"Come on sweetheart, it's time to go."
Abrielle looked into her mothers' withered face and once again wondered why she looked so strange. She was pale, had bags under her eyes, and was very skinny. Her face twitched a bit and her eyes wondered to the door every now and then. The little girl stopped playing with her doll and her brow creased.
"Where are we going?" her three-year-old self asked. Her mother didn't answer at first; she just stared off into space.
"Somewhere nice. They're gonna make you special, honey. Then maybe we'll be ok."
"Who's gonna mommy?" Abrielle asked.
Turning to look at her daughter with a sad look upon her face, the woman said quietly, "Let's go."
The taxi dropped them off at what looked like a very high tech school. It was a mammoth building; it seemed to reach up and touch the sky. It was made of a combination of steel and glass. The mother took her daughters' hand as they hopped out of the taxi and the sun reflected off of the building momentarily blinded Abrielle. It was hard for her to keep up to her mother because she was walking so fast; the woman swiftly scooped up her daughter and quickened her pace. She opened the glass doors to the structure and ignored the gleaming sign at the door:
SAINT-MICHAELS' BOARDING SCHOOL FOR THE INTELLECTUALLY GIFTED
The woman's shoes clacked on the polished floor and Abrielle looked around her in wonder. Everything was sparkly, clean, and open. The huge glass walls provided plenty of natural light that spilled into the entire area. Yet to Abrielle's mind the place looked very dangerous and unwelcoming; all the metal and glass looked very cold. She clutched onto her mother tighter.
Her mother carried her further in to an office built into the side of the building where a middle aged woman sat typing at her laptop. Her mother placed Abrielle on the floor, held her hand tightly and spoke quietly to the woman at the desk.
"I'm here to see Dr. Bryant."
"Do you have any identification with you?" the lady at the desk asked.
"Yes, um, here." Abrielle's mother pulled from her frayed jeans a letter and handed it over to the lady at the desk. Abrielle scrunched her nose in distaste as she caught a whiff of the woman's cheap perfume. The woman at behind the desk put the paper under a scanner that radiated a blue light onto the paper then made a beeping sound.
"Everything seems to be in order. Just so you know, your check should arrive in the mail in 2 to 3 weeks. Just go through that door there and Dr. Bryant will be with you momentarily."
Abrielle's mother pulled her along again and Abrielle looked behind her curiously as she heard the smelly lady speaking into a microphone.
"Dr. Bryant, Ms. Kelly is here to see you. She's on her way."
The next room they entered was much like the entrance, cold and reflecting with artificial lights glaring down on them. Ms. Kelly set Abrielle on her lap so she wouldn't run off, but quickly regretted it.
"Abrielle, stop fidgeting."
"Mommy, I want to go home." Abrielle said, jutting out her bottom lip.
"Not yet sweetheart. Not yet. Just be patient." Abrielle wasn't sure what Mommy meant, but she decided to sit still anyway. Then maybe Mommy would take her home.
The door adjacent to the one they had entered opened and a tall man in a billowing white lab coat entered with a clipboard and a smile ready for them. He had blonde hair and a pleasant face. Nevertheless, Abrielle immediately decided she did not want to see this man. She hid her face into her mother's bosom.
"Hello Ms. Kelly, I'm Doctor Bryant. This must be Abrielle, I presume? Beautiful name, just beautiful. Beautiful child as well." He spoke this all in very quickly as if he was in a hurry. He shook Ms. Kelly's hand and she just nodded as she spoke. Abrielle tried her best to pretend she wasn't listening when he tried to address her.
"Oh, she must be shy. That's alright; we get lots of those here. Now, Ms. Kelly, as I informed you earlier on the phone, we will simply be running some tests today to ready her for further…um, growth and to make sure her body will be ready for the change. We will need her for, oh, I don't know, 4 hours? Does that sound good?" The doctor said, checking his watch and making an agreeable face and Ms. Kelly.
"Hmm? Oh, sure, that's fine; I'll just come pick her up later." She said absentmindedly. Abrielle had at first thought her mother was joking, certainly she wouldn't leave her alone with this man. But when she handed Abrielle over to him she started screaming.
"MOMMYYYYYY! Don't leave me mommy, PLEASE, MOMMMYYYYY! NOOOO!" Tears were freely forming on her reddened cheeks and Ms. Kelly simply blew her a kiss before she left, just as quickly as she had arrived.
Once Dr. Bryant had made certain Ms. Kelly had indeed left the building he picked up the little girl who continued to wail and scream in his ear. She could no longer where they were going through her tears and she no longer cared. Her mother had left her here alone and that's all that mattered. They passed through a multitude of doors until they entered a small hallway with a huge metal door at the end of it and a scanner on the wall. Dr. Bryant put his identification key through the slot. He then stood before the scanner and leaned forward. A laser eye scanner scanned his retina and then the door beeped and opened wide.
At this point Abrielle had stopped crying and looked around her. They passed through a long hallway lined on each side with see through glass doors with more slots for identification keys. Inside she could sometimes see people, young people but she wasn't sure. Again the doctor got scanned at the scanner at the end of the hall and the large metal door opened.
This room immediately made Abrielle's nose hurt. It smelt of old hospitals and metal. She could hear crying and screaming in the room and it sounded very close. Her eyes began tearing up again. This room, unlike the rest of the building had no windows at all that she could see, though the bright artificial lights provided plenty of light. Abrielle startled to find herself being handed off to another doctor, a woman doctor in her mid 20's who placed her onto a metal table. Immediately Abrielle tried to scramble off but was thwarted when the woman doctor grabbed her hands and held them firmly to the metal table.
"Strap her in." she said, her voice as cold as the metal they were surrounded by. Abrielle began to cry again as leather straps were wrapped around her tiny arms, legs, and stomach. A bright light was brought above her head which made her scream harder. A few more doctors had now arrived.
"Give her a shot," one of the doctors said. She screamed as she felt the needle poke her roughly and wouldn't stop screaming. She could hear the mutters of the doctors and a beeping somewhere close to her ear, but couldn't see much because of the light above her. She became tired very quickly and stopped screaming. Now she could only make out a few words.
"…brain scan…needs to remain calm…evolutions…have ever seen…initiate operation Kinetics…"
Her last thought before she dropped into slumber was one only a child would think.
Mommy, where are you?
"Mommy? What's going on?" The tiny, quiet voice held the sound of one who had just woken from a deep sleep. Four-year-old Abrielle sat up and stretched, careful to avoid the fresh stitches below her left ear, then yawned and wiped her eyes on the back of her hand. She had been woken up by the sound of her Mommy shuffling around in her room and making quite a ruckus. She watched her Mommy for a while as she hurriedly opened the little girls' drawers and closets, ripping out clothing and a few toys haphazardly and roughly throwing them into a suitcase.
Abrielle looked out her window and was surprised to find that the moon and stars were still outside and it was still dark. Turning back to her mother she let out a startled gasp as she saw her Mommy's tear strewn face. She quickly got out of bed.
"Mommy what's the matter? Is it bad? Where does it hurt?" she asked, her gentle hands caressing her mothers red face and momentarily stopping her.
"Honey, we-we have to go ok? We have to leave here…we…," Abrielle's mother's eyes traveled to Abrielles's stitches on the side of her face. She gently stroked them and Abrielle winced. "God, I can't do this anymore…" she said sniffling at the end. She stood and left Abrielle there staring after her as she went to another room.
"Quickly Abrielle, put on some warm clothes, ok? We're gonna go for a drive," she heard her mother say from the bathroom.
"But I'm tired, Mommy," Abrielle said, already heading back to bed.
"Abrielle just do it!" her mother shouted. It was her tone of voice that made Abrielle do as she was told. She had never heard her Mommy sound so…frightened. When Abrielle was done, she went and found her mother with a bag strewn across her petit frame and a suitcase in her hand as she grabbed her keys and then Abrielle's hand.
She opened the door to their house and stepped outside. The first thing Abrielle noticed was the blue and white car parked in their driveway. That was certainly not there before. Abrielle's mother quickly stiffened and scooped her into her arms saying over and over again, "No, no, no…" Another car similar to the first parked itself in the small driveway and three police officers exited the cars.
Ms. Kelly ran back into the house locking the door behind her and clutching little Abrielle to her body tightly, searching desperately around the house. Her eyes landed on her bed and she dove to it, putting Abrielle on the floor.
"Honey, hide under the bed and don't make a peep, ok? No matter what, don't say a word. No matter what happens I'll always love you and I WILL find you" Ms. Kelly looked deep into her daughters' baby blue eyes, and then pulled away bringing her finger to her lips and shushing her. She left the room and shortly after that Abrielle heard a tremendous crashing sound. Abrielle had to clamp both hands over her mouth to stifle her scream. Silent tears ran down her face as she heard her mother screaming and glass shattering. Finally the house was quiet but Abrielle still did not make a peep, nor did she leave the bed. Though she was scared under the bed, she was more scared to venture into the darkness of the room.
Suddenly, she heard soft footsteps entering the room and she was scared that the person could hear her breath, so she held it. She could see shiny black shoes from her view under the bed but nothing else. A face loomed frighteningly close to her own and she screamed before she realized whose face it was. Dr. Kingston. He was always giving her ice cream and lollypops when she came in for examination, as they called it. He was always nice to her and never hurt her head or poked sticks into her like the other doctors did.
Dr. Kingston held his hand out to her and she took it and crawled out from under the bed. Dr. Kingston said nothing but started to pull her towards the door. She dug in her heels and he turned.
"What's the matter Abrielle? Are you frightened?" She nodded her head. "Listen honey," he said as he crouched so he was looking straight into her eyes, "Your mommy was very sick and we had to take her away for a while, so she could get better. Do you understand?"
"Yes, but that's not why I'm scared."
"Why are you scared then, Abrielle?"
"Dr. Kingston, I don't want any more tests. Are you gonna take me there so they do more tests? I don't want any more tests." Her eyes began to tear up again.
"No, Abrielle, we're not going to do any more tests on you."
"Do you promise?"