The cold night wind roared between the piles of garbage, the moon spying at us from the dark skies above. I sat helplessly in the pile, still as a rock, and shivered as I felt the frigidness settle into my body. Why did the world have to be so cruel? I was promised a bright life in front of me – WE were promised a bright life, until this happened to all of us. We were thrown away, abandoned in this atrocious wasteland of a place once they were done with us. I stared across the site, the mountains of cans and bags shifting like sand dunes under the gusts. I tried to shut out my sinister thoughts. Even the stars, whose eyes would normally sparkle with joy, now felt dimmed, obscured by the curtain of fog in my discordant mind.
Yes, I was an aspirant at first, determined to serve my job. I shut my eyes and dreamt, dreamt of the first day when I was created and I thought I was special…
A burning light pierced my eyes. I opened my eyes groggily, still trying to adjust to my new body. I blinked a few times, trying to adapt to the brightness, and finally saw my surroundings clearly. I found myself on a blue conveyer belt, everything around me zipping past my eyes. Huge metallic machines operated, whirling with action, and colorful lights and screens flickered with different images. Millions of questions ran through my mind, but I simply looked around further – I was one of hundreds and hundreds of other cans, being processed to serve… to serve whatever purpose those humans wanted. My memory was indeed blurry, and trying to get an image from it was beyond painful. I scoured my fuzzy mind, trying to get anything about how I got here, what happened to me, and what could be forthcoming – and with some focus and concentration, pictures flashed through my mind.
I was in a midnight cave, and I was surrounded by stones… No, I was the stones. A light cracked open from above, and the thundering noise of a drill echoed through the cavern, quaking the stones. The images shifted, and I was part of a sheet – a sheet of aluminum weighing tons, and I saw myself entering a steel machine. Darkness enveloped me as I entered slowly, and my memory shifted again. I was an aluminum can like I am now, and I found myself on a conveyer belt, entering and exiting machines, going in and away from midnight blackness, exiting each with a new modification… I only remembered one voice – the voice of an employee. “You will be recycled… that is our promise…” before…
I jerked back to reality. I exited the last production machine, now rinsed in water and cleaned. The whirling noises quieted down, and in front of me stood huge pipes full of red and orange waters. The sweet scent of sugar filled the room. I watched as a stream of energy drink trickle into me, and a refreshing sensation of energy filled my head. I realized my sense of emptiness from before – No strength, no spirit. Before, I was desolate, fatigued with this dullness I’ve had. But now, I was saturated with vitality, with power – something I’ve never had before. I was gifted with this unusual gift of courage and valor. I felt as if I was no longer the piece of metal I was, but something brand new – as if I was on top of the world, as if I had wings, like the eagles and hawks in the skies high above.
Time flew by as I felt my energy continue to pulse through me. My surroundings were a blur – I was under blazing lights, then blanketed by layers of plastic, and encompassed by other cans just like me, all filled with that liquid of energy. I gave all no attention. At first, I felt strong – brimming with the energy drink, but as time passed a sense of anxiety began to settle in. I began to think – about what just happened, about why I was given this amazing gift of power, and what was going to happen to all of us, packed tightly in boxes or packs, being moved around. My mind was cut off from my thinking and imagining when I was encompassed and blanketed by layers of midnight darkness again, but this time it was different. I felt as if the abyss was swallowing us whole, and we, along with hundreds of other cans packed tightly into boxes, was thrown into a huge container of black. I heard the mighty roar of an engine, and we shook with turbulence. Were we… moving?
The floor trembled and I heard the clink of cans colliding with each other. It sounded muffled and muted, as if we were covered in soundproofing. Another rumble, and I felt the quaking, and my feeling of angst rose up from my heart again. More images began scrolling through my mind, images of my thoughts, imagination and suspicions of what was to happen…
Anxiety turned into panic when I heard a mayhem of an uproar. My heart skipped a beat as I felt a surge of weightlessness. A chill wisped from nowhere, and I felt myself shivering – shivering with the cold, shivering with the fear.
We rocketed skywards, the engines thundering still resounded through the hull. Everything was pitch black, and I felt as if the box I was packed in is getting tighter and tighter… I had trouble breathing. I tried to move, attempting to nudge what confined me, maybe fall on my sides to roll – all with no luck, as my restrictions felt they were closing in on me further more. I could hear my heart racing even over the roaring wind. We were imprisoned.
After what felt like ages and ages of waiting, I noticed an ease in the noise. An explosion of turbulence broke out in wherever I was, and it quieted down into silence. I held my breath, terrified of what’s to happen, but the only surprise I had was pleasant. I saw a bright light open – a sliver of light opening up into an entrance, devouring the darkness. A human stepped out and I felt his hands carrying us, carrying us all the way onto some shelves under blazing lights, right beside the other cans. There were hundreds of people passing by the shelves, looking and wandering, as if we were on exhibition.
And then came the lifetimes of waiting. I sat on the shelf, waiting and waiting for something to happen. I watched people come and go, walk towards and away… I would just wait. Sometimes I would stare at the brilliant lights, or glare at the cold dull metal surface we sat on, contemplating what has happened to me. I was created, yes, but why? I was a can of energy drink, still filled with vitality, but now I simply perch on this shelf and dawdle until anything happens?
Until finally, one day, a person came to pick me up. I felt the man’s grasp, his fingers gripping me, and I fell into a net of white plastic. Pain shot up my sides as I felt the ache from the fall. I was eager for anything to happen when I was waiting, but now my feeling of panic settled back in. I was mortified. The plastic bag swung in the air as the man walked, and with each swing the suspense in my mind grew – the unease of my fate. I was looking up at the shred of the sky exposed from the plastic bag when something hard hit me. A rock – that fool of a man has swung his bag into a rock. Does he know how to walk properly? It was a split second until the pain has settled in, and my head buzzed with agony. My vision blurred from the impact, and my view finally turned to black.
This was torture.
I couldn’t remember how long it was since I passed out. Days, maybe weeks, but I knew that I’d rather have stayed unconscious than suffered what was to come. I woke up to the man’s fingers, popping my seal as I heard an explosion in my head – the sound of a thousand bubbles being released. Unfortunately, I knew what this meant. I felt the man’s mouth, draining the drink out of me. I stared in horror, struggling to comprehend the sheer pain this felt like. He was a vampire – I was gifted with energy, with power, and now this cruel creature of inhumanity is siphoning my vitality, my life, strait out of me. I remembered when I was created, the feeling of when I received the power – all of that, being funneled strait away by this man. Imagine you were gifted a superpower, and before you could do anything, you were trapped in a midnight cell, petrified on a shelf for people to look at, and now this monstrous being is draining that power right out of you along with your own original energy. It was worse than that… so much worse.
I closed my eyes, refusing to accept this fact, but as I struggled to scream with pure agony, a new sensation appeared. I was greeted with a new consciousness, of that part of me in the man’s mind. I chose to focus on that, ignoring the pain that was in the old metal husk of my body. I looked through the man’s eyes, saw from the man’s perspective. I was on a grass field. In front of me stood a huge rectangle of white, netted with white rope. Betwixt me and that gate stood eleven different people, each wearing a shirt of orange. Behind me was the exact same image, except there were ten people, and were in purple. I was part of the purple, I realized. I was part of the man’s mind. I stared down at my feet. In front of me was a black and white sphere, placed right on top a line of white, in the middle of a circle. What was this? A whistle rang across the field, and the man’s instincts took over. He flashed and dodged between players in orange, controlling the sphere with his feet. Why he didn’t just use his hands, I didn’t know. Humans were gifted with such wonderful gifts and they choose not to use them. What fools.
As I looked out the man’s eyes, he ran past everyone but one, and as I stared, the ball flew up with such force towards the gate it rattled the metal bars. The last man leaped towards the ball, desperate to grab it with his hands. This one was smart, huh, finally using his hands. The ball flew past the last man, and slammed the nets and flew right through the gate. As the man walked back in triumph and accompanied with the roars of the audience, I felt my mind starting to flicker. My vision blinked out like a dying flame.
I was back to my mind as a useless shell of a can. I stared down in disappointment and filled with torment, trying to think what I did wrong, what mistakes I’ve ever made to deserve a fate like this – teased with power, but only to have it taken away from me for humans to serve their own good. I was still contemplating when I saw the man walk towards me, picked me up, and threw me towards a metal can. He seemed discouraged, and he threw me without a flicker of care. I dropped next to but not in the can, and I shivered as a draft picked me up and threw me towards the sky.
I blinked back to reality, back to this wasteland. I was supposed to be recycled, I remembered, but I ended up here. I was supposed to be remade, and brand new.