Eve of Destruction

Eve of Destruction by Patrick Carman

Book: Eve of Destruction by Patrick Carman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patrick Carman
smoothness on my palm.
    â€œI love you, Marisa. Don’t forget, okay?”
    There was some laughter—Ben or Alex or both—and then silence as I swung the door shut hard and fast.
    The last thing I heard before the door closed all the way was Marisa’s voice.
    â€œI won’t forget.”
    And then she was gone and I was alone with Mrs. Goring.
    The room filled with light when the door sealed shut and I had to shield my eyes for a second or two. I heard the iron bolt lock into place from somewhere deep inside the wall, followed by the sound of someone pounding on the door from the outside. It was a distant sound, and their voices were even farther out of my range of comprehension. The world had gone audibly soft and unfocused outside the room, and I turned to see what kind of prison I’d found.
    â€œIf you can’t hear me as well as you’d like, use the big round dial. The one that looks like it belongs in a science-fiction movie.”
    Mrs. Goring’s voice was back.
    â€œGive them a little time, they’ll start moving around. Like mice trapped in a maze.”
    She wasn’t talking to me, or at least it didn’t seem like she was, not just then.
    â€œYou can see them?”
    â€œSure I can. So can you.”
    The room had six monitors inside: four on the wall directly in front of me, plus one on each of the side walls. Below the monitors there were control panels from what did look like a 1950s science-fiction movie. And there was the dial, below the center monitor on the far wall, just like she’d said. The monitor above the dial crackled to life and there was the bottom of the ladder, where we’d come in.
    â€œThis is starting to feel familiar,” I said, walking to the dial and turning up the volume on Mrs. Goring.
    â€œToo loud,” she boomed into the room, and then with an audible click the screen changed and there she was, staring at me. The entryway on the screen was gone, replaced by wicked old Eve Goring. She controlled the monitors from the outside, or at least some of them.
    I cranked down the volume to a reasonable level, then spoke:
    â€œIf you hurt Marisa—if you hurt any of them—”
    â€œYou’re hardly in a position to threaten me. Better you listen and do as you’re told.”
    I screamed in frustration and pounded my fists on the metal door, then kicked it way too hard and screamed again from the pain. I sat on the concrete floor and felt like sobbing with anger. Sobbing from being controlled, for being dumb enough to fall into a trap, for fear I’d lost Marisa for good.
    â€œStand up, you coward,” Mrs. Goring said. “You’ve got work to do.”
    I looked around the room once more and saw the dark, frosted glass above Mrs. Goring’s face in the monitor, where a camera had to be positioned so she could watch me. I made a mental note to find something heavy so I could bash the glass in if the need arose.
    You wanna play games? I’m good at games, I thought.
    I don’t know, bro. This ain’t air hockey. She’s a crafty old warhorse.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Keith.
    â€œHere’s what you need to know,” said Mrs. Goring. “It’s dangerous down there.”
    â€œYa think?” I mocked. From what little I’d seen of the surroundings, there were a thousand different ways someone could get hurt. “What is this place?”
    â€œIt was a missile silo, a long time ago.”
    â€œLiar.”
    â€œOh no, I’m definitely not lying. You’d be surprised how many abandoned underground facilities like this there are. We were a jumpy bunch, back in the day.”
    â€œAnd I’m in the observation room?”
    I had managed to find the place where my key card would be inserted; unfortunately, the mechanism for accepting the card had been destroyed.
    â€œI hit it with a hammer. You can’t get out, Will. Not unless I let you out.

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