August 23, 2012
By Anonymous

The warm water slowly cools down as it gushes out of my garden hose, hours of sunlight heated up the first few seconds, but after that it’s as cold as ice. I move the hose further away from my body to avoid the icy water, but even then it still manages to soak my feet and send shivery bumps up my legs. It’s gardening day; my dad stands meticulously trimming our hedges to rid them of any imperfect leaves while my mother and younger brother plant seeds in a small patch of soft dirt. She’s making small holes in the topsoil with her fingers, while my brother follows her with a handful of tiny yellow seeds. “One... Two... Twee...” he counts as he drops them into the little divots. While covering them with a handful of dirt and patting the little mounds smooth he explains to the seeds that he’ll “see them when they’re all grown up into fw-owers.” He’s two, and hasn’t quite mastered his L’s and R’s, but I admire his efforts. My mother corrects him, slowly pronouncing “flowers” holding the L and R for a couple of extra beats, but he takes no notice and instead yells at her for not making holes fast enough.

I stand mindlessly watering a patch of grass until the water becomes too much for the ground to absorb and it quickly becomes a thin stream that pools around my feet. I hate gardening day, my mother and father insist that every week we have to dedicate at least two days to the outdoors, and that ‘a growing yard is a growing home.’ I never bought it though, I’m always stuck watering the lawn or mowing it, and I always seem to get too hot too quickly.

“Otylia, the water?” says my dad, gesturing to the inch deep puddle I’m now standing in.

“Sorry Dad,” I reply, and turn to flood another part of my lawn.

By the time we stop it’s nearly night time, the silvery moon has just started to peek over the trees that make up our back yard, and a few stars are out early to greet it. I take off my dirty, sweaty clothing, throwing it on the ground instead of my neat little hamper, and climb into my shower to cool off. I like my showers cold, and by the time I get out I’m exhausted and I fall asleep instantly.

“Lia… Liaaa,” says my mom, shaking me awake, “time to go to school sweetie!” She says in her unmistakably sweet tone, I groan as drag myself out of my bed and into the bathroom. I can hear my mom going into my brother’s room, and then a muffled cry of “good morning sweetheart!” as she wakes him up too.

My bathroom has a long, full-length mirror directly opposite the door, so the first thing I see every morning is myself. I’ve always liked how I look right after I wake up, when my eyes are half closed, sunken, the dark circles underneath them making me look pale, and almost skeletal. Slight imperfections show through my pale skin, thin wrinkles and dark spots cover my face, and I feel like me. As the morning goes on, my cheeks take on a healthy pinkish hue, the circles under my eyes smooth themselves out, the wrinkles and imperfections fade, and I’m left with the face I call my own. I’m not ugly, I’d even say I’m rather pretty, but for some reason it always takes me a second to recognize the rosy cheeked girl as myself. I tie my thick brown hair into a loose knot with a thin elastic just to keep it out of my eyes, and go down stairs.

By the time I leave I’m already late, and running to get to school, my mom yells something inaudible to me and I quickly turn back to tell her I’m late. My feet slip out from under me and before I can stop myself, my head hits the black pavement that makes up our driveway. I must have blacked out for a minute or two because by the time I open my eyes again my mother and father are leaning over my shouting my name. That’s when I see it, a quick flash, two seconds maybe, what once was my mother and fathers bright faces become two people I don’t recognize. They’re thinner than both of my parents, and covered in scars, cuts, burns, and a whole manner of imperfections my parents lack. What was once my mothers thick blond head of hair, and my father's dark scraggly beard, are now bald faces that are leathery and wrinkled. One of them holds out a thin hand to gently touch a spot on my forehead, their nails are all broken, one even missing, and almost black from the dirt under them. The smell is unbearable, the very air seems thick with a filthy pollution; a mix of human, animal, and what I can only imagine to be some mechanical waste attacks my throat and nostrils making them burn, and my eyes water. The sky is dark with a thick cover of clouds, a gray blanket over the sky preventing any comfort the sun could give; the only light coming from tall lamps that hum loudly, and even their light can barely penetrate the thick haze in the air. The birds are gone, their gentle songs replaced with loud throbbing and explosions close enough to make the ground shake underneath me. With a look of concern on their face, the figure reaches closer to me, and just as their finger lightly touches my forehead, I’m back. My two parents kneel over me, gently shaking my shoulder and saying my name, my mothers’ pointer finger gently pressing on my forehead.
I’m losing my mind.

There they are again, my hairy, round-faced, perfectly groomed parents, their faces tight and eyebrows pinched together in worry. It takes me a second to find my voice, for a couple seconds I can only gawk at them, studying their faces for any traces of what I saw, but there are none. The sun has returned, the gray haze replaced with bright skies and puffy white clouds, and the birds are singing their sweet little songs to each other.
When I finally find my voice, I manage to sputter, “What happened?” as a gape at them.

“You fell over kiddo, weirdest thing, you just tripped out of nowhere,” says my dad, shaking his head and laughing as he does so, clearly unaware of what just happened.

“Are you alright Otylia?” asks my mom, moving her finger over a small bump that has formed on my forehead

“Yeah, I think I’m alright,” I reply, slowly pushing myself up with my elbows. I continue to stare at them, too scared to admit what I just witnessed because they clearly didn’t see what I saw.

She pleads with me to stay home, but I tell her I have an important test I can’t miss for anything, and she eventually lets me go. In reality, I’m scared to look at them, and that at any moment their perfectly complexioned faces will turn back into those horribly weathered creatures I saw before. My mother kisses me on the forehead just before I leave, and I swear for moment her perfect complexion is again wrinkled and leathery, her lips chapped and pale as they lightly touch my forehead. I really am going insane.

The walk to school is a short one, but since I’m already over half an hour late I decide to take my time. I can’t really be going crazy, can I? I mean I hit my head pretty hard, and I reach up to touch the slowly growing lump on my temple to reassure me, it’s completely understandable to see something that doesn’t exist. But it did exist, it was real, the smells, the sounds, those bald creatures leaning over me in worry, they existed. No they didn’t, I quickly remind myself, you imagined it, you’re completely sane.

We all know what happens to ‘different’ people. The police come and collect them, promising their swift return, but when they do come back they’re different; they’re slow, almost numb, their bodies are back but their minds are gone, replaced with someone who, in one word is: pleasant. They’ll smile when they see you, cry when their goldfish dies, even yell at you for spilling something on their favorite shirt, but there’s no life in their eyes.
That’s why, by the time I get to school, I’ve decided to keep my little ‘experience’ a secret. A few people realize there’s something wrong, and my day is full of questions about the light purple bruise that has developed on my forehead, but I quickly tell them it’s nothing. Soon enough my peers lose interest in me, except Mendax, who's been my friend since I can remember. We grew up together, out parents being friends we were stuck together at an early age and we never really separated; he’s like another brother, a person I tell everything to, whether I like it or not. Like now, walking over to him during lunch, his bright blue eyes light up as I approach him and then darken as he looks from my forehead to my eyes and then back up to the bruise.
“What happened to you?” He asks nervously as I sit down, rising slightly from his seat.
“Nothing, I just tripped this morning,” I reply, avoiding his eyes and instead looking down at my food, and pretending to be really focused on opening my milk carton. But even as I avoid his piercing gaze I can tell he’s caught my lie.
“And...?” He says.
“Nothing, I just saw something weird this morning, that’s all.”
“Something weird,” he repeates, “like a pink elephant?”
“No, not like that,” I say. How do I explain it to him? I saw a world with no sun, it smelled horrible, and there were no birds, oh and my parents were transformed into horribly wrinkled, bald things? I know Dax trusts me, and we both know I’m not insane, but that might be pushing it. He just stares at me as I try to come up with a plausible explanation of what I saw, but in the end I decided to tell him everything. He doesn’t say anything as I try to explain, but I can tell what he’s thinking because his eyes are squinted and his mouth tight, and when I finish he doesn't say anything, he just stares at me a look of shock and worry on his face. “So?” I ask after a minute of awkward silence, “what do you think?”
“Well...” He starts, but then stops as if his next words mean everything and he has to get them just right. “I think you hit your head pretty hard Lia, I mean, look at that bruise.”
He doesn’t believe me, and I stand up to leave in a mix of anger and fear. But he stands up with me, knowing that he said the wrong thing, and he quickly opens his mouth to explain, but I cut him off. “I’m not crazy,” I say quietly, both to him and to myself.
“I never said you were Lia,” he says quickly
“Then why don’t you believe me?” I snap back at him
“I do! I just...” He desperately tries to explain, by not before the class bell cuts him off. I quickly pick up my stuff, angry at him but more with myself. How could I be so stupid? Being crazy will get you taken away, but hiding the fact that someone else is, is much worse. The police will take your family away, cast you out from the world, probably even kill you. I’m worried for Dax; he has a big family, two sisters and a brother, and they’ll all be killed for hiding me. I can’t do that to them.
“You’re right,” I finally say to him, “I didn’t hit my head pretty hard.” I step closer to him and run my finger over the bruise.
“Look, we’ll talk after class okay? I’ll walk you home.”
“Alright,” I say with a smile, he gladly returns it, and we make our way to class.

Each neighborhood has their own school, a small brick building that can house a couple hundred kids. The students are separated by year from the ages five through eighteen, some kids go on to learn until they’re much older but not many, and by the time Dax and I get to the classroom most of our sixteen year old peers have already found their seats. I take mine in the back row and Dax, somewhat reluctantly, takes his further up front looking back at me as he does so. I’ve always hated school, three times a week we spend the day entire day learning useless things that I can’t even remember by the end, it gives me a headache to be honest. I’ve just sat down when it happens again.
The large windows that usually let in light are gone, and smooth gray walls that are chipping away and cracking at the seams. The desk in front of me sits under thick wires, and looking up I can see that mine does too, colored wires of varying thicknesses that each end in a different type of plug. The kid sitting next to me, the same one that I borrowed a pencil from this morning is now a grossly thin, bald, pale creature, he turns to look at me and I can see that his eyes are glossed over and constricted even in this dark room. Even in this light I can see the thin blue veins covering his body and smooth his bald head just like the things I saw this morning, but he’s skin is unwrinkled and he’s much much skinnier. He looks emotionless, his mouth slightly open, and I can tell he doesn’t recognize me because he turns back blindly unaware of me or his surroundings. I look forward toward Dax, he’s the same, his smooth bald head shining from the few harsh lights that hang over head, he’s looking forward and I try to shout to him, but I can’t find my voice. Then I see her, my teacher, she is completely healthy, just as I saw her a few seconds ago, she was wearing different clothes, but other than that, nothing. She stands for a second at the front of the room, then presses a little yellow button in the middle of a massive control panel full of blinking lights, dials, and buttons of every size and shape.
I can hear something mechanical, a metal on metal scraping, and my heart starts to pound in my ears; I’m no longer in the shock that kept me in my seat, and instead my heart starts to race and I can feel myself start to shake. I start to get up to run, to be anywhere than this horrible place, but I can’t; the metal sound that I heard was huge clamps coming from deep inside my desk, and by the time they’ve closed I’m trapped, my wrists captured under thick bands of metal. I look up in desperation, if only I can wake everyone up, or even get my teacher’s attention, anything! But it’s no use, I can’t speak, no matter how hard I try, no sound will escape my lips; I try to move my arms, legs, anything, but it’s no use they’re all caught by thick metal bands that hold me tight against my chair. I look over and I can tell that everyone else is restrained just like I am.
My heart starts to beat even faster as my teacher touches yet another button on the control board, but this time it’s a big red one. For a second nothing happens, I strain to hear anything that might give information as to what that button does but there’s nothing. It isn’t until I look up do I realize, the button lowers the wires that hang ominously over our heads, and I reflectively move my head out of their way but I’m not fast enough; another thick metal band comes around my head, locking it into place. I try to move, to move anything, to make any sound, but the thick pieces of metal keep me tightly in my place. I can hear my heart in my ears, it’s beating so quickly that I can barely distinguish individual beats, I can feel hot sweat pouring from my body, collecting in my eyes, above my lip and all across my chest. The wires start to gently touch my head, and I can’t help myself I get so scared I wet myself; I try once again to scream, to make any noise at all, closing my eyes in a weak attempt at waking myself up from this nightmare, I try at least ten times even though I keep opening up to this hellhold.
But then it’s over.
I open my eyes and I’m back, my teacher’s picking up a piece of chalk to write “History of Farming” on the board in careful, oversized letters. My heart is still pounding, the sweat slowly dripping off of my face and already soaking through my shirt, and as far as I can tell wetting myself was all too real; I look around quickly, first to my neighbor and then to Dax, and sure enough their completely unchanged. My teachers slow, monotone voice fills the room, and for a second I’m aware of the fact that my arms feel heavy, and almost glued to my desk, but her voice quickly takes over and I fall into a sleepy trance.
When class is over, I quickly run to the bathroom and sure enough wetting my pants was all too real. I sigh as I look at the huge stain on my pants, and the fact that my shirt is soaked through with sweat; my walk home is quick, but not quick enough that people won’t notice. I don’t really care about being laughed at, but I don’t want anyone to know anything is wrong with me.
“Hey Lia?” says someone through the door, “It’s Dax, let me in.” I can’t though, I can’t let him see that it happened again, not after last time and how he reacted. I panic; and I quickly splash water all over myself, the sinks are old and no one will question the fact that they broke and soaked me clear to the bone. I slowly walk out of the bathroom and Dax eyes me from head to toe, I can tell his suspicious but he doesn’t say anything as people are starting to giggle to themselves at my appearance, their hands pressed tightly to their faces to hold back the obvious laughter, their faces red with effort; he simply puts his arm around my shoulder and we walk home.
It’s only a five minute walk home, and I’m grateful because I don’t wanna talk to Dex because I’m not sure if if I’m more embarrassed or angry that he doesn’t believe me. The only thing I’m sure of right now it that, what I’m seeing is real, I’m not insane just enlightened, and in terrible danger.

Dax doesn’t say anything for a while, and we’re almost halfway home before he pulls me off the sidewalk and behind a tree nearby. “Look Lia, you know I believe you, and if you say you saw something, then I’m sure you did. But I’m not like everybody Lia, and you know that,” he pauses, looking into my eyes with a burning seriousness, his hands are near my shoulders, pressed firmly against the tree keep me from running. “All I’m saying is that, this kinda thing, you have to keep to yourself, people might get the wrong idea if you go around saying you’re seeing things.” I can tell he’s protecting me fiercely, he knows just as well as I do the horrible fate of people that seem unhinged. I’m more worried about him though, his whole family will pay heavily for keeping me a secret, and I’m not worth their lives.
“Look,” I say to him, returning his stare, “You just take care of yourself, I’m not worth your life.” He opens his mouth to protest, but my scowl stops him. He’s overthinking this. I’m my parents second child, Mari was their first. She was two when she died, a quick cold that turned deadly after a week. It took my parents two years to have another child, and as a grew older so did their resentment. I remember hearing my mother cry over her first born, and my father’s desperate attempt to keep his anger at bay. I always knew it was misdirected, their frustration, their anger, but I’ve always grown up in the shadow of my older sister, and the constant feeling of being inferior to her. That’s why now, Dax thinks that my undervaluing of my life compared to his is a manifest of my low self worth, but in reality my life isn’t worth his whole families (no matter who I am). That’s why he doesn’t say anything now, he understands what will happen if he says anything.
He takes his hands down, his blue eyes unable to look at my brown ones, he runs his hand through his thick brown hair and takes a step back from me. When he finally looks up, a smile crosses his face, making his eyes light up with happiness, he laughs before he says, “You look like you fell in the toilet.” I push his shoulder and we both laugh before we turn to go home.
Dax stops outside my house and tells me again to keep to myself, and I tell him again to watch out for himself; I turn to leave, feeling uncomfortable in my soaking wet clothes, but Dax grabs my hand before I can take a step and pulls me toward him. There’s never been anything between me and Dax, there’s never been that spark that causes couples to kiss in public and hold hands whenever they’re together, he’s my brother. That’s why I don’t know what to do when he pulls me toward him, I want to pull away, but he wraps his arms tightly around my torso. “It’ll be alright,” he whispers in my ear, and I hug him back tightly. By the time we let go his shirts already soaked through, and I apologize with a laugh, he sniffles slightly and laughs with me. Was he crying?
“I’ll be okay,” I say to him
He nods, somewhat hesitantly meeting my gaze, and even when he does he can only offer up a meager smile before looking away again. I know he’s worried about me, Dax is always worried about me, and to be honest it gets on my nerves. I can take care of myself better than anyone else can, I’ve been doing it my whole life. “I know,” he says after a moment, “you’re a survivor,” and then smiles at me, his blue eyes lighting up his whole face.
We say goodbye, and I quickly go inside, I can’t shake the feeling that Dax is hiding something from me, in the same way he always knows I’m lying to him, or keeping him in the dark. I can’t remember the last time he hugged me, or did anything remotely affectionate; I’ve certainly never, he’ll always be like a brother to me, and to upset the connection we have with something as silly as romance seems stupid. Every girl I know wants a boyfriend, someone that they worry about every moment, someone that they’re constantly in danger of upsetting, and fearing the heartbreak of their eventual breakup; and to have a platonic relationship with Dax seems a mystery to them.
I quickly strip out of the wet, sticky, and urine soaked clothes I’ve been wearing all day, trying to think of something other than Dax, but I can’t. Why would he say “you’re a survivor?” What have I survived? My lifes not the easiest in the world, but I can cope just fine on my own, what do I need to survive? I throw my clothes on the floor in frustration, kicking them into a smelly, wet pile toward my door, my mom will have a fit when she sees, but I don’t care. I take the one pillow that adorns my thin gray sheeted bed, and put it up to my face; “I need to leave,” I say into it, and almost as if on cue there’s a sharp rap at my front door.

I’m the only one home after school, both my mother and father work during the week, my father for a computer company and my mother making clothes, they don’t trust me to take care of my brother so I’m the one that answers the door to the cops. The sun is starting to dip quickly over the horizon, bathing their dark blue uniforms in a pink glow, I can only stare at them; we have a lot of cops around, but I’ve never done anything to attract their attention. I panic. They’re here for me, they know what going on, but how can they? I’ve only told one person what’s going on and Dax would never betray me, he’s the only person I trust with my feelings, he would never; someone must have overheard our conversation and jumped at the opportunity. I’m not well liked in my school, I’m not horrible, but if I can avoid people I will, people have never been my thing. If hiding someone is bad, exposing carries an equal endowment, and giving someone up to the police carries with it many rewards.
“Are you Otylia Privus?” one of them asks, reading my name off of a little square of paper
I open my mouth to speak, but find it dry and hoarse, I open and close it a few times before managing a small “yes” in response. Lying to these men at this point would be worse than telling them the truth, no matter the outcome.
They nod to each other before the second says: “Please come with us Ms. Privus.” They both step closer, anticipating that I’ll try to run, but where would I go? Upstairs?
“Don’t you have to tell my parents?” I ask them, their eyes unreadable under their thick sunglasses.
“Oh, they won’t miss you for very long,” the first one says a thin smile across his face, he’s larger than the second, and he quickly grabs my arm. His huge hands are able to wrap around my entire arm, and he squeezes tightly and I reflectively resist his grasp, but he’s trained and twisted me forward effortlessly, squeezing my small hands into a pair of cold metal handcuffs. My heart beats faster as he drags me faster toward the swat car, a small car big with a hard, black, plastic back seat behind a thick mesh grading. I look around nervously as the policeman lowers my head into the car, and then I see him; Dax, his older brother holding him by the waste, he’s trying to say something but his brothers other hand is firmly over his mouth, he’s trying to pull away, to run toward me but his brothers almost twice his size. I open my mouth to yell to him, to tell him anything, but the cop closes the thick metal door behind me, and my words are lost behind the thick tinted glass.

We drive for what feels like hours, the mesh is so fine that I can’t see through the windshield or the front windows, and my own are so opaque that I can only make out basic shapes. With nothing to look at I can’t judge our speed, only the turns we’re making, because they send me flying across the back of the car. I can hear the two cops speaking in hushed voices in front of me, but I can’t understand them over my own heart beat reverberating in my ears; If they don’t kill me soon, I’m going to die of a heart attack. My arms and neck start to ache after being bent in such an awkward position for so long, and I can feel one of my hands going numb with pins and needles and the cuffs digging painfully into my wrists. I move to get comfortable, but I’m thrown solidly against the side of the car in what must of been a ninety-degree turn, I’m starting to get my bearings when another cop opens the door and I nearly fall into him. He quickly pulls me to my feet, and grabs me by the wrists, and pushes me forward into a gray building.

The hallways a paper white, and smells like the bleach my mother sometimes uses to clean our clothes, the ceiling is adorned with long lights that hum and give off an unnatural blue glow. Two people walk beside me, both in long white coats and creased black pants, while the cop keeps a firm grip on my wrists. They’re all monstrously taller than I am, and I feel like a child again, the men’s bodies moving silently next to me the only sounds being the hum of the lights and their shoes that squeak with every step. The smell of bleach starts to make my eyes water and my nostrils burn, my hearts still pounding in my ears, and I can feel the sweet start to run down my face.

The hallway stops abruptly at a set of doors, a small plaque reading “Maternity Ward” in black leaders adorns it, but we turn left into one left unmarked. This door leads to another hallway, a smaller one, dimly lit, but full of doors running the length of a space that seems never-ending. The cop lets go to my wrists and pushes me slightly forward so I stumble. I think of running, of running toward the emptiness of this place to be lost in the infinite, but the two men quickly grab my arms and guide me forward. I still haven’t found my voice, I can only manage to open my mouth and let out a squeak, but I doubt these men would let me go even if I was screaming my head off.

After about ten minutes of walking, the two men decide we’ve come to the right door, even though, from what I can see it’s completely unrecognizable among the other thousands. Nevertheless, the two men unlock the door with a small metal key and push me inside.

I’ve gotten so used to the dimness of the hallway that the brightness of this room blinds me. Its a small rectangular room, and the smell of bleach is overwhelming, and I can’t help but cough and gag, struggling against the handcuffs to cover my face with my hands. My eyes adjust and I can see that the whole rooms blinking, small lights cover the walls each blinking independently from its neighbor, the only furniture is a chair; in replace of a headrest there is only a large metal loop, that looks like it can be tightened.
The men haven’t let go of me, but I can hear someone else lock the door behind us and another man comes around the chair and half sits on it. He’s shorter than the men that led me here, he has short blond hair that make his pale complexion look even paler, his eyes look unnaturally large under thick round glasses that sit tightly against his face. His thin mouth gradually becomes a sinister smile that eventually reaches his dark eyes, he doesn’t get the same sparkle that Dax does but instead a horrible hunger. He’s balding and runs his hands through what little hair he has left before speaking.
“And what’s your name little girl?” He says. I shiver, despite my sweating, I can’t help it.
“Her name’s Otylia Privus,” says the man to my left
“Otylia, what a pretty name. Well Otylia, my name is Dr. Waltman, and we’re gonna help you feel better.” He gets up from the chair, and the two men back away from me, and I feel myself missing their protection, I hope they don’t leave because I don’t ever wanna be alone with this man. He walks over to me and places both his hands on my shoulders, I’m not much shorter than he is and it’s awkward almost being able to look into his eyes, he grips me hard squeezing my shoulders almost massaging them. “Oh you’re shivering, my dear don’t be scared.” He says with a smile, “come sit down.” He pulls out a chair from a small desk thats presses against the back of the room, he offers it to me when I hesitate he pushes me down into it, my legs are shaking so hard that I’m almost relieved when I can sit. “Would you like us to remove the handcuffs? They must be horribly uncomfortable.” Another man makes a sound in protest, but the doctor simply shushes him and goes around the back of my chair to undo the cuffs with a small metal key; when my hands are free I bring them to my lap and rub the tender skin.
I wonder if anyone actually falls for this, we all knows what happens to people here, what’ll happen to me when they either drug, or force me into that chair because I’ll be dead before I get in it willingly. I’ve known what goes on since I was six, when my cousin started twitching constantly, she was taken away for a couple days and when she got back she wasn’t herself, she wasn’t my cousin. I know I can’t fight my way out of here, four men against a small teenage girl would only hurt myself, but my survival instincts are too strong to let me do nothing.
The doctor does nothing but stare, he looks like dog right before you put down a new dish of food, and I have to look away to avoid his horrible gaze. We sit for minutes, and in that time his eyes never leave my face, but slowly he gets up and goes over to a small set of drawers. He pulls out two things, a small bottle of clear liquid and a needle, he slowly puts the needle into the rubber top of the bottle and draws up a significant amount of the liquid.
“Now Otylia, we can’t let you walk around thinking there’s something wrong with you,” he says, in a horribly sweet tone. “We’re only doing this for you, you want to be normal don’t you?” He’s only a foot away from me now, his squeaky black shoes only inches from my blue sneakers. The two men in white come around and each grabs one of my shoulders, I move forward to escape their grasp but they simply grip harder and pull me back against the chair. Before I can think, I break free and grab the needle from Dr. Waltman’s hand and plunge it need into his arm, he screams in pain and surprise and reaches up to pull the thing out of his arm, but those few extra seconds are enough to push the liquid deep into his arm. But not enough to get away, the two men in white pull me away quickly and throw me against the wall while the doctor wrenches the needle out of his arm; he starts to scream in pain and I can see a small drop of red growing on his sleeve. I back up into one of the panels and try run for the door, but by now all the attentions on me and all three men have me cornered in the back of the room. Dr. Waltman stands holding his arm, his face tight in pain, and he’s clearly fighting the aesthetic nature of the drugs I gave him. “Don’t just stand there!” he screams, “Hit the EMP! KILL HER!”
I make one last attempt at the door, but one of them grabs me by the waste and slams his hand down a huge red button. A horrible alarm sounds and then a pain I can’t explain, it feels like my brain is exploding behind my eyes, and I fall to the floor helplessly squeezing my hands over my ears, but it’s no use. In seconds I’m gone.

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