The girl sat on the bed, staring down at her arms; the pale skin red and angry with scars of various shapes. She traced along a scar before stopping, white cotton covering the next part of flesh and crinkled tape fixing it to her skin. The inside of the clear tube was distorted by the semi-clear substance running down it into her vein. The vicious liquid trickled slowly, second after second, pumping its poison.
The whirring of machines had become natural to the girl; like birdsong. She stared at the cluster of monitors, stands and various bags; empty or filled. Each holding some new substance they wanted inside of her.
Her head throbbed; that was all it seemed to do. Thump-thump-thump, with every heartbeat pain vibrated through her skull, bouncing across flesh and bone, touching everything in its path. She groaned and scrunched her eyes together, hoping to force the pain from her head.
Testing had taken its toll on the girl; her once bright eyes dulling, her smile no longer on her face. She stepped off the bed, the floor was no longer shockingly cold to her feet, and pulled the tall metal frame behind her. Dragging the apparatus she slowly made her way to the phone. She glanced at the wooden table, a bowl of cereal was turning soft, and she could already see parts of the food breaking up.
She picked up the phone and placed it to her ear, the wail of the receiver was a comfort to the girl. The paranoid thought that one day the phone would be silent was ever present in her mind. Her eyes dropped to the notepad beside the phone, one number scrawled across in large writing. Quickly she dialled the number, the tone changing: beep-b-beep-b-beep. On the next ring the phone was answered, roughly being pressed to an ear.
"Yes, who is this?" The voice she had grown to hate.
"You know who this is, retard."
A sigh, "Yes, what would you like?"
She scowled at his question; pain hit her between the eyes once more.
She let out a moan of pain, "My head, it doesn't stop hurting…I can't eat; I feel like I'll throw up," she hissed quietly angry at the weakness in her voice. She could feel the heat behind her eyes, threatening tears. She was adamant to cry; crying received no sympathy now.
Another sigh, "Well I don't know what to do: you're on a drip, but solid food is the best way for you. As for the pain, you're taking painkillers regularly."
"Give me something stronger," her voice was a desperate hiss.
She heard a slight chuckle, but no further response.
"Well knocking you out would be a great; testing would move faster."
Rin couldn't control the anger rising; her blood boiled.
"You wouldn't dare!"
With a frustrated cry she slammed the phone down, pain jolted up her arm but she didn't care. Her body was hot all over- she felt trapped. The room around her: its white walls, and clear viewing screen, was shrinking; trying to smother her. She sank down to the ground pulling over the stand; it clattered to the ground, but her ears didn't hear it. She clawed at her throat scratching franticly; she couldn't breathe. Air was being stolen with each desperate gasp. She spluttered and spluttered and spluttered; trying to force the air into her mouth, but it was blocked, the air was too thick; it didn't fit. She screamed, and wailed begging for help, clawing and clawing at her throat.
A snake hissed. She turned her head to the sound; a snake had slithered through the door. It was marked with yellow and red. Thick and muscular; bigger than anything she'd ever seen. She stopped screaming and stared in horror as it slid closer. It began to hiss loudly, trying to form words but they were muffled and distorted.
The snake stopped, lifting its head to look at the girl. It started with its eyes, clear like plastic with nothing behind them but dull white.
Menacingly it moved closer, sliding low on the ground, slithering on its belly, sliding, snaking towards the girl.
Then open mouthed, fangs barred, it jumped at her. It tightened over her neck; wrapping around, constricting; stealing her air, crushing her throat.
She clawed at its rubbery skin, pulling and digging in her nails, all the while gasping madly. Her lungs burned, she needed to breathe but it was too tight; too late. Her vision began to twist and blacken. She was scared of the darkness; she saw the darkness so often.
She thrashed and twisted and writhed, her body never stopped moving. The darkness crept in. Her limbs felt sluggish, and heavy; she was so tired.
Tears welled in her eyes but she screamed them back, and cried like an animal and howled pulling, pulling, and pulling at the monster.
Finally she succumbed to the darkness, her vision disappeared. She heard laughter, ringing through the darkness; mocking her. She tried to fight again, but it was a futile struggle. The laughter slowly began to fade and so did her mind.
She could hear the whine of the respirator before she fully woke. Rin blinked slowly, welcoming the harsh white light to wake her up. She felt the warm plastic around her nose and mouth and could feel the cold pulse of oxygen being supplied to her.
Rin sat up but pain stabbed her between her lungs, she gasped and fell back roughly. She saw the two red figures standing by the table, both staring at her. One jogged closer and leaned in; close enough to see the blurred face behind the mask. The man smiled and motioned his partner over.
"Gave us all a fright there ya did," she could see his distorted smile.
"Ya fought me like a bugger! Must have been scary; not being able to breathe and all."
Her mind was sluggish, but she recalled the red snake and its clear empty eyes. A shudder ran through her body.
"Right, we're gonna take this off ya now; no thrashing."
Both men set to work at removing to respirator from Rin; she closed her eyes and focused on her breathing. Falling unconscious was happening all too often for her liking. In-out, in-out, in-out, in-out. She opened her eyes as the respirator was removed from her mouth, she inhaled deeply feeling air fill her lungs, the sensation of air reaching to every little space, was refreshing and pleasing to her.
She turned her head to the door, watching as the second red suit removed the apparatus, her eyes followed his movements, watching him drag the heavy box through the plastic door and into the huge expanse of empty, free space. Rin could feel the first red man removing things from her arms, the rubbery fingers cold on her skin.
"Eh? What's this?" She could feel him turn over her arm.
Slowly she turned her head the other way; her neck ached from the effort. She looked at the man, and followed his vision down to her arm, where her eyes settled on a patch of skin that had turned a bright shade of yellow.
She sat up quickly, pain jolted through her but she gritted her teeth and pulled her arm closer. She remembered looking at her arm not so long ago, the skin welted and scarred but normal, now her whole forearm was bright yellow.
The man thumped the emergency button and sirens wailed loudly, screaming and screeching: something's wrong, something's wrong.
Rin stared wide eyed at her arm; an ugly shade of yellow, just like the pollen. She turned her arm over, the skin on the other side just as yellow. She stared at the gap where yellow met white. She could feel her body begin to shake, each jolt racked her body. Rin pulled her legs up to her chest and shook; she could feel the tears again.
She saw a mass of red in the corner of her eye, swarming like confused insects. She saw one detach from the group and run into her room. Each figure followed suit, moving closer to her room, but none dared to walk in like the first.
"What's wrong with her now?" The voice was unmistakably Nye's.
Rin held out her arm, not even wanting the stupid red suit to give a stuttered explanation. Nye seized her arm; he ran his rubbery fingers over her skin, before realising her and barking out orders.
Rin curled up into a ball; she could feel her heart beat clearly, each pulse oddly comforting. She tried to level her breathing as the bed's brakes were clicked off. Her bed clacked loudly over the flooring, the bed jolted with every move but Rin kept still.
She could feel panic wash over her body, the feeling of uncertainty pulled her threating to drag her under in the sea of emotions she was trying to keep at bay. She focused on her breathing: in-out, in-out, in…out, slowly dragging herself out of the violent ocean.
She let them pull and push her, she let them draw blood and scar her, she let them feed her chemicals and she did not make a sound. For weeks they tried to slow down the colouring process of her skin, but all failed.
Rin stared at her reflection. Her face was bright yellow, just as the rest of her body; every inch of skin. She lifted a finger watching as her reflection too reached out to touch her. She placed her finger on the mirror; it was cold. She smiled sadly at herself, tears slowly spilling from her eyes. She let them fall; the warmth rain down her cheeks, quickly turning cold. She looked back at the mirror, strange alien stared at her.
Rin's tears fell silently; all her grief and hate and sadness spilling over. She pulled back her hair and tied it with the band she kept around her wrist.
"How long have I been here?"
Days and months merged into one; it could have been years or only seconds.
She angrily wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, and then she turned on the cold tap, quickly she splashed her face with cold water. The feeling was more than refreshing; it reminded Rin of her determination: she wouldn't be broken.
Quickly she tried her face on the fluffy white towel and reached for the door handle. She heard the low hum of voices, and the squeak of rubber on linoleum. Rin shook her head and opened the door. Red and white collided angrily in her vision; she ignored the frantic red bodies press to the cage wall, like idiots gawking in a zoo and walked over to her bed. She pulled the covers over her face and let the voices lull her into sleep. Rin could feel her mind begin to drift, and even if the escape was temporary she welcomed it like a drug.