A touch pressed light against my cheek, the fingertip of feeling electrified my skin on its journey down my face. I lay with my head to the side, resting on a soft pillow of plastic. Breath was slow and even, my mind clear, senses sharp. I sat bolt upright listening to the slow tap of water as it fell to the plastic mattress.
Although still dark, I could see across the room, see the featureless walls and the handless, reinforced door. There were no windows and no lights, no openings to the sky, but still I could make out my hands in front of my face and the wound on my arm that gave no pain. I gave thanks realising my stomach had settled, but the gratitude disappeared as I realised the twist and turn had been replaced with an emptiness so deep I felt I hadn’t eaten since my birth.
I caught a faint nectar in the air, a sweet flavourful mist titillating my nose. I turned my head, somehow knowing the light would go on and its bright burn would not force me to turn away. The golden smell grew with each footstep and I stood without thought, pushed my face to the glass at the door, waiting for the veritable banquet of food I expected on trays across their arms.
No suckling pig came with an apple in its mouth, no bowls of sweet gravy to accompany. Just three figures, men by their gait, marched into view, bodies bound by thick armour, gas masks covering their faces. The masks couldn’t hide their surprise, couldn’t prevent them stopping in their tracks, rearing back as they saw me peering out through the door, my mouth fixed in a wide oh as I tried to keep my breath steady, tried not to claw at the door to get to whatever feast they’d hidden the other side.
Nods exchanged between the men and they turned, leaving their disciplined march behind, hurrying, scurrying back out of sight, with a mixture of fear and excitement, dowsing me in the low darkness with a glimmer of sweet meats in their wake. My breath slowed as my disappointment grew, my stomach pulsing as the anticipation retreated. I stepped back away from the door as it snapped with a noise sharper than before. I gave a high laugh to myself. Sat back to the bed. Did these people think I was stupid?
The door remained ajar when I didn’t move, it must have been hours before the lights were back on full, before I could taste them heading back my way, this time their number and bounty they carried much greater. Riot shields were the first I saw. POLICE in bold black letters across the top as they pushed between the gap in the door. I didn’t move, didn’t leap to take what food they’d hid, despite the desperate instructions from my belly, the demands for satisfaction pushing saliva to fill my mouth, forcing me to swallow it down. When I spoke the soldiers reacted as they had before, their shields twitching as they jumped back like they’d never seen a woman talk.
“I need food,” I said, my voice clear, but desperately dry. The pack backed off, letting another through, a man pushed into view. Not a soldier this time, he wore the clothes I’d last seen him in. Dan was forced into the room, dishevelled, squinting in my direction. I stood, the soldiers leaping back, the door slamming as I caught him in my arms, hugging him tight, my nose against the skin on his neck as I drew in his fabulous smell. I could so easily pull my lips back, sink my teeth into his flesh. The instinct was so overwhelming, so near to being sexual I could feel myself getting wet. For the first time I wanted a man inside me.
His deep voice murmured something I couldn’t quite tell as the light went out. All I knew was my colleague and friend was wishing me well. My head snapped back and I threw myself to bench. Eyes wide, I watched him hold his hand out, feeling for the walls in his complete darkness. Pains cramped tight in my belly, my mouth open wide, closing as I forced back the feeling. The smell in the room was so overwhelming I curled in a ball until I felt him stumble at me feet, spraying me with the standing water.
I lunged forward, unable to stop my mouth snapping open.
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.