Join date : 2012-10-19
Posts : 96
|Subject: Golden Hair, Escape, and a Needle - [Story] Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:22 pm|| |
- Quote :
- This story hasn't been polished yet, so I welcome any critiques along with comments. If you have suggestions for things I could change or expand upon to make the short story better, please share your suggestions.
Her golden hair was long, uncut since as long as memory stretched back. Celeste had a certain way about her, a genuine interest in everyone she met. She taught children at the school and tended to the wounds and sicknesses of the needy at the home she shared with their father. Terra, she considered herself nearly the polar opposite of her sister. While Celeste had their father's fair hair, Terra had inherited her mother's dark, thick hair. Where Celeste was gentle and kind in manner, Terra was harsh and brassy. Back on that day, the day they boarded the ships, they were among the first wave of troops in the start of the war.
Up on deck, Terra watched the land mass of her homeland shrink behind while the continent where they would wage a war grew larger at the fore. She heard Celeste laughing. Terra felt her face tighten when she saw that her sister was talking, flirting, with the most attractive male of her predominantly female order, Zephon. Celeste was only a healer, chaste. What business did she have flirting with him? The ocean again caught her eye, imagined patterns in the water distracted her from Zephon's voice and that of her sister, Terra thought only of how to seduce the man before he did anything more serious with Celeste. Father doted on his darling Celeste, he would expect her to remain pure. As for Terra, she had joined the military young and moved out of the family home for a reason. She would take Zephon's affections from Celeste, for Celeste's own good. She would sleep with Zephon for Celeste's own good, not just to appease her own vanity.
Face still tight, Terra opened her eyes to a view of a white panel ceiling. A dream? A memory. It had been a memory of so long ago, yet vivid with such real feelings; they were feelings long since dead, gone. This place, it wasn't a memory. It wasn't even familiar. Eyes fluttered, dancing back and forth to take in the foreign room. Terra tried to sit up. The bed had metal rails. White sheets and eggshell blankets seemed sanitary, artificial, wrong. Men and women walking around wearing white, an artificial shade of blue, or a hue of green she would never observe in nature. This place wasn't home, or even of her people. Prisoner? Wounded among enemies? Terra didn't know the why, why she was there.
Back against her pillow she scooted to hug her knees toward her chest, Terra called out in her native tongue. She asked where she was, why she was being held here, where were her clothes, armor, and weapon, asked loudly and to no one in particular. One of the women stopped to look at her from the foot of one of the other beds. The woman, dressed in a bodysuit and head covering of that nauseating green, called out words as she continued to watch Terra. The words, they were not of a tongue Terra had ever heard before. Those words were not of her people. It did not sound of tongues she had been taught to expect from her enemies. Was she in the camp of some new enemy she did not know? How had she come to be here? Every question spawned more questions without immediate answers, and with each question her heart raced faster. This was not her homeland. Not even her time behind enemy lines undercover had exposed her to a place or language quite like this.
Time seemed to slow. All the voices, the shuffling of feet on the hard floor, metal rings on privacy curtains, they all fused and merged into one continuous din, like discordant harpstrings being plucked behind her eyes. Her heart racing, eyes darting at every movement, the pump of blood throbbed through her like a pendulum counting down the moments till someone came to finish the job, to kill her. Muscles in her side along her ribs on the right side began to spasm, clenching and relaxing nearly as quickly as her heart was beating. The soft skin below her right eyebrow joined in, making her right eyelid twitch. She needed a weapon, and to escape.
Easing the sheet and blanket back, Terra slowly tucked her legs under her bottom and moved to a sitting position, ready to spring. She could see pans, crutches, bottles, slippers, but nothing she could use as an effective weapon. A cool chill along her spine alerted her that her clothes were gone and what she was now wearing was open in the back, but that was a minor concern at the moment. They could have her modesty, but she would fight for her life.
Opportunity didn't come, the woman that saw her returned first, with a man in a similar uniform. Neither looked very strong, either they still expected her to be weak or her captors had underestimated her drive to survive this, whatever this was. Muscles in her legs tightened to the point they hurt and then went numb, then she was propelling herself through the air at the man. Hypersensitive to every moment, time seemed to mock the scene with every frame. Her hair and open-backed gown flapped with the force of her jump. Winding back her arm as she flew, Terra balled her hand into a fist so tight a few of her knuckles popped. The man's expression morphed from boredom, to surprise, to terror, before her fist buried itself against his jaw.
Sitting atop the man's sprawled body, he wasn't moving but Terra hadn't felt any bones snap, she suddenly felt like everything was moving so fast. Veins burning, chest aching with each thump, lungs stinging with each breath, thighs and fist numb, Terra pounced again, shoving the shocked woman out of her way. Past other curtains and beds there was a door. It was the way out. There was sunlight pouring in through the window past the door. This place was above ground. Bare feet slapping against the polished white floor with each footfall, Terra ran for the open doorway with all the speed she could muster.
Voices shouted; let them shout in their unknown tongue, she wasn't stopping to silence them. A man moved to intercept her at the open doorway. Growling from deep in her chest, Terra pushed at his chest with her hands. Shoved onto his back, he was not barring her way any longer. Throwing her body against the window through the door, she looked out. Sunny, and at least a floor or two up. She could see grass, walkways, and more people outside. There were other buildings nearby. This was a compound of some sort.
Wildly twisting her head to look down to the left, then right, ignoring the state of her hair getting in her eyes and mouth, Terra made a snap decision as to the best way to run. There were five persons walking her way from the left, all looking surprised. To the right, there were only two. Shoving off the window, she propelled herself toward her right to begin running down the hallway. The din beating through her head, the plucking harp, the pounding in her chest, the drum, the throb in her arms and legs, the piping flutes, Terra ignored the orchestra as she passed another window, then another. Then she saw them, two big men in white, a smaller man in a white coat, and a new woman in the nauseating green further ahead and coming for her. Terra stopped so suddenly that she fell; her rump and heels of her wrists would be bruised. Twisting, she turned and bolted back the way she had come.
Now her Allegrissimo footfalls were matched by four more sets of feet, mismatched with the Andante footfalls of those in her way. Coming upon a girl in a short skirt, shamelessly showing off her legs, Terra grabbed her shoulders and threw her down on the ground to add obstruction to her pursuers. Not waiting to see if the girl was hurt or not, Terra sprinted past the open doors of the room where she woke and took off down the way she had at first spurned. The footfalls were still behind her.
Turning a corner, sprinting down the hallway on the left, Terra found herself passing many doors but very few people. Curving her path, she twisted one of the handles and shoved it open. A dark room. Spinning, she looked back to make sure those following hadn't turned the corner yet. They hadn't. Running across the hall to the other wall and a but further down, she opened another door, gently, this time, and eased it closed behind her after she had hidden herself within. It was dark, but she had seen boxlike tables with glass flasks atop them when she had come through the door. Lowering herself to her hands and knees, she felt her way along the wall and across the floor until she found a chair pulled close to a desk or table against the wall. Easing the chair aside, she crawled under the desk and hugged her knees to her chin. Rocking back and forth, bumping her shoulder blades on the wall with every rock back and pressing her toes hard into the cold, flat floor with every rock forward, Terra tried to remember.
That dream, the memory of her dream, Terra pondered the truth of it. She, Celeste, Zephon, and others had been on a ship going to war. That had happened. Before the ship reached the far continent, she had bedded Zephon and drawn his attention away from the ever-chaste sister she loved. But something terrible happened in the battle after. What happened? Terra stopped rocking. Leaning forward, cupping her hands over her ears, she pressed her forehead into the floor and fought the sobs that tickled and spasmed in her throat. Celeste was dead. She died in that battle. Terra lifted her head just high enough to slam it back down into the floor, a little physical pain to draw her thoughts from the burning emptiness in her chest.
Biting her tongue till she tasted copper, Terra curled up on the chill floor under the desk in the sightless dark. She had bedded her sister's admirer and then lost the chance to ever ask forgiveness or ever speakto her sister again. In her need, she continued to sleep with Zephon, to make herself feel needed and loved. But there was no love between she and Zephon, Terra knew that. He wanted her for the pleasure, the warm body in his bed.
Suddenly, there was light. Terra squinted against the tears and the illumination that brought flashing spots to her vision. Voices and footsteps accompanied the light, overtones to the ever present backdrop of the harpstring din. Crawling out, she wriggled out across the floor on her belly like the wretched creature she was. A peek around the edge of a box table confirmed, the two white uniform brutes, smaller man with a white coat, and girl in nauseating green were here. Terra waited for them to enter the room, clear her path to the door. The men did come in to search, but the woman waited in the doorway, leaning on he frame. Springing up and forward, Terra sprinted and lunged at the woman, shoving her through the doorway like a mad woman. Was she a mad woman? Sitting atop the woman's chest, looking down at her bloodied face, Terra thought not. These people were the crazy ones for trying to keep her here.
Hands caught her by the wrists and pulled her back and off the bleeding woman. The brutes in white uniforms, each holding one of her arms to immobilize her between them, were watching her with their judging eyes. She knew their type, always ready to follow orders and only thinking for themselves in private. Who held their leash? Was it the girl on the floor holding her broken nose? What about the man in the white coat, was he the one giving the orders? These brutes would probably fight her in battle if so ordered, kill her without a hint of remorse. She knew what that was like, not feeling, not seeing who you kill till the faces and the cries haunt the backs of her eyelids. They were not her. She was not them. If she had her spear, she would show them just how different they were from one another.
Terra screamed, demanding they release her. She spat, lunging to bite if she could. Kicking, flailing, she struggled like a wildling to get free of their grasp. The two large men in white held her fast, and at enough distance to avoid her teeth. Her nails, short but sharp, dug into the flesh of their arms. Only when she felt sticky moisture and saw a tugging at the corner of his eyes did she feel the pleased tug at the corner of her mouth. The smaller man in a white, long coat approached her with a syringe in his hand. Going rigid in the grasp of her captors, she allowed him to come a bit closer… closer… ignoring the pain in her shoulders, she hoisted herself and kicked out at him. The image of him flying back and skidding against the wall on the slick floor was worth the discomfort. Syringe, it was shattered against the wall. His pristine white coat, she hoped the floor had dirtied it.
One of the brutes let go of her to aid the man on the floor, now holding his head as he struggled to get up. She balled up her fist and struck the other brute hard on his chest. He didn't let go. Instead, he spun her and embraced her in a confining hug; he faced her away, probably to stop her from biting his face. Her teeth found a different target, and he cried out when she tasted the metallic blood from his forearm. The hair tickled her tongue, it was disgusting, but she relished the pain she was causing him. It didn't last long. After helping the small man in the white coat up, the other brute struck her across the face. Everything blurred and the harpstring and percussion din changed to a screeching wail. Sight went dark, and then returned in blurry shapes. There was a prick at the side of her neck. Zephon? Was he trying to mark her with a bruising kiss again? The image before her resolved to the small man in the white coat, and she knew that she had lost.
Crying, hot tears further blurring her sight, Terra wriggled in the constrictive embrace of the white-uniformed brute as he carried her back toward the room where she had woken. No, she didn’t want to go back. She screamed, first at the man carrying her and then the one in the white coat that had drugged her. They couldn’t understand her, but they could have at least reacted. Instead they ignored her, made her feel like nothing. Gnashing her teeth, Terra let her searing tears streak her flustered cheeks. They had taken her modesty, her freedom, and now they were trying to take her worth. What was her worth? She was better than this place, she knew that. She screamed at the man in the white coat again, spitting at him. Even if he struck her in retaliation, he would still be acknowledging her. But he didn’t strike her, he didn’t even turn to look at her as he walked. He left the speck of white in his hair where it landed.
Terra could feel her energy draining away, it was getting harder to wriggle and fight. She couldn’t stop fighting, that would give them the satisfaction of making her give in. Terra would never give in, especially not to any man. The screeching wail made her ears feel like they should be bleeding, were her ears bleeding? No, surely that brute hadn’t stuck her hard enough to make her ears bleed. By the time they reached the bed where she woke, it was hard for Terra to keep her eyes open. Her head rolled as gravity bid; she had not the strength to hold her head erect. Into the bed she went, white sheets pressed tight against her body. Next came brown straps brought by another stupid woman in nauseating green. Wrists were encircled and restrained against the cold unfeeling metal of the bed’s rails. A thick strap was pressed tight against her chest below her breasts, and another over her knees, pressing and holding her firmly against the mattress.
She was slipping away; Terra could feel herself getting lighter. It was ridiculous to think she was going to get any lighter, it didn’t matter how much she tried to limit her diet. Muscle weighs more than fat, so the healers say. No, she needed to stay awake. Stretching her heavy lids open, she defiantly stared at the man in the white coat as he pressed another needle into her arm, but this one was connected to a tiny hose connected to a bag suspended on a staff. A staff? Why hadn’t that been there before? She could have defended herself with a staff. No! Thrusting her eyes open again just in time to see the white coat man go, Terra whimpered. It was coming. She was fighting it with everything she had, but it was coming and there was nothing she could do to prevent sleep from robbing her of her consciousness. The
As the backs of her eyelids closed, like black curtains falling, Celeste’s face again came into focus. They were girls again. Celeste was alive. Mother was alive, home to play with them. Her little darlings, she called her two girls. Terra wasn’t happy, though. She should be happy, but something was wrong. She couldn’t remember what, but there was definitely something wrong. The screeching wail scratching behind her eyes finally went quiet.