A 14 year old boy gets kidnapped by a mad scientist who wants to set a disease on the city
This summer, I got kidnapped by a mad scientist.
Now there something I bet you've never done. I mean sure, you could joke around and be like, dar, guys, I got kidnapped by a mad scientist this summer.
Wow, that's funny.
But seriously, I got kidnapped by a mad scientist.
And that isn't even the most unbelievable thing that happened. And I know you're reading this and saying, "Wow, what an incredibly cliched and predictable story"
Really? What happens next?
You don't know. Exactly. That's what I thought.
So pay attention.
It starts with me, strapped to a chair inside of a busted gas chamber.
It is pitch black. This probably has something to do with the potato sack over my head. This also explains the acrid smell of old potatoes, which no longer bothers me. My hands are handcuffed together behind my back and my legs are zip tied to the legs of the chair I’m slumped in. It is completely silent. I feel like I’m in a vacuum. A used vacuum.
I sigh outwardly. But then cringe in pain. Apparently breathing to hard makes my head throb.
For a few minutes, I sit there, trying to enjoy the peace and quiet and ignore the corresponding circumstances. I’m glad that I do, because I won’t have another chance for a while after this.
Suddenly the light turns on, a harsh white light that seeps through the seams of the potato sack and dances in my eyes before my eyes finally adjust. The sound of an automatic door echoes through the room and I hear footsteps coming my way. Suddenly the sack is yanked of my head and I’m left to adjust to the light again.
“Well,” says a male voice, “How are we today?”
My eyes have adjusted and I am now staring into the cheery face of a man with jet black hair and a light mustache, but otherwise clean shaven.
He looks about in his mid-20s. He stares at me patiently.
I shake my head slightly, “What?”
“How are you feeling?”
I’m incredibly confused now. I got pulled off the street and knocked out, thrown in a truck and now the guy who is clearly in charge is treating me like some dentist. A nice dentist.
I don’t know what else to say here.
“Um, can I go home?”
His face goes from a cheery face to a deeply disappointed face.
“Why would you want to do that?”
“I was just kidnapped, obviously I want to go home.”
I’m trying to sound reasonable here.
He sighs. “That is understandable, but I really can’t let you leave until I have finished testing on you,” He smiles slyly, “Or else this would all have been for nothing.”
I stop listening at “testing on you”.
I think my brain went into full panic mode at that point. I do my best not to let it show.
“Now, don’t worry,” He says, as if he actually cares, “Of all my previous subjects, you have the most chance of surviving.
“When F-65 comes back with the gas, we will simply seal up the room and let it seep into here and allow you to breathe it in. And then you may go home.”
“What if I don’t survive?”
“Well then, obviously, you won’t go home.”
“Oh,” I’d figured this, but was just trying to get my mind off of my current situation. “What’s supposed to happen to me? You know, when I…”
“Ah, I’m glad you asked,” He really does look glad that I asked.
He pulls out an IPad and scrolls through his apps and selects a video before turning the screen so I can see.
On screen, there is a clear propane tank full of a pinkish gas.
“This is NTX-137b.” He says proudly, “The world’s first mind control device made completely out of air.”
Can you believe this guy?
But he was serious, and before I knew it I was alone in the chamber with bright lights shining everywhere but on me, like a reverse spotlight, and a giddy mad scientist on the other side of the glass panel to my right and a faint hissing sound coming from the vent above me. Turns out, the gas wasn’t actually pink. So I had no clue whether or not I was being brainwashed right then. And then, I blacked out.
And then I woke up.
You probably think that I am a terrible writer right now because described that scene so fast. In like 3 sentences. But in truth, it really did seem like that.
I didn’t even fade out of unconsciousness. I just blacked out.
And then woke up.
On the street. Slumped in an alleyway. With my backpack and everything else. Nothing missing. I blinked.
It had been a dream. At least, I’d hoped so at the time.
But you know, this would be a pretty boring book if that had only been a dream. Of course, I didn’t think of this then. I simply sprinted home. The whole mile and two thirds of it. Yeah. The whole mile and two thirds of it.
I didn’t even comprehend this.
I arrived at my aunt’s apartment winded. But not as winded as you’d expect. I fumbled for the key and snuck into the living room, thinking of what to tell my aunt.
Hey, yeah, I fell asleep in an alleyway. No biggie. Either that or I got kidnapped by a mad scientist who wanted to test a mind control neurotoxin on me. It’s okay.
I didn’t have anything better.
My aunt was there, as I’d expected, and like the responsible guardian she was, she was knocked out on the couch, drunk. Exactly where she was yesterday.
I sighed. Partly with relief. Partly with disappointment. I’d forgotten what it was like to have someone worry sick about you. And partly with annoyance. Nowadays, I was the guardian. Cleaning up after my aunt’s messes. Which granted, weren’t many. She was unconscious most of the time.
I snapped my fingers in front of her wine-stained face, just to be sure, and she mumbled slurred nonsense in her sleep.
Just another day in the life of Zach Aree.
Then I had dinner. And went to bed.
Another day. Whoopee.
And tomorrow, I get another one.
I went to sleep, depressed.
I woke up. This is actually stranger than you think, because, according to my clock, it was 1:36 in the morning on a Saturday. And like most teenagers, I sleep until at least 9:30, usually 10:00. And here I was, wide awake at 1:37 in the morning.
And no matter what I did, I couldn’t fall asleep again.
I would later realize this as one of the first moments my “powers” started to come out. I didn’t realize this now, though. I just wanted to go downstairs and watch TV. I didn’t have any better ideas. I couldn’t go back to sleep.
And then I got up, grabbed my water bottle, and headed downstairs.
All without turning on the lights.
And it apparently came so naturally, I didn’t notice until 7:09 in the morning. I put down the book I was reading. And freaked out.
You don’t need to see this.
Now, I’m not usually one to freak out. So freaking out for even 30 seconds is still pretty rare for me. But for the record, I was freaking out because of the most awesome thing I believed to have ever happened to me. But soon, I started to forget it happened and went upstairs to shower.
And then my day went on as normal.
Until I got to school.
Now, in every school, there is at least one person that enjoys watching other people suffer. They seem to like being responsible for other peoples’ pain. No one knows why.
In my school, that person is Davis Jones.
Now, Davis has a thing for knocking peoples’ books out of their hands and even though he’s never done it to me, I’ve seen him do it to other people. And it always makes me mad when I see it. And today of all days I decided to do something about it.
I met my friend Al on the way to second period. Al is a nerd.
I say this so you can get a basic idea of his structure. He’s skinny and has wire glasses and messy dirty blond hair. He is just about the only person in this school I can stand. And he is about the smartest person I know.
“Hey man”, He said, waving as best as he could while balancing two textbooks on his other arm.
“Where you going?”
He was joking. He knew exactly where I was going, same as always.
Just some small talk like this for a couple seconds and then Davis showed up.
I heard him from around the corner behind us, clopping through the school in his cleats. Even though he’s not allowed to.
We kept moving, pretending to have not heard him.
“Hey!” he yelled sharply. He ran after us.
Without a word, Al and I ran the rest of the Spanish class. But he got there before we did.
He surprised us as we turned the corner. Knocking us both to the ground.
He leaned down, into our faces. His long hair centimeters away from getting in my eyes.
“When I address you”, he sneered, “you stop and you listen to me”
We didn’t say anything. Al was curled into a ball next to me. I could hear him hyperventilating.
“You got that?!”
And then it happened. Davis stood up straight again and brought his leg back to kick Al in the chest. With his cleats. And then, I brought my leg up and then swung it across the ground, colliding it with Davis’s incoming leg. And tripping him.
And then he fell on top of me. I heaved him off of me as he howled in pain. We wasted no time and sprinted the rest of the way to Spanish class.
We made it this time.
And as we opened the door to room 217, tardy but alive, Al whispered to me, “That was awesome.”
“Yeah, I guess it was” I said indifferently. But inside, I was as happy as I’d ever been and more. This day was getting interesting.
And it was just starting.
On the way home, I contemplated what had happened today. Over all, not including the Davis bit, I had dodged 20 spitballs at once, jumped 4 feet high, dodging a dodge ball and a ton of other acts of finesse. And it was while I contemplated this that I witnessed a kidnapping.
I sprinted around a corner and along the street. The same street I’d woken up on before, and immediately noticed the girl, a bit older than me. She was kicking and screaming and there were tears streaming down her face as a big, muscular guy with a bandana covering the lower half of his face, wearing a leather jacket and jeans, hauled her over his shoulder toward a black van.
There was another, thinner guy, wearing clothes similar to the other guy, in the back of the van, waiting for the bigger guy.
“Shut her up,” he yelled. “before some cop comes along.”
The big one muttered something unintelligible, before pulling out a gun and shooting her in the back of the neck. I flinched, and then realized that it was a dart gun. The girl stopped moving. He was at the van now, where he gently lowered her into the back.
He grinned. “She smells nice.”
The thin one scowled. “Shut up, we’re supposed to be professionals.”
The big one snorted. “There’s no one else here.”
And then he saw me. “Oh wait, never mind”
He took out his dart gun and looked like he was about to shoot me before pausing. “He looks kinda familiar.”
I stopped as well, and realized that even though I couldn’t see his entire face, I did recognize his voice. And then my dream came back to me and I finally had to admit: it actually happened.
The big guy stood there, pointing the gun at me, unsure of what to do.
The skinny guy was casually jumping down from the back of the van, closing the double doors behind him, and was now heading to the front of the van, tossing the keys to himself.
“Well go on.” He said over his shoulder, “Shoot him.”
And then for a split second, as I saw the big one pull the trigger, a crazy idea came to mind. And it didn’t involve running away. I instantly registered what was happening and ducked as the dart bounced harmlessly of the brick wall behind me.
The big guy hesitated. And then shot again, which I dodged just as easily. I sprinted toward him, dodging shot after shot, until I reached him and, without thinking, punched him in the gut. He stumbled and then I brought my foot around and hard across his face, knocking him down to the ground.
The skinny guy swore, quickly getting in the driver’s seat and jamming the key in the ignition. The van lurched forward and, once again without thinking, I leaped, grabbing onto the door handles in the back, with my feet perched on the thin ledge above where the license plate was supposed to go.
I opened one of the doors with one hand, the other clutching the other door handle. But of course, unlatching one door unlatches the other one. Both doors swung open, throwing me off the little ledge, leaving me to hang of the open door of a speeding van.
The van took a sharp turn, throwing me against the side of the van.
It was at this point that I realized just how dumb an idea this had been.
It took another sharp turn, slamming my door shut and wrenching my arm from the handle, throwing me into the van.
I recollected myself, shock, but not disappointed, that I was alive.
The car took another sharp turn, throwing me against the inside of the van. Something fell on top of me. I suddenly realized that it was the girl.
I gently pushed her off of me.
She did smell nice.
She was gagged, her hands handcuffed behind her back. She was awake, staring at me with tear stained, unfocused eyes. She looked confused.
I didn’t know what to do from here. But then the van stopped suddenly, throwing us across the van.
And slamming the doors behind us.
I tried the doors. They were locked.
And the van began to move again, with us trapped inside.