By: Jaay Wilde
Finally. Over with and done. Time to go home. There, she would kick off her pelts and drink her tongue loose.
She walked toward a pair of doors. Her throat was soar and raw. Her words had been sandpaper. Slowly rubbing, wearing and tearing the tissue. A ton of snow lay beyond the doors. The storm had picked up during her talk.
A fresh burst of cool air greeted her as she stepped through the doors. No more snow fell from the sky. It now lay pilled a few feet high. A neat path had been cleared. It guided. Instinct lead her to follow.
Moccasins had been a good idea. Their internal fur kept her feet warm as she crunched along the path. The skirt had been for style, and was not such a good idea. Even with her thick leg stockings. Each gust of the wind pierced through the fabric. The leather of her coat only went so far. First world sufferings, aiming to temporarily satisfy the artificial addiction.
The path looped. It was someones artwork. Their expression, which they had clearly enjoyed creating. A blower. Maybe small tractor. A master of the craft. Nothing but a long assortment of weaves and curved brush strokes. Masterpiece.
A mental image formed in her head. Small man, lots of muscle. Murmurs and rambles coming from beneath his hat. The external traces of the secret party between earbud and associated organ. Grooving to his own internal soundtrack. Soon to be helping her along her way.
She giggled as she saw him zoom in whirling patterns. One wavelength after the next, each time meeting back in the middle.
Following the path, she descended a flight of stairs. Expecting to continue, across the landing ahead, to a flight of stairs on the far side, she was rejected. Her car was parked on the other side of the building ahead. Convenience called her down this seemingly strategic route.
The four feet of snow standing between her and her destination made her think otherwise.
Her guide clearly had other intentions for her path. It verged in the opposite direction. Across the landing towards another flight of stairs, descending further downward. It really came down to choosing between soggy moccasins and a minor detour into the warmth. No brainer.
Giving the authority to her guide. She followed.
Inside it was warm again. The wind failed to penetrate the thick red of the brick walls which contained her. Even nature could be contained.
Now to find another way out. It was old and seemingly forgotten. At least in terms of renovations. There was a bit of a difference between the stylish drywall and the cold rusty bricks of the walls surrounding her.
It was old, and smelled that way. The foundation was historic, showing the age of the building. The building above shone, but it was completely based on that which it stood upon. An elder, whose existence is respected for allowing potential offspring to experience atop the
The bricks were cold. Chalky red ice blocks. One side of the long hallway was covered in lockers.
Red. Green. Blue. Yellow.
Red. Green. Blue. Yellow.
The pattern continued, beginning where it finished. All the way to the end. Rust, graffiti, dings, and scrapes were the character tune ups each locker earned over the years. Disrespect determined hierarchy.
Every now and then the lockers would dip into the wall, creating minor gaps in the rainbow. A door usually occupied the space. Most doors were closed. Lights off. Locked up tight for the night.
The next locker dip had a door that was open. She walked in.
Behind a desk sat a man, wearing a white lap coat. Eyeballs deep in a microscope. Fiddling the knob this way and that. Some notes were scattered at the side. He had not noticed her entrance.
"Good evening." She said. Within her voice was a compilation of special features. Nervous damsel. Currently without distress, but easy to scare. Like a deer as it feeds. Head on the swivel.
"Good evening." The man agreed, not looking up from his microscope. A few more turns of a dial. He scratched a few lines onto some paper. Present conclusions noted, the floor was her's.
"Im trying to find a way to my car, and well the shoveled paths outside led me here. I guess I am a tad lost, could you help me." He giggled.
Bat your eyes dammit. She tried. He wasn't looking her way.
"Yes, the grounds crew is still young, and in the works of organizing."
She smiled. With smiles came trust.
"Think you could point me in the right direction."
"Of course. My assistant Eliot will guide you." He pointed toward the door. She was puzzled by his concluding rudeness. And to think, he had been such a dear. She turned to find a very large man standing behind her. Start and stupidity ran through her frame like bolts of lightning. Of course he meant his moose.
The large man nodded. She forced an uncomfortable smile.
"Good night." The scientist said with a smile. Her reply was uncomfortable.
His smile called forth the council of her inner woman.
Leave. It screamed.
Out of courtesy, she ignored and followed.
They walked in silence. Up one corridor, down another. Eliot in front. With her following. Both their wet shoes squeaked. He walked into a room off to the side of the corridor. She followed and he shut the door behind them.
"Is this the way to the exit?" She was shaking uncontrollably.
"Then why the hell are we hear." She was shouting.
Shaking her head, disagreeing, she walked for the door.
This is when Eliot chose to follow part three of his orders. Stick anyone who came. Simple protocol. They were for testing.
So, he stuck her. Jabbing the needle filled with tetra-something-ide into the side of her neck. Stumbling. Shocking. She fell to the floor. He caught her, slowly lowering her to the floor. Like the gentleman he was.
Before the black came, she had been face deep in his boots, slightly covered in snow.
Blackness, then grey. Followed by pink fluorescence.
"There she is." A familiar voice.
"Fresh as a daisy, no doubt."
Two figures began to faze into her vision. A man, wearing a white coat. Now covered in a shiny translucent apron. A funny mask rested on the top of his head. It matched the shininess of his apron. A larger man stood beside him,
"The snow only comes every once and a while. Then the sun sucks it all away. So as i'm sure you understand, we must take advantage of the special circumstances of this evening. It was quite the down pour. Perfect testing environment."
She tried to scream. To tell them that they were fucking crazy. Some kind of defense. A rag had been placed in her mouth. Some tape wrapped it tightly to her skull.
"You are this evenings subject."
She squirmed like a maniac. A crazed stallion. It was to fight the nature of the situation. A stallion in chains is still a horse, no matter its strength. With human limitations she struggled.
"To see what goes on up there." He tapped his skull with the tips of his fingers. "To determine how one ticks. You have a neurosis I call A Following. It has a unique influence on an individuals actions. I desire to see it in my hands."
The scientist was pacing before her. Eliot just stood.
"Sure. You can determine this kind of information through MRI's and other procedures. But I am an empiricist." This he declared with a single finger. "A belief is through an experience, not a screen."
"Of course, such is a little against University policy. This is why we must keep this a secret." He pressed the same finger against his lips.
Eliot was behind her now, firmly pressing down on her shoulders. Survival mode initiated. But initiation had taken to long. To slow on the draw. The brutal realization of a future guaranteed.
Dilemma of the present.
The piercing scream of the saw drowned her thoughts. Even her screams.