Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Silent Room: Part 32

Kerr

He hit the surface of mental consciousness at full throttle, his whole body pushing up and out.  His mouth ripped free of the air mask, and he felt the suffocating press of a thick membrane stretching taut across his face with the full force of every tensed muscle in his body pressing forward.  Kerr crashed through the imprisoning wall of membrane.  He felt twisting, sucking cords ripping from his skin even as he hit the floor in a heap of limbs and gelatinous membrane fragments.  Glistening containment fluid tinged with a hint of neon blue in the low light cascaded around him.   Pain shuddered through him, blacking out his vision. He felt the deceptively toothless maws of the writhing cords begin gumming at his skin, and he began scrambling out of the pile of debris before the flashing spots had fully cleared from his eyes.  He felt one snake-like cord sink its mouthful of barbed hooks into the back of his right calf.  The shock of pain was almost debilitating, bringing him back down to his knees.  Swinging his hand blindly across the floor, he managed to grab hold of a metal bar that was lying near him.

Spinning, he jammed the end of the metal bar into the taut cord with all his might.  He felt the cord sever under his hand. Cut off from the machine that powered it, the barbs retracted automatically and the mouth of the cord fell lifelessly to the floor from the back of his leg. Black inky fluid drained out onto the floor and began spreading out in an ever widening circle. A mixture of his blood and the incoming chemicals meant to disable him dripped down his leg.

Backing away, he watched intently for any other fast moving cords. When he was certain he was far enough away and it was safe to turn his back, he stood drawing in deep breaths of air and took stock of himself and his surroundings.

He was dressed only in a thin gauzy gown, the slimy fabric clinging to him in the chill air.  His feet were bare.  Tall tubular sacs hung suspended from the ceiling, glowing translucent from within in the dim light. The slack faces within obscured from recognition by the distortion of the sac membrane.  Level 5. He looked next for the control panel hanging on the wall by the door. Green lights blinked back at him as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. No alarms. No warning alerts. Not a single yellow dot among the sea of green.  He didn’t know how Tricket had managed it, but he wasn’t sticking around to take it for granted.  He limped toward the door and the supply chamber he knew lay on the other side.  Hopefully one of the caretakers or the scientists would have left a lab coat or a change of clothes in one of the lockers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Silent Room: Part 31

Dr. Adelheide She had passed into the third patient ward before the slight rumble of the floor beneath her feet from the marching guards began to lessen. So far they had not entered wards, but she did not know how long they would wait to further widen their search. She continued moving through the tubs in a back and forth grid, looking at each face carefully, before passing on to the next row of tubs. So many against this tiny stand of resistance.

She closed off the thoughts and focused her attention back on each new face, searching. She passed into the fourth ward. Then the fifth. The floors began to rumble again with running guards. She kept her focus. There was no time to waste on them. She passed into the sixth ward. At the far end she saw the heavy black doors of Level 5 and shuddered at the thought of it. Only those considered the “most dangerous” were moved on to the Museum, with its eerie darkness and tall imprisoning specimen sacs. Deactivated men and women held suspended in living tombs of permanent stasis. It was whispered that they were not even granted the mercy of virtual dreams. It was where they would put her when she was caught. If she was caught. She turned away, continued her search. If he was not here, she would turn around and look at each face again.
It was in the next to last tub of the sixth ward, right next to the heavy black doors of Level 5, that she found him.
The patient, head shaved now and fresh blue tattoo marks lined up the side of his neck, lay motionless and weighted against the chilled white porcelain of the basin, his skin pebbled with cold. His gray blue eyes blinked slow and unfocused. She moved around to the end of the tub so she could stand by his head, glancing down at the syringe in her hand as she did so. 

The disconnect serum still held faint tones of amber and none of the slowly forming indigo residue. Excellent. Carefully she pulled the procedure tray out from the side of the tub with her left hand and set down the syringe on its sterile surface. A monitoring board flashed into existence a few inches above its surface, ready for orders. She tapped the red square in the upper right corner to initiate the patient disengagement sequence, then turned back to the patient. Testing his awareness, she swept her fingers gently across his brow, then gradually increased pressure. He continued to blink his eyes slowly, not registering her touch any more than he had registered her presence. About two thirds of the way out of stasis then. He wouldn’t struggle unnecessarily but would still respond fairly quickly to the injection. She turned back to the board and found the button on the screen that bypassed the restraints protocol. Next she asked it to position his head for access to his port. When he was ready, the monitoring board flashed blue. She pressed the button to initiate the opening of the injection dock. This was it. 

She took a moment to stretch tense fingers. Then she picked up the syringe, slipped off the needle cap, and with a single firm motion, inserted the needle firmly into the injection dock. She pressed the plunger slowly, counting out thirty. Finished, she pulled the needle out and tossed the now empty syringe into the biohazard bin. Two minutes to wait now. Even as the patient’s body began to shake, a rending crash sounded from beyond the still doors of Level 5.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Becoming Writer Book Giveaway



Looking for some good writing inspiration?  Joe Bunting over at  Write Practice and Becoming Writer is doing a giveaway of several wonderful writing books:
GO HERE TO ENTER and to find out more information about how he chose these books in particular. Giveaway ends July 27 at midnight.


Tim Grahl over at  timgrahl.com  is also doing a summer writing challenge to help himself and everybody else get their writing done this summer. While the overall focus of his blog is on marketing your books once you've finished them , he is a man in writing transition and his secondary focus is all about getting the actual writing done.  If you are in need of some of that inspiration

Go Here to Find out more about Summer Blitz: Get Your Writing Done

On a more personal note, it has been a rough few months health-wise here in Zinc world (autoimmune stuff kicking my butt), and dropping out of the blogosphere during that time has been one of the unfortunate side effects of that.  I am on the up swing again though (!!!!), and thought this was a lovely opportunity to ease back in to writing here again.  Thank you all for being so patient in waiting for Silent Room updates.

Best of luck in your writing! (and hopefully you'll see me back around these parts again soon...)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

C is for Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and Muggy Summer Nights

Tonight, at the end of a long week, as I sat here trying to think of a C word I could focus my brain on long enough to say something coherent, I found myself wandering down memory lane instead.   I found music offering me a sudden ticket back to childhood and lazy summer nights.



One memory in particular stood out.  It was dusk or shortly after dark, a long afternoon and evening of getting the hay baled and put into the barn just behinds us.  For those non farm types, this means being bone tired with the good kind of full body muscle ache that can only come from hard work (like throwing heavy bales for hours). Your skin is covered with the crust of dried salt left behind from evaporating sweat and the bits of dust and dried alfalfa that somehow manage to get into every conceivable nook and cranny. In your ears, down the back of your neck, down the insides of your ankles under the sock elastic.  And now it is night and the work is done.  You are still sitting out under the night sky, having not quite found the energy to head inside yet. Fireflies are blinking in and out across the hay stubble; the stars are beginning to wink into view overhead.  Somewhere the radio is playing, filling the air with warmth of Creedance or the langorous rumble of Johnny Cash.  There is laughter and conversation and cool glasses of mint tea from which the last of the ice hasn't quite melted. It is joy and fatigue  and a good dose of relief all bundled up.

Memory is a funny, wonderful thing attached in interesting ways to sounds and smells.

What about you? Is there a song you've listened to recently that took you back to a moment of time you hadn't thought of in a long time?