Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

I eat what I dislike the most first so that I end my meal with what I like best. It’s the way I lived my life. By getting the bad things out of the way first, I could save the best for last.

That was before I knew I was under surveillance by an alien race. That was before I was made a prisoner. That was before I was placed in a zoo.

My captors watched me eat for a day before they kidnapped me. On that, they based their decisions on what the computer should feed me. They didn’t know about the way I eat my food. They naturally assumed that what I ate first was my favourite thing to eat.

After my abduction, the process used to transport me and set me up was automated. I was anesthetized, stuck in some sort of stasis, and a room was set up identical to my apartment on what I’m guessing is a far away planet. I wasn’t told how long I’d been under. It could have been centuries.

The fake apartment they’ve put me in has one giant transparent wall. Behind that wall is a roiling, opaque, colourful smear of gas, like Jupiter is pressed up against my window. Occasionally, I’ll see a tentacle squeak along the glass or what I guess is a beak tapping on the window. I can’t see out and I have no idea how they see in.

I was quite the show for a while. I screamed, I cried, I told them that this fake apartment wasn’t good enough. They set up a television set with the same 24 hours of Earth television from the day I’d been abducted. I’ve memorized all 126 channels over these last months. I keep wondering with all the technology they possess why they can’t update the television stream. Maybe Earth is no longer there or maybe this planet is too far away.

I don’t know if they understand what I’m saying. Nothing has changed here in my prison.

Every time I try to kill myself, my vision falters and I pass out. I don’t know if it’s a gas they bring into the room or an implant of some kind in my brain.

I think what’s going to drive me crazy first is the food. Like I said, I ate what I disliked the most first and they watched me do that before they kidnapped me. They want to keep me alive but I guess they also want me to enjoy my time here.

I don’t know where they’re getting it or how they make it but the computer has been feeding me broccoli for a year thinking that it’s keeping me happy.


Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows