I woke up to my abrasive alarm forcing itself into my ears. I turned it off then stretched. There was a brand new day ahead of me, and I wanted to get as much done as I could.
I got out of bed and got dressed. I was ready for whatever came my way. Nothing could stop me from eating breakfast and brushing my teeth! The world was my oyster, and I could have whatever I want!
“Sage, are you ready to get to work?” I heard Mother’s voice call to me from the next room. I followed the sound, and told her yes.
Mother must have been up fairly early, as all of our gear was set up. I immediately got to work. “Thank you, Mother, for preparing our tools without my help.” She smiled, and began to work.
We had only been working for somewhere around an hour before Mother cut her hand. She covered the cut with her other hand, and told me to go downstairs and find our first aid kit. Luckily, she had shown me it before, so I knew exactly what to look for.
I went to the basement level, and began to look through cabinets for the kit. However, after only a few moments, I noticed a small door that I had never seen before. It was only about as tall as my knees. I wondered to myself what it could be for, but I ignored it. Mother’s hand was still bleeding, and I needed to get her bandages.
I looked through another few cupboards before finding the kit, and rushing back upstairs to give it to Mother. She told me where the bandages were, and how to apply them to her hand. Only ten minutes had passed between the initial cut and it getting bandaged. We spent another six hours completing our work.
After our work, Mother congratulated as usual. “I appreciate your efforts, Sage. You may return to your room, and spend your time as you will. Our work shall continue tomorrow.”
I replied in the way I had been taught. “Thank you, Mother, for providing me with fruitful work.”
I returned to my room, and turned on the light, expelling the pitch blackness within. I sat upon my bed, and reflected the knowledge I had. I have been alive for 17 years. I have always been within this home. Mother loves me. My work is appreciated.
Once again, I found myself questioning the knowledge I had. Why did I work? All I’ve ever known is myself and Mother, and she never seems to acknowledge our work outside of when we are working. She never explains the work, and she never tells me about anything. In fact, I don’t even understand why our lights turn on when we press a switch. I don’t actually know anything.
Suddenly, my mind drifted to the tiny door I found hidden in the corner, behind the cupboards that always obstructed my ability to see it. I had never known of it before today. Why was that?
I turned off my lights. “Goodnight, sweet Mother,” I whispered out of habit. I didn’t actually plan to sleep. I was going to enter that door.
I opened my door quietly and barely, then snuck out. There was no light in the hallway. The only reason I could see was because of the dim glow of lights lining where the floor and walls connect. I walked, quietly and crouched, toward the stairs leading down. I snuck down those stairs. This time, it was utterly pitch. There weren’t any lights in the corners like there were everywhere else. I wondered how I never noticed it before.
Still crouching, I used my hands to follow the walls and cabinets, following them until I felt the light divot between the wall and door. I pushed on it. It didn’t move, so I felt for a handle to pull it open. Of course, there was. I found myself crawling through it before truly understanding what I was doing.
It was still just as dark in the other room. I had to crawl blind. I tried to move slowly and keep my head down, just in case I ran into a wall. Eventually, I did.
My head pushed the wall open. It was another door, and it wasn’t closed very securely.
Light fell through the gap. It was a bright light that I wasn’t used to. It was brighter than anything I had ever seen before. I squinted and pushed the door open the rest of the way.
It took at least a couple minutes for my eyes to adjust to the intimidating light. Once they had, however, they couldn’t stop staring at the source. It was a clear wall above me. I looked for a switch to turn it off, but there was none. The light couldn’t be turned off. I looked about the room, and saw colors I had never been familiar with. I only recognised white amongst the rest of strange items. I put my hand onto one of the white ones. It was soft. I felt like I could destroy it by holding just a little too harshly.
Suddenly, I heard a door shut. It was a door I couldn’t see. I froze in place. “Sage, Sage, Sage. I should’ve guessed you were reaching that age. In fact, I thought you would never discover this place. All of the other ones found it after about thirteen years of life. I did think it was strange that you were four years late, but alas, you are here now.”
I turned toward Mother. “What is this place? Why did I never know about it?”
Mother pursed her lips. “It’s a garden. These things are flowers. I use it to disguise the scent in the room beyond. I presume you want to see that room, too?
I nodded. She took my hand, and pulled me around a corner and into a door. Suddenly, the sweet smell of the previous room became apparent as it was wiped out by the rancid one of this room.
This room contained a color I was more familiar with. Red. The color of blood. My heart pounded in my chest. “Goodnight, sweet Sage,” I heard behind before feeling a sharp pain stab into my neck, before everything became the same pitch as the rooms before these.