Flash Fiction Friday: What Just Happened?

I jump to my feet, gasping for air, ready for….ready for what?

There’s a loud blaring horn sounding regularly, and the room is filled with a flashing red light.  Looking around, all I see is metal.

Where am I?

And I was going to fight someone or do something or…what was I going to do?

Looking around, nothing seems familiar.  I’m not sure how I got here, not sure why I’m here.  And definitely not sure where everyone else is.

Actually, I’m so uncertain of everything that I’m not really all that sure who I am.

Amnesia.  You hear about it, read about, and watch countless sitcom episodes about it, but you never actually believe it could happen to you.

Of course, luckily I’m more self-aware than those idiots on TV.  Obviously I’m suffering some sort of amnesia, otherwise I’d have some clue of who I am, why I’m here, and you know, all those other basic questions about my current existence.  But, knowing is half the battle as they always say.

I look around the room a bit more carefully.  It seems almost as if I’ve seen a room like this before.  Well, I mean, it’s obviously a bedroom, but a very familiar looking bedroom.  Not something I remember from my own life, not that I actually remember my own life at this point, but something still quite familiar.  I notice the door on the far side of the room from me, a heavy metal thing with a small round window and a circular wheel in the center, which I’m guessing is what you use to open it.

I know where I’ve seen this type of door before!  At sea.  This is the type of thing they use to keep rooms watertight in case a ship should be submerged.

Simple enough.  I’m at sea.  Not that it helps me all that much to actually know that, but I’m already answering questions at a fifth grade level here.  I’m no idiot.  I just don’t know anything about myself.  That’s a good start.

I run to the door and eagerly begin to turn the wheel on the door counter-clockwise.  After half a turn, I realize that there could be a reason I’m all alone, remembering the blaring warning horn that fills the air.  I look out the little porthole to make sure the room on the other side isn’t submerged.  It seems fine to me.

I return to the act of opening the door and three spins later, it creaks open loudly.  I peek my head out.

“Hello?” I yell into the open corridor.  “Anyone else out there?”

My voice echoes tinnily through the metallic hallway, but my request is not answered.  Cautiously I step out into the hall and check out my surroundings.  The hallway is quite long, with open hatches at regular intervals along the way.  As far as I can see, there doesn’t appear to be any immediate danger, so I begin walking toward a ladder I see situated in the middle of the hall down about three segments.

“Hello?” I yell again as I make my way.

The air tastes funny.  Not salty or anything, like I would expect from being at sea.  It actually tastes a lot like motor oil and aluminum, with a bit of rust.  And it’s quiet in here, outside of the horn that still blasts my ear drums at 3.5 second intervals.  During the brief time between blasts, I can’t help but notice a very odd silence.  There’s a hint of something mechanical doing its job, but nothing else.  With a ship this big, I’d think there’d be a lot more activity.  Especially with a warning going off like it is.

I begin peeking into portholes on the doors along the corridor as I continue toward the ladder.  Each room is the same.  Dark, small, and filled with beds and toilets and minor assortments of personal items.  This must be the sleeping quarters for the crew.  That probably explains why I’m not seeing anyone.  They all went up top when the alarm started going off and for whatever reason, my brain just stopped working.

I reach the ladder and see a sign posted to the wall.  On it is a whole host of terms I really don’t understand, but the one that sticks out most to me is right at the top.  It stated the name of the ship as the USS Rock, and below it the designation of Gato-class submarine.

Submarine, I thought to myself.  I’m on a submarine?

My mind reels with fear as I recognize the fact that I currently have no clue about anything of myself or my crewmates or anything outside of the fact that I am locked within a metallic bubble which could possibly be miles beneath the surface, and there’s an alarm going off.

I rush up the ladder, hoping to figure out what’s going on as fast as I can.  I may not remember my job, but I know that I don’t want to be stuck on a broken boat if it’s about to collapse in on me.

 

For what feels like hours, I search the ship and can’t seem to find a single other person.  The blaring horn continues at its regular intervals, but I can’t find anyone or anything that would show that this was an actual ship.

I did find the exit hatch, it showed itself as inoperable due to current depth.  I found the bridge, but couldn’t get the door open either.

In fact, the only place I could find that could be considered a worthwhile find in all my hunting across this place was the mess hall.

After digging through the fridge for a few minutes, I finally land on cottage cheese as the item to drown my sorrows in.  It’s an odd choice, but it seems like it might have been one of my favorites in a past life.

As I sit and think about my situation, I can’t help but come to one conclusion.  I’m goatrope’d.  I’m down here alone.  I have no idea how to operate anything.  And as far as I can tell, the ship’s about to hit an underwater mountain, although, I’d guess that the noise that’s currently deafening me is more likely a distress signal being blared out for any other passersbys.

I rest my head in my arms.  Maybe I can come up with something, figure out what happened, determine why I’m alone and how I got here.  I just need something that could remind me.

But for now, rest seems most important.  If I could turn off that damned horn.

And just as I think it, the horn stops.

I jerk my head upright, and standing in the middle of the doorway to the kitchen, I see a blonde woman staring at me.

“Charles,” she says as she nears.  “How long are you planning on playing around in here?  We’re supposed to be leaving in an hour.”

 

I know…I left that one a little oddly…not really sure how to end this one, just playing around a bit.  

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