test test test
this is a third test
This is a fourth test.
It all began with a test but young James knew that. It seemed like getting to the test was almost impossible. In his head he kept saying the words "this is a test", "this is a second test","this is a third test" and the numbers kept getting higher without anything being said.
As he navigated the maze of hallways that lead to the Test Room, the numbers grew higher and higher, faster and faster, inside his head. There were so many corridors and stairways... was there usually this many stairs? He was just beginning to think he was thoroughly lost, when he saw the big red sign that read "TEST ROOM" above a shiny steel door.
He paused for a moment unsure whether or not to enter, behind this door could await the key to his dreams and success, but equally possible could be his imminent death.
Slowly he creaked the door open and within he discovered a pitch black room he stepped inside and the door quickly snapped shut behind him. Startled he tried the door, it was locked.
"Come down dear, there is nothing to be afraid of" Came a scratchy voice from somewhere inside the darkness.
"Who's there" He called
"Who I am is not important," the voice replied "come closer, dear, let me see who you are."
James nervously stepped toward the sound of the voice. In the pitch blackness, he was unsure of his footing and moved slowly and cautiously, careful not to trip.
"Ah, there you are," said the voice, sounding closer now. "Do not be afraid, young James, you are safe here."
"Is this the test?" James asked hesitantly.
"The test will begin when you are ready," the voice responded, calm and soothing.
"How will I know what to do?" he asked, feeling confused and unprepared.
"I can only tell you two things:" the voice replied, sterner now, "You will leave the test unharmed, and exactly three minutes will have passed by the time you complete it. The rest, you must determine, for it is your test. It will begin when you are ready."
James took deep breaths, trying to calm himself, to slow his racing heartbeat. Minutes passed in silence and nothing happened. "Are you still there?" James inquired of the darkness. No response came. "That's ok..." he told himself, "I can do this. This is my test. I am read--"
As the word left his mouth the blackness was instantaneously replaced with all-consuming whiteness. It burned his eyes, and he covered them with his hands, but still all he could see was white. He felt his balance wavering, shuffled his feet to steady himself and tripped. He braced himself for impact with the floor, but there was no floor.
James began falling wind blowing his hair back lights whizzed by like a blur
"I'm going to die" He thought to himself his mind started swirling his vision went dark and he blacked out. When he came to he was back in the same hallway with the same doors. It was if someone had pressed the reset button and brought him back to where he started.
"Did I pass?" he said out loud. But only his echo came back in reply.
James decided he was going to try a different door, after all the first one had a crazy old person in it, and he certainly didn't want to try that again. He ran up to the first door he saw.
"Staff Only" it read.
"Well I don't care if it's staff only I am going in!" with that he opened the door, within he found a brightly lit room that was otherwise empty except for a chair right in the middle. The walls surrounding him were made of mirrors, and the floor and ceiling a clinical white colour. As happened before, as soon as he entered the door shut behind him.
"Now what?" he wondered. The door that had shut behind him was another mirror on the inside, and blended so perfectly with the, door-sized mirror panels that made up the rest of the walls, he wasn't even sure which one had been the door.
He stepped toward the center of the room, watching his infinite reflections all around fade into murky green distance. Having nothing better to do, he sat in the chair. It was a simple, not very comfortable, plastic chair, but his legs were grateful for the rest.
He sat and stared at the mirror in front of him, wondering how he would get out of here. He began to feel slowly more and more claustrophobic, not because the room was small, but because it had no exit. The desire to escape was strong.
Just then he noticed something different about the panel directly in front of him. The repeating reflections seemed not to fade as quickly as they did in the other mirrors. He could see hundreds of himself, staring back, curious.
He got up and walked toward the mirror, and reached out and touched it. It felt normal enough. He closed his eyes and reached out again, and felt nothing, as if the mirror had run away when he wasn't looking. He opened his eyes and looked at his hand, but it wasn't there. He could see as far as his mid forearm, where it disappeared in to the mirror. Startled, he yanked his hand back, making sure it was intact. His hand was fine, but he was baffled as to how it had been inside the mirror - a solid piece of glass, or so he thought.
He had an idea. James wasn't normally the sort of kid to throw chairs around, but this wasn't a normal situation. He took the chair from the center of the room. It was light, plastic, with a simple steel frame, easy to toss. He stood in front of the different mirror panel, swung the chair back and forth a few times, and released it on a graceful trajectory toward the mirrored wall. James braced himself for shattering glass, but the chair passed right through the mirror and disappeared without a sound.
For several moments James stood and stared at the spot the chair had disappeared., Uncertain of what to do but his sense of curiosity grew as fast has his sense of claustrophobia and he finally got the courage to to move his heavy feet.
"She said it wouldn't hurt" he muttered to himself and took another step
"This is a test 1, this is a test 2" the familiar phrases came back has he finally came to the mirror.
He took one last deep breath and looked into his reflection. It dutifully stared back he closed his eyes and took a leap fearing the worst, fearing it he would fall into an endless pit again. But alas the pit never came he was alive and he could hear the sound of birds. he opened one eye and then the other. He found himself in the middle of a forest the sound of waves crashed on a shore not far in the distance. he turned around to see where he had come from but all that was behind him was more wilderness.
"great now I'm lost" he thought to himself and began to hyperventilate.
He slowly caught his breath again, and looked around him, assessing the situation. He felt dizzy, and was unsure of exactly where he was. He fumbled around in his pockets and pulled out his cellphone. Dead. "Juuuust great." he muttered to myself.
As a boy he had taken wilderness training through a club he had joined. He had done it for fun, and never taken it really seriously.
"I really wish I had paid attention" he cursed to himself. He looked up at that sky
"It looks to be around 3 in the afternoon, I guess I should probably go and set up shelter. "
He pulled his keys from his pocket and walked up to a near by tree notching it so he'd be able to use it to gauge his direction, and headed off.
The first notable thing he encountered was the chair from the mirror room. He found it lying on its back in the pine needles. Either because it might be useful when building a shelter of some kind, or because it was the closest thing to familiar right now, he decided to take it with him. It wasn't very heavy anyway.
James continued on through the woods, striking as straight a path as he could, marking trees along the way. The sun was starting to sink lower, and the forest floor was getting quickly darker. "I need to find somewhere to spend the night, and soon," he told himself. The day seemed to be cutting itself short. Patches of fog were also starting to appear here and there. James quikened his pace, beginning to wonder if bringing the chair along was a good idea after all.
He was just starting to feel a little panicked, when he saw what looked like a clearing up ahead. It would be a relief to get out of this endless forest. Maybe there would even be some high ground and he could get a good look around; see the lay of the land, maybe make a plan about where to go next. Excitedly, he jogged up to the the edge of the trees, and had to stop suddenly, grasping for the nearest tree trunk to keep his balance. It wasn't a clearing; it was a cliff. The ground dropped away, vertical, and the fog obscured any hope of a view. It looked as though it could be the edge of the world. He couldn't see anything beyond the edge but dim grey fog, but he could hear running water nearby.
this is a test
and a day
all the tests
finally i think this is working.
or is it
yes it really is!