by Brianna G. Harte
PREVIOUSLY, ON “THE KNIGHT OF XEO”
Just as I came off the table, the door began to open. In a quick scan of the room, I found that there was one vent, one door, and no curtains, and unless I could somehow conceal myself beneath the table I was just on, I found that there was nowhere for me to hide. Desperate, I crawled beneath the table and did my best to inch up its legs. While difficult, it was easier than I expected. The door had to have been fully opened by the time I reached the top of the table. As I lay there, the crook of my arm ached. There was certainly blood beginning to ooze from the opening created by the needle.
I was not going to last long up against the backside of the table. With voices rising in the room, I gripped hard against the thin metal poles holding up the base, trying to shallow my breathing.
“Seems that Miss Kasha has hidden herself away, but we have nothing to worry about,” a male voice began in a calm, collected tone, “She’s actually close by.”
A buzz, coupled with a very high pitch note, entered the air. One second later, the table I lay under was thrown over. My grip was immediately thrown off, and not long after, so was I. As I groaned, my arms were grabbed and held behind my back forcefully.
The doctor, still appearing like a stout hairy man, grinned mildly. “Perhaps you do not recall me telling you. This is not a facility from which you can escape. Nor should you want to.”
“Where will you take me?”
“To a room that will convince you to never attempt to leave any room in which you are placed.”
Rather than drag me, the two walked me through the halls. They were dimly lit, with lamps of fireflies or some variant spread out along the ceiling. Even if I wanted to see the other man, who stayed behind my back and propelled me forward, I wouldn’t have been able to. There was hardly enough light for me to tell more about the so-called facility than what my bare feet could. All I knew was that the floor was cold ground, likely soil relatively deep underground that was compacted and dug out. Of course, it could have been winter, but I had no idea where I was to get any insight from this.
A brighter light emerged once we turned a corner. At the end of that hallway, we came across a room where it came from. I watched a man only in rags lying on a table with scars across his body. They weren’t in any particular pattern, though I wasn’t sure I wanted to know where they were from. His face displayed continual anguish. Wires linked stickers on his body and screens, which I could not read.
The doctor spoke aloud while facing the scene, unfazed. “A month ago, this man attempted to leave his room. A perfect. . . subject. Except he ran into an unpleasant surprise for him and ended up with large injuries.” He turned to me with a disturbing smile. “Best you not follow his fate.”
Copyright © 2017 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.