A touch pressed light against my cheek, the fingertip of feeling running down my face. I lay with my head to the side, resting on a soft pillow of plastic. Breath panted in and out, my lungs not listening as I tried to calm, tried to take in all the air I needed blow away the cotton wool in my brain. I wanted so much to move, but my head was so heavy like it was encased in lead. The touch came again and my eyelids obeyed my instruction, but all that filled the space was darkness. Another stroke ran down my face and I turned, looked up into the nothing, my hand slowly moving, rising to touch my cold, pallid cheek. My finger came back wet.
Moving to dodge the drops, sensation rose from my limbs as I swayed to sit, my feet edging down to dip into the puddle of ice cold water. Head throbbing, I felt it must have been a good night, but with no alcohol breath stinging my tongue. My breasts ached, arms were heavy, my stomach churned like I’d eaten a bad meal. I sat unable to do anything but think until I heard an echo of movement in the distance.
Light came through a square glass in the wall, then I realised it was a door when I caught sight of a line of light piercing low to the ground. The light was bright and artificial, but let me see the white wall through the glass as many steps grew closer. With control of my breath regained, my attention fell to my hands and the wrinkled, swollen fingertips like I’d spent far too long in a hot bath. Turning around the room, I saw it was a small rectangle, much like a prison cell, but anything more I couldn’t tell. The light was gone before I could analyse, then bright again, but focused and shining in my face. I looked away, turning to the side, the torch beam running down my body, along the hospital gown covering my torso before it flickered out. My eyes snapped to the square, catching only the side of the face, a gas mask covering their guilty features.
Foreign tears flowed, a grief pressing down on my shoulders as the corridor light cut off. I cried cold tears for Dan and Mike, for myself and my stupidity. I cried for Toni and what should have been, curling into a ball, my spine aching as I closed myself in, but I sprang wide, my eyes shooting to the door as with a crack of the mechanism, it gave up. Dan, I thought as joy took over my face, my hand pushing the tears to the side.
I stood, unsteady at first, the cold water lapping at my toes. Taking care not to splash, I moved to the door, guided by a new dim light the other side. The door was heavy, but opened out as I heaved. Warm air spilled in from the corridor as my breath sucked in, my toe smacking hard against the raised step.
Breathing through the pain, I pushed harder, peering around to the left and the small bulkhead light over a door at the far end of the white walled corridor. My steps were measured and even, my head twitching side to side. Along the corridor I saw more metal doors, each pronounced from the wall, each unlocked, but although their number was not too great, I did not understand how I would count. A thought rushed into my head and turned around too quickly, my brain moving slower than my head, my hands pushing out to the walls for support. Behind me were more doors either side of the corridor, all open, but no one yet to come out. I was alone. Creeping forward, afraid of my shadow, still I looked to the corner, pleased I could see no camera. Arriving at the next cell, I struggled with the steel, quickly glancing away from the motionless body lain on the bed with an arm hanging down to the floor.
With a churn of my stomach I turned and continue my walk, each step bringing bile into my throat and a metallic sting, growing a fear I was bleeding from the inside. Step after step I kept it together, my hands soon touching at the far wall where I waited a moment, letting the cooling breeze from the crack wash over me. The bile subsided and I hooked my fingers in the crack, pulling the door wide, holding my other hand to shield my eyes from the high, bright lights. A gust of wind rattled though my robe and realised for the first time, I was naked under the gown.
Wrapping my arms around my chest, I took a first step out into the open and let the harsh lights bare down on my skin. Blinking away the pain searing through my eyes, my hand held to my brow, I squinted into the dark shadows. I was outside in a square of concrete bounded by a chain link fence, beyond that fence I saw another, then only darkness. A single gate waited in the far corner. It was open. I couldn’t wait, pushed through the pain in my legs, hurrying towards my escape. Stopping only when it slid shut, slamming hard, echoing against the steel post buried in the concrete. Gasping, I turned and watched the door at my back sealed tight against the wall.
I was trapped outside, the wind blowing right through me, but thoughts soon turned elsewhere as I saw a figure, a woman dressed much like I was in the furthest corner. Hunched over on her feet, her knees tucked up to her chest, long dark hair flowed to the cold concrete, her body rocking.
“Hello,” I said, my voice quiet and dry as I took slow steps towards her, trying to keep my heart rate slow, trying to ignore her resemblance to who I was looking for. Her movement was too quick for me, too quick even if I’d had full control. She rose, her eyes glazed white, dark, dried blood ran down the front of her gown, her face lined with open wounds as she leapt at me.
I tripped, falling back, head cracking against the floor. Her teeth were deep in my arm before the spinning calmed. She convulsed, shaking as static coursed across her body and I turned, following thin wires trailing from the side of her head to the yellow gun poking through the fence. I saw the long barrel at its side and the flash of something from within, felt a sharp sting to my thigh and I lost control for the second time as all went dark.
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.