Scene Two - 4104

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Narrative - 4104 | Systems | Coming Soon!

His feet pounded against the worn-out linoleum, racing through the halls and slamming into walls as he rounded sharp corners. Behind him, beyond his vision, resounded a low snarl and pattering prints. A creature he refused to turn back and face.

"Come on," he breathed. "Keep going… Keep going!"

His legs felt as though they were lead. Heavy, lagging behind the desired movements and tripping at every opportunity. He found himself crashing to the floor as they disobeyed him for a final time.

A chip of his tooth clattered along the floor as he spit up blood. More followed as that thing, that creature, brought its claws to his skin and tore it to strips.

Tristan screamed.

He grabbed the encroaching paw of the creature, feeling the acidic residue of the claw sinking into his yielding flesh. It burned like fire, barely extinguished by the squirt of arterial blood.

He brought his foot to the face of the creature, letting the sickening 'crunch' of its jaw encourage him. When it reared back, he ran. His feet pounded against the ground as blood continued to flow out of his wound. His hand had been sliced into segments, divided by the bones of his fingers. He could see his tendons stretch as he shoved his hand into his lab coat pocket.

But with that action, the pain began to fade.

The bleak hallways and the trail of blood and gore behind Tristan ceased to be. Rather, he found himself center stage in a breakroom. The smell of vanilla mixing with the earthy scent of a rainstorm just beyond an opened window. He turned to that window, hoping with all his heart that just maybe…

His fingers made contact.

He could feel a cheer bubbling up into his throat, raising the pane of the window up and allowing the rain to patter against his face while it soaked the front of his shirt. Beyond the rain, he saw the other part of the facility. He saw another cracked window, and from it, he heard a cry.

"You took him from me," it began. "You took Tristan - and unless you're here to give him back? I don't give two shits about anything you have to say. Go away Sen, ruin someone else's life!"

Issac.

He broke into a sprint. Tristan opened the window as wide as he could, diving through and dashing across the yard. Murky puddles and dips of mud splashed against him and made a mess of him, but he didn't care. He continued on.

"Issac - Issac! Issac I'm -"

The rain began to fade.

"Wait -"

The sight remaining, but the feeling was gone.

"No -"

The earthy scent no longer surrounded him. Rather, the tang of disinfectant stung at his nose. The ground beneath him felt solid. Slick.

"I just need another moment - !"

He came crashing to the floor.

"ISSAC!!!"

With the force of his falling body and every bit of rage in his heart, he brought his fist to the floor. His pinky snapped out of place from the impact. There was a crack, there was pain, and he screamed. The lights of the OR above him shined on him like a miserable spotlight. He didn't know why, he didn't know how, but he found himself somewhere else. Yet again, he failed to stay solid in a story he didn't belong.

But from behind him, came a voice.

"Hello, Doctor Tristan."

He whipped around, clutching his broken hand to his chest.

There was a woman standing there. She looked young, with messy red hair haphazardly tied back in a bun. She dressed in black, with the most forgettable face he had ever seen.

"Are you okay?"

"…am I… okay?" He began, "am I okay?! No! No I'm not!"

"I see. We -"

"No - there is no we! You don't know - I'm in - HELL - DAMN IT!"

He screamed. The fire burning in his throat let loose, the rage he felt boiled over and bled into his words.

"It doesn't matter what I do - what I say - I keep flicking in and out and I don't know why! Containment doesn't know - they don't know where I am! They don't know who I am. Every time I call… Even if I come back, it's for nothing! What do you believe, huh?! That I should be positive? That there's a fix?! I just -"

He collapsed again.

"I just want Issac back…"

The woman sat down beside him, removing a piece of paper. "I can help you if you're willing to help me."

"I'll do anything, I'd fucking…"

"Tell me a story, Doctor Tristan."

"…a story?"

"Something. Anything you'd like."

Tristan began to weave his narrative. He painted a picket of a golden locket, shaped like a heart and set with an off-white stone. They'd kept it in a box, away from any who could touch it. He kept his eyes on his own hands, as he explained how a single touch could bring forth a creature from youth that would turn volatile and violent if you were to let it be. It needed attention - it fed on it - and in the process would bleed a man dry.

But as he told the story, he realized the scenery changed.

There was a man named Casey. He stood by as a man whose name we won't share touched the locket. Feathers and fur sprung forward, as happy eyes turned to face this man.

"Monroe!" It cried out in joy.

"Natie? You're - you - "

"I'm real!"

The thing fluttered forward and sprung into the man's arms. It flapped its wings wildly and scattered feathers about until the man brought his hand to the creature's head, smoothing its fur and earning a loud chip from it. Barely larger than his head, the creature was placated.

A woman named Lambert stood by, sending looks to Casey as the creature chirped and mewled. The creature itself seemed harmless, even with its razor talons and sharpened incisors. It wanted nothing more than the attention of the man who held it, and attention was what it received. All the cradling and attention it desired was supplied.

Until the creature found itself dropped to the floor.

"What - Monroe!"

"I… No. You aren't - I outgrew you. You shouldn't be here."

"D-8638, please do not manhandle the - "

"No - she shouldn't be here. Natie, Natie you need to go - "

"No!" It screamed.

"Please! I don't want you here!"

His cry was loud and strained. His desire was made unclear to those around him. Was he worried? Was he annoyed? He said he didn't want the creature, the scip, there. The chance for clarification was never given, as the creature let out a snarl. A reverberating, strained hiss seemed to follow as its tongue rattled in its beak. It raised its wings, taking to the sky, and diving for the D-class who had abandoned it.

It tore his throat from his neck.

Blood squirted from the wound and splattered along the concrete. When Lambert aimed to shoot the creature, it dove for her as well. It sunk its talons into her leg just as she took her shot. Her face was splattered in the creature's blood.

Tristan's face was splattered with the creature's blood.

He stood in the center of it all, watching it all unfold as the story spilled from his lips. The woman with the red hair stood by him, a hand rested on his shoulder.

"How does this end, Tristan?"

"It… doesn't."

The woman smiled, and the scene ended. "This story never happened. These people are not real."

"But the story - "

"Exists so long as you are here to tell it."

The two stood in the emptiness of the story's end. Plain halls surrounded them, as they began to walk. The woman with the red hair led, as Tristan stepped beside her.

"What now?" He asked. "How does any of this help me? I just… I want Issac. That's it…"

"I have taught you how a story is formed. Now, you may write your own. Perhaps yours will include your loved one. You owe me, Doctor Tristan."

With that, the woman was gone.

Narrative - 4104 | Systems | Coming Soon!

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