For my first Fiction Fragment Friday I decided to share the first half of the first chapter of a little something that no one aside from myself has seen yet. It was my NaNovel for 2012; I barely broke the surface on it, but someday when I finish working on my current manuscript and work-in-progress, I’ll definitely be getting back to it.
Erased is a sci-fi fantasy about a group of people who are “erased” by the Galactic Militia for reasons they have yet to discover. They have to rediscover themselves while attempting to discover what was done to them, and for some of them these discoveries will not be at all pleasant.
So without further ado, and keeping in mind that this is a very rough draft that has not been revised or edited in any way, here is Part 1 of Chapter one of Erased:
It wasn’t quite like waking up. If she had to describe the feeling, it was almost as though she’d been awake the entire time, aware of a living state, and yet unaware of herself or anything around her. She had no sense of time passing, or of the world around her, but she had a vague idea of stillness, silence.
When she “woke up”, her eyes were already open, staring, unblinking. It was as though she had been blind but suddenly was able to see, and what she saw was a perfectly pristine white ceiling. There was no sound, no noise aside from a steady, constant hum.
It took a few moments (minutes? hours?) for her brain to catch up with her eyes and realize what she was seeing. She blinked a few times, thoughts muddled, and tried to shake her head, but it wouldn’t move. For a moment she thought with calm surprise that she must be paralyzed, but a few seconds later she realized that she was, in fact, tied down. She struggled against the bonds and found them quite firm. She was becoming more aware now, and as such she was beginning to panic a little. She could feel thick leather bonds at her wrists, ankles, and waist, and something else, cold and hard, around her head and over her mouth (so she couldn’t scream?). She couldn’t move her head more than half an inch, so she strained her eyes as much as she could. She couldn’t see much. She was laying on some kind of small metal table and there was an IV rack standing near her head. She could see tubes hanging from the IV bags, but couldn’t feel whether they were actually attached to her body or not. The room seemed to be otherwise empty, except for a large mirror on the wall to her left, but from this position she couldn’t see into it.
She took a deep breath to calm her rapidly accelerating heart beat. Calm down, she thought to herself, Think. Get free.
It took a while, slowly examining what she could in her prone state, but she eventually found that she could twist her right wrist just far enough to feel the buckle on her bond.
It was slow, painstaking, and several times she had to stop, take a breath, and calm her heart again, but eventually she managed to prise the leather through the buckle and free her right hand. Once one limb was free, the others came quickly. It took her a few moments to figure out the hard bond around her face, but she she finally found the small clasp and ripped herself free. She found herself practically dying to let out a good scream. She restrained herself, taking a few large gulps of air instead. It felt good to be able to breathe through her mouth.
Sitting up felt strange. Her body was stiff, sleepy, weak. Her legs, especially, felt limp and thin, as though they hadn’t been used for a while and the muscles had died away. She tried wiggling her toes. She succeeded, but they had a dull ache, as one might experience while stricken with the flu. Upon closer examination of her body, she found that the IV tubes were, in fact, jammed into her skin in several spots. She ripped two tubes out of the underside of each elbow, and three more out of her wrists. Small droplets of blood pooled at each spot, but she felt better with the tubes gone.
Tentatively, she slid herself to the edge of the steel table and reached a toe out to the floor. Gently, slowly, she eased forward, only to grab desperately at the table as her knees buckled beneath her. She could barely support her own weight between her legs and arms, so she let herself bump down to the floor.
For what seemed like a long time, she stretched her limbs, leaned them into the walls and floors, tried to make them wake up. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew that, logically, if she’d been prone on the table for any length of time, she’d need extensive physiotherapy to get her muscles working properly again. But in another, further back part of her mind, somehow she knew that the rules didn’t apply to her. It was a silly, childish notion, and yet she knew it to be true. So she stretched, and pushed, and soon enough she was lifting herself back up, standing on achy legs, helping herself steady with achy arms.
It was only at this point that she finally thought to look into the mirror.