Escape Freedom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I entered this into a Sci-Fi contest not so long ago.

Submitted: October 16, 2016

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Submitted: October 16, 2016



The nightmares came with the silence. Contractible diseases crept alongside the walls, took form and scurried over her flesh like tiny, skeletal spiders. She awoke to her own screams, but the hallways were as cold as ever. No one stirred there. No orderlies came with pills or strait jackets, cold eyes and cruel lips. 

This place was abandoned, echoing hollowly with the silent screams of the dead. Was it wrong of her to feel relieved? Was it wrong to relish the lack of cold hands on her body, harsh fingers digging into her skin to spin her around, penetrate her flesh with needles and tubes? She didn't know and it didn't matter, she just knew she was glad she killed them.

The smell wasn't as bad anymore, but the parasites came from outside. Tiny, black, beetle-like insects crawled from the desert, drawn by the smell of putrefaction within. Perhaps the blood also called for them, even if it was rusty and dried. They left her alone. Not because she wasn't dead, but because she was... wrong. 

She put her feet on the cold metal and stood up. There was a fleeting alien sense of loss. Not because of the ones she killed, but because this uncomfortable cot had been her only hiding place. Her entire life it had been her home, her refuge when not forced to partake in sinister and inhumane experiments.

Still, leaving it behind would be easy. She wondered why it took her so long in the first place. She shook the feeling and strode to the door, her most unrelenting prison keeper. It fell apart when she touched it. 

The machine which kept it alive had been torn apart. There were traces of blood on the cruel, white metal; remains of bodies which had been shredded to pieces. Like a girl in a dream, she touched one of the dried, crimson spots and remembered. His name had been Pannok, or something just as commonly forgettable, and he'd liked to touch her when she was strapped to the cot. Ironic it seemed that as he had molested her naked skin with his filthy hands, it now rejoiced in the remnants of his violent death.

This was now a place of both, a place of violence and death, where violent lives ended violently. When she strode out into the hall, the bodies which had lined the walls were gone. Only the faint scattering of the parasites remained, coating the floor like a living shadow. 

Their black carapaces were reflected in the mirror-like surfaces of the inner structure. They parted before her, an organism which should have been prey, yet they instinctively feared her. Their tiny, primitive brains recognized her for what she was; danger. At the end of the hall she saw a light. A chill of desert air emanated from it, as well as the formless smell of alkali and desert flowers. It was the smell of freedom, and she wept as she walked through the parting masses of black parasites.

Her feet left ghostly footprints on the floor. Where she stepped in blood they turned morbid and sinister. As she entered the light the cold breeze seemed to flow through her. She closed her eyes and inhaled, feeling tiny grains of sand slink down her throat. She didn't mind.

She had never been outdoors, never felt the chill of the air on her skin, never breathed oxygen which hadn't been recycled or walked on the real, harsh sand of Corinith ll. She opened her eyes and allowed them to adjust to the brilliant flash of white light. 

Above her the blue sky reigned eternal. It stretched from one end of the horizon to next, enveloping the desert as well as the far off mountains underneath its harboring atmospheric arms. The desert was almost white, cold underneath her bare feet and running along with the sky as far as her eyes could see.

Outside the blue carapace of the atmosphere, she could see the huge orb of Corinith, the planet around which this moon orbited. Humanity called it The Third Bastion, as it was the third generation of human kind. It was the third world to which their species had immigrated. The last two were distant memories, victims to their immeasurable hunger, greed and destructive nature. Earth was just a legend; a tale of a long lost paradise which perished over one hundred thousand years before.

It didn't matter to the girl. That was all so long ago, and she didn't think she was all that human anymore anyway.

Then again, she wanted one thing all humans had. She wanted a name. The number tattooed on her forearm wouldn't do. Instead she looked up at the sky and said two words:

"Escape Freedom."

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