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The Garden of Eden

Morgan Dow, Class of 2021

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Colors. In the trees, on the ground, on the doors, on the people. Reds, oranges, yellows,

browns. Lights and decorations. A time of creepy music and irrational thoughts of the origins of

the tapping against the window. The crisp air hits the cheeks of the passing people, tinting their

cheeks slightly red and bringing them to wear even more colors. Scarves, plaid, flannel, jackets.

Smoke billows from somebody’s last bonfire of the season. The greys mix in with the

blues and the yellows and the oranges and the purples that are lining the sky. The smells waft in

the air. Pumpkins, fires, colognes, perfumes. Everything shows the signs of the third season of

the year, from the leaves to the temperatures to the houses to the people. Not enough of the

population stops to watch their surroundings. So many are always too busy going from place to

place, doing nothing and everything all at the same time. Too much to do, too little time. But not

her.

Her wispy, chestnut-colored hair is flowing with movement and direction, going

everywhere and nowhere. The bark of the tree digs into her thighs and back, but she doesn’t

care-it ties her to reality. An old book, leather bound and rough, lies in her hands, propped up in

an angle allowing her to read to her heart’s content. Evenings for this particular girl are often

spent in this same tree, people watching and reading.

“‘A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that

profound secret and mystery to every other.’” The words of the book, a classic required for

school, cut through the relative silence of the hour of dusk. It’s as if the world knows that

something is coming, devoid of the usual animals. Yet the girl, who is usually so observant

compared to the passersby, is unnaturally oblivious to the silence surrounding her, instead being

absorbed in her book.

The footsteps sound like the natural wildlife of an average day. They are spread apart, the

leaves crushing under the footsteps sound far enough apart not to arouse suspicion. The change

in volume from nearly silent due to distance to louder than ever as it comes close to the tree

doesn’t do so much as create the beginnings of a thought to stop and glance around. That is her

first mistake.

The sharp needle flies through the autumn air, leaving barely a whisper in its wake. It’s

prick into her skin finally rouses the girl from her focused state. Without even a slight warning in

her mind, it’s already too late. The paralytic works its way through her system quickly, barely

registering in her mind before she is already unable to move anything from her waist down, as

the needle punctured her calf. Within minutes, her body can no longer sustain itself and falls out

of the tree, into the waiting arms of her attacker. Her eyes close right when she meets the

piercing blue gaze of the man whom she can only recognize to be her savior, for lack of rational

thought.

The same heavy, spread out footsteps retreat and disappear as suddenly as they came. The

tree’s space, previously filled with the content presence of a studious girl, is now cold and

empty, almost as if she was a natural part of the scenery. Yet the life of the environment goes on.

The animals, now understanding the threat is gone, return to fill the quiet atmosphere with their

scurrying and calling. Everything seems so right, yet it still seems so wrong.

The clacking of a woman’s heels sound loudly on the linoleum floors. The irritating

sound is the first thing she wakes up to. Where is she, who is she, why is she here, why she’s

asleep?l All good questions, all with answers just out of reach for her. They plague her mind

with many others, but one sticks prominently in the front of her mind. What happened?

Her sight comes back to her seconds later. She pries her eyes open, forcing them to adjust

to the painful addition of bright white lights. It doesn’t take long before the many beds and

curtains, the smells of alcohol and blood, bring her to her first answer. She is in a hospital. Yet

another question.

She must be hurt. That’s why she is where she is. Another answer, another question.

Where is she hurt? She tries to move. Her limbs don’t cooperate with her will. She’s paralyzed.

Another answer. Another question. Why? That’s the end of her realizations. Before long,

however, she can at least wiggle her toes. Her eyes smile in relief.

The clacking gets louder, closer, yet so far away, it seems. The girl can’t seem to yet turn

her head to the direction of the damned heels. She makes a tapping motion with her foot,

displaying her irritation in the only available way at the moment. Luckily, the wait isn’t too long,

as the owner of the heels is headed quickly in her direction.

“Glad to see you are finally awake. Can you speak yet?” The answer is a frustrated no.

She tries, yet she can’t even open her mouth. She can move her arms now, though. The feeling is

a great relief upon her fatigued mind. Effort takes a lot out of a person. A pen, there in

imagination, invisible to the naked eye, takes shape in the girl’s thin hand, as her hands move

across the sky, writing a symphony of words. The woman gets the point, and a pen is passed to

the waiting girl, whose hands proceed to write in a flurry of motion.

“Where am I? Can’t you tell you are in a hospital?” The dark glance cast by the still girl

as her frustration and need for answers show directs the unknown personage to steer back to a

direct answer. The stark contrast from lighthearted to deadly serious is easily noted by the two.

“I can’t tell you that at the moment. When you can fully move, I will have a lot of explaining to

do.” The younger girl’s hands begin their frantic motion once again.

“Who are you? Who am I? That’s a deep question.” A glare is sent in the woman’s

direction. “Kidding, kidding. I’m Dr. Lionel. I am one of the chief investigative workers here.

It’s very nice to meet you, Ms. Damira Thalmine.” A suspicious look crosses the younger girls

face as her eyes scrunch up in a squint.

“How do you know my name? Once again, when you can move again, I will explain in

detail. Why don’t you try to speak again? You’re motions are becoming quite normal, now, so it

shouldn’t be too much longer.” Though the younger one doesn’t quite want to listen to her elder,

Damira still attempts to speak. Much to her shock, her voice comes out, barely there yet

undeniably existent to the two. Two words traverse the space between them. Two words change

the atmosphere of the room to a slightly darker one.

“Screw off.” The words are soft and uncertain, but they pack a punch that neither can

ignore. The message is clear. This is business. There is no time left for messing around. With

renewed effort, the smaller, brunette girl swings her legs over the hospital bed and stands on

wobbly legs.

“No can do. But I can start answering your questions now. Here, follow me.” A small,

thin, olive-skinned arm reaches out in the younger girl’s direction, helping to hold her steady as

they walk. The footsteps are slow and unsteady, but they make progress enough for her to get by.

In short notice, they leave the hospital room, entering halls that look like a government facility. It

is very high-tech, with televisions lining the walls, security cameras in every corner, and lights

leaving no spec dim.

“I should start with the biggest question. Do you know anything of the SCP Foundation?”

Damira puzzled over the question, racking her brain over the question. An SCP. An abbreviation.

It sounds so familiar to the girl, but her brain can’t seem to quite recall. A light bulb hits her just

as they step into a particularly bright hallway.

“Yeah, I think I have. Wasn’t that supposed to be some scary story that circulated a while

ago? I think it means secure, contain, and protect or something like that. With all those creepy

creatures called SCPs. Weren’t there just under 5,000 of them? I remember my friends would

dare each other to go onto the website when all of those government warnings would pop up.

That’s it, right?” The girl smiled to herself, a bit proud and fond of the memory. She herself had

gone on the website and browsed through the hundreds of creatures on the page. It’s something

she could spend the whole day searching through without even realizing five minutes have gone

by.

“Spot on. Well, it’s real. What better cover for a government agency than people

thinking it is some made up story, as you just summed up, and even having a game for it. Like a

horror movie. Unless you see it say that it was based on a true story, it’s rare to have suspicions

of it being reality. The perfect cover.” The younger girl was left very skeptical of her older

counterpart.

“Yeah, I mean, that sounds all nice and good in theory. I’ll give you one thing. That does

sound like a pretty good idea. Doesn’t mean I believe you.” Damira casts a glance to her left,

aimed upward to gauge the doctor’s reaction. Dr. Lionel’s face remains straight and unmoved, as

immobile as steel. The only motion is the movement of her lips when she speaks. No emotion

crosses into the realm of her outer features to disturb the peace.

“Well, you are about to find out just how real it is.” The doctor places her finger on a pad

on the wall, her fingerprint being the key to unlock and reveal its deep, dark secrets. The hallway

is a stark change, being much more dim, barely lit, perhaps. The stench is overwhelming

disturbing, creating an even more immense reaction than formaldehyde during school

dissections. Neither of the two girls can remain breathing through their noses, as even the most

prepared person couldn’t hope to withstand the onslaught that is the smell of decay and blood.

“You’ll get used to the smell soon enough. But right here, right now, I’ll show you the

truth in my statements.” The corner is turned. In a brighter area hidden from the view of most,

there is a container. Filled with light, the only blockage between viewers and the contained is a

wall of one-way mirror. Inside, a tall, grisly being stands in a corner, still as a statue. Its head is

disproportionately large for its body, blood dripping all over the face with green, glowing eyes

staring into the soul of the young, inexperienced girl.

“Do you know of this SCP?” A quick shake of the head gives a clear answer. “This is

SCP 173. The sculpture. It cannot physically move unless whoever is looking at it blinks or stops

looking. It will proceed to break their neck otherwise. Do you believe me now, little girl?” The

eyes of the girl widen in realization, her memory returning to her.

“Yeah….Yeah, I think I do…Why are you telling me this? I’m just a normal girl. Hold

  1. As far as I know, there’s no way to sign up for a job application here. Does that mean you

scouted me to work for you? Am I going to be a researcher, too? Like you, Doctor?” Her

excitement shines in her eyes. The girl, while not pleased to be taken away from her former life,

is ecstatic at the prospects for the future. With a unique mind piqued with interest in the first

place, nothing could excite her more.

“Something like that. Come, I have to take you to your quarters. Everything else that you

need to know will be explained soon enough.” The rest of the walk remains in awed silence. The

girl, in a trance-like state of wonderment, stares at the walls, seeing new creatures, humanoid and

unrecognizable, at every turn. One cage might hold a book, another containing what appears to

be a zombie. For some, it’s impossible to tell the reason for their imprisonment, others will make

their bloodlust noticeable. In one particular instance, a man rushed towards the one-way mirror at

a ridiculously fast, inhuman speed, almost as if he could sense their presence. The girls could

easily see the bits of what appear to be flesh, blood, and feathers hanging and dripping out of his

mouth. Nothing about this disturbed Damira-the new, exciting discoveries only left her anxious

to see what was in store for her.

They round what is to be their last corner. There is only one cell, and it seems to run the

space of the room, being at the end of the hallway with no other branch-offs. The younger girl

peers inside, attempting to find out what could possibly be contained in such a large cell.

“Is this one invisible or something? I don’t see anything. Kinda disappointing, if you ask

me.” Her statement earns a small smile from the doctor, the most emotion expressed in the past

30 minutes of walking. The older woman places her hand on the scanner, opening the door to the

cage and bewildering the Damira. The doctor hasn’t done anything like this for any other

creature. She ushered the younger girl inside, letting her explore. When she reached the farthest

part of the container, the entrance quickly shut, locking in the girl. Dr. Lionel stood on the side of

the container that allows her to leave at her own will, sporting a large, almost sadistic grin on her

face. While unable to hear Damira, Lionel could tell that the younger girl had mouthed the

words, “what are you doing?”

“You asked me if we were seeking you out to hire you. In a way, you are correct.

Unfortunately for you, though, you will not be a researcher like me. You will be the researched.

Your sacrifice means a great deal to all of humanity. We thank you. Welcome to the SCP

Foundation, SCP 5,000, otherwise known as Nahash Reincarnation.” Lionel turns on her heels,

leaving the young girl to pound on the one-way mirror, oblivious to the fact the help will never

come. This is her life. This is her hell. A fitting end for the bringer of death and destruction.

 

That’s the end, but I put a little bit of an Easter egg in there, but it takes a specific bit

of knowledge to know about. It didn’t feel right making the main character an SCP without at

least hinting at why she is, so I added a hint. The name Nahash is the Jewish title of the snake

from the garden of Eden. My thought process was that every time before a large war, the snake is

reincarnated into a new human, this time being the main character, without them knowing. Their

lives lead to some sort of war, like Hitler or the soldier who fired the shot at Lexington and

Concord. Just someone who makes a huge influence in the start of a war. That’s just a little fun

fact, though. It’s not terribly important to the story itself. It is also why I named the title the way

I did.

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