When uttering contemplations of escape, everyone spoke of the “blue door”. Fantasized about a fictional safe-haven beyond the colour and steel, ushering the brave who have earned the right to survive the only freedom they would have truly known.
Rumours claimed those who succeeded never returned to this Hell-hole of an encampment. Since they never return, there was no true claim of accuracy; however, no one cared for the truth. Those lucky ones made it out of here. Anywhere else had to be better.
Some created full chaptered stories of the outside. Where would they go? What would they see? What happiness could the blue door bring? Simple when you’ve never seen beyond the grey cement walls of your rooms, or if you have, you were so young, the memories muddied with these new fantasies and obscuring what your eyes would never see again.
Shuttled in since birth due to my Heterochromia, I sat amongst the others sharing mine and other oddities. What the technicians referred to as “genetic abnormalities”. Nothing else was odd about me, to the technician’s disappointment. One brown eye, one blue, that’s the entire claim I had for being one within the program. In the program since my memories formed. They tested and took pictures and compared them over the years just to see the same picture of peculiarity every time without understanding why. It always occurred to me how weird this was. They were smart people. My eyes would never change. But they were waiting for a shift and horrors of what that might be kept me awake in my bunk after lights-out many nights.
At least we are guaranteed a meal a day. Scooter had a problem with his skin they found interesting and was tested often. He overheard technicians complaining of those of us who got out of line and made comments that became stories most thought had to be fake. That food on the outside is sparse. The smallest morsels fought till the death for but could kill the person from all poison in the world, but we never knew why.
My eyes open, burning and dilated from more testing. This time was different. My body ached when I tried to roll on my side, sensitive all over, reminding me of my skin practically boiling from my bones. A reaction they hadn’t anticipated. A test had gone wrong. The next few days were a blur. A mask on my face suffocated as I dripped with a feverish sweat, the technicians covered in suits leaving them unrecognizable.
A technician said I was removed from the program. Another argued but it had been decided. A jolt woke me from a sleep I didn’t know I was in. My eyelids were crusted over. I coughed so hard bile rose in my throat, but the jolting of the gurney spun a corner through swinging doors, the urgency of the movement distracting me from vomiting. Trying to sit up didn’t help as my wrists were strapped to the railing. The confusion of this held my attention until the gurney stopped.
The blue door.
The technician rounded the bed as I stared, looking at it for the first time, this door, the star of so many fantasies. My eyes watered with tears, obscuring my view, turning it into waves of blue. While the technician undid my restraints, I pulled at them, rushing to get loose. With a surge of energy, I scrambled off the gurney, the technician barely offering a hand in assistance as another fiddled with the door. The shock of its existence was a vice to my chest.
Loud scraping screeched as the door opened, blinding light had tears streaking my face as I shielded my eyes. Hands on my arms propelled me forward, the light too much to handle. The cold floor left my feet, air beneath them turned hot and then smacked into an unsteady ground, my whole body collapsing.
Instantly hit by a wretched smell, my eyes shot open as my hands fumbled with the surface below me. At first it didn’t register, and then as it did, shock prevented me from moving. Hair? Eyes? No! Trembling I managed to stand, but when I looked down, there were more. Bodies were everywhere, stinking beneath my feet. The air moved around me like I’d never felt, sometimes making the smell worse, sometimes better. The ceiling was so high and blue, the light from it so bright, the brown floor moved with the air…where was I?
When I crawled off of the bodies, my bare feet slid into the brown floor, it shifted and was too hot. So hot I jumped back onto one of the bodies. I couldn’t force myself to look at their face. I sobbed at my loss. I wanted to go back.
The blue door wasn’t a pass way to freedom. It was no different than a garbage shoot like the ones in our rooms. I was garbage to them. A failure to the program. I couldn’t get back in to warn the others, it would forever be a symbol of hope. My only friends, my only family were still in there, probably making up a story staring me going through the blue door and finding peace.
How could they be so wrong?


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