Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Writing Wednesdays: The Reformed 1.2

 This is the third post in this story.  You can follow the labels at the bottom (or here) to read back posts.  Thanks for reading!

October 9, 2019

     Sienne’s arm hurt.  She’d been pricked and stuck with so many needles that, if her flesh wasn’t already dead, it would’ve been swollen and purple.  She didn’t know where she was, only that she was trapped and there was no escape.  It had been so long since she’d feasted that the pain in her stomach was now a constant companion, never leaving, always complaining.  Funny how pain never really disappears.
     The room was dark, cold, and void.  She’d grown used to it.  It was almost as if she existed in the deep blackness of space, far from all sources of light.  Or perhaps she was sleeping, mind tumbling through the infinite darkness within, forever.  But she no longer slept.  Not willingly.  A dead body needs no rest, no rejuvenation.  Only blood.  And flesh.
     She had neither.
     A loud bang hit the cell door and she jumped.  As much as she didn’t like the darkness, she hated the outside more.  The bright lights, blinding her sensitive eyes.  The raucous din of life and its ever present smell of human flesh.  The tests.
     She still didn’t understand why she could feel pain again.  She’d gone from a lethal hunter to a weakened animal in seconds, rendered incapacitated by a gut shot.  Since then her body had slowly been changing, almost as if nerves were trying to return to life.  But that was impossible.  Whatever had caused her transformation ruined her body, inside and out.
     The door began unlocking.  She crouched, ready to attack, lightly growling.  When it opened she jumped.  A man yelled.  Light spilled into the room.  The air grew charged and Sienne grabbed her ears.  She fell to her knees as the sonic blast sounded.  Her hands did little to protect her from the noise.
     The next thing she knew she was shackled and being led down the hall.  All around her she could smell them.  Succulent skin.  A hint of flowers and the richness of blood.  Some were heavily armored, like the ones that held her bound.  Others wore simple clothes that would offer no resistance to her teeth.  She only needed a moment of freedom and she’d be satisfied.  Just one taste.
     She tugged and thrashed against the ties, but it was no good.  No one even screamed.  The prey no longer recoiled in fear.  Instead they watched or ignored her, going about their normal business.  Did that even make them prey anymore?  If not, then what was she?
     Sienne was still trying to figure it out when she was led into a holding room.  Gone were the smells of perfumes and exposed bodies, replaced with the sterile odor of nothing.  The cables shackled to her arms were hooked to bolts on the floor and she was abandoned again.  Unable to move, panic poured through her.  She knew what was coming.  Tests.  More senseless babble she couldn’t begin to fathom.  More needle sticks and blade cuts.
     A soft hiss sounded above and the room suddenly smelled of honey.  The panic instantly calmed and the tension in her shoulders lessened.  She felt weary.  Numb.  Even her heightened senses relaxed and she felt her eyes droop.
     “S-33c for batch number 971n.  Doctor Couric and Doctor Andrews reporting.” 
     Sienne opened her eyes to two blurred figures moving about the room.  Everything was hazy, as if a fog had settled. 
     “Subject is responding as expected to gas.  No hostility.  Little movement.”
     Sienne’s vision sharpened.  She saw there were several wires running from her body.  A clear fluid was pumping cold into her left arm, just below the elbow.  Fingers were prodding her, poking and squeezing.  A muzzle was strapped tight around her face.  A metal rod touched her skin and she jerked.  The rod moved away for a second and then pressed hard into her upper leg.  It felt like thousands of squirming maggots were biting her, writhing in a frenzied circle, feasting inside.  She snarled.
     “Do you feel that?” One of the humans.  Male.  Middle-aged.  Hungry eyes.  The man poked again, this time harder, and Sienne whimpered.  The worms spread, gnashing, tickling.  “Subject responding to exploration in the adductor longus, adductor brevis, tensor fasciae latae, and seemingly all other thigh muscles on both legs.  This appears to stop at the knee.”  The human stepped back and eyed her. 
     She wanted to thrash and shake, but her body was heavy.  Lethargic.  She had no control of herself.  The other human stepped into view.  Female.  Similar age.  A smell of sweetened meat.  Fire haired.  The woman looked at her with unflinching weak eyes.
     “Do you hear me?”  The human sounded soft.  Delicate.  “Can you reason?”
     Sienne heard its sounds but she did not understand.  No more than one understands what a dog is saying when it barks.  The tingling in her legs was distracting her.
     “I think she hears me, but she doesn’t comprehend.  See how her eyes try to focus?”  The human stepped closer.  A bright light flashed across her eyes.  “There is some level of cognition, but whatever is causing the infection is inhibiting the human psyche.”
     Sienne faded in and out of consciousness.  Sometimes the room was brightly lit and she was surrounded by humans.  Once she even thought the muzzle was off and something was moving around in her mouth, but she had no energy to bite.  After a while, the lights and sounds and smells faded.  The tests were over.  At least for now.
     She sat up.  She was back in her cell, locked away again in the freezing room.  Her legs felt raw.  New pains blossomed when she moved from the chair, sharp enough that she stumbled and fell.  Spread out on the floor, unable to rise from suffering, she put her head to ground and mewled.  She was pathetic.  She was no hunter.  She was an animal, weak and helpless.  She longed for true death and its cold hands.
     She was still laying there when she heard it.  In the quiet, a soft, slow drumbeat.  Bum.  Bum.  It was familiar.  Bum.  Bum.  Her throat was throbbing.  Bum.  Bum.  Her chest was beating.


David Wagner said...

"Did that even make them prey anymore? If not, then what was she?"

I liked those lines a lot. Clicked for me.

This is quite compelling. Once I started the first line, it ran right to the end, and left me wanting more. Nicely done.

David Wagner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
logankstewart said...

@David: Thank you. Those lines are actually pretty important to the direction of Sienne's character, and I hope it becomes more apparent over the next few additions.

Glad you liked.

Mattson Tomlin said...

This one is great! I love that you continue to do this.

...Any plans to kickstart a short story collection yet?

logankstewart said...

@Mattson: Ha, no, I don't think so, but thanks for liking and the idea. Good luck with your next fundraiser.