Lab Rat part 2

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

I wander out toward the street, but it occurs to me that I may not get the attention I want looking the way I do. I look myself over and discover that it gets worse; my clothes are gone. Great. I’m a naked man made of fire or possibly plasma, but momentarily I’ll just be a naked man. Damn it, Ally. I look back. The charred bandit has stopped moving. He’s either unconscious or dead. I sigh, but it comes out as the pop of damp wood in a campfire. I would rather have not had anyone die tonight. I mean, it’s bound to happen once in a while, but this was totally avoidable. I turn and go deeper into the alleyway. Maybe I’ll be out by the time I get to the other side.

I’m still lit when I get to the other end of the alley, but I still have some concealment. I check the wall behind me for flammables before I start leaning on it. The night isn’t without casualties, but I’m really not looking to add a structure fire to my outing. Nothing but bricks and pavement. I prepare to sit, but darkness crashes in. The fire must be out. I roll my eyes, then shiver in the chill of the night. Just as well. Who wants to sit naked in an alley in any city? I pat myself down. I’m intact, and my injector seems to have survived with no ill effect. It usually does. I check the chambers. Seven full ones left. No meaningful labels. I sure could go for wings right about now. Or invisibility! That one was cool, and would be pretty practical right now. Actually, having a phone handy would do fine too.

I peek around the corner and into the night. The street isn’t busy, but I still won’t get far without clothes. I know the burn victim had some, but I’m still squeamish and I’d just as soon not go leaving more evidence of my passing. I stare at the stainless button studded bracelet and ponder trying the next chamber. This is like Russian roulette. I don’t even like regular roulette. I’m gonna make Ally put a phone on the next injector she builds. This is ridiculous.

I wait for a lull in traffic, then chicken out. You know what? Fuck it. I spin the selector dial on my bracelet, and slap the activator button. My veins burn as the newest poison is forced into me. The pain takes a long time to go away this time. That worries me. What did she do to me this time? I poke my head out into the street again. I can see cars, but they all look parked. No, wait – they’re moving, but really slowly. A second’s thought and I have it. Either I’m moving super quickly, or time has slowed down. There may or may not be a distinction worth mentioning there, but I decide not to dwell on it just now. I take off at what feels like a slow jog toward my apartment. I’d just go to the lab, but my place is closer and I’m still naked.

I didn’t end up having a new idea last night, so I kept going with this one. My lab rat’s plight is making me laugh, and that was precisely what I needed at the moment I sat down to write. Work is taking its toll on my patience, and vacation is still entirely too far away. I’m burned out, stressed out, and spaced out.

  1. Jenna says:

    It seems a tad bit redundant to mention the naked part at the beginning of part 2 after having just mentioned it in part 1. It makes it seem like he forgot he was naked.

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