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.

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Comments
  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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