This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every Tuesday and Thursday.
It was dark and from what I could see, I was currently tied to a hospital bed. There was a bright light above me, burning into my eyes, and if I turned my head left I could see a tray of surgical steel instruments laying on one of those medical tables. If I strained right, a curtain hovered close to the bed.
My arms and legs both were tied down, and I couldn't lift my head much. I flopped back on what I supposed actually was a hospital bed and tried to tell if I'd been operated on just by concentrating on my body parts. The instruments next to me were all clean--if they'd been covered in blood I'm sure I would have had a panic attack and passed out again.
There didn't seem to be anyone else in the room with me. Besides the pounding of my pulse in my ears I could hear the tick of a clock and the hum of some hospital machine.
Okay, next step: had my memory been altered? Aainn's grandfather had ruthlessly erased Aainn's memory. But the fact that I could remember him was a good sign. I hoped I could remember everything. Since I didn't know that much about black magie, I was unclear how much could be done to me while unconscious. Hopefully nothing. I don't think even my unconscious self could respond to my truename.
What time was it? What day was it even? Also my nose was itchy. Very itchy. And one of the straps on my lower leg was a little to tight.
Suddenly I heard the clip of shoes echoing down a hallway and the murmur of low voices. I closed my eyes and tried to look...drugged? Had I been drugged, or was it all magie?
Light fell across my closed eyes as a door near the foot of the bed opened and closed. Two sets of squeaky hospital shoes and two male voices entered the room.
The footsteps came closer.
"Hello, Megenireylle." Now that voice I recognized. Mr. Durithean. My eyes popped open without a second thought to stare at his wrinkled nose.
"Hello." I croaked out, surprised to hear how sore my voice sounded.
"I'm glad you finally were able to stop by." He said, while leaning over my table. I'd never seen him up close and all--I mean, his picture was all over town--but he had nice, grandfatherly eyes. His eyes couldn't fool me through. I knew what evil was inside.
I didn't respond. It's true he knew my truename--but that didn't mean I needed to just offer information to him. I'd fight him. As much as I could.
"You might be wondering why you are here, Megenireylle." The sound of my name on his lips made my entire body break out in chills. Besides myself, the only person I'd heard use that name was Aainn.
I continued to say nothing.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you. You and I both know that I can't risk that, until I acquire other...specimens. That brings me to why you are here today."
He moved out my my view, and I feel cold hands on me. I tried to jerk away, but being tied to a table put quite a damper on my show of resistance.
"Don't worry, that's not me, Megenireylle. That's simply the doctor checking your temperature and heart rate."
Having a doctor touch me didn't appeal to me either.
"As I was saying, I need you for something. I'm getting old, you see. I need more...power. You are very powerful. After examining you, we have ascertained that you will be most fertile in two weeks. At that time you will be artificially inseminated. As I get older, my need for more vessels grows. The Doctor here has told me that at the time of Aainn's death I will need two lines to sustain me. One will just not be enough any longer."
Was it just my vision, or was the room going dark? It felt like my heart was flopping in my chest. Did he just say...
"I can tell that you must be alarmed. Please know that I will not be harming your person. Modern medicine has advanced enough that I don't have to resort to personally...depositing my offspring inside you."
"As I was saying, the clones you will be impregnated with will not be part of your genetic makeup. You will be a surrogate only. Growing sheltered in your womb with your magie will insure they soak up the best particles. Modern science thinks magie is hereditary--and it is--but, if you expose a child without magie to high levels of magie within the womb--that child's cortex will develop rudimentary magie abilities. Thus, any children you provide me with will practically teem with magie just from the sheer fact of incubating in your person. Quite extraordinary science, isn't it."
He paused then, as if waiting for me to ask questions. I don't think I have any questions. I just know I have to get out of here before two weeks is up.
Suddenly something nags at the back of my head.
"Mai?" I ask, my throat still sore. "Is this what you did to Mai?"
I hear a low throaty laugh, followed by more pacing.
"Alas, after Mai foiled my plans to have your memory safely disposed of, I had to punish her." Durithean says. "However, she was extremely belligerent. I couldn't kill her outright; it does not look good when ones own family members die mysteriously. First I threatened her, then I killed her pair, and then when she still tried to double cross me, I had to take extra steps to ensure her cooperation. The fine details, I'm sure, are not important to you. But I'm glad you noticed. You really are smart."
I remembered how broken Mai had looked the few times I'd seen her. Her memory and her body in shambles. I hoped what her friends had told me was true, that she would be able to get away now that they had turned me over. May it be the one good thing to happen. I want Mai to heal.
But now I knew that I would kill Mr. Durithean. If it was the last thing I did. Even if it took all of Aainn's magie away. You just can't use people and get away with it like this. One day he would pay.
"The Doctor is going to wheel you into your cell now." Says Durithean, from near the door. "The straps will come undone as soon as we lock the door and you can rest until ready for the procedure. Please be aware there are other tests we need to run in the next few weeks."
I hear a door open and close again, and then a pair of footsteps fade away. I'm left with the Doctor, I guess. I still can't see him, but I can hear him rustling papers and moving around. Soon I hear the click of him unclasping my wheel breaks on my bed (at least, that is what I assumed was happening) and the ceiling starts to move as he presumably is pushing me towards whatever space I'm going to occupy for the foreseeable future.
He stops to open the door and push me in. I hear the click of the lock as he leaves, and suddenly my bonds are free. I try to push myself up but the room spins suddenly as blood rushes back to my foot. Ouch. How long had I been tied up? I still didn't know what day it was. Or what time it was.
But I have my memories of Aainn. Mr. Durithean is probably is letting me keep them for now out of spite--but I don't care. As far as possessions go, these are my most precious. I must keep the memories of Aainn and I safe until I can get out of here.
And I will get out of here.
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