"C'mon Andrea, stay awake! Just stay awake! Class is almost over, only..." Andrea looked down at her watch, "Twenty-five more minutes! I cannot stay awake that long.... I shouldn't have stayed up so late." Andrea had been having nightmares the last few nights, really strange ones. She had been so sleep-deprived throughout the week that it was hard for her to stay awake in her classes, especially history. Her best friend, Kelly, nudged her in the upper arm.
"Andrea, stay awake! We have a quiz on Monday! You need to pay attention! Why can't you keep your eyes open?"
"It's hard," Andrea whispered, her breath smelling of Cool Ranch Doritos. "I haven't been able to sleep all week, I can't help it."
Kelly replied, "Listen, just stay awake. It's 2:40. Only 25 more minutes until school is over. Then we have the rest of the weekend ahead of us!"
Mr. Wenzel, her history professor, was definitely the least exciting, least interesting teacher to listen to. Not to mention he taught history, the most boring of all subjects! He was tall and thin and had dark black hair with sharp brown eyes. He always wore black pants with black sweaters or jackets of some sort, and continuously spoke in a quiet, monotone voice. He sounded like one of those tapes that you listen to when you try to fall asleep, or those late night radio d.j.s that play classical music. Lately, his lessons had consisted of the early-to-mid 20th century, dealing with the mobs and mafia specifically. It was interesting and all, but Andrea was just too exhausted to pay attention. So, of course, Andrea couldn't help but slowly close her heavy eye lids. They felt as if something was pulling them down, as if each one had ten pound weights attached to it.
Finally, blackness. She could see nothing. Eventually, the teacher's voice faded out. Soon, Andrea was fast asleep and her head occasionally bobbed up and down as she nodded away into a dream world.
Suddenly, she jerked and sat straight up in her desk, as if she had awoken from an intense dream. As she looked around, the classroom, the hallways, everything was empty. Lifeless. "What time is it?" she thought to herself, wondering just how long she had slept. She looked down at her watch. "That's funny, it's 2:40. Wasn't it just 2:40 like 20 minutes ago?" She looked over to her left where Kelly had been sitting. She wasn't there. None of her peers were there. "That's odd, nobody is here, yet everybody's stuff is still here." Throughout the room, all her peers' bags, books, and papers were scattered about, just as they were before she fell asleep. "How long was I asleep?... It didn't seem to be that long!" Andrea was so confused. Was school let out? She looked at the clock, still 2:40. Wasn't that the time she had fallen asleep?
Andrea got up from her unusually comfortable wooden desk and walked out of the classroom into the hallway. It had the familiar aroma of bleach cleaner and cafeteria food. It too was completely empty.
"I just don't understand it. School doesn't let out for another 25 minutes. I know they didn't let out early. It's not snowing, there's no fire or tornado. I'm pretty sure we weren't bombed... Maybe there's a pep assembly and the entire school is in the gym! That's it!" Andrea quickly jogged down the long, slender, silent hallway. Her steps echoed against the metal blue lockers, until she arrived at the gymnasium. She walked inside, hoping to find the entire student body in the bleachers, but no one was there. Andrea started to panic. She just couldn't comprehend where everyone had gone, and so early? School was still technically in session.
She headed outside. Maybe her friends had decided to have class outside. After she walked through the entrance doors, she scanned the campus. The sidewalks, the lunch tables, the fountain, every place she could see was empty. Since her house was only a block away, and it was a perfectly gorgeous sunny day in California, Andrea decided to run back home. Maybe her parents could tell her what the heck was going on. She knew they were both at work, but maybe there was just a slight chance that one of them got off work an hour early. She had to find out. She ran for what seemed like miles, her long blonde hair waving back and forth, her bangs flopping into her bright blue eyes. Beads of sweat rolled down her forehead and onto her golden tan cheekbones. She could see the end of drive way. She was almost there.
As Andrea reached the front door to her one story, brick and stone ranch, she pulled out her jingling keys from her pocket and unlocked the large wooden door. "Mom! Dad! Where are you guys!? Are you home yet!? Hello?" Andrea yelled at the top of her lungs.
She ran upstairs. She looked in her parents' bedroom, bathroom, even her own bedroom, but no one was there. She ran back downstairs. She decided to go look in the basement, despite the fact that no one ever went down there. It was just too cold and creepy. She opened the door to her basement and peered down the stairs. The basement had its usual musty smell.
Next, she went into the kitchen. Everything was completely normal. Her bowl of cereal was still sitting on the kitchen table, half full of soggy Cheerios, along with her full cup of warm orange juice. Then she entered the living room, and everything was the same as this morning. Her father's newspaper sat in the lap of his green leather recliner, and her mother's Oprah magazine rested on the coffee table next to her empty floral tea cup. It seemed as though everybody just disappeared, leaving their belongings behind as they were.
Finally, after searching the entire house, front yard, and back yard, Andrea came up empty handed. Not a family member in sight. She walked back into the house and picked up the phone. She dialed her mother's cell phone. It rang, and rang, and rang. Then her voicemail came on.
"Mom, Mom, where are you? Something totally strange is happening, and I don't know what's going on. I don't know if you're at work, or if you've disappeared like the rest of my school! I will tell you later! Please, call me as soon as you get this!" She quickly hung up the phone.
"That's strange," she thought, "Mom always answers her cell phone. It never leaves her side. Now I know something is just not right with this world." She put down the phone on the hook and pondered for a while. Suddenly, the phone rang. "Hello? Mom, is that you? Hello? Is anybody there?" But no one was there. "What the heck is going on?" Andrea thought to herself.
The second she hung up the phone, the front door slammed open and the heavy wood slapped the wall behind it. Andrea jumped and shrieked. Who could that be? She stood in the back room, waiting for someone to say hello. All she could hear were loud, rumbling footsteps. They got louder and louder with each step. She could tell whoever or whatever was out there, was coming directly for her.
She slowly backed away towards the sliding doors that led to the back porch. The footsteps were coming closer and closer, becoming faster paced with each step. She ran to the sliding doors, then ran out to her porch. Suddenly, she realized she was face to face with a large man in a black suit, about 6'6'' and 250 pounds. She looked up at him in fright. What did he want?
"What are you doing here? What do you want? Where are my parents? Where are my friends?" she asked fearfully. The scary man looked down at her without a flick of emotion on his face. Effortlessly, he picked her up and slung her over his shoulder, as if she were a sack of potatoes.
"Stop, let me go! Where are you taking me? Please, please don't hurt me! What did I do wrong?!" She started to cry hysterically. Why wasn't he answering? Was he going to take her out to the dumpster and kill her? Was he going to kidnap her and never return?
He carried her to the back driveway, where a big black van had awaited them. He threw her into the van. She looked around. She was surrounded by four big thugs all dressed in black suits identical to her kidnapper, who actually looked oddly familiar. The large van was cold and unpleasant, very sinister and very solemn. She looked at the men who surrounded her. She wanted to ask them why they had taken her. What was their reason? But she was afraid if she even opened her mouth, they would hurt her or torture her in some kind of way.
She looked at the driver through the crooked rearview mirror. He was staring directly at her, his brown eyes were piercing; she could actually feel the force coming from within them. She couldn't see the rest of his face, yet she knew the eyes looked familiar. She knew those eyes. She had seen those eyes somewhere before. They were very distinguishable, and extremely unforgettable. That was the last thing she remembered....
She slowly opened her eyes. She couldn't move, she was tied up! Large rope was knotted around her hands and ankles and a large piece of duct tape was sealed over her mouth. Where was she? It appeared to be some sort of factory. It was enormously large and open, very unwelcoming, very unpleasant. It reeked of oil and burning coal. It was dark, except for the numerous light fixtures hanging 20 feet above he
All of a sudden, the five thugs approached her, all looking significantly identical. Each had a stern look of punishment on his face. The kidnapper thug walked up to Andrea and ripped the piece of duct tape off of her mouth.
"Ouch!" She cried. "What are you going to do to me? Please, please don't hurt me. Whatever you want, I don't have it... at least I don't think I have it. You can have all my money, my cell phone, my jewelry, take whatever you want. Just please don't hurt me!" she pleaded. None of them seemed to be sympathetic. In fact, they looked like they had some sort of joy on their face, as if they were getting ready to do something torturous, and something fun.
Another thug approached the group, only this one was even taller and larger, and much stronger, than the others. He had to be the leader. Yes, he was the driver, the one causing this horrific event. He looked at his men, as if giving them some sort of signal. "What were they going to do?" Andrea thought while she looked around, trying to see what the heck was going to happen. She immediately looked up. A large, hot piece of metal, the mass of a king size mattress, was being slowly and steadily descended from a pulley. It was directly above her, only a few feet away. She could feel the pressure of the heat given off by the metal. It was definitely getting closer and closer to her body.
She screamed, "What have I done to you?! Who are you guys? Why are you doing this to me!?" None of them even blinked, it was as if they were watching a movie, nothing faded them. The metal was getting closer and closer, soon it was just a few inches from her nose. "Ahhhhhhhhh!" she cried in helpless fear! This was it! Andrea was going to be turned into a hotcake by this enormous block of metal! "Goodbye world," she thought as she closed her eyes.
"Ahhhhhh!" Andrea sat up straight in her chair, drops of sweat rolling down her forehead and into her face. She looked around, her classmates stared, more like glared. "Are you ok?" Kelly frantically asked. "You're sweating Andy, are you alright?"
"Andrea, are you back to reality now?" Mr. Wenzel hissed. He glared at her. The class quietly chuckled.
"Oh my god," she thought, "I must have been dreaming." She looked at the clock, 3:00. School was out in five minutes. Had she been sleeping and dreaming the last twenty minutes? No, it seemed so real. She looked down at her wrists to see if the rope had left marks. Nothing appeared to be there. However, strangely enough, her wrists were aching with throbbing pain. "This couldn't be. This has got to be some big prank." She sat there in a daze, not quite back into the real world yet.
Then, the school bell rang. School was out. The day was over, and it was time to go home. Andrea walked out to the parking lot when she looked over and saw Mr. Wenzel getting into the driver's seat of a large black van. He looked over in her direction, starring at her with his piercing brown eyes...
Acknowledgments: To my class and to Terry, thanks for all your help! And thanks to Marie for editing my story a thousand times!