Karla of House Nellenbach, First of Her Name, the Uncool, Queen of Sarcasm, Treadmill Battles, and the First Cup of Coffee, Khalessi of the Great Green Scion, Breaker of Lawnmowers, Mother of Dogs (and one Cranky Cat).
These are my words. This is my life. You have been warned.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
So, this snip picks right up where last week's tease left off. Not as much action, but our MC needs some rest after all she went through last week, don't you think?
I surface some time later.My arms and legs bent at odd angles.Ankles bound tightly together.Arms stretched behind me with my wrists tethered
to my feet.My back curves in on itself
until I am one big circle.It is the
pain of this position that brings me back to consciousness.
I ache in places I never knew could
feel pain before.My head pounds, raging
against some invisible assassin.I can
imagine the war being waged inside my brain, bullets punching holes in the soft
tissue, threatening to take my ability to think for myself.My contorted limbs cry out for relief, but
there is none in sight.It’s all I can
do not to let loose the whimpers crawling around inside my chest, inching their
way up the back of my throat.
I don’t open my eyes right away.Instead, I let myself drift, waiting for my
head to clear, the dizziness to subside.While I wait, I open my ears, listen for anything that might tell me
where we are, what is going on.
Hopefully, they will say what
happened with Leda and those two girls.Did they get away?Or did the
guards catch them, too?Needles jab at
my eyes with that thought.Please let
them have gotten away.Let them be out
there, somewhere, free of these evil humans.
Let Leda be safe.
Beneath me, the truck rumbles along,
each bump the tires hit, jolting through the floor and pounding into my
body.They must have placed me on the
floor of the cab.A booted foot rests on
my side, a heavy persistent weight on my ribcage. It isn’t crushing, but just enough to make me
hyper-aware of its presence.
“Bitch broke my nose,” the other man
“You’ve already said that, Jim,” the
lieutenant’s brother says.“Twice.”
“Well, it won’t stop bleeding.”
I want to smile at his surly reply,
at the fact that I hurt him so badly, but a wide leather strap has been fitted
over my mouth and under my chin, immobilizing my jaw.I am effectively neutralized.No weapons against them, not even my teeth to
bite.These men are so much smarter than
I’d given them credit for.
“Hmm.”The boot rolls over my side, sliding back and
forth, back and forth, like he’s rocking me.A light click-clacking sounds, and I wonder if he’s poking at one of
those flat rectangles that they use all the time. Com-pew-ters
they call them.We have no word for
those glowing devices, nor have I ever bothered to figure out exactly what they
do.All I know is that these things are
not weapons.They cannot hurt us.That is all I really need to know.
“System says she’s not one of the
violent ones.”More clicking.“Threat level: zero.”
The other man—Jim—snorts.“Gotta disagree with that assessment,
Mick.She practically caved my face
in.Damn near strangled you.And, I heard that she tried to geld Snyder
before they loaded her into this truck.”
“Yeah well, Snyder’s needed to have
his ass kicked for a long time now.That
he had it handed to him by a skinny savage just makes it all the better.”
“Guess you’re right,” he
concedes.“But still.I would’ve liked to know in advance that we
had a she-cat in our group.Man, that
could’ve so easily ended up going the other way.You know?”A pause while they both consider that.“Did you key in her number right?Maybe you’re looking up the wrong one.”
The boot rolls me again.A hand skims over my shoulder, brushes aside
my hair, and tugs at the collar of the ragged shirt I wear.Warmth cascades over the back of my neck,
right on the spot where the brand is.
When we were taken captive, the first
order of business had been the brands.They’d lined us all up, pushed us down to our knees, and forced our
chins to our chests.One by one, they’d
pressed a flat metal rectangle to each of our napes.Then came the pain as the metal heated up,
boiling the skin to torturous heights.When the fire subsided, the metal plate had fused to our necks, a
permanent sign of ownership.Branding, they called it.After a while, our wounds began to heal, new
skin rising up to envelop the metal, drag it down far below the surface.
There is no way to remove the brand,
it is now a piece of me, embedded deep within my flesh.
A small metal wand allows them to
read our brands through the layers of scarred skin that covers the plates, find
out everything they know about us with one little swipe.He rubs it over my neck now.The beep it emits clangs against my ears,
vibrating through my brain.That done,
he straightens, his foot pressing into my side again.I bite down on my lip to quell the moan
rising to the surface.
A few more clicks, another beep, and
he says, “Yep.That’s the right
one.Says she’s a zero.No violent episodes on record.”He taps his foot on my side, rocks me
again.“Want to tell us what set you
“Are you crazy, Mick?Don’t wake her up!”
“Scared?” Mick belts out a laugh.“Don’t worry, dude.She’s gonna be out for a while.Those tasers can be pretty nasty.And, even if she did wake up right now, she’s
trussed up good and tight.No way is she
taking us by surprise again.”
“Even so,” Jim grumps. “I’d feel better if you didn’t poke at
her.My nose can’t handle any more blood
Mick’s deep, rumbly chuckles fill the
truck.He continues moving his foot over
my ribs.Back and forth.Back and forth.The motion lulls me even as it sends knives
hurtling through my middle.
“Still,” he musses after several
silent minutes.“I wonder what set her
off.If she was so peaceful before, what
changed to turn her so violent now?”
“Don’t know.Don’t care,” Jim replies, irritated.“We’ll be at the base in a few hours.Then, she’ll be your brother’s problem.”
A few hours.I have some time to think, to plan my next
move.I may be strapped down and
immobile now, but they have to untie me sometime.When they do, I will be ready for them.