Rubbing my eyes, I woke up today with a laugh, for a change; laughing at my own stupidity of falling asleep with the lights and the music player of my cell-phone on. The song “set the fire” was still playing on my mobile. It didn’t run out of battery these eight hours, strange that.
The first thing I did after regaining senses was to check my pillow for wetness, just like the previous morning and the day before. No, it wasn’t wet with my tears this time. May be I didn’t cry as much as I thought I did.
My familiar room looked like it always did: clothes dumped on the table, a few books on the bed, wires of the laptop and mobile chargers intertwined lying on the fall. But something was different today. It all looked a bit too perfect; as if someone deliberately kept them the way they are, emulating carelessness carefully.
I shove the weird thought off my mind and headed for the bathroom attached to my room. Appalled I was when I opened the door: there was no bathroom, no tiles, nothing but a plain metal sheath, the size of the door. I pushed the sheath like a curtain in a futile attempt to move it. And then it dawned on me that it was not just a sheath, it was like a wall made of metal; nor was it the size of the door, it was spread in a much larger area. I turned around to look at the windows of the room; I ran and opened the other door which usually leads to the passageway of the hostel I live in. But the windows and both the doors were saying the same story – the room was contained inside something that was made of metal. I wondered how I could be breathing inside what seemed like a metal cube. I wondered how my room got inside something like this. Nonplussed I shouted for help, only to realize there was no opening, no vents for anyone to help me out. I scanned the walls for any sign of opening. How could I be breathing? I reached for my cell-phone , that was still playing the song, on my bed to call my friends for help. The bed, it’s a little too perfectly dirty. I picked up the phone only to find it has no network. A second look on the phone made me realize it looked brand new – its buttons did not lose the colors like they should have – but the scratches, they were perfect, as if someone perfectly scratching the screen with a nail to emulate the ones on my real cell phone. Although my cell’s wallpaper and theme was same as I had it, but there were no call logs, text messages; and the music folder, it had only the one song I played to sleep the other night. Frustrated I threw it the phone on the bed as I realized it’s all fake – the room, the bed, the phone – nothing was mine , everything was imitated to represent things I own but they were not.
I searched every corner of the room for anything resembling an opening but in vain until I saw a pile of dust at one of the corners of the floor. There wasn’t any dust bunnies in my room yesterday, I had the room mopped. I immediately removed the dust with my bare hands to see what lied underneath. A tiny oval shaped object that looked like a small bulb. I looked closer to find that it could be anything but a bulb as it had a small slit from where cool breeze was coming out. Oxygen! I looked closer to the object examining it and trying to pull it out. Out of a sudden a hand came out from the slit, like a phoenix rising from its ashes and before I could run that hairy hand grabbed mine. I opened my mouth to scream but suddenly a tiny eye ball, blacker than anything black I ever saw, appeared inside the bulb. I passed out.