Lab Rat part 22

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

“I’m feeding you intravenously. Power use left you weaker than I had guessed based on your appearance. I – I killed you. The testing was too frequent. I didn’t give you enough time to recuperate from yesterday and the day before. I’m sorry.” I feel my eyes water. It’s shocking to hear Ally’s humanity. If I was scared before, now I’m terrified. My heart monitor beeps a little faster. “I’m going to fix you, Asher.” Her voice resumes its clinical chill, and it also rings with authority and confidence. That goes a long way toward calming me. That’s the Ally I know. “I’ll be back in a minute,” she tells me. I respond by laying there and breathing.

I must have slept, because I startle when I hear the door swing open and closed. The towel is back, wiping me clean of the remainder of the wet sticky stuff. I force my eyes open, and look up. Ally is there, but she’s got short hair, and her face is pockmarked with blisters. I thought she was supposed to be wearing the fire suit. Her black shirt is soggy and there are holes in the shoulders. It’s pretty badly tattered. Her eyes are reddened and puffy. I can’t meet her gaze like that, so I let my own wander. I instantly get a headache, but I’ve been kept in the dark too long as it is. I confirm I’m in the exam room. There’s a pair of IV bags hanging over me, with tubes running out of my line of sight. I try to turn my head, but I can’t.

I let my eyes return to center. My head is still pounding. I can’t see Ally anymore, but I hear her doing something with the stuff she laid out. “I’ve been force feeding you proteins and some of the more exotic intravenous fluids for the last three hours, Asher. You’ve taken in about double what you weighed after you collapsed. It’s not as much as you think it is. This next part isn’t going to be fun though, and I can’t give you anything to numb it. Anesthetics would only be purged immediately. I’m truly sorry.”

She leans over me, and her pale green eyes meet my muddy brown ones. I feel a stab in my arm, and the burn of the injection washes through me. The burn doesn’t dissipate this time. The itching sensation that had been lingering just below my attention leaps to the forefront. Every nerve feels the march of a thousand ants, until I think I’m going insane. Then it gets bad.

The bugs stop crawling and start biting into me. My entire body feels like it’s being cut to ribbons. I think my eyes are open, but I can’t make sense of anything I see. There is a hiss that I’m pretty sure is me trying to scream. The air burns my vocal cords on the way out, cooking them and drawing them tight enough that I can finally give voice to my agony. I do so. My arms no longer burn with exertion, but they still burn. I’m pulling against the straps on the gurney now, and I can feel them bite into my biceps and chest. I keep howling, and my legs suddenly have strength enough to thrash. Eventually I run out of air, but I can’t inhale. The pain finally stops.

I’m feeling the need to talk of personal issues. I even went so far as to flip a coin to decide what I was posting for today. Actually, I didn’t flip a coin. The thoughts were too inchoate to form any sort of story. Perhaps tomorrow. Besides, Bert (a friend of mine) said no breaks from my abuse of poor Asher. Maybe one day he’ll catch a break. As for me, my break is coming. I just have to hang on one minute longer.


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