Tracy stretch and yawned. “Morning,” she said aloud to no one, or was it evening she wondered. Startled by this thought, she refused to open her eyes. Instead of drifting back into sleep, Tracy settle herself into an invisible silence and imagined the predawn outline of the shapes that would become the room assigned to her. She knew the room’s intimate details without seeing them. There were no windows for natural light. The room was bare but illuminated. Only one door and a single bed occupied the room with her. The only light in the room emanated from the walls as if entire walls were lit from within. This she knew: When she awoke in the morning the walls shimmered with the dusty pallor of dawn, then the colors shifted subtly throughout the day to reflect the passage of time, finally becoming a brilliant red and pink sunset at dusk. But the circadian rhythm that kept her body humming wasn’t fooled.
In the first several days of her capture Tracy learned the routine. She could recite the year, the month, and the day she was captured, May 21st, 2130. But now her mind swam with unconnected details. The routine was designed to wear away free will, time, and memory by placing captives in totally controlled environments. “It Quells rebellion,” the others said. The routine would change her they warned, make her more docile. It would make her a drone. The routine was simple. All of her needs were met and all conflict eliminated. Her struggles were countered. “Your outbursts will diminish,” the others said. They were right. She lost track of time. She counted days until she remembered the days were artificial. Her body betrayed her.
Eye shut, Tracy grew weary of her struggle. Soon, she knew, her memory of a life before this room would falter. Sleep, maybe sleep would take her away again to a safe place. Outside the walls, they were watching her and waiting for her to succumb .
The Word: Year (noun) 3. a calendar year specified usually by a number <died in the year 1900>