another shift. This one closer. Dead feet dragging. Shambling closer.

"Stop it," he hissed under his breath. If there was something out there searching, then talking himself into hysterics (out loud, no less) wasn't helping matters. He started to reach out, then, thinking better, placed his hands to the floor. Crouched as he was, any attempt at movement would surely result in shoes squeaking across clean linoleum. He needed to be smart about this. Cautious.

Placing his weight on his hands so it was evenly distributed, he started crawling. Where he was going he had no idea, but every few feet he'd stop, reach out, and wave his hand around slowly, trying to make contact with something in order to get his bearings.

That he vey well might hit the leg of some lumbering murderer, alerting the ravenous behemoth to his presence, swung through his mind like a creepy, doll-faced kid on a set of rusty swings. Still, he needed to figure out where he was. He hadn't paid any attention really to his position in the room before the lights died. But he vaguely remembered there being a table somewhere to his left.

Passing his weight from one hand to the next, he reached out, groping in the darkness for something he hoped was metallic, solid, and lifeless.

Nothing.

"Shit." His body was shaking badly, but now wasn't the time to think about how little advantage he took of the free gym membership that came as part of his grant. Refocusing, Nathan returned to all fours and crept forward another foot or two. Patience, he knew, would be key, but instead of subsiding with time, his panic had only managed to grow with every second he spent stranded in the pitch black sea. He recalled stories of sailors, having survived catastrophic shipwrecks, going insane while they waited in the vast emptiness of the ocean. Man's mind was not built to handle infinity. Endlessness. If it was his DNA wouldn't be stamped with an expiration date.

Sweat poured down his forehead, clinging to his lips. One bead, originating somewhere along his hairline, cut a path down the middle of his face before settling on the tip of his nose. His face twitched. As he moved forward, all he could think of was that bead of sweat and how uncomfortable it felt. How much it itched. When it got too much to bear he reached up and dabbed on his nose.

Stupid. He hadn't been thinking and the distribution of weight went out of sync. He lost his balance and went careening toward the floor, rolling onto his back. He came to a stop, hard, against the desk he had been searching for, causing a terrific racket.

In the darkness a young woman screamed. Nathan, still on his back, struggled to return to his hands and knees, looking, he imagined, like an overturned beetle in the summer heat. When he finally righted himself he was under the table which meant when he tried to look around to identify the screamer, he whacked the side of his head against the metal side.

"Fuck me!"

"Nathan?"

It was the girl. The one with the big glasses and pretty lips. What was her name? "Yeah. Hyu?"

"Hyun."

"Yeah. Sorry. Ah, you ok?"

He felt her slide up beside. For a moment, it didn't matter how dark it was, or how much he felt like someone was watching him, simply feeling the warmth of another human being at his side turned all his dials back to center and he suddenly the world was no longer so vast and empty.

"I'm ok. You?"

"Yeah. Fine." He said, before adding, "Fucking table."

"You sure you're alright?"

"I'll be ok. So, what's the problem?"

"What problem?"

He laughed despite himself, and in the darkness he could feel her laughing too.

"Rob do this every Saturday? A team building exercise, right?"

She laughed again. More so than the joke deserved he thought. In the midst of being scared shitless, even the most mediocre of j

Completed challenges

The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:

Begin Start typing to begin
Letter Use the letter I
Location A laboratory
Words Reach 50 words
Words Reach 100 words
Words Reach 200 words
Words Reach 300 words
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words
Words Reach 600 words
Words Reach 700 words
Event Your character is being watched
Sentence "What problem?"
Event Your character laughs uncontrollably
Words Reach 800 words

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