It was like an echo from the past, or a dream where he was only just now remembering. He recognized everything about the room, even though he was sure he’d never been there before. He knew the paintings on the walls, could name the artists who’d painted them. The only thing that puzzled him was…
…in the middle of the coffee table sat a vase. It was a mostly white vase with small pink and red roses painted on it. Even though this room he had never been in felt familiar, the vase stuck out to him as incorrect. It was like a sore thumb sticking out in an almost perfect room.
He stepped over towards it and examined it closer. An empty vase sitting on the coffee table. Something was wrong with it, but he couldn’t place it.
He looked around the room once again.
No matter how hard he tried, he could not figure out why he knew this room. It wasn’t a room he could remember being in before, but it felt so familiar. It was almost like he had lived in this room before. It was like a background image to his entire life. But when he tried to focus on the room and place it in a concrete moment of time, it became blurred. Had he dreamed of this room? Or maybe it was a room he had only been in as a child.
He turned back to the vase.
What was it with this vase? Why did it seem so wrong?
He bent down and picked up the vase, examining it from all sides. It seemed normal, but something in the back of his brain told him it was wrong. It didn’t belong here.
Then another thought entered his mind.
It was a foreign thought. A violent thought.
If it didn’t belong here, then he should get rid of it.
The hair stood up on the back of his neck as his grip on the vase tightened. He looked back at the vase and his mood changed. He could feel sweat build up on his brow and he felt his heart began to race.
He lifted the vase with one hand and threw it as hard as he could against the wall. It shattered on impact knocking one of the paintings off the wall and sending small slivers of ceramic all over the room.
He took a few steps towards the wall where the vase was smashed, being careful to avoid the broken pieces. Where the painting was hanging, there was now a bare space where the wallpaper was discolored, like the painting had been hanging for a very long time and this space had not seen direct light for a long time.
He investigated further to see that the wallpaper seemed to have small cuts and tears in them. He then began to take his fingernail and scratch at the holes, causing the tears to grow. Eventually he tore off a whole section of the wallpaper exposing the wood underneath.
He audibly gasped and took a step back.
There written on the wood was a series of words scratched into the wood.
Lies. Fake. Sleeping. Lies. Not real. Wake up. They have you. Lies.
As his eyes looked over these words the room began to shake and dust and dirt began to fall down from the ceiling.
He looked around the room and everything seemed wrong. Fake. This familiar feeling he had now was gone and he felt nothing but horror and dread.
He opened his mouth, trying to scream, but no words came out.
Then the whole world seemed to shatter. It broke into pieces leaving him floating in a dark void. Just darkness surrounding him.
He then heard two voices coming out from the void.
“I’m not sure what’s going on, Sir. We are trying everything we can, but it doesn’t seem to be working. There is some kind of glitch we haven’t been able to figure it out,” A woman’s voice said.
“Well run it again. We need to figure out what is happening,” A man’s voice said.
“Alright Sir,” The woman said. “Mind Prison Test 85. Begin now.”
He found himself sitting in a room. He wasn’t quite sure where he recognized the room, but it felt familiar. It was like an echo from the past, or a dream where he was only just now remembering. He recognized everything about the room, even though he was sure he’d never been there before.
However there on the coffee table in front of him sat an ornate picture frame.
He reached out his hand raising the picture frame closer to his face. In the frame, there was a picture of a woman. Someone he didn’t recognize, but she had a beautiful smile. She had a red rose held to her nose like she was sniffing it.
As his eyes darted between the woman and the rose, he got a feeling in the back of his brain.
Somehow he knew that the picture frame was out of place.
Header Photo Credit to Aliex Press
Writing Prompt comes from Piccadilly’s “Complete The Story”