Welcome back to Short Short Sunday! Sorry for not posting last week – as I said earlier, I haven’t been feeling all that well. But we’re up and running this time, and hopefully will be for a little while. Per usual, the full piece is under the cut (aka, read the first paragraph or two, and then click “Read More” for the full one). For all pieces of Short Story Sunday, click the page up above. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
4: Waking Up Instincts
her nostrils when she started coming to her senses, and she anticipated her
surroundings before opening her eyes. The cold steel beneath her wrists felt
how the room smelled – crisp and sterile. As her eyelids flickered open, she
found herself in another near-empty box. Except this time it was a room, she
was handcuffed to a hospital bed, and there was a small square of a window that
let in the sun.
the strain only let her remain upright for a few seconds. This exercise
revealed that she wore a thin hospital gown, and at least three electronic pads
stuck to her wrists. Twisting her neck gave her the view of a screen above her
head, and on it flickered lights and words showing her vital signs.
far away from the machines she could get before the electronic pads stopped
pillow. Breathing came easier this way, nearly flat, and she let herself rest.
Her eyes closed again as she wracked her brain.
waking up in a storage container. The situation still made no sense. Three men
trying to subdue her, take her somewhere? Why hadn’t they just taken her while
she was out the first time?
fought the flashback that made her pass out in the container. Do not think about blood.
her questions – Who was she? Where was she? What happened? – she did not want
to remember whatever that blood-filled event was.
past her internal wall, ones she was afraid to even ask in case of what the
answer was, and she squeezed her eyes harder. But her internal struggle stopped
at the sound of the door opening.
flesh,” a deep voice drawled. “There are lot of people looking to get access to
you, young lady.”
gaze met a beanpole-thin doctor. At least, he seemed to be a doctor. Her gut
told her to question everything. In this case, that meant not taking the white
medical coat embroidered with “Dr. Hoo” at face value. As her gaze returned to
his narrow face, he smirked at her.
said. His face was the picture of kindness and sincerity. But his voiced failed
to match – it dripped with patronization. “I didn’t want to believe that you
were who they said you were. Didn’t want to get my hopes up before you woke up,
you know.” He sat down on the edge of the bed, and she involuntarily recoiled.
But the handcuffs gave her only an inch or two of leeway, and she couldn’t get
away from him. He patted her knee, but to her horror she discovered that she
lacked the physical strength to kick it off. Or to kick him in general.
doctor, he smirked again at her inability to get rid of him. She felt sick to
her stomach. “And to find out that you were
coming in relatively unharmed other than fainting, well,” he paused and leaned
closer to her face. The stench of garlic blasted her nostrils, but that wasn’t
the only reason she felt faint again. “Let’s just say it was music to my ears,”
door led to Hoo jerking himself away from her. She did her best to keep her
face clear, but internally she breathed a sigh of relief. That relief lasted
only seconds, though, as she tensed up again upon seeing the figure in the
Hoo’s and the girl’s own height, making her near 5’10”. Her skin reminded the
girl of milk, it was so white. The pile of jet-black curls accentuated her skin
color. The woman strode in the door, and Hoo hastily jumped off the bed and
stood at attention. The click-clack of high heels on cold tile echoed in the
small room. “I know you have a personal vendetta against H, for some reason
that I neither know, nor care about. But if you lay a hand on her – physically,
mentally, emotionally, in any way at all – you will have me to deal with.
caramel-colored skin tinged red, in either embarrassment or anger. “Yes, ma’am,”
he barked. Ah, it’s anger, H noted to
herself. That’s interesting.
attention to the girl in the hospital bed. “Well, aren’t you a sight for sore
eyes.” A lack of response did not deter her. Rather, it made her smile. “I’d
recognize that stubbornness anywhere. I have yet to meet anyone more stubborn
that you, H.”
reaction. She jerked her head back, and looked at the woman again. “H?” she
asked, confused. There’s no way my name
is a letter, she thought. But logic reminded her that the woman could be
fishing for information. Do not trust her,
she reminded herself.
sat just moments earlier and cocked her head to one side. “You really don’t remember anything,” she said. Then
a smile came over her face. “Washington would have a fit if they knew.” She
laughed, hard, and covered her mouth with her hand. Biting her lip, H tried to
guess her age. 50? 30?
wiped tears away from her eyes. “Hoo,” she called, and the doctor stood back at
attention at the foot of H’s bed. “Get in contact with the CCS. Let them know
that I’m ready to go ahead with it once they send the information and payment.”
swiftly leaving the room. As he left, H automatically took note of his physical
attributes: 6’2”, hazel eyes, dark brown hair cut to Army regulation, tattoo of
“1212” on the back of the neck in black ink, race unclear, ethnicity probably
to par, even if they took some time to wake up,” the woman noted, checking a
watch briefly. It started H out of her reverie to find the woman’s shrewd eyes
appraising her. “You can’t help but do that,” the woman explained. “Taking note
of people A key instinct of yours.”
fine. You don’t have to say a word.” She got off the bed and straightened her
skirt. “It’s all the same to me. Just remember that I know everything that you
want to know. For now, though, I’ll tell you that yes, your name is H. And mine
as possible in her voice. “That doesn’t really suit a professional like you.”
said that the first time we met, too.”