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, December 11, 2012
Tease Me, Tease Me...
This week's Teaser Tuesday picks up right where last week left off, so if you didn't get a chance to browse that little snip, you can find it here.
Now, on with the show!
Panic seizes me, clutches at my insides. My vision blurs as all the moisture that had
moments before vacated my mouth floods my eyes.
A whimper escapes, and my inner parts spasm. Terror runs down my leg, pools at my
feet. A lake of shame and fright spreads
out beneath me.
Mick swears behind him. I’d forgotten we
weren’t alone in this room. “If you’re
going to kill the bitch, just do it already and quit playing with her.”
“Please,” I whimper, my voice just as shaky as my
body. The lake beneath me grows, as does
my humiliation. I’d thought I was
strong, that I’d meet Death without fear, but the truth is there for all to
see. I am not the hero that Leda always
believed me to be. I am weak. I am nothing.
I can only be thankful that she never had to see me reduced to this
quivering pathetic creature that I have become. “Don’t kill me.”
“I’m not going to.”
My head snaps up, and for an instant, my body stops
shaking. Why is he speaking to me in
human? Or is he talking to his
brother? I shoot a look at Mick, who rubs
at his chin thoughtfully, but says nothing.
“I’m getting tired of waiting for your answer,
Zero.” He presses another button on the
weapon. A fourth light pops on.
“I…I don’t know.”
Words finally tumble out of me, but they are small, scared things.
You’re a smart one. You can do
better than that.” He shakes his head,
clearly disappointed with my answer. “If
only Fours and Fives can survive being shot just once by a Taser, and Threes
not at all…?” He rolls the weapon in the
air, the red dot jumping all around my face.
“I-I’ve been hit twice?” It comes out sounding like a question when we
both know it to be truth. “So…I must be
a Four or a Five?”
points at me. “Which brings us to our
He presses another button. The box whirrs as the final light pops on,
and I know deep down that the weapon is now on its highest setting. I’ll be dead the instant he releases the
My muscles start jerking again. The lake beneath me suddenly floods, morphs
into an ocean. It spreads out in all
directions, its shores receding until the waves crash against his boot.
He glances down, frowns.
“Please, don’t kill me,” I plead again. “I’ll…I’ll…please.”
“I just told you I’m not going to kill you,” he
assures me, again speaking in human. But
then, he straightens his arm, placing the weapon against my forehead. The constant change-up dizzies me. Why is he doing that, skipping back and forth
between his language and mine? Between
telling me he’ll spare my life and then threatening me with imminent death?
“The problem,” he continues, reverting back to my
language. “Is that we are a work camp
here. Now, I don’t know what you think
that means, Zero, but I can assure you that ‘work’
is not a euphemism for something else.
This base is not equipped to handle the violent natives. When I allowed you to stay with your sister,
it was because you’re noted in our files as being a Zero, one of the peaceful
ones, which I see now that you clearly are not.”
“Please,” I cry.
A sob chokes its way up the back of my throat and
fat tears spill down my cheeks. This is
not how I wanted to die. I wanted to go
out fighting. I wanted to be strong,
right up to the bitter end. Now, I am
less than nothing, and still I beg for my life.
Pathetic coward that I am.
“I could kill you,” he says in my language, pressing
the weapon harder into my forehead.
“But, I won’t.” Now, back to his.
I’m not a Five. I promise.” I sniffle around another sob fighting its way
free. “I was just…” I trail off,
grasping for the right combination of words to make this jumbled up
conversation end. I can’t keep up with
the way he changes the dialects he speaks.
And, as my body continues to quake out its terror of the weapon in his
hand, my brain refuses to help me keep my features smoothed down at his
words. I am no longer in control of my
reactions. “I-I’m scared.”
weapon drops away from my face. My
shoulders droop; relief blooms warm and wonderful in my chest as he flicks a
switch on the box, turns it off. He
reaches behind him and affixes it to his belt.
“I don’t think you’re a Five, or a Four for that
matter.” His mouth pushes up at the
corners into a small reassuring smile.
“But, you’re definitely no Zero.
So…” He lifts his hands in a so-what-do-we-do-now gesture.
I don’t know how to respond. I can do nothing but stare.
He pushes to his feet. “Get yourself cleaned up. After that, we’ll find a work assignment for
you. Then—“ he shrugs. “—we’ll see what
you really are.”
“What the hell was that, Dunc?” Mick asks,
bewildered, as they turn to leave the room.
“All that mixing English in with the gibberish? It made me kind of dizzy.”
I haven’t moved yet from my position next to the toy-let.
I won’t until they are out of the room.
It’ll be safer that way.
He shakes his head.
“I had to be sure,” he answers, sliding a significant look my way.
“Sure? Of what?” Mick follows the lieutenant’s gaze, still
confused. It’s obvious the moment
understanding dawns on him. He stops
dead in his tracks, his face going slack.
“Oh.” He considers me for a long
second, then inclines his head toward his brother. “And…are you?”
The lieutenant stays quiet, clearly deciding his
answer. He opens the door and waits for
Mick to step through. “Yes,” he finally
responds as he, too, exits the room.
It’s not until they leave and I climb to my feet
that my brain clears enough for me to replay the whole scene. Realization hits me like the hendling weapon
had twice before. It jolts through me,
robbing my muscles and limbs of all movement.
All that back and forth between the languages, throwing me off kilter,
dizzying me. He’d been trying to find
out if I understood his human language.
And, he’d just told his brother that he was sure of his answer now.
But, was that answer yes or no?
Sooooo....What do you think? Does the evil lieutenant know that Thia can speak human? (I know the answer to that! *evil grin*)