Patricia awoke some hours later, strapped to a hospital gurney. A bright light burned above her. There was a whooshing sound behind her and off to the right. She arched her back a little trying to see behind her, but couldn’t make out anything other than more bright lights. The room smelled sweet and Patricia remembered the pink powder. That bitch! To think she’d been feeling all sentimental, worrying about what had ever happened to her good friend, worrying that she was lost to the system or dead somewhere.
She was going to wish she was dead when Patricia was done with her. Apparently the Cindy she knew was gone, if she had ever existed. She was taking all her plays straight from the crazy handbook. And she was crazy if she thought bright lights and gurney straps were going to keep Patricia O’Neill in a place she didn’t want to be in.
Patricia closed her eyes to channel her anger and upset and trigger her transformation into what she’d come to think of as the Dragon Lady. It wasn’t like she had to dig for it. This was fresh hurt, new betrayal. It was right there, barely beneath the surface. It was only a matter of seconds before she felt the gurney beginning to collapse beneath the weight of her fully armored self. The Hyde to her Jekyll. The metal supports squealed as they bent and Patricia stood, shaking off the remnants of the restraint straps like ribbons.
She took a strong stance, arms at the ready and weight balanced on her toes to facilitate quick movement and waited for the attack. But none was forthcoming. The bright lights were painful. Patricia shielded her eyes with one taloned hand, but couldn’t make out any details of the room. She stalked to the nearest light and pushed it over, knocking it into the neighboring light. That one hit its neighbor in turn and before long Patricia was standing in a pile of broken glass and steaming light poles, grinning.
The lights extinguished, Patricia began to be able to make out the details of the room. She seemed to be in a medical observation room. Above the operating floor she could see a glassed-in observation area. The whooshing sound she had heard when she first regained consciousness was coming from a machine against the far wall. It was glowing a pale yellow color. Patricia walked towards it, still fuming and looking for more things to smash.
The machine had a glass top. Something about it seemed a little familiar. In spite of herself, she felt curious. There was something to be said for looking for answers before smashing the place up, after all. She’d need to know where she was and if Cindy had anyone else helping her. As she moved nearer the machine, she began to hear another sound intermixed with the whooshing, a metallic tapping. It seemed to follow a pattern, but she couldn’t parse it. She stood still, listening. Was it Morse code? Who the hell would be trying to communicate with her in Morse code? She only barely knew what Morse code was, and certainly couldn’t translate it into words.
Patricia stopped and examined the machine from where she stood in the middle of the room. It was a long rectangular box, maybe four or four and a half feet long. It appeared to be silver, though it was hard to tell in the diffuse light. The only illumination came from the observation area above her now that Patricia had broken all the other lights. There were industrial handles on the top of the case that somehow reminded Patricia of outer space. Or maybe it was just the other-worldly yellow light that emitted from the glassed in portion of the top. Whatever the device was, the tapping was definitely coming from within.
Patricia looked around again. She felt apprehensive, though she couldn’t have said why. Nothing about the sounds or the lights had changed. She saw and heard no one. Other than the tapping, and the whooshing noise the functioning of the machine seemed to make, it was deadly quiet.
Shaking off her foreboding, Patricia moved towards the machine. The spikes growing from her upper back and arms seemed to grow longer. She was aware of them in a way that she usually wasn’t. But she made no effort to calm herself and pull them in. She still felt that some kind of attack was imminent and she wanted to be ready for it when it came.
Alongside the machine, she wiped a layer of moisture from the glass and peered through it. Inside was an Asian girl, approximately age eleven, her face tense with concentration. She was tapping against the metal tubing that ran over her head. Her movements corresponded with the sounds Patricia was hearing. Patricia felt her heart begin to race. The girl turned and met Patricia’s gaze through the glass. She stopped tapping and spread her palm against the glass, tears filling her eyes. It was Cindy Liu.
If you would like to check out more scenes by some really great writers, you should search under the hashtag #Saturdayscenes. The movement is the brainchild of +John Ward , who suggested that writers should share their work each Saturday.
My other #SaturdayScenes contributions:
Week One: Elopement Day from WIP, Cold Spring
Week Two: Linda Makes a First Impression from WIP, Her Father's Daughter, sequel to Going Through the Change
Week Three: Claiming Alex, from unpublished novel His Other Mother
Week Four: Things Get Hairy for Linda, from unpublished novel Going Through the Change
Week Five: a poem: A Clear Day in Kodiak, Alaska
Week Six: a snippet from an idea barely begun, Lacrosse Zombies