14 | mount weather

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THE 48

White.

It was the first thing I remembered when I woke up in a strange room.

The walls were white.

The doors were white.

My own clothes were white.

Unidentified needles were injected into my skin, attached to tubes running down to a monitor used to capture my vitals.

I roughly pulled the needles from my arm, ignoring the sting of pain as I did so. I hopped off of my bed and onto the ground, barefoot, shivering as the cold white tiles made contact with my feet. Slowly making my way over to the only colorful object in the room, a painting, I let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding. I didn't touch the painting, but instead chose to move over to the door of this room, seemingly the only exit.

It had a small window and looked directly into another room across the hall, 302-6. I had to reach on the balls of my feet to properly see outside the window and in doing so, I saw some movement in the room. Whoever it was in there saw me too and held their face up to the window.

Jasper!

I banged on my door, screaming when I saw Jasper in the same situation as me, only a few feet away. "Jasper! Jasper!"

He was then hitting his door too, trying to see if it would do anything to let him out.

I turned back to my room, seeing the IV stand that I was previously hooked onto. It was long enough and made out of metal; surely it would work in breaking this window open. I grabbed at it and showed Jasper before stepping back and holding it up, getting ready to smash my way out of wherever the hell I was.

The second before I got the chance to do so, a stranger in a hazmat suit came into my line of vision, staring directly at me. They waited, just staring, until I reluctantly put the weapon down.

The lock to my door clicked and the door opened easily. I stood back, afraid of the uncertainty of what would come next. The unknown stranger took a step back, motioning for me to go into the hallway. I couldn't follow through – who knew what the hell would be out there? – until the same person unlocked Jasper's cell.

"You both are cleared through quarantine. Follow me."

As they started walking forward, I rushed next to Jasper, already feeling much calmer with him beside me. The ball would've been in our court had we known this place, given there was two of us and one of the stranger. The fact that we didn't know exactly where we were made me nauseous. We'd never had the short end of the stick, but there is a first time for everything.

Jasper and I followed the masked stranger, a girl from what I could hear, and she led us to an elevator, where she started ridding herself of the suit once the doors shut and the elevator started descending. She could've been very pretty; I imagined she was when all the dirt and dust from being in the suit was cleaned off.

She led us out of the elevator once the doors opened. We entered a long bathroom, filled with rows of showers, covered by curtains, and toilet stalls.

"You can freshen up here. Then, get dressed and I can show you where your friends are." She grabbed a pile of clothes from the tabletop of sinks next to me. "Here." She handed a pile to me and a pile to Jasper, leaving soon after. As Jasper and I made eye-contact, we found ourselves in complete privacy. There were no cameras or people around, from what we could tell, and we saw that as one of the few opportunities to be alone in this place.

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