By Julia Paes '25
Sandra was fourteen when she was kidnapped by an unknown organization that conducted cruel experiments on her and many other “Testers”. Sandra Kelley was Tester #121. By now, it was pure luck that Sandra was able to survive this monstrosity. Sandra’s friend, Claire Chen, Tester #53, was blind in one eye, and several other Testers could barely move without pain because of the amounts of chemical burns on their bodies. Tester #13, otherwise known as “Tricky”, had the worst of it. Tricky was known for picking fights, making it tricky for him to be tested, which is where he picked up the nickname. As punishment, the people who tested them, nicknamed the “Whizzes”, had wires implanted in poor Tricky’s brain and he was never the same again.
Sandra woke up to the sound of a cage being rattled violently. It was Tester #199, a recent victim that had been snatched from their home.
“Help me,” he squeaked, shaking the bars of his cage noisily.
“Someone needs to stop him before he brings a Whiz down here!” Sandra heard Claire Chen whisper urgently. Claire hadn’t been there as long as Tricky but she acted like everyone’s older sister and always tried to stop things from being thrown into chaos.
“They always cause trouble the first few days but they learn sooner or later,” Sandra said in a hushed voice. Tester #199 began banging the floor of his cage with his fists as if he expected the floor to collapse under him. When it didn’t work, he screamed out in frustration. “Hey,” Sandra called out loud enough for him to hear, “No one’s coming to help you. Plus, these cages are inescapable so don’t bother.” Then she heard it. The sound was soft at first but progressively grew into the angry plodding of boots down a set of metal stairs. The next thing she knew, gloved hands were grasping at her and pulling her out of her cage, and she was shoved into a white room. “Breakfast time,” Sandra thought, clamping her eyes shut as a Whiz force-fed her chemicals.
Sandra Kelley was on the verge of bursting into tears when she finally gained consciousness. Some kind of contraption was strapping her down to a table and everywhere she looked were Testers screaming as substances were being dropped into their eyes. Sandra struggled against her restraints but only managed to give herself rope burn. A Whiz slowly approached her, holding one of those poisonous syringes. Sandra started to chew through her restraints as the Whiz filled the syringe up. She broke free before the Whiz could turn to face her and she ran straight for the window. She remembered seeing a small, spreading crack in one of them. She slammed into the window and the glass shattered into a thousand shimmering pieces. She ignored the pain she felt and climbed out of the window.
Sandra kept running and didn't look back until she was several minutes away. Suddenly, Sandra felt a hand grab her and shake her. It was Claire. A sob escaped from Sandra's throat as she realized she was still in the white room. It was a dream. Sandra read the sign that always hung near the silver doors that only the Whizzes used: Animal Testing. It was useless trying to escape because, in the end, they did it for the humans.