3:33 am, Hargreaves Institute, Univ. of Western Indiana, Krackow, IN
Hiss! Victoria Boyd awoke with a start. She fluttered her eyes in the pitch darkness.
“Good morning Tory. Or do you prefer good night, dear heart?” The voice, low and hoarse, was right by her right ear. Boyd tried to move each one of her limbs. Nothing. Locked inside her body, Boyd tried to will herself up from from the twin bed.
“Oh my pet don’t strain yourself. We both know how this will end.” This time the harsh whisper was louder and on the left side of her head. Boyd’s heart began to pick up its pace. The voice chuckled. An unnatural sound that reminded Boyd of the worn dryer in her grandmother’s basement. The laughter grew louder and Boyd’s head rang like a bell. Boyd took a steadying breath and checked the digital readout on the ceiling.
The laughter echoed away. Her ears sharpened. Nothing. Time oozed. Boyd tensed. She calculated pi in her head and then switched to Judas Priest songs when the sequence of numbers began to lull her into slumber.
Halfway into “Victims of Changes” Boyd noticed movement in her peripheral vision. With all her might she shifted her right eye slightly. Tall, impossibly tall, dark figures were milling around her bed. The weight of being watched blanketed her. Boyd twitched the fingers of her left hand. The darkness thickened. Liquid night poured over her chest making every breath hurt. She fought hard not to fight.
Hands, hard and china smooth, roamed over every inch of her body. Touch turnt to slap. Boyd counted the punches, noting their severity and location. Its headboard banging against the wall, the twin bed quaked.
“Is this what you wanted? Will it ever be enough, Tory! You’ll never be her, you know that don’t you?”
Suddenly Boyd was lifted from the bed. Higher and higher, she floated. Her forehead smacked the ceiling hard. Boyd let loose a scream and she was pitched into the far wall. Crumbled against the floor finally able to control her body, Boyd laughed into the rising sun.
“Another calm night Ms. Boyd?” Reina asked as she unfastened the sensors. “You looked as peaceful as a baby from the control room. Even respiration and normal range of REM. How are these drug trials treating you?”
Victoria Boyd cracked her neck and rolled her shoulders. A little plaster dust fell from her hair. Tomorrow there would be bruises. “Nothing to lose sleep over.”