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You Can Sleep When You're Dead

Day 2 Part 2: Did mom and dad do it?

By Narcisus I. Xilian


Very late Tuesday night, April 5, 2010

I am half hesitant to write what I have read; half hesitant to even believe it. Nevertheless this is what I have read. I will skip through pieces due to either their graphic nature or their irrelevance.

November 3, 2 005

Today Loran told me to begin making a work journal. She told me to make one for her but she gave me lots of notebooks to choose from and this one had such a pretty green cover. Green's my favorite color. Did you know that? I got in a fight with Abigal yesterday. She said that Loran wasn't my real mommy and that Loran didn't really care about me because she loved her more. I asked Loran and she kneeled down and said, "I love you very much Cailyn. Why don't you call me Loran instead of mommy so you know I care about you?"

I'm sorry for breaking in my re-writing but that one sentence strikes me as so sad I couldn't help it. When she first wrote this journal she probably thought that actually meant she loved her, and not that she was trying to distance her from any familial relationship. Like a test subject that just happens to take up house space.

It's disgusting.

So I call her Loran now. Jordan says I can call him by his first name instead of daddy too. I was so proud! I told Abigail today and she laughed at me. She said that meant they didn't love me but Loran said she did and I believe her more than I believe Abigail who laughs at me and makes fun of me all the time.

When I asked if I could spend more time with Loran she let me come to work with her. Before she let me help her she told me that I had to either help for a long, long time or I had to not help her. I said I would help, she's my mommy and Issa always says we have to help our parents because we are their children. I think he was just trying to act like an adult again.

So I sat on this big chair- I don't even think Jordan would have filled it!- and I helped. Well… the chair part wasn't that much fun because these people I didn't know with their mouths covered with paper and their hands covered in plastic gloves (They gave me a pair of gloves when I asked so they must be okay people) were poking me with needles. Loran said that I was brave when I let them poke me! It hurt a little bit though.

That was when she gave me the notebooks. I took a blue one and wrote 'professionally' (I looked it up it means 'Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession' but I don't know what that means so I asked Loran. She said it meant like a grown up) about what being poked by the needles felt like. Don't tell Loran that I took you because she said I could only have one. But you were so pretty with your green cover.

I'm tired. I'll go to bed and tell you about helping Loran again later.

Cailyn

P.S. I can sign my name now! Isn't it pretty?

Isn't that just depressing? I asked Leon about the date and he said she must have been eleven. Who 'pokes' an eleven year old child with needles that have nothing to do with curing them of a disease they have? I'm going to skip through her eleven year old rants about Abigail and school and skip to 'helping Loran again'.

November 17, 2005

I don't know if I want to help Loran again. They poked me again but this time they took my blood. I knew Abigail was wrong when she said blood was blue-it looked red to me. I asked the people in the white clothes (they said they were called 'scientists') why they were taking my blood and one of them- I think it was a girl- said 'We are trying to save a lot of people from dying. You do want to help don't you?' I want to help! But they didn't answer when I asked what we were trying to save them from.

After I asked why one of the scientists (a guy) asked what I thought 'dead' meant. When I looked it up it said: 'no longer alive: having passed from the living state to being no longer alive'. Why would it not be alive? I'm alive. Loran's alive. The scientists are alive. Another scientist (the girl who told me I was helping people) said that there were lots of things that weren't alive- like rocks and dirt. The guy scientist said that 'alive things can die- which means they become dead'.

I don't want to be a rock.

I just had to butt in here after that statement. She was so innocent back then! Who else can say 'I don't want to be a rock' when someone says they could die? All the same that makes it worse.

I told him I liked dead things- I like rocks, they have pretty colors and they sparkle sometimes! He laughed and said that was a good thing. I wonder why- maybe I'll be helping sort pebbles like the other kids do at school in the play ground. I especially like the shiny pink rocks- Miss Heather said it was called a 'rose quartz'- it sounds like a flower!

Issa showed me a comic book Loran bought him earlier. It was about a super-hero. I told him I wanted to be a super-hero but Abigail heard me and laughed at me again. She said I couldn't be a super-hero because I would be evil. I'm not evil!

Cailyn

P.S. Loran said I shouldn't put my last name when I sign my name. She said it was too long.

Ugh, I just want to strangle Cailyn's 'mom' for manipulating an innocent child into not accepting their family name- almost like she disowned her or something. The next few are all the same- obviously the scientists were making sure she is perfectly healthy before they tested on her. So I'll skip to the first serious time break between entrees.

July 13, 2006

I'm afraid- or I think I should be considering what I've seen. I'm really shaky right now so forgive the bad handwriting. After last time I wrote I was taken farther inside then before. I thought they were just going to show me what they were doing- well I was almost right. There was this glass container in the middle of the room and Loran asked me to describe what I saw in my other journal. It was horrible! There was a man, probably older than Jordan inside- like he was in a glass cage.

He looked really creepy- his eyes were rolled back and his skin was purpleish, like he was bruised all over. I told this to Loran and she said something to another of the scientists. They dropped a piece of bloody meat inside the glass.

Ugh! It was disgusting! He started ripping it apart and actually ate one of his fingers when there was some on it! I almost puked but Loran told me to keep watching. After he finished eating he started scratching at the glass- I thought it was because he saw me but Loran told me he couldn't see. When he couldn't get out he started clawing at himself! His blood was weird too- it was kinda greenish-yellow, like what came out of my knee when I scratched it and hid it from Loran when I was little. She said it was iffected- wait no, infected. Anyways that's what it looked like.

After watching him and taking more notes they sent him away and Loran sat me down to talk to me. She said we were helping people from becoming like that. She wanted to know if I could help her find a way to cure him. I- of course- said yes. It was only two months ago but I feel like I aged at least a year.

The rest of the months were… they were kinda blurry and scary but I do remember bits and pieces of it. The first thing I remember is they put me in a room- bigger than the one the man had been. It had mirrors on two walls- but I remember there being glass on the other side- and the other two walls were very white. After some scientists led me inside they closed the doors and I was alone. This is where things begin to go fuzzy. I remember the sound of a door opening and I looked around but the door I had come in was still closed. I turned around and someone grabbed me.

I remember screaming and horrible horrible pain starting in my left shoulder. At first I thought I was going to faint but there was another sound of a door opening and someone pushed me down. I think someone was yelling- or screaming but I couldn't tell. I just lay there, feeling weak and like I was going to be sick. The pain spread and I couldn't see anything, all I remember is feeling like I was about to fall apart. And I felt so hungry- and I don't know why seeing as I had recently eaten.

I remember red- there wasn't white around me anymore, or there was but it was covered by a sheet of red.

The next clear memory was a bit later. Actually I don't know what date it was- everything sort of bled together. I was slumped against a wall with my arms chained down to the floor and some tube attached to my arm- an IV Loran called it. I remember watching it for a while but I heard a footstep and turned my head. My eyesight was really weak but I could sort of see, and no one was there. A few seconds later a woman appeared. At first I thought she was just another scientist but it turned out she was Loran after she got closer.

She asked me how I was feeling, I told her tired and hungry. Then she asked what I wanted to eat- I thought maybe she would give me some if I was good so I thought, what freaked me out though was I came up with a raw steak- raw. Shyly I told Loran and she got this weird look on her face- I couldn't really figure it out at the time but now I think it might have been disgust. She didn't comment on my words though and just wrote something down.

She gave me a smile and said she was going to keep working and for me not to worry, it would be over soon. I shouldn't have believed her- but I did.

She left after pulling out the IV. I lost consciousness then and I remember feeling just a bad as before. I felt like I was going to throw up so many times but I never did, that same white-red haze was in front of my eyes again and I felt like it was eternity before I came back to my senses.

I was chained up again, this time with my hands above my head, but they felt raw and burned- or maybe just tight, like I had been pulling on the chains- because it really was metal chains. I felt really dirty and sticky- and my throat burned. I threw up, and a lot of it splashed on my clothes, it was gross. Soon a scientist I didn't recognize came in and wrote something down before asking me questions- like 'how are you feeling', 'are you hungry', 'what do you remember' and things like that.

I tried to answer as truthfully as possible but I don't think I was very clear. He asked me if I still wanted a raw steak and I told him the truth- I never wanted to eat meat ever again. He gave me a smile and raced out of the room. Soon the shackles dropped me and I got a good look at my clothing. It was covered in this brownish-red stuff that felt really stiff and I threw up again when I realized what it was. I was covered in blood!

Jordan and Loran came soon afterwards and took me back. They said to take a shower then burn my clothes so Abigail and Issa didn't see them- well they didn't say it like that but I realized that was really what they wanted.

I hear someone coming so I'd better stop, but that's basically what happened. I'll tell you more later.

Cailyn.

I almost threw up after reading that one. I guess this explains why she knew s much about zombies though- books and manga aside. Leon was reading this one over my shoulder with me and had this weird look in his eyes, now I think it's compassion or even empathy- but I don't even want to thinkabout what that would mean right now.

I have to say, up until the next log after this one- which is one of the last, Manuel and Ari were doing okay- but I heard Ari croon over the 'I don't want to be a rock' part in sadness. Felix is sleeping on Cailyn's bed. We were planning on having him stay out with the others but with Daniel out there I don't want to take any chances. Right, well here's the next log.

January 13 2007,

I said I'd write again but I haven't had much time. I've been 'helping' Loran a lot recently. Don't worry, only little things; I haven't been back in the big lab yet. Right now they're comparing my blood samples from before the…. Incident, during, and after. I'm not sure what's going on but whatever it is it doesn't look safe.

Not to say that it ever looked safe truthfully. I guess when I was little it was ridiculously easy to manipulate me into 'agreeing' to help- I didn't even know until now but I legally agreed to be tested on when I was eleven. Eleven- I didn't think it was legally possible to hold an eleven-year-old to an agreement that serious. Maybe having parents agree would help that along.

I found something out yesterday when I was snooping around Jordan's office. I'm not allowed in there but Issa asked me to find his comic books and I saw Jordan reading one of them the other day. I'm half sure he did it on purpose because he knew it was there or something because the comic book was under a file of adoption papers. I didn't pay them any attention at first but when I saw my name I couldn't help but read them.

Did you know that my mother gave me up because my father said he didn't want a girl? Apparently Loran and Jordan knew the couple or something and they came to an 'agreement' and I was adopted by them. Not like they're that good parents or anything. I mean, Issa turned out alright but Abigail's a spoiled brat.

I hid them back where they were and got out before Jordan got back but Issa could tell I looked. I know he knew but he didn't say anything so I didn't either. He snuck me some ice cream last night too but I got caught and let Abigail blame it on me. Issa didn't say anything then either, so maybe it wasn't him but I'm pretty sure it was.

I'd better go. I was 'asked' to clean up the house for Abigail's birthday party tomorrow.

Caylin

I didn't think this one was important enough to write down until I got to the adoption part. That reminds me, what ever happened to Issa? While Cailyn was on the phone with him he said Abigail had been bitten and she was in the house. Leon assured me that it was clean- but there were some rooms that he had blocked off to be examined later. Did he listen to Cailyn or get bitten? And if so is he down in the basement or in one of the blocked off rooms?

I can't even imagine that- but it had to be it. He couldn't be alive could he?

Anyway, here's the final important entry:

October 1, 2009

Loran is bringing in one of her friend's kids to help with the research. I don't really know the scientist but they are some of the ones with a similar mindset to Loran and Jordan so it's safe to say that who ever the kid is they're probably going through the same experiments as me. Oh, I just realized I hadn't recorded the most recent development.

So everything started the same as the first time. I was led into the room and someone 'infected' bit me. I can't even count how many scars I have anymore. This time something was different though. I actually had the strength the fight back, I was so furious that that thing had bit me again that I just jumped on it and ripped it apart. I saw one of the scientists run into the room and I found myself wanting the pounce on her too. The only difference from the times before is that I could see things a lot clearer- it's like how I saw out of Marietta's glasses when I stole them from her last week, can you believe she's still mad at me? I gave them back, and they weren't even broken.

Just thought I'd break in there to point out that Marietta is a girl from our school- I noticed she didn't like Cailyn but I didn't know this had happened.

So I growled at the lady and she backed up slowly away from me- I think I was still crouching over the guy's body; ugh that is a disgusting thought. I killed someone!- and she called for someone. Her voice was really loud though and I covered my ears. I guess I closed my eyes too because next thing I know I opened them to see Loran standing in front of me with a stun gun- or tazer or whatever the difference is- pointed at me. That's when I really got mad.

This anger wasn't exactly all that strange though because I'd been wanting to rip her a new one for ages- I swear Marcus is having a bad influence on my vocabulary- but at the same time I think the 'infection' was the cause of my aggression. I guess I just broke when I saw the weapon- how dare she! Okay that question was meant morally not literally- I can see how easy it would be for her considering I'm not even hers but how could you morally point a weapon- however temporary- at your own child/charge? Or even a child that wasn't yours?

I pounced on her angrily- I think I was trying to shout obstinacies but now that I think back I don't actually remember any words being spoken- except for some of the other white-coats' screams. I remember trying to bodily jump on her and getting this searing pain in my arm- I have a scar now but luckily I can hide it, I can only imagine explaining that to Ari, Maria and Marcus- so I jumped back. She said something but I couldn't understand her, everything was kinda warped- like everything was coming to me through a funnel but it was filled with water or something. Her expression was hard to discern too because of how my sight was.

I actually hissed in surprise when I heard footsteps behind me and lashed out- hitting one of the scientists with my arm and sending them tumbling down. I rushed at Loran again but she said something in a mocking voice and shocked me again on the neck and I collapsed. Quickly my arms were pulled back by another scientist I hadn't noticed while I was focusing so intently on Loran. Before I could do anything else someone jabbed a needle into my arm and I passed out.

When I woke up I was chained up again, with my arms above my head. The same white-coat as last time came in and asked the same questions. I expected to be just as furious as before but for some reason I wasn't feeling all that angry and replied to his questions normally. 'fine, a little tired', 'not really-but I think I'd like a sandwich', 'I remember everything'. At the answer to the last question he let out an excitable squeak and nodded his head frantically before dashing out of the room.

I took them longer to release the chains this time and my wrists were feeling decidedly chaffed and sore when they finally did. A female scientist came in and led me back to the chamber. For some reason I was really cold and I didn't piece it together until later but my clothes were really ripped up- so maybe I didn't remember everything. I was brought into a room where a quiet little woman handed me a thin sweater. I gave her a smile in response- it seemed like she was the only one who cared enough to actually notice.

Loran was sitting by a computer with another scientist I believe was called Henry O'Riley- I think he was the one funding the group- and discussing something that I couldn't hear. When Loran caught sight of me she stopped in the middle of her sentence and cocked a finger in a gesture that usually meant 'come'. Annoyed, I did, slipping on the sweater quickly.

She asked me exactly what I remembered and I said up until I was injected with the needle. She laughed and said 'that's hardly everything'. Then stopped paying attention to me and spoke to O'Riley about how the memory could be enhanced- which didn't really make sense but I assumed it had to do with my memory. The next thing she said actually got me riled up again, "Go home- and throw away those clothes. I expect you to be cleaned up by dinner, we're having guests." I think I almost punched her. But you know what really ticked me off- and made me stop mind you- the tazer/stun-gun thing strapped to her waist. So instead I just turned and walked out of the room.

The quiet scientist followed me out and offered me some scrubs so I could call a taxi and I realized that I had been about to walk home with blood soaked clothing. If that wasn't asking to get pulled over I don't know what was. I thanked her- actually I think she told me her name… Emma or Ella or something- and changed quickly and stuffed everything into a plastic bag she gave me.

When I got home I was careful to make sure Abigail was out- she was- and sullenly brought my clothes to the dumpster out back. Halfway there Issa found me. He looked like he was about to laugh at my attire for about two seconds then his eyes fell on the sopping- quite literally and it gives me chills just thinking about it- clothes in the bag and swallowed his laughter. Without saying anything- which was typical Issa anyways- he followed me to the dumpster where I tossed them in and dug out the box of matches I keep in my pocket. I think Issa might have protested the fire in the dumpster if it hadn't been made of metal but as it was he just watched me until I looked away.

I remember him giving me this strange look when I didn't make a comment and he said, "Was it yours?" I paused in the doorway at that question. I mean seriously, what was I supposed to say- Oh no I just got the blood of the person I ate on me, messy eater aren't I? Pff- yeah sure.

Instead I said, "Some of it." Which I'm pretty sure is true, I just don't remember exactly how much of it was. He asked me something else but I didn't answer him. How are you supposed to answer "Did mom and dad do it"? He wouldn't believe me on principle. Who wants to believe your parents are torturing your adopted little sister? No one.

Anyways, back to my point earlier- my Loran and Jordan's friends and their son, who I'm going to be 'working with', are coming for dinner tonight. Can you believe he volunteered for this?- and not in a 'I'm eleven and don't know any better' way, a 'I'm almost eighteen and can make rational decisions' way. Whatever, I just hope I get along with him- wait scratch that- I hope I don't kill him in some stupid experiment.

Caylin

If was wasn't so damn delirious I would make Leon tell me exactly who he is- because that last paragraph was quite… telling. He dipped out a few minutes ago though- maybe he read it before me, or maybe he was checking on Daniel.

This might just be me but when I was logging the last entrée I could have sworn that there were more insignificant ones but when I looked there were ripped and burned pieces left but nothing I could read or make sense of- just words down the side, 'the' 'even if th' 'so many o' 'said his name w' 'mad at Lo' I think I can see more but they don't make any sense. The 'said his name was' one pisses me off so bad though because I'm sure he is Leon.

I'm the only one awake now and I'm guessing it's around 1 or 2 in the morning. Ari and Felix are cuddled on Cailyn's bed and Manuel is lying against the bed on the floor next to me. Richard is sleeping in the corner of the room with some of the older entrees. I can barely keep my eyes open, but luckily that's all of what we've found. I hope Leon comes back soon.

-Maria Martinez

Day: II