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    The group was getting a little restless at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The traffic had been lighter than expected that Saturday morning and they had already been through check in, baggage check, and security.  With the excited chatter associated with teenagers, the group was scattered around the hard plastic chairs in the waiting area, some sitting, others standing in small conversational groups and others busy with iPads. They still had an hour to wait for boarding.

                They were a chess club from a local high school in downtown Chicago.

                “Mr. Bailey, can I go find something to eat right quick?” asked Tim, who kept pushing his wire-frame glasses closer to his eye sockets.

                “Tim do you have a watch on?” asked Mr. Bailey.

                “Yes. Why?”

                “Because it’s 9 am now and boarding starts at 10 sharp. I expect you back here at ten minutes before boarding starts. No getting lost.” 

                “Okay Mr. Bailey, I understand. No drama, huh?”


                “Hey, can I go with him?” asked Mike, a proficient chess and tennis player.

                “You’re hungry too?” asked Mr. Bailey. He ignored the rumblings that had started in his stomach.

                “No, just bored.”

    “Okay, both of you back on time.”

    Mr. Bailey, the school’s athletically built dean of students and disciplinary officer, loved these kids but hoped he had enough chaperones.  They were good kids, but got bored quickly. Their curiosity could get them in a lot of trouble. But, how much trouble could they get into on a ski resort in Denver, Colorado? He guessed he would soon find out.

     Mr. Bailey and his chaperones got all the kids settled into their seats on the plane. It was quiet.

                “So far so good. Tim and Mike got back ten minutes earlier than you told them,” said Rachel one of the chaperones, an 11th grade math teacher.

                “Yeah, so far so good. Thanks for chaperoning,” said Mr. Bailey.

                “You’re welcome besides I love skiing,” said Rachel.

                They landed on schedule. The ski lodge was beautiful. Mr. Bailey got everybody squared away in their hotel rooms. That night, there was a briefing by the director of the hotel.

     “Welcome to our ski lodge. We have a beginners and an advanced slope. Our rental office is open from 6 am to 6 pm every day. You can rent all your equipment from the office. There is a off limits area just west of the beginners slope. It is dangerous. And with a stern eye that canvassed the group, the director jovially said, Enjoy your weekend here.”


    The next morning everyone in the group got on the slopes early. Most went on the beginners slope. Rachel and a few of the students started at the advanced slope. It was almost one o’clock when the group met in the lobby to go to the restaurant together for lunch.

    As they started to eat, Mr. Bailey asked, “How was it?”    

    “It was fantastic. I started on the beginners slope. But after a couple of hours of practice I moved to the advanced slope,” said Tim talking with food in his mouth.

    “Well, I’m still on the beginners slope,” said Mike. He looked at Tim with that a are you kidding me look while pointing to his mouth.

    “Want some help?” asked Tim with a sheepish grin that conveyed a no care attitude.

    “No, I’ll handle it,” said Mike.

    After lunch Mike went back to the beginners slope. Glancing around, he saw a sign that said “RESTICTED AREA”. “Why not,” he thought. He waited until no other skiers were around to go into the area. Pushing open the unlocked gate with a large rusted lock that had had seen better days, he first saw an owl in a tree that he thought was sleeping. He quietly walked closer to get a better look at the owl and it opened one eye. Then it closed it. Somewhat startled, Mike started walking along the restricted area again making sure he stayed on the graveled path. Then a bird started walking behind him. He looked back, kept walking backwards, and stepped into an animal trap. He was hanging from a large, thick branch in the trap upside down, his glasses sitting perilously at the tip of his nose. The owl flew over to him. He landed to the right of him on an adjacent branch almost as large as the one that held Mike.

    “Didn’t you see the restricted area sign?” asked the owl.

    Mike was speechless.

    Moving its head in various rotations, the owl said, “See we are the creatures that escaped man’s experiment on us. We decided to do our own experiment up here.”  With a piercing look that caused Mike not to move a muscle, not that he could if he wanted to, the owl quipped, “ How many humans follow their own rules to avoid danger?”

    “What, how….this is impossible. What are you going to do with me?” asked Mike.

    “After we study you for awhile we will let you go. Who’s going to believe you anyway?” asked the owl.

    The bird and the owl started laughing.

    Trying to jerk loose, Mike somehow bumped his head. When he woke up, he was back at the beginners slope again. Did he dream it?





    ♦ ♦ ♦

    An Experiment


    “Mom, can you come here? I’m having trouble breathing,” said Tony.

    “I’m coming,” said Melanie, his mother.

    She ran to get his albuterol inhaler. He started to feel better as soon as the medicine started working.

    “Tony, your asthma was under control for two years. Have you been near any triggers lately?” asked Melanie.

    “No,” said Tony.


    Meanwhile in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan two scientist talked.

    “Have you seen the tapes from last night?” asked Dr. White.

    “Yes, the drugs that we pumped into their apartment last night worked quickly on the boy. But not the mother,” said Dr. Black.

    “Don’t worry, it will be soon,” said Dr. White.

    The bio-medical research doctors had distinguished looking framed degrees and plaques of achievement lining their office walls. They were being paid an extravagant amount of money to experiment on families in the housing project in Detroit, Michigan without residents’ knowledge or consent. It was not a government sponsored project and the backers were mysterious and never seen.  Instructions and money arrived by mail courier bi-weekly.  The doctors’ task was simple, and it was done to see what it would take to achieve mind control.

    “Don’t you feel anything doing this to them?” asked Dr. White.

    “Do you feel anything doing this to the mice in the cages?” asked Dr. Black.

    “But why them?” asked Dr. White.

    “Because this country and the real powers that run it do not care about minorities. No one did anything about the government sanctioned Tuskegee syphilis experiment until it was too late and then it took years to unravel,” said Dr. Black.  “Private sources know how to cover its tracks quite remarkably.”  His expression was whimsical.  “Besides they are all using illegal drugs and drinking alcohol anyway. They would not even notice the initial stages of radiation poising and reactions to the other chemicals.”


    In the infected two bedroom project apartment in Detroit, Melanie Gray and her son were waking up.

    “Tony, are you sure you are well enough to go to school?” asked Melanie.

    “Yes, Mom,” said Tony.

    He boarded the school bus while still eating his breakfast sandwich. Melanie took the mass transit bus to work. She was an assembly line worker at a factory in downtown Detroit. She has a few semesters to go to finish her schooling to become a nurse.

    Her husband left soon after Anthony, Jr.’s birth.  They had agreed not to have kids. She had her tubes tied. But two years later, they “untied” on their own and she became pregnant. Something called ectopic pregnancy, which she did not fully understand and eventually led to her desire to become a nurse.  Her then husband tried to convince her to have an abortion. But she refused. He then convinced her to put the baby up for adoption once it was born. When she heard his heartbeat for the first time she told her ex-husband she couldn’t do that either. She knew the baby might be a miracle birth if she was lucky.  He stuck around trying to convince her. When she was given an ultra sound and he saw the printed image he knew.

    The ex went on with his life, and a new wife. Melanie was content and joyful to raise Tony as a single parent. She felt blessed.


    When she got off the bus a block from the gate for work, her chest became tight. She went into the factory anyway.

    “Melanie, you are slowing down the line,” yelled her boss.

    That was not like her. She was one of the fastest workers on her shift. He eyes became jittery in their sockets.

    At school Tony’s stomach became jittery. His skin was hot to the touch and his knees felt weak. When Melanie took him to the doctor’s later that day, no reason was found. She felt they were being slowly poisoned. But how? Several days later, she smelled a funny odor in the apartment. And then the smell disappeared before she could talk to someone at the gas company.

    Over the next two weeks, the scientists went to Stage II of their experiment as required by the mystery envelope. Their payment increased to a staggering amount. The unknown “project leaders” had made a business deal with the leasing company managing the housing projects. Hidden below ground, new pipes and lines were channeled to bring gases into the experiment apartments. With the apparatus in place, from a remote site, the doctor scientists were able to pump invisible chemicals into any designated apartment, quietly and effectively.  Phones lines were also taped by the scientists.

    “Now it’s time for the mental breakdown part. If we treat them like criminals long enough they will start acting like ones,” said Dr. Black.

    “And then we monitor their actions as we ‘treat’ them? asked Dr. White.

    “Exactly,” said Dr. Black.


    During the first week of their Stage II experiment, the doctor scientists stationed themselves in a vacant apartment a few doors down from Melanie’s place. When she began walking with a cane, they were very satisfied. Melanie’s medical doctor could not find any physical cause for her body’s decline. Her son’s physician could not find any reason for his symptoms either.

    The scientists in Michigan did not know that similar experiments were going on throughout the world. No one knew except the “project leaders” that the first team of scientists who came up with a proven recipe for control would be billionaires many times over.

    Melanie’s life was falling apart. She could not concentrate at work. She could not focus at school. And she could not organize anything at home. Soon she set up a blog on the Internet to see if anyone else was going through the same things that she and Tony were experiencing.

    One day a response.

    “You’re not alone. You are not crazy. My family and I are also experiencing the same things you are. We are truly being poisoned inside our home through some type of technology. It is not local, because we are on the other side of the world from you.”

    Signed XK.

    That was the first acknowledgement.  Many more people started to post symptoms and possible solutions. People from around the world offered practical tips and ideas to gain some health back and ways to stay focused mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

    However, there were no solutions and no answers as to who was doing this and why.      



    About The Author

    Dietra Yvette Reid

    Dietra Yvette Reid majored in management with a specialization in human development at Iona College where she received a BBA in Management. She worked in corporate, school system and ministerial settings and served as a stay at home Mom. A believer in staying with your positive dreams, she survived domestic violence, as well as end stage kidney disease. An early aaduna contributor (poetry,) Dietra had her first novel, Africa’s Children’s Walk published in 2014.