The Probatio Unit

I can never go back there, I think triumphantly. I have done what no one before me has been able to do: escape!

With my back tightly against the wall, I peek over my shoulder and check the hall behind me. Then I poke my head around the corner. No one has sounded the alarm yet, so the glaringly white halls are empty and tomb-like. I race down the hall to the double doors at the end of the Probatio unit.

So far, most of my escape has been because of the regulation socks. I am silent as I run. In fact, except for my black frizzy hair, I could blend right in with the neon white walls, as the gowns are white, too. I picture myself as a white shadow, fleeting through the unit like a puff of smoke.

Now, however, would be the critical part of the escape, as I gently open the right-side door. Careful so as not to make a sound, I press the handle down millimeter by millimeter, checking over my shoulder every few seconds. No one has yet noticed my absence, and Dr. Carter wouldn’t be back for at least another twenty minutes to monitor my vitals and administer the next injection.

Success! I am out and I gently set the door back into place. This is unfamiliar territory, because of course we are all drugged when we are brought into the unit with the titanium doors on the patient rooms. Except we’re not patients, because we’re not sick! Plus, no one gets better on the Probatio unit.

I run down another white hallway, identical to the first, except the doors here have no plexiglass windows. Instead, I see the shadow of shoes under the door, the kind the doctors remove before entering our rooms in the germ-free space suits.

I skid to a stop, panicked! What could I use for a weapon? I quickly back up behind the door, hoping he just doesn’t see me.

I am in luck. The doctor walks right by me, absorbed in the papers on his clipboard. I sneak out the door without being detected.

The unit I have entered is empty, too, even the nurse’s station, which seems odd. The room opens onto two hallways, and I pick one at random, not wanting to trust my luck for too long.

This is it. I can hear the sounds of outside beckoning; cars, birds, people’s voices.

I throw open the double doors, a flood of sunlight raining over me…

From my reclined position on the bed, I see the doctor tapping on a long needle. I can’t peel my eyes from it. My wrists are tied. With a huge jerk, I discover my ankles have been restrained too.

“Now, honey, this may pinch a little bit!” Doctor Carter said, approaching with the needle.

I scream.




Yay for the Speakeasy!, home to some talented fiction writers! Stop on by Thursday to vote for your favorites! Then next week, submit something of your own – you know you want to…

Prompt for this week: in under 500 words, tell a story that begins with the phrase “I can never go back there” and at least refers to the above photo.


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