“Tick tick tick tick”. As the clock turns closer, the whole class of middle schoolers prepares to bolt, except for one. Sitting in the corner with his hoodie on, unaware of his surroundings.
His name is Jacob Bacoj. He is an immigrant from Russia, hopping from country to country with his father. So far, he has been in almost 15 different schools, but every time he gets to make friends, his father is fired or offered a better position somewhere else. Because of this, Jacob decided to stay neutral; not making friends, otherwise, they would get ripped away from him when he had to move.
Now, back to the story. Jacob, had fallen asleep. As the time passed, it grew dark and the schools closed. When Jacob woke up, he saw that it was already dark out and there was nobody in the parking lots. He bolted to the door and tried the handle, but it wouldn’t budge. He ran to the window, but it was locked. Jacob wandered around the room, accepting defeat and decided not to waste any time snooping around the classroom. In the closet, he didn’t find anything interesting, except for a few dead kids (just kidding). He sauntered over to the teacher’s desk. It was mostly covered with papers to grade. There was also a globe paperweight, and a handful of pens and pencils. He slid open one of the drawers and found a gradebook containing all of the kids in his class’s grades. In the other drawer, there wasn’t anything inside. It was completely empty, but as Jacob looked inside, he saw what looked like a light switch inside.
He stuck his arm inside and flipped the lever. Immediately, the wall behind him came apart to reveal a stairway down into blackness. Since Jacob knew that he was going to leave in a few days, he decided to have some adventure in his dull life.
He crept down the cold stairs. Each step he took made him colder. Down, deeper, lower, the steps never seemed to end. Finally, he came to a sleek white door with a light, not something that Jacob was expecting. Next to the door was a key pad and a palm scanner. Since Jacob didn’t probably have the right palm print for the scanner, he unscrewed the bolts and ripped out all of the wires. I know what you are thinking. “Isn’t that vandalism?” Yes, it is now stop talking. As Jacob looked at the keypad, he realized that there were numbers and symbols. He tried his teacher’s first and last name, but none of them worked. Then he tried the classroom number. The slid open silently. Inside the door, it was almost completely dark, except for the light coming from the doorway. Jacob groped around in the darkness, feeling for a switch and found one, but it was the fan. Next to that was the light switch.
The whole room was practically empty except for a big light-blue ball. It was covered in hexagonal patterns with grey highlights between the hexagons. As Jacob walked closer to the ball, a door formed from the hexagons and opened, revealing the inside of the ball. It was bare except for a chair that sat in the middle. Being the sneaky kid that he was, he sat in the chair and waited. Nothing happened. He waited more. After some time, he saw the door slide shut silently and a container slid out of the ceiling with a pair of glasses in it. Suddenly, tendrils shot out from the sides of the seat and restrained Jacob’s body to it. He tried twisting around and cutting through them with his teeth, but it was no use. He decided to put on the glasses in front of him. All of a sudden, a pleasant voice cut through the silence. It said, “Please refrain from defacing the restraints. Look to your right.” Jacob looked and saw a green cube. “Look to your left.” Jacob saw a red cube. “Look up.” Jacob saw a black cube. “Touch your hands to the side of your chair.” The instant Jacob touched the sides of his chair, the mysterious voice said, “You are calibrated. Please have a pleasant journey.” Journey? What did the voice mean by journey?
All of a sudden, a globe of the Earth came into the view of Jacob. Underneath it was a timeline of all the major events, with the farthest to the left, the present. He lifted up his hands, but there wasn’t anything there. When he swiped at the globe, it spun and showed up on his old home. As he zoomed in, he could see his old life; his school, his home, his friends’ homes and the candy shop that he would always go to after school with his friends and try the free samples. He tapped on the shop and out of nowhere, the lights flashed off and Jacob pulled off his glasses. He jerked back and his eyes seemed to go to the back of his head. He was flung around like a rag doll, and for once, he was thankful for the restraints. It stopped as abruptly as it came. The tendrils around his chest loosened and retracted back into the sides of the seat. Jacob got up nervously and stumbled dizzily to the exit that appeared. After his eyes adjusted to the light, he saw that he was no longer in the room he was in before.
This room was completely white-washed with more than one exit. Also, the words above the exits were words that Jacob remembered seeing before, but forgot how to read or speak. Where was he?