Coming Out Of My Cage (2024)

This story is dedicated to several people I know who are like me, but must remain nameless for personal reasons. You deserve nothing less than every good thing in life. For all of you who personally know the struggle Mark faces, this story is for you, or for someone like you.

Mark sighed and cringed at himself as he looked in the mirror. He had no idea what was wrong with him.

Not that there was anything wrong with his face or body. It looked normal and seemed fine enough. Some might even say handsome. Long, blonde hair, a clean-shaven face, not a scar or pimple in sight. There were many people who would have been envious of him. And yet, looking at himself made him uncomfortable. Repulsed even. There was something wrong with what he saw, and he didn’t know what it was.

Well, that wasn’t true. He actually did know. He knew he was… a certain way. It didn’t matter though. It wasn’t like he was going to do anything about it. What was there to do anyway? Nothing, other than managing his extreme repulsion to himself. He would just go on the way he always did, not acknowledging the problem and pretending he didn’t know what it was. It worked for twenty-six years so far; it would keep working now.

With that, he took one last look at himself and shivered before hopping in the shower and washing his body as fast as he could. It was the way he did things in life. Take a ninety second shower, try not to cut his face while shaving, and quickly comb through his hair, all while doing his best to not look in the mirror. It was how he started his day every day, and it worked for him, he supposed. Worked as well as anything really.

With that out of the way, he put on a shirt and hopped back into bed, opening his laptop to see what there was to do that day. Not that he didn’t know. It was the same as always. Write, watch YouTube and browse memes, wait for calls to come in at his job, and chat around on social media. Social media especially was one of his main pastimes. It was one of the first things he pulled up when he woke up to start his day, and today was no exception.

“Hey guys,” he typed, giving the same greeting he always did every afternoon when he woke up. “It’s me, your girl, Katrina again. How are you all doing this lovely day?”

“I’m good,” someone immediately replied. “I love how you always greet us with that. It’s very sweet of you. And how are you today, ma’am?”

“Absolutely wonderful,” he wrote back, blushing a bit at the nice words. “And I try. It helps that you’re all wonderful people.”

“You’re the one who made the server,” they answered back. “We wouldn’t be here without you. If we’re all wonderful people, then it goes to show how nice of a lady you are, Katrina.”

He smiled to himself at the message as others started replying to him, getting the same sense of happiness he always got when he was called Katrina. “Not that it means anything,” he thought, a lie he always told himself. “It’s just a name. A persona. It’s not like it’s real life…”

That was another lie he told himself. It was as much real life to him as it was anything else. All of his friends knew him as that, not knowing the person behind the name in the slightest. As far as they knew, Mark didn’t exist. It was so much a part of his life that he was certain he’d turn to look if someone called him Katrina in real life. In fact, he remembered more than a few times when he almost answered with it as his name when he was filling out forms or speaking on the phone. It was practically ingrained in him at this point, a part of his being.

That thought made him look down at himself briefly and sigh quietly before looking back at the computer screen to engage with what were his friends. He didn’t know what any of them looked like or knew who they were in real life, nor they him, but he considered them friends all the same. It was more than he had in real life. He didn’t like going out in places where people could see him or hear his voice. It just hurt too much to do. It made it easier now that there was hardly a reason to go out. He was working from home, getting his groceries delivered to him, and even bought exercise equipment so he could stay in shape while limiting his exposure to whatever world lay outside his house. He was content with staying indoors, preferring not to leave for any reason if he could help it, normally only if it were absolutely necessary.

That was his life for many days and weeks, and today he expected things to go no differently. However, he also didn’t expect to receive a sudden private message from someone he didn’t know.

To whom it may concern,

It is by the Crown of Princess Celestia Daybringer and Princess Luna Nightguard that we must inform you of Equestria’s policy of eminent domain and its effects on your residence. By statute 1003.42.08f, the Crown maintains the legal right to possess your residence for purposes deemed beneficial to the Kingdom and considered just under Article XVII of the Equestrian Constitution.

Please know that regarding the purposes for which the Crown wishes to use your property, full possession is not necessary. However, compensation will still be provided to you, in the effect of no less than eight thousand bits and/or relocation to another part of Equestria. Refusal of compensation shall not infringe the right of the Crown to possess your property, however, if compensation is refused, it may be claimed up to fifteen years after the date of this letter at the price of which would have been paid out in the year it was possessed, according to inflation as calculated by the Equestrian Bureau of Labor.

For more information or questions regarding the status of your residence, please contact Miss Raven Inkwell by either letter or in pony. You can schedule a meeting with her Highness Princess Celestia by mail if you prefer or enter the open Night Court of her Highness Princess Luna as well at any time.

-The Royal Authority of Equestria

Dated this day, June 1st, 1006 PCE

“...what?” Mark thought to himself, reading through the message for a second time, and then a third and fourth. “Who the heck is this?” Clearly, someone was trying to pull a prank on him, but what in the world could this kind of prank possibly be? It made absolutely no sense at all, and even reading through it so many times, he couldn’t tell what was being said.

“What the heck is Equestria? And what does “in pony” mean? Who is this?” There weren’t any answers given to him. All the profile name said was “The Royal Authority of Equestria”. No profile picture or bio, no mutual friends or shared servers, nothing. It was very strange, almost as if someone were trying to scam him, except they forgot the actual “scam” part.

He was a second away from just clicking the block button and closing the PM when he suddenly felt his house start shaking, something that stunned him into motionlessness. He heard loud, thunderous sounds, almost as if his house were being torn in two, and had to cover his ears because of the noise. Living in Kansas, he’d never been in an earthquake, and looked around to see if anything would fall or topple over. However, before things could, it ended just as quickly as it began, the shaking stopping and the noise dying down. The experience lasted all of ten seconds, but he could say it certainly left him stunned and afraid. It caught him so off guard, he hadn’t had time to consider the implication of this happening directly after receiving the message from the person who claimed to be the “Royal Authority of Equestria”.

He sat on his bed for a while, looking at the walls around him, waiting for something to happen again. After a while of sitting and nothing happening though, he decided he needed to do something, that something, he decided, being going from room to room to make sure everything was in order. He started at the front of the house, opposite of where his room was, and worked his way to the back, taking a few seconds to scan each room and make sure that everything was where it should be. It wasn’t until he got to a closet tucked away in the interior of his home that he found something.

At first glance, everything was as it should be. Dusty board games he never played still in place and hoodies he always felt the need to wear even when it was scorching outside in a pile on the floor like they always were. However, just as he was going to close the door again and move on, he noticed something shiny glinting into his eye from the ground. He couldn’t say what it was, and moved the clothes pile to find what looked like a ring on the floor. No, more like it was attached to the floor, like a trapdoor.

Moving the pile of clothes completely out of the closet revealed that that was indeed what it was. A square piece of hardwood floor looked to be cut out and placed back into the ground, with enough of a gap between the floor and the doorframe that little cracks of light from somewhere could shine through. It wasn’t something that was there before, as he knew that if it was, he would’ve remembered it. It was a strange sight to see, so strange that he somehow wasn’t able to put together the connection between the PM, the earthquake, and this new feature now built into his home.

He wasted no time in pulling the ring up to open it, revealing a tunnel with a ladder on the side that led to the bottom. From the top, he could see another door at the bottom leading on to somewhere else, probably about twenty-five feet down. It was well lit, with bright glowing somethings on the walls, giving off a warm yellow glow and illuminating his descent. It was also warmer than he expected, the air being a bit above that of his home, and very dry for a cellar. He didn’t pay much mind to it though, quickly getting to the bottom and facing the door that he saw.

The main thing that caught his attention was the gold-plated message engraved into it. “Not available for public use at this time,” he read, noticing a little note attached to the bottom of it, adding with it, “except for the current landowner, one Miss Mark ‘Katrina’ Wiley.”

That made him blush, his cheeks going red and his heart fluttering as he read it. “I’m not a miss…” he thought to himself, looking around and seeing if anyone was nearby, feeling slightly embarrassed. Whoever wrote this was probably just confused about his online persona, since his name was Katrina there. He wasn’t a girl, even if he was… a certain way. Even more so, it made him anxious that someone associated his online persona with real life. Sure, he hardly ever went outside, but he still went out sometimes, and he would rather not have his online life leak into his real life, however unused and underdeveloped the latter was.

“Huh,” he said aloud. “I’m more concerned about my personal life than the fact that an entire cellar was built into my house during a ten second earthquake, one that’s clearly intended to be private except for me.” He couldn’t believe how nonchalant he was about all of this, but decided he would just go with it. Maybe there was something in the air that was messing with his head. Besides, it wasn’t like he had anything else to do, other than stay home all day and hate the person that he was.

With that thought in mind, he casually opened the door in front of him and stepped into another world.

Next Chapter: (2) The MiddleEstimated time remaining: 4 Hours, 50 Minutes Return to Story Description

Coming Out Of My Cage (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 5440

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.