I stood there upon the concrete, my feet frozen to the unforgiving ground like tree roots frosted in the winter dawn. Those two words, “thank you,” coiled repeatedly about my thoughts, invading each separate one until the sound was like a drumbeat in my head. Slowly, the music changed its melody, and one syllable took its place; why, why, why? What reason could be discovered for the clone’s benevolence? I was the one locked tight behind the windowed door, restrained from whatever hustle and bustle was found outside those metal hinges. Suddenly, an idea wrestled its way into my confounded mind; perhaps the frigid steel door was not barred. Continuing upon this hopeful musing, I mustered any strength left in my stiffened limbs, and twisted the handle as hard as possible, yet to no avail. The hinges made no groan of release, and the dark line between the wall and the door’s edge appeared like the blade of a knife, cutting my body out of the world beyond what I accepted to be my prison.
In despair I turned and began to pace, an old habit, I assumed, for I could not seem to remember if my memory was correct. To clear the cobwebs which seemed to have congealed inside my skull, I violently shook my head, massaging my temples roughly and pinching each cheek to stimulate some blood flow throughout my still fogged body. Irritatingly, the clouded feeling remained inside my veins and limbs, clinging to them like a drowning man gripping the driftwood which saves his life. Becoming aggravated, I swung back my unclothed leg and slammed the butt of my foot into the door, which gave a low groan, but did not shudder in the slightest.
Scowling to ease the pain in my now throbbing left foot and leg, a dimly glinting pinprick of light caught my eye. Bending down to examine the area from which it originated, I found a small catch at the bottom of the doorway, a lever like straight piece of metal no larger than half a number 2 pencil. Tentatively, almost reverently, I reached out a trembling finger and gently pushed down upon the latch.