Choice

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The scariest thing ever is waking up alone, in a place you don’t know, having no memory of before and nothing but a hand book and the clothes you’re wearing. That’s what happened to me and I now know happens to everyone. I’m not in Choice anymore, I found my Door, but my story is a little different. I couldn’t find a Door I wanted to live in, and that was a problem especially in Choice. By now you’re probably wondering what is Choice? Well no one really knows until they read the handbook, and you can’t get a hand book anywhere but Choice. So where did I start? Where everyone starts of course, waking up scared, alone and confused in Choice.

Submitted: February 11, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 11, 2017

A A A

A A A


 

Chapter 1

The scariest thing ever is waking up alone, in a place you don’t know, with little memory of before and nothing but a hand book and the clothes you’re wearing. That’s what happened to me and I now know happens to everyone. I’m not in Choice anymore, I found my Door, but my story is a little different. I couldn’t find a Door I wanted to live in, and that was a problem especially in Choice. By now you’re probably wondering what is Choice? Well no one really knows until they read the handbook, and you can’t get a hand book anywhere but Choice. So where did I start? Where everyone starts of course, waking up scared, alone and confused in Choice.

 

“Where am I?” I wondered, sitting up and leaning on my hand. I realized that I was alone. I was on a pretty comfy cot, in a dark, plain hallway full of a variety of doors each with its own unique look. The bed was at what seemed to be the front of the hallway against a wall. I had nothing with me at all. I was wearing a white tank top, black sweatpants and off brand black Convers. In the middle of my gazing around, a book materialized under my hand. Looking it over, I saw that it was thick and heavy, like a big dictionary, with a faded cover that read, ‘Handbook for Choice, the answers to where, why and how.’ “Well,” I said, my voice accompanied by a slight echo, “might as well get reading.”

 

I assume hours had passed and I was almost done reading probably the most confusing book ever. The only stuff that made sense was the last thing that was in the Handbook. The instructions on how to enter the doors. Each time I stopped at a door, a key would appear on a hook beside it. I had to unlock, enter and lock each door. I was supposed to lock it because some people regret choosing their door and try to get back to Choice to choose again, whatever that means.

Seemed simple enough; unlock, enter, lock. I slammed the handbook closed and carried it with me to the closest door and stopped. It was a metal door with lots of bolts and screws and things like you would see on a space ship or an old airplane. There was a barely noticeable key hole just above my head, a tiny hook in the wall beside the door and an equally small key that appeared on it. I took the key off the hook and held it in my hand, it looked like just a normal key that you would have for a mailbox. I held it up to the key hole and sighed, “Here goes nothing,”

 

 

Chapter 2

I opened the door to a room full of people, at cafeteria style tables, who seemed to be eating dinner. The room was huge and had huge pipes that ran down 3 of the walls. The last wall had what looked like paintings all over it. There was a long empty counter near the opposite wall. Glancing up I saw metal grate stairs and I stood on white tiles. A noise above the chatter caught my attention “Hey Frank look!” yelled a woman sitting at the table closest to me, “We got a new Adventress!” I guess that’s what I’m called, “What’s your name?” a man asked, who I assume is Frank. “My name is Marissa.” I said and continued tentatively,” Where am I?”. “You’re in Aesah,” he replied. The woman who greeted me stood up and introduced herself, she wore a white t-shirt and light blue overalls with one strap buckled, “Sorry I forgot to tell you my name, I’m Mai. You may still be confused, that Handbook is useless, not to worry though, sit, we’ll tell you all about this place.”

The dinner continued around me as I sat down. My stomach grumbled, turns out it was hours I spent reading the handbook. I looked at all the food on the people’s blue cafeteria trays; surprisingly it was just normal dinner food. So, after a couple of minutes of stuffing my face with all sorts of deliciousness, I turned to Mai, “so what does that name mean that you called me when I came in?”

 “Adventress?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, girls, when they are going through Choice are called Adventresses, like yourself, boys are Adventri and collectively you’re called Travelers,” She clarified.

“Am I the only Traveler here?”

“You’re the only Adventress but, we do have quite a few Adventri. You can meet them tomorrow if you want,” Mai offered.

“How much can you tell me about Aesah?” I asked.

“How much do you want to know?”

“Start with the whole hallway-door thing. The hand book was very confusing!”

“Ok,” she started “no one really knows when this whole system of doors and dimensions started, but we do know who created each door.”

“People create the doors?” I asked intrigued.

“Yes, our history says that a man named Tomas Sheadom created Aesah.”

“How long have you been here?” I wondered.

“About 15 years, I went through Choice when I was 16, how old are you?”

“I’m 17. I can’t remember much else from before; will I ever get my memory back?” I asked.

“Yes, when you officially choose a door, your memory gets restored.” She paused and sighed “it’s quite bitter sweet actually.”

“Why?” I inquired.

“Because you realize what you left behind like your parents and friends but then your happy because you found a place to live that you love more than where you came from.”

“I guess that would suck,” I realized.

We must have gone back and forth for an hour or two. I was very happy to find out that Mai was my guide for my time in Aesah. We cleaned up and walked across the dinner hall, past a bunch of paintings, went through big heavy double doors and turned right. We came to a fork in the hallway and a sign with little arrows pointing left, right and straight. Left led to the permanent residences, straight led to the Adventri’s rooms and right led to the Adventress’ rooms. Since I am the only Adventress here I got the first room in the hall. Mai opened the door and I went in, “I’ll be right back,” she said. I flicked my head back and quietly said, “ok.”

My room was pretty cool. It wasn’t too big (it’s not like I had anything to put in it). A huge bed filled most of the room and everything was made of metal. Then I looked out the window and realized where I was. I was in space! ”Amazing,” I said with a nervous smile, “I’m in space, Oh My Gosh I’m in space!” that was a detail Mai left out. I snapped out of my wonderment and continued looking around.  Along with the giant bed, there was a bench chest, acting as a chair and dresser, at the end of the bed. A small desk stood in the corner with a tall floor lamp beside it. A clock sat on a bedside table beside the bed (duh). There was a washroom with a toilet, a shower, metal sink and a washer and dryer for if you were here long enough I guess.

I looked at the time just as Mai popped in, “better get to bed, everything starts early here. There are pajamas in the bench chest, goodnight!” she stated. I put the hand book in the bench chest, got dressed and climbed into bed. It was so comfy I fell instantly asleep. Sure beats a cot.

 

 

Chapter 3

I woke up at 8:00 to Mai holding a pile of clothes “Good morning Marissa,” she exclaimed “ready to have fun?”

“Sure,” I through a yawn, “What’s first?”

“I was thinking a quick tour then after breakfast, meeting the children and we might even run into the Adventri on our tour as well.”

“How many Adventri are there?” I asked.

“About 20. Here you go,” she answered, handing me the clothes, “get dressed and we’ll walk and talk.” I put the pile of clothes on my bed and laid everything out. In the pile was a white t-shirt, dark skinny jeans and black ballet flats.

 

Finding my way around was pretty easy, since there were signs everywhere. First Mai took me back to the dinner hall (where I came in), and showed me it in more depth. Of course there were tables lined up in rows and Mai talked about who sits where, but since I was new, I could either sit with her or with the Adventri. Then, we came to the wall where all the paintings were that we passed earlier, of all the past mayors of this, I guess, space city. I looked at the dates under the paintings; this place had existed for 300 years! “Woah.” I exclaimed quietly. Eventually Mai spoke, “you’re probably still hungry, right?” I looked to her and nodded, “Yeah sorry about that, yesterday you came right at the end of dinner time. We don’t usually get travelers that late so most everything was put away, and you didn’t get to see how it works. The long counter at the back,” she said pointing, “gets filled up with food then everyone lines up buffet style. Oh and breakfast is in half an hour so let’s hurry with the rest of the tour.”

We left the dinner hall by going up some metal grate stairs, turned left and came to another hall. To our right, there were more heavy double doors and I heard lots of noise coming from behind them. Mai said “This is the gym. It sounds like the boys are playing a little basketball before we eat.” She opened the doors and they gradually stopped playing. “Hello boys! This is Marissa, she came in last night and I’m showing her around a little.” “Hey Marissa” They shouted collectively. I nervously waved back and squeaked a response. One of them came towards me and we locked eyes. I found myself staring into a familiar sea of blue grey with golden flecks ,then he introduced himself, “Hey” he said as he nervously ran his fingers through his hair “My name’s Dean….” We kept staring at each other until one of the other boys broke the silence with, “you can sit with us later if you want.”  I looked to Mai, she gave me a little nod and smile, I turned back, “S-sure,” I stuttered. After a few awkward seconds Mai clapped and loudly said “Ok! Time to move on we’ve got one more thing to see before breakfast.” As we left I mentally kicked myself for being so nervous around Dean. Seriously, what was that?

We left and continued down the long hall, went past the day care, no kids were in there at the moment, and came to yet more doors. “These are the doors to ‘outside’ aka the shops and offices and things where everyone works.” Mai said. “Whoa, really? So you don’t just live here you live here.” I asked. “Well yeah we are in space, we still have to live.” She replied. Mai looked at her watch, “whoop, time to head back.”

 

 

Chapter 4

We took our time getting back and as we stood in front of the doors to the dinner hall, I calmed myself. My hands were shaking and the noise from inside wasn’t helping.

A bell rang and Mai pushed through the doors. The scene exploded with noise from conversations and clanking dishes. Seeing the Dinner hall from this angle made it look like there were more people than at dinner. “How many people are here?” I asked as we descended and started walking towards the food bar. “About 2,500. I know that seems small but there are three other groups called sectors that have a lot more. So, the sectors are set up in the cardinal directions. We are the northern most one so we’re sector 1. We get all the travelers and then most choose to move to the others.” “Oh, cool!” We got our food and walked to Mai’s table and she started talking to her friends, just as Dean showed up. He saw me and signaled for me to wait as he rushed to his food. He put his tray down when he passed his table then raced toward me and confirmed, “You’re sitting with us right?” “Totally” I said smiling, “I was just about to sit and wait.” He smiled back, “Awesome! Come on!”

We walked a couple of tables down to an empty one. I put my tray down and sat across from him. We started staring again just as the other travelers came in and joined us. The same boy from earlier snapped us out of it again by sitting next to me and sparking up conversation. “So Dean, anything new?” he said chuckling. “Oh hey Sam,” Dean said absent mindedly. I leaned back in my chair and looked away from Dean. Sam turned to me, “So Marissa, how you liking Aesah so far?”

“Oh, it’s great. I haven’t seen the ‘outside’ yet but I think that’s what I’m doing next. So, how long have you guys been here?’’

“Dean’s been here the longest, three weeks, and the rest of us, less than a week”

“How come you guys seem to fit in so well?” I asked in between mouthfuls of eggs.

“We’ve been around the dimensions a bit.” Sam replied.

“Do you know what kind of door you might want to choose?” one of the other boys asked.

I turned to face him “I don’t know… I love so many things and I’m kind of good at everything I try so it’s hard to narrow it down. How about you?”

“I may just pick Aesah, as Sam said we’ve all been around the dimensions a bit and Aesah seems to be the best choice.”

“What about you Dean?” I said as I turned to face him and accidentally locked eyes. He looked away nervously and said, “I might stay too. It’s just there haven’t been a lot of travelers that have picked to stay so it’s a little lonely.” There was something about the way he said that, that felt like it was just an excuse for something more.

The bell rang again and everyone slowly made their way to the conveyor belt with their dishes. We all stood up and Dean extended his hand to me, “I’ll take your tray in you want, I’m sure you and Mai are on a tight schedule.” “Oh, thanks.” I handed him my tray with shaky hands. When Mai walked up to our table, I was busy watching Dean and his friends leave. “You ready?” she said with a smirk. “Yup!” I replied as I jumped up, the sooner we saw everything the sooner lunch would come and I could see him again.

 

 

Chapter 5

I followed Mai back up the stairs to the hall and we slowly made our way with the crowd of people heading to work. We first came to the day care where parents were dropping off their children. “First stop, day care. Just like any other daycare, any child not in school stays here.” She said as I followed her in. we stayed there and played with the kids for a couple of hours then went through the doors and ‘outside’.

It was crazy busy below us since all of the sectors were mingled. There weren’t any cars but there were street cars that took everyone to their respective jobs. It was strange seeing city and county so close together without houses to break it up. Mai said, “Other than the set up everything is pretty much how you would expect.” By set up she meant how the city was one gigantic circle with the farmland surrounding it and each sector had a long and tall staircase leading down from the doors to a road in the city. She continued “The farmers grow all of the food for all of the sectors and more people make the meals.” Seeing the look on my face from the stairs she added, “Don’t worry, the stairs become an escalator when the meal bells ring.” “Phew! That’s good, cause you know, I wasn’t looking forward to climbing all of these.” I said wiping mock sweat from my brow. Mai chuckled, “Do you want to go look around? We have 2 hours; we could go walk around the stores.” “Yeah sure I think that would be fun.” I replied and started the long descend.

Once we reached the bottom a lone streetcar was waiting for us. Then it started to take us to the mall. On the way, we passed tall, clear windowed skyscrapers, seeing the people working inside busy at their desks; little shops along the main street stood wall to wall, old style barbershops sitting with quaint bistros. We soon arrived at the mall, got off the streetcar and it disappeared down the street. At first glance the mall had an interesting look that I admired as we walked. It was big and ornate, small and simple and medium and contemporary all at the same time. “Woah,” I exclaimed quietly, “trippy”. Mai chuckled, “yup. I don’t know how the builders managed it but this is basically the crowning jewel of the outside.” We entered through automatic doors to a moderately busy corridor with a vaulted ceiling full of skylights letting in so much light that the floor seemed to glow. I saw all the Adventri down the hall and as we slowly approached them, we passed clothing stores, one of which was selling the same outfit I was wearing, and reached where they were standing. I saw Sam first then spotted dean making his way from the opposite side of the group. “Hey! Whatchya boys been up to?” Mai asked enthusiastically. “Oh ah, frank told us the builders are adding to the stain glass gallery for the construction of the mall anniversary. We were just heading back.” Sam replied. “That’s wonderful! The displays are always gorgeous,” Mai exclaimed. “What’s stain glass?” I asked Mai quietly. Dean must have heard me because he spoke up, “it’s coloured glass arranged into pictures, and when light shines through it, it makes the room all colourful.” “Sounds magical!” I exclaimed. “Do you want me-us to show you?” “Absolutely!”

Meanwhile Mai, Sam and the other Adventri had started talking to each other, so he got Sam’s attention. “do you mind if we circle back and show her the gallery?” “Actually,” Sam replied, fake remembering something, “remember frank said he needed help with something in the gym? But you go ahead, we’ll cover for you.” “wha-“Dean started but Sam was trying to signal or something. After a painful 10 seconds Dean caught on and like an awkward android said, “oh right, ok, you guys go and we will stay… here… and… see… the… gallery.”

They began walking away, so we turned around and started across the mall to the gallery. The almost dead silence of the mall was filled with their fading voices, but once we got far enough away, complete silence. Dean and I walked surprisingly close together but he kept his arms tight to his sides resisting his natural arm sway to avoid brushing mine. I had my arms bent as I played with my fingers.

After an unbearable couple of minutes, I finally gathered the courage to speak. “So, what do you remember from your home dimension? Mai says she remembered what her parents looked like and her last name but nothing else. I don’t remember anything but my name and the instinctual stuff you know? Like what I like and dislike but it doesn’t come to mind until I do something.” “Same with me except I remember I have a sister for some reason but no specifics.”

After another awkward minute of silence, we came across a sub shop. “Do you like subs?” Dean asked. “Haven’t had one yet,” I replied with a timid smile. “Do you want to try one?” He returned with a smile.


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