Fiction Fragment Fridays: Erased (Chapter 2 – Part 1)

I thought I’d return to Erased, since it’s something I can break into easy chunks and schedule ahead of time. Please keep in mind while reading that Erased was a NaNoWriMo project and as such has not been properly formatted/revised/edited/etc.

So anyway, please enjoy part 1 of chapter 2:

Some instinct in Toreshi had her sprinting toward the scream, bare feet padding on the shiny floor. She was about to burst through the first door she came to when the scream came again, further down the hall. Three more doors down she had come right upon the shriek and practically kicked the door open.

It was another identical room, but there was a person in this one, another young woman. And she was absolutely losing her mind.

“Hey!” Toreshi called as she rushed in the room, “Calm down, calm down!”

The girl continued to scream as she pulled at her bonds and bucked on the table, so Toreshi stopped trying to reason with her and began pulling the bonds off instead. As soon as she was free the other girl scrambled across the table and soon found herself collapsing on the floor in a heap, unable to stand on her own. With a shout of pain and a small whimper, she dragged herself into the corner of the room and looked up at Toreshi with something like suspicion in her eyes. “Who the hell are you?” she demanded in a croaking, sore-sounding voice.

Toreshi examined the girl for a moment, as she was as yet unsure what to say. The other girl was similar in build, but a little taller and much bustier, from what Toreshi could tell beneath the white pyjamas. She had shoulder-length hair of a fiery red shade, and her bright, ice-blue eyes had a very cat-like distinction to them. Overall, Toreshi thought she was a very classically beautiful young lady.

“I’m…not sure who I am, exactly,” Toreshi finally replied, clearing her throat a few times to get used to speaking. “But I can promise you that I’m not the one who put you here. I woke up in a room just like this.”

The girl looked wary. “Woke up?” she asked with one eyebrow slightly raised.

Toreshi rethought her phrasing. “Well, not woke up exactly…” she admitted, “It was more like…I wasn’t, and then I was…” She made a face to herself. “Do you get what I’m saying?”

The other girl nodded slightly. “I do, actually…”

“That’s how it was for me too.”

The male voice made the two women jump in alarm. Toreshi let out a little yelp as she whirled toward the door. Standing there was a man, older than the two women, but still in the prime of life. He was holding up both of his hands as though to show that he meant them no harm. He also, was in a set of the white pyjamas.

“Sorry,” he apologized, “I didn’t mean to startle you. I heard the scream and came to investigate.”

For the second time in as many minutes Toreshi found herself taking inventory of the newcomer. He was taller than either of the women, a good ten inches taller than Toreshi, and a little larger, but fit. He had short, dark brown hair and a goatee that was in desperate need of trimming, and he was squinting his hazel eyes as though he was having trouble seeing properly.

Toreshi noticed then that he had a note board tucked under his right arm. She gestured toward it while asking simply, “Name?”

He lowered his hands and shrugged a little. “The only word I can make out is ‘Bodhi’, but I can’t remember if that’s my name or not.” He seemed exceptionally calm about the entire ordeal. Without prompting, he reached back and grabbed the note board from outside the door of the room they were currently in. He glanced at the front page and then to the girl on the floor. “It’s you,” he explained, gesturing toward the photo, “It says Kattenya.”

The girl scrunched her nose up a bit. “Kattenya?” she questioned, “Sounds…weird.” She tried to push herself up again and when she slipped Toreshi rushed forward to help her. She murmured a quiet thanks as she threw her arm around Toreshi’s shoulders. “So we’ve got names…kinda. But what the hell is going on here?”

“I just…’woke up’ a little while ago,” Bodhi offered with another shrug, “I had only just found this,” He lifted his note board. “When I heard you scream.” He took a cursory glance up and down the hallway before turning back to the women. “It’s a rather quiet facility, isn’t it?”

Toreshi raised an eyebrow and nodded.

Bodhi stepped forward and took Kattenya’s other arm. “Shall we move on together?” he asked.

The next half a dozen rooms they checked were identical, but empty. Most looked as though they’d never been inhabited, but they came across two that had loosened bonds on the tables and loose tubing hanging from the IV racks. They found no note boards.

As they walked, Kattenya’s legs became more steady and eventually she took her arms from around the others’ shoulders and began to walk of her own accord. The three were all rather quiet, but for different reasons. Bodhi seemed to be a creature of unusual calm, whereas Kattenya was looking around nervously and Toreshi was biting her tongue to keep from screaming.

Eventually they found themselves, mercifully, at the end of the hallway. There was one final door, marked with a strange phrase: Testor Cleansing Room.

With a glance first at each of the women, Bodhi turned the doorknob and pushed through.

It was similar in appearance to any sports team’s locker room, but unnaturally clean. Like the hallway and rooms behind them, the walls, ceiling, and floor were all bright white and extraordinarily pristine. To both the left and the right were rows shiny silver lockers. Toreshi counted at least twenty. At the back of the room, spanning the entire width of the room, was a frosted glass wall, about four feet high. Above the frosted glass they could see sparkling silver shower heads. There was a large shelving unit filled with fluffy white towels to the edge of the shower area. Nothing about the room indicated if it was for men, women, or whether it was unisex, but Toreshi suspected it was the latter.

Kattenya stepped cautiously up to the first locker. She examined the area where the lock would normally be; instead, there was a small name tag and what appeared to be a thumbprint analyzer. She ran her finger along the name tag. “It’s you,” she said, turning to Bodhi.

With a look of keen interest, Bodhi stepped forward and examined the name on the tag. “Hmmm,” he mumbled. After what seemed to the women like a long moment, he pressed his thumb to the analyzer. After only a second and a faint beep, the locker door popped quietly open.

Toreshi and Kattenya leaned over Bodhi’s shoulders. There wasn’t a great deal in the locker, but Bodhi couldn’t help letting out a small cry of happiness as he reached in a snagged a pair of black, square-rimmed glasses and shoved them on his face. “Oh that’s so much better,” he sighed, holding his hands out in front of his face and smiling at the women.

Toreshi gave him a cursory smile and gestured back to the locker. “Looks like there’s some clothes in there as well,” she told him. They were the only other items in the locker.

Kattenya was already examining the rest of the lockers. They all had strange names on them that didn’t quite sound like real names. In the second row she found hers, and pointed a few down to Toreshi’s. Together, the women pressed their thumbs to the analyzers and listened to the quiet beep and gentle pop as the lockers opened.

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