Sayori finds herself trapped in a room and hears voices.
| Two best friends, Sayori and Nozomi were sitting together at their favorite coffee shop and working together on their assignment for creative writing. Nozomi was getting really frustrated and finally screamed out loud in annoyance.|
“Nozomi”, her meeker friend Sayori said to her in a whisper, “keep it down, we are in a public place.” Nozomi looked at Sayori then sighed and flopped down onto the table next to her laptop.
“I am really having trouble with this assignment Sayori”, she then looked at her friend and smiled, “but maybe you can help me.”
“What do you need?” Sayori asked her best friend.
“Let me get you opinion on something”, she paused and Sayori signaled to her to continue while taking a sip of her coffee. “Is changing someone’s personality murder?” Sayori was confused by the question for a second and then Nozomi, looking a little embarrassed decided to explain.
“Here is the deal, you know how Mr. Deckard is asking us to write a story about being trapped”, Sayori nodded, “well I was going to place a woman in a room and have her not be able to escape. Slowly over time she will start to hear words coming from the walls, these words will be phrases like obey, submit, and other words that I have not looked up in a thesaurus, but you get the idea. Eventually, the door will open and on the other side will be someone and she will smile at him and basically give herself to him. Now my question again, the person who this woman was, she changed, she would not have obeyed him before, but now she does, without question. Did I murder the woman?”
Sayori thought about Nozomi’s story, it was a good question, was that murder? When does growth, or change, become murder? “Does the woman still remember who she used to be? Does she hate who she has become? Is it just temporary or permanent? To be honest there is not enough information for me to answer you back Nozomi I think what you are talking about is identity death and well, I don’t know.” Sayori then took a sip of her coffee and looked down at it. “When I was young, I hated coffee, I hated the smell, the taste, the way it got on clothes, everything. Now, I can’t go a day without two cups. Did I murder the me who hated coffee? That is a fascinating question, and one I may write about later, thanks for the idea.”
“I’m sorry about the sudden deep discussion Sayori, I’ll give you a break, you know what is calling to me.” Nozomi smiled to her friends and pulled out a pack of cigarettes from her pocketbook and walked outside to have a cigarette.
“You know those are bad for you Nozomi.” Sayori said to her friend for the 1,175th time.
“So is coffee”, Nozomi answered back and went outside to have a cigarette.
After her smoke break Nozomi came back in and sat back across from Sayori and went back to writing. Sayori coughed a bit at the smell but continued to write her story on being trapped, one on a man who is trapped in a cave with a noise that he does not know keeping him from going out. She was going to reveal it was a small bear and he could have left anytime he wanted, she did love a twist.
The two typed in quiet for around an hour, Nozomi having to break the silence constantly with a cough or a groan till Nozomi smiled at her story and saved her word document and closed it and went to turn off her laptop. She sighed loudly, breaking the silence again, and looked at Sayori. “I thought about what you said, and you got me thinking, as long as they remember, even if they are thinking in a way they would not have before, even if by force, it isn’t murder.”
“I am not sure I agree Nozomi, but it was your story, it’s not like we have to discuss this about real people.”
Nozomi grabbed her bags and started to leave. After she exited the shop, she looked back in at her best friend still typing on her laptop, then walked away muttering to herself, “yeah, not real people.”
Sayori stayed at the coffee shop another hour, ordering another cup to help her finish her story. She finally got to a point where she was satisfied it was good, at least for a first draft, and closed out of the word processor and turned off her laptop. She looked at the time and whistled, it was almost seven pm, she would get a small dinner and head on back to her dorm, which she shared with Nozomi.
She grabbed a salad from the college mart and went on back to eat it. When she got there Nozomi was not there, however. She was a little surprised then looked at the time, it was about 7:30, when Nozomi would smoke her evening cigarette before the pair would watch some movie over the night, then head off to bed.
After eating her salad, and Nozomi returned the two watched a movie, tonight being Nozomi’s choice, she choose Gilda, a movie from the 1940s. Nozomi was a big fan of the movie but it did not do much for Sayori, who thought the performances were great, especially Rita Heyworth as Gilda, but thought the movie’s ending left a lot to be desired.
“So, what you think?” Nozomi looked over to her best friend with anticipation.
Sayori tried to underplay her problems to protect her friend’s feelings. “It was, good, very good, loved Hayworth, and Ford was fantastic too, not often you see post World War 2 movies either.” Sayori bit her lip and looked at Nozomi who suddenly got what was going on.
“But”, Nozomi started for Sayori to finish.
“But the ending was crap, he was abusive to her and she forgave him, it was a horrible ending, she should have left him for being such an ass.”
“Oh, come on”, Nozomi pouted, “it was all for love.”
Sayori sighed angrily and rolled her eyes forcefully, “that mushy stuff about love being all you need is so stupid.”
The two agreed to disagree, mainly because Sayori didn’t want to push the issue, and went about the rest of their night. Nozomi went out for one last cigarette, to which Sayori scrunched her face, then started to do study for her Calculus midterm.
A few days later, with midterms almost over the two friends were talking after another film they had watched together, another choice of Nozomi’s, To Have and Have Not. The movie was one of the best Nozomi had ever picked which made their after-movie discussion a lot nicer.
“Anyway Sayori”, Nozomi started changing the topic from the movie, “what are you doing next week for spring break?”
“I swear I told you this already Nozomi, I am staying here, I want to save money for a trip over the summer, so I am not going home till summer.”
“Ah yeah, sorry I forgot”, Nozomi answered, a grin growing over her face, “so same as last year then?”
“Yeah.” Sayori answered, then changed the topic back to the movie, she wanted to talk about how great the arc was of Harry’s in the movie.
The following Saturday, the first day of spring break Sayori woke up, slowly opened her eyes, and found herself in a room she did not recognize and with no door on any of the walls.
Sayori sat up with a start and looked around the room she found herself in. There were no doors or windows on any of the walls and right away Sayori felt some claustrophobia start to sink in. She looked to the ceiling hopeful for some relief but got none.
She got out of the bed she had found herself in and looked around the room. There was the bed she had been in and a table with a tray of food and a box on top of it. That was all that was in the room.
She looked at the walls again, this time taking in their blue color, the only reason she could tell the color of the walls was there was a light on in the room. She looked up to the light and found a long light fixture, the type with two long fluorescent bulbs in it. She could barely hear them humming and had to look away after a second so not to blind herself.
She had no idea what the hell was going on, so she slowly walked over to the table and looked at the food. It was a modest breakfast, eggs, bacon, and a mug with coffee in it on the side Much to her surprise the eggs were fried, which was her favorite type. She sat at the table, which was short enough for her to eat at when she sat on down on the floor and started to eat.
The food, despite everything was not bad, she loved fried eggs, and the bacon had been cooked well. While they were both cold, she could not complain that much, something that could not be said about her current situation.
She looked down at herself, eating politely, and wondering why the hell she had done that. She then stood up and started to scream, at the walls, at whoever had forced her wherever she was. “What the hell is going on here?! Where am I?! Who did this?!” She screamed at the walls, hopeful that she would get an answer. When the answer did not come after a minute, her strategy and focus changed. “Help! Help!” She screamed repeatedly.
She tried to scream and get help for a long time. Her voice finally starting to give out, Sayori grabbed the coffee and took a sip, then crawled over to a wall and leaned against it then slid down to a sitting position. She sat there and thought for a few minutes before she slowly started to fall asleep. She couldn’t be certain, but she thought she heard a voice.
Sayori woke up some time later, she had no way to tell how long it had been and saw a new tray of food on the table next to the box. She looked around the room, the walls, the ceiling, trying to find some sign of where whoever was keeping her had entered but could find none. She clicked her tongue, something she had never done before, and walked back over to the table.
This time the meal was another of her favorites, a turkey sub. “It couldn’t be”, she said to herself and took a bite of the sub. It was the turkey sub from her favorite local sub shop, it had the mayo, it had the pepper, it even had the olives. She ate the sub and finished it off fast. She licked her lips while standing up then she grabbed the cup of coffee that was sitting next to the sub.
While taking sips of her coffee she walked around the room knocking on the walls, trying to find some weak spot. She thought she heard a few spots that sounded different but decided that it was all in her mind, she was no closer to solving the riddle of how to get it, id it even was a riddle she was supposed to solve. She considered screaming again, but decided that would not be very useful, it hadn’t helped before, why would it help now?
She finished off her coffee and threw the cup on the ground in a corner as far away from her bed as she could find. She walked over to the bed and sat on it. She rolled her neck around and started to talk to herself in a whisper.
“Where the hell am I?” She started, once again trying to figure out her predicament. “If there is someone out there watching me, please let me out.” She said to what she was hopeful was her kidnapper. “My family is not that rich, but we could come up with some sort of payment plan for a ransom.” Now she was sounding stupid Sayori thought to herself. “Please, I, I, want to get out.” Sayori said to the walls making as an impassioned plea as she could.
Suddenly she yawned, once again feeling very tired. She looked over at the coffee cup she had thrown into the corner of the room, obviously it had not helped. She laid on the bed, got comfortable and slowly went back to sleep, and for just a second she thought she heard a word coming from the room.
Sayori woke up and smiled for a second enjoying the softness of her bed. She rolled over and opened her eyes, then her smile turned into a frown. She was still in the light blue room. “Wait, was the room light blue before?” She asked out loud, then shook her head, that didn’t matter, what mattered was she was still trapped.
She looked straight to the table, wondering if there was another new meal for her, she saw a new tray and smiled despite herself. She walked over and her eyes grew wider, there was a waffle, which going by what had been happening in this room, was from Waffle House, a fresh orange, and a big mug of coffee. A smile formed on her face; she was looking forward to this meal.
She sat down, smelled the coffee, took a quick sip of it, and smiled; it was still warm. She worked her way through the waffle, with the fork she had been provided and enjoyed her meal. Once it was done, she stood up and started to walk around the room, once again knocking on the walls trying to find weak spots.
However, whereas the time before it had been in hope of finding a way out, today it was more of a game, to find how many ways the wall could sound. Having finished her game, Sayori laughed out loud and leaned against a wall. The laughing would sound unnatural to anyone who had known Sayori, she was normally more reserved than this.
“Ha, that was tiring.” She then looked up at the ceiling and started to talk to it again. “Hey, just so you know, if there is someone out there, I may look like I am having fun, but I do want to get out, this is still really scary, and I am afraid I am going to die.” She continued to smile while saying all this and looked at the walls. “Hello, can you hear me, I said I want to get out, man, whatever.” Sayori waved her hand in annoyance and walked back over to the bed.
She sat on the bed for a few minutes, nothing happening besides her starting to swing her legs off the side of the bed. She sighed and stood back up looking around the room, hoping to find something. She looked at the table, with the completed meal, with the dirty tray and the box next to it and shrugged her shoulders. “Oh well”, she sighed to herself and sat there, slowly zoning out.
“Happy thoughts, get tired”, Sayori heard. She looked up and heard the voice again, ‘happy thoughts, get tired.”
Sayori smiled at the voice, “I was hearing a voice earlier, wow that’s amazing. Now it’s telling me to get tired too, man, all you had to do was say rest last night, what changed?” Sayori giggled and then laid down in the bed, got comfortable, and feel back asleep.
Sayori awoke and looked around, something was wrong. “What the hell?” She asked herself as she looked around the room. She was still in the light blue room, but something felt different.
“Oh man, what is going on?” She asked and her eyes went towards the table. There was another new meal there, so she walked over to it and looked at it.
“Oh man, that sucks.” She said to herself after seeing that it was corn and beans, two foods she didn’t like. “Damn, I guess they can’t all be winners.” She said, then sat down to eat. She had not noticed it, but she had started to cuss, something that Sayori used to only save for important situations. While eating she constantly looked to all corners of the room, trying to figure out what was wrong, something had changed, but she could not put her finger on it though. Once she finished the meal, her eyes slowly lowered to the box on the table.
The box had been there since she woke up on the first day, but she had never even given it a second thought, just knowing it was there had been enough for her, but now, with something wrong, she felt she would need whatever is in the box. She slowly grabbed the box and opened it.
Inside the box was a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. “What?” She asked herself, as she pulled the two items out. She looked at the two items, then suddenly she had a minor headache, one that was growing worst by the second.
“Is this what I am fucking in here for?!” Sayori screamed at the walls. “To become a fucking smoker?! What type of sick fuck are you?!” Sayori stood up and backed away from the table till eventually she hit a wall. She started pounding at the wall, “Let me the fuck out!” She screamed, the pounding continuing. She growled at the wall and slowly slid down it.
She turned around to the table and snarled at the pack of cigarettes. “Fucking smoking, what the fuck?”
All this time the headache she had been feeling was continuing. Sayori grabbed her head and could fell the throbbing. “It hurts.” She said to herself in a small voice, and right after, it stopped, for some reason the room felt quieter. Sayori looked up and breathed a small sigh of relief. She looked back over at the table and once again grimaced.
“I don’t know what the hell is your problem, but I don’t want to smoke, damn it.”
The tiredness that had come in waves to Sayori started to hit her again, she yawned and slowly walked over to her bed. Her face still showed anger, but it was being replaced with tiredness. She laid down in the bed and turned to the table where the pack of cigarettes and lighter were.
As she drifted off to sleep, she heard the new phrase that was coming through, “rest knowing smoking will set you free”.
Sayori woke up and frowned. She looked around this room, blue as could be and shook her head, she was still trapped. “Still trapped here I see”, she said to herself as she rolled out of bed. She looked at the table and saw a new tray sitting there along with the opened box which had a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
She walked over and checked to see what her new meal was. It was a repeat of the first meal she had here, fried eggs, bacon, and coffee. She ate it, then looked at the pack of cigarettes on the table. She grabbed the pack and carried it with her towards the wall she had decided was her thinking place and slid down it. She looked at the pack, Virginia Slims, the same brand that Nozomi smoked. She rolled her eyes at this and opened the pack.
Inside the pack was 20 cigarettes. She pulled one out and looked at it between her fingers, the long white cylinder was surprisingly light in her hands. She looked up at the ceiling and sighed. “What was it again, smoking will set you free?” She sighed and looked at the table and the lighter. “I’m going to have to fucking do this it seems.” She sighed and walked towards the table. She took the cigarette she had already pulled out and she put it between her lips.
It tasted strange to her, but she put that thought aside. She grabbed the lighter and looked at it. It was a disposable type, silver in color, her favorite color. She sighed, resolute to do whatever it takes to escape. She then looked at the ceiling, the walls, her prison and screamed one last time.
“Fuck you for this”, she screamed to the room while having her right hand, the one holding the lighter, flick off each wall and ceiling. She paused for a second then directed the middle finger to the floor just in case.
She lit the lighter and moved the light to the cigarette. The cigarette lit, she breathed in a bit of smoke and started to cough. She took the cigarette out of her mouth and started to giggle.
“Oh god it’s horrible”, she said between giggles. She brought it back to her mouth and smiled again. “I hate this”, she said to herself, but soon the cigarette was back to her mouth to be smoked again.
This tortures first cigarette continued this way all the way down. She would take a drag of the cigarette, hate it, but still smile and laugh like she was enjoying it. She finally got to a place where she felt satisfied with it being finished then looked around. There was no place to put it out, and she wasn’t wearing shoes, so she was not going to be able to step on it to put it out. Looking around almost frantically she found the coffee mug she had used earlier and threw the cigarette in there.
“Hey dumbass”, Sayori said to the walls with a giant grin on her face, “you forgot to give me an ashtray.” She then laughed and watched the last of the smoke escaping her body.
She then sat on the side of the wall and waited and waited. “Man, you better have seen that”, she said, then got up and walked back over to the table where she had left the cigarettes and lighter. “Am I really going to have to fucking smoke another?” She asked herself. She sighed and with a big smile on her face grabbed another cigarette. She grabbed the lighter and lit it up.
“Yep, second is just as bad as the first”, she said to herself, the grin still on her face. She smoked this cigarette leaning against the wall. “Man, this smell is going to linger in this room for a while, I see no ways to vent it.” Sayori had hoped in the back of her mind that she would be able to follow the smoke escaping the room through a crack, but it dissipated too fast for her to see where it escaped, much to her chagrin.
Sayori looked down at the cigarette in her right hand, which she had over her left arm, arms crossed and sighed, “I kind of wish I could see myself in a mirror right now. I bet I look hot.” She then smiled and tried to imagine how good she looked. “I imagine I looked positively… smoking”, she said to herself, then laughed at her own joke. She put the cigarette back to her mouth and coughed again. “Am I even doing this right?” She asked herself.
She finished off her second cigarette and after throwing it into the coffee mug went back to her wall. She tried to breath the taste of the cigarette and the smoke out of her mouth, but it was not working. Suddenly she started to feel a little tired.
“This better be the last time”, she said to herself before giggling. She walked over to her bed and laid down. As she was falling asleep this time, she heard the voice again.
“Rest and be free.”
Sayori awoke again, still in the room, but she didn’t feel that angry about it, she knew she would be out soon, she didn’t know why, she just knew this was almost over. This was confirmed when she walked over to the table and found no meal, in its place was a note.
“See you in two cigarettes.”
“Ugg, really?” Sayori asked herself and clicked her tongue. She sat down and to her surprise found an ashtray there as well. “So, you were listening?” Sayori chuckled to herself and lit up the cigarette.
“Still taste like shit”, she declared to the room and sat down and smoked it. She wished she could say this one was easier, she had really wanted it to be, but it still went through her body hard, and she found herself coughing with every drag, and laughing to dissipate the cough. It was starting to really hurt her throat. She got down to where she considered the cigarette done and put it out in the ashtray, her first time doing it. She had seen Nozomi do it a few times so she had the basic idea, she crushed the cigarette and hoped that the embers would die out.
The first cigarette done, she walked over to the wall and leaned on it to clear her head. The room still stunk of cigarettes, but this side stunk a little less. She smiled and closed her eyes, letting herself rest for a moment. “Almost done”, she said to herself, the smile growing, then opened back up her eyes.
She walked over to the table and grabbed the fourth cigarette out of the pack and lit up. “These better get better”, she said to the wall and sat down to finish it.
Sayori looked at the cigarette, finally close enough to be done, and put it out the same way she had the first, crushing it in the ashtray. She blew the remaining smoke out of her body and looked around, trying to figure out what would happen next, as satisfied smile on her face.
Suddenly, the wall on the opposite side of where she always leaned opened. Out of the hole came Nozomi.
“Surprised to see me?” Nozomi said to her best friend who had an unimpressed look on her face.
“No, not really”, Sayori said, then she smiled and started to giggle, “you made it really obvious.”
“How?” Nozomi asked her best friend, very disappointed that the moment of reveal had been ruined.
Sayori stood up and started to count on her fingers, “Let’s see, first you foreshadowed the hell out of it being you by telling me that story of the person trapped in the room with no doors or windows, this is exactly like your story, Next, you were constantly asking me what I was doing over spring break proving you were planning something big.” Sayori smiled and walked over to Nozomi, “third, the foods provided were all some of my favorites, except for corn day, what the hell was that anyway?”
“I wanted to throw you off.” Nozomi said looking away from Sayori.
“It didn’t work, and fourth, the cigarettes you picked for me to smoke, Virginia Slims, they are your brand. Come on Nozomi, you know I am not stupid. You know I watch out for twist.”
Nozomi looked away from her friend and hid behind a smile that still showed how disappointed she was in herself.
“So, it was obvious it was you, of course”, Sayori added then paused for a second and asked the more interesting question to herself, “what I am more curious about is why I am not trying to kill you right now, in fact I am happy to see you?”
“Oh, that was part of the conditioning.” Nozomi explained matter-of-factly.
“Conditioning?” Sayori asked while smiling.
“This whole thing”, Nozomi waved around the room, “was conditioning for you. I put some sleeping pills in your salad last Friday night and brought you here. You have been getting constant messages while you have slept to help me help you.”
“Help me?” Sayori asked before giggling. “That is a silly way to put it.”
“Are you angry at me?” Nozomi asked, to which Sayori shook her head no. “Well then I think I helped you.” Nozomi looked around the room one last time, “so, are you ready to go? It’s Monday night in case you were curious by the way. I figured it would be better to bring you back at night to help your eyes adjust.”
“Thanks.” Sayori said then motioned for Nozomi to lead the way.
“Tsk, tsk, Sayori, aren’t you forgetting something?” Nozomi pointed at the table with the cigarettes and lighter.
“Oh, silly me.” Sayori said and went back and grabbed them. The two women then started to head out. Once outside the building which Sayori saw was an abandoned factory Nozomi lit up then handed Sayori the lighter, Sayori sighed, before giggling and lit up herself.
“Man, I really need to teach you how to inhale.” Nozomi said to her friend before the pair went off into the night heading back to their dorm room.
“Please do, it seems I am going to be a smoker”, Sayori answered back a big smile on her face.
A few weeks later the pair were once again at their favorite café and working on creative writing. They were talking to each other and enjoying many jokes between the two of them, it was during a laugh that Nozomi suddenly got an ashen look over her face.
“Sayori, I hate to do this, but I just suddenly got a horrible thought, and I want you to answer it for me.”
Sayori smiled her biggest smile at her best friend and motioned for her to ask.
“Remember a few months ago when we talked about identity death, the killing of the personality of a character, do, do you think I killed you?”
Sayori smile faded for a second, then came back up.
“Oh, come on Nozomi, I am still Sayori, I remember breaking my leg when I was ten, I remember graduating, I remember having a crush on Chad when I was a sophomore, I remember all that stuff. That stuff happened to Sayori, it happened to me. So, what if I am happier now, that I cuss a bit more, who the fuck cares?” Sayori laughed and took a sip of her coffee. “Anyway, as you explained you did it out of love, and is their anything more beautiful than doing anything out of love.”
Nozomi watched Sayori take a sip of the coffee and nervously laughed to herself. She then pulled up her purse as a signal to Sayori.
“I thought you would never ask.” Sayori answered back by lifting her purse. The pair went outside and lit up cigarettes. Sayori savored the first inhale of a cigarette as she always did and looked over at her best friend doing the same. Sayori had grown to love the cigarettes, or had she always loved them, she thought to herself. It wasn’t important, all that was important was she had her cigarettes.
Nozomi watched Sayori light up and a small smile came over her face before she started to talk again.
“So, let’s say I made it so you would do something without knowing, like say, getting to love coffee, would that be identity death?” Nozomi asked her best friend.
Sayori moved her hand to her chin to think for a second then smiled. “Oh, you bitch.” She said to her best friend then playfully punched her arm before starting to laugh, a laugh soon joined by Nozomi.