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Infernis – Chapter Twenty-Seven

November 4, 2012

Chapter Twenty-Seven

The calendar was not like others. Usually, calendars counted up. They counted up to the end of whatever month it was and then started over at 1.

Yes. This one counted up. It went from sixteen to seventeen. The ripping sound was a quick jerky snap as the old page disappeared into the waste basket. It was, she thought, a quick scritch. She thought of it as “the scritch.” It meant it was time.

How exactly any of that could be known given current circumstances, was not clear. Unable to move. Unable to see. Covered with something… a bag? And puke. Pee and poop, too.

Mine. Something had said that in her head.

There was movement. The bag or whatever it was, was open. She could feel the open air…down there. She could feel the heat of the lights.

And then she could feel the hands. Not hands, exactly. Sometimes they squeaked on her skin. Rubbery. And then came the wet cloth. Or was it a sponge? It was to wash away what she had done to herself.

The sponge felt like the tongue of a large cat, licking away the dirtiness. The thought made her flinch and feel strange…dizzy. She wondered if the great cat would just eat her, tear into her naked, helpless flesh with its teeth and claws and put an end to this maddening nothingness she was subjected to for what seemed like forever.

But even the tiger she imagined was not as frightening as whatever it was that was in the bag with her. The voice, sometimes friendly, or so it seemed, other times it whispered horrible things to her. Horrible things she should do, should she ever get out of this place. She hated that most of all.

This had become the ritual. How many days had it been? She could not recall. It seemed like forever since she woke up…here. Wherever that was.

Each time the warm, wet, sponge touched her, especially…down there…she flinched involuntarily. She had tried again and again to stop it, to show no fear. Maybe that was the key. This was all some sort of test to see if she could be brave. Once she passed it, they would let her go free. Maybe even give her a nice place to live with a kind family. Yes, that had to be—

“There we go.”

Even though these same words had always followed the cleaning, she flinched as if it had been the first time. The friendly sound in the womanly voice did not match the way she had been treated. She had cried, and there hadn’t been anyone who helped her. This was not how things were supposed to be, not how she had been taught that the world worked.

If this was what a mother was, she wad glad she had never known hers.

She could feel the tears coming on again when she realized her eyes wouldn’t open. Had they sewn them shut? She whimpered and was surprised at how scratchy her voice sounded.

She felt the bag close around her lower parts and open around her head. The woman shoved something in her mouth. She heard the scratching of a pen on paper and the bag closed again. She was about to beg, as she had done so many times before but immediately stopped when the bag closed. She did not like to hear herself begging. Not anymore.

The woman made some notes on an aluminum clipboard. The subject’s temperature and other general vital signs and symptoms, and of course other details of the progress of the virus.

Through a nearby window, unknown to the woman or the girl, a pair of eyes watched and a pair of ears listened. The brain behind those organs made careful mental notes of all that transpired, as it had done for many days now.


From → Infernis, Novels

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