Ch 3 ~ Membrane
She had heard of muscle memory and so when she flinched she wasn’t terribly surprised. She had flinched this way for this reason before. What did surprise her was the sense of time for this entire setting. Because it wasn’t now; it wasn’t here. It was someplace off…somewhere.
A short average-sized man stood in darkness in some kind of room. A room that felt large despite the fact that she couldn’t make out much beyond the man and his illusive shadow. Like anonymity personified, he hovered over a thickness that teased at exposure in the gathered darkness.
She narrowed her focus, concentrating her mind to put meaning to the edge of a context that somehow bound itself into black inky secrecy. Eventually, she recognized a bed, a form. A body yes, a body, she confirmed in her mind…a body that lay in the bed. Someone asleep? She couldn’t tell exactly but knew somehow that the person was alive even if every other appearance suggested otherwise. The sudden quiet hum of machinery that penetrated her mind surprised her at first then reassured her when she realized what it was. Her eyes quickly chased out meaning. She could see now that the wavelenghts pulsing from the source of the noise were saturated halos that flickered in and out ever so subtlely from beyond the encasement in which they were housed…from beyond the boxes of what she assumed only could be medical equipment. In a deathly-still quiet room. With a body lying just as dealthy still. In a bed. With a chillingly-shadowed man standing — no…prowling — silently over it. More alarmingly, over the person in it.
Why am I here, she wondered in her mind, in this space, in the dark.
And as if he heard her —
of course he couldn’t have just heard me, she panicked abruptly and more than what she was certain was quite loudly into the silence —
And as if he had heard her..she flinched. Because he had turned his head under and he had cast his eyes over an average-sized shoulder — his shoulder — to deliver a hooded and ominous gaze directly into the center of her eyes — into the center of Emily’s pools.
Holding your breath was radically difficult, she now knew, when you felt deep within each molecule of your being that your thoughts and your entire thought process…was alive. Thought as form. Intention as presence. Made manifest.
Nearly hyperventilating, she tried desparately not to move. She was virtually transparent — even though, for crap’s sake!, she was barely in the same physical space! — she fought the possibililty of materializing and blossoming out from an uncontrolled will into a room that on a primal level every impulse in her shouted flight! NOW! Her heart raced so furiously that her pulse thrashed within her eardrums and nearly deafened her. She forced herself not to blink from the compression. Staring straight into his cold eyes, in the void of his expressionless stare, she saw nothing that would identify him. But what she suddenly did see startled her more than she already had been startled…even more than the fact that somehow he had become aware of her intrusion. She realized he must be thinking “Intrusion.” She allowed the word to sink into her aura like an anchor, locking her firmly to this place. Or like a pair of cement boots, plummeting her to the drown in the depths of her own demise. Intrusion into what, she nearly screamed within her brain. Into why?
Then, imperceptibly at first, the wheels turned in his head. She watched a series, a small tightly compact series, of cogs and screws whirl slowly into a circular progression that suggested forward movement born from a firmly coupled feat of engineering. Images flickered across the blank canvas that was his darkened mind. Astounded, she found herself leaning toward him, hunched forward scrunching her eyes, compelling them to render the images that flew rapidly past in the front of his mind. There were backwards the images…entertainment-newscasts? mixed-reality shows? social platforms? tweets?
“What?” she gasped.
His eyebrow cocked itself and the machinery behind his eyes immediately hid itself from her view. Several seconds passed as she tried to make sense of what she had just seen. Several more seconds passed until she realized she had gasped not only in her mind but through her breath. Her startled state had become manifest, and the short menacing figure with the machinery in his head had heard.
It was then, that Emily blinked.
NaNoWriMos total word count this chapter: 760; total word count todate (not including this notation) this chapter: 2,403.