Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day Five-Thirty-Four: And then it got disturbing

"They came in the night, yes, the night. They were night."

Yeah. She's suddenly talking.

The girl's name is, as far as we can tell, Kara. She's not too clear on that point. Sometimes she calls herself Lloyd, or Sandra, or Tim. She's all over the place. Most of the time it's Kara, so we're sticking with that.

She started talking sometime this morning. Celine was keeping an eye on her overnight, and she was the first to report to me that Kara had finally opened her mouth to say something halfway intelligible. Not much, mind - she was outright demanding that someone bring her water, and it was in a weird language that Celine only partially understood - but that was the beginning.

The news that the rabid little girl who'd given people so much trouble overnight was suddenly speaking brought just about everybody out to peek into the recovery room. This was the payoff, the gem to justify putting up with Kara's abuse… and everyone was rewarded with some very strange behaviour. Very, very strange.

Though her language has normalized over the course of the day, Kara herself is anything but normal. It's clear that she's traumatized: when not restrained she paces back and forth constantly on all fours, rather like a rat, and her movements are quick, clipped, and unnatural. She twitches all the time, as though she can't relax, and she refuses to look anyone in the eye. When she's not talking or mumbling to herself, Kara hums a tuneless lullabye that she's probably making up on the spot.

She's crazy. Kara is utterly, stark-raving mad. And it's beginning to scare people. I think they'd prefer she turned back into a beast. At least then she was consistent. Now… now you never know what she's gonna do.

I had a fair amount of work to do during the day, so I had to wait until the evening to sit down with Kara. By then I'd already heard lots about her strange behaviour, so I thought I knew what to expect when I entered the recovery room, Plato at my side. I was very wrong. The look on Morris' face as we relieved him from watch duty told me just how wrong I would be.

Kara glared at me over her shoulder when I opened and closed the door. She was crouched on the bed, in front of the room's single porthole. Her arms swayed in an unnatural wriggle I found most disconcerting.

"Hi, hi, hi," she said, wrapping her hair around her face. "We're Tim today. Tim, yes, Tim. Tim is the boy down the street. Hello, Tim, hello."

I took a seat on one of the chairs by the door. Plato flopped down beside me, content to sit cross-legged on the floor. "Hi, Kara. My name is -"

"TIM!" Kara dove at the blankets on her bed, digging into them frantically like a dog trying to uncover a bone. "We're TIM, Tim, Tim, Tim lived down the street, Tim is a boy, Tim has a thiiiiiing, mommy told Kara that boys have things, and that's a thing. Thing? Thing. Does Kara have a thing too?"

Rolling upside down, Kara tried to peer up her pants. Plato and I averted our eyes. The girl cackled after a few seconds of whirling about on her bed, then went back to looking out the porthole.

"Tim," I said, starting over, "I'd like to ask you some questions. D'you mind that?"

Kara abruptly flipped onto her back and lounged, staring at her fingers. "No, no, Tim doesn't mind that, Sandra doesn't mind that, no, mommy doesn't, doesn't, they came, and mommy's dead now. Mommy's dead."

I glanced at Plato, shivering. He shivered back.

"Did you live in Vacia, uh, Sandra?"

Kara smiled, the glint of her teeth shining out of the mass of hair over her eyes. "Nothing lives in Vacia, no, nothing, nothing. Not even Sandra. Live? No, not nothing, not in Vacia, no. Tim lived down the street."

"Okay." I scratched my head, struggling to keep up with the names. "Why… why doesn't Tim live down the street anymore, Sandra? What happened?"

Kara's hands spasmed. She rolled off of her back and onto the floor, holding herself up on her fingers and toes. I might have felt threatened if she wasn't facing the wrong direction, and she addressed her next statement to the underside of her bed.

"They came in the night, yes, the night," she whispered. "They were night. The clawed their way out of Kara's nightmares and oozed into the streets. They were Kara's nightmare. Kara saw them… they… they were there… the black, the black, the things…"

Plato fidgeted nervously beside me. We both understood. The Non had visited Vacia. This only confirmed what I'd already suspected. "And… what… what did the things do to Tim, Kara?"

Kara swayed, turning around to face us. Her eyes juddered in their sockets, focusing on nothing. "They… they… nothing. They did nothing to Tim. He did."


Moving slyly forward, her limbs suddenly smooth and careful, Kara crept over to my feet. Her chin rose, her hair fell away from her face, and she licked her lips as she glared at my forehead. "He. What is black and white and red all over? It has nothing to do with the sun, no, the sun is nothing when there is no sun. What is black and white and red all over, and the red is blood, yes, Tim's blood? What is black and white and red all over and ate Tim? What is it?"

I blanched. I didn't need to look into a mirror to feel the red rushing out of my face. Plato shivered so violently that I'm surprised he didn't bolt from the room.

Kara gripped my knee. She used it to rise to two feet. For a brief second, she looked like a normal person, standing erect and steady. Then she sniffed the air, and the veneer of normalcy broke.

"You smell of nightmares," she concluded. "You both do. Kara doesn't like you at all."

Kara went back to her bed, curled up in the blankets, and recited pointless riddles to herself for the rest of our shift. When Grylock took our place, she promptly vomited on his feet.

On the one hand, Kara needs help. She's been horribly traumatized. She's going to need years of rehabilitation. I feel so sorry for her.

On the other hand, we need to ditch this thing that's living in our recovery room. Now.


Dragomir the Wanderer

1 comment:

  1. That poor, traumatized girl. I wonder why she was spared...?