St Mercer Hospital @Zombiedude101@Ruler Inc
“Kimberley!” Rien responded quietly, but enthusiastically. “I’m so glad you’re alive too, honestly… but no haven’t seen the others. Maybe they’re in other rooms?”
“Weird dreams, though? Yeah I’ve had some of those.” Not that they wanted to go into them. Sure, some had been similar to the past ones shared with other awakened. But some had been personal
The bright decorated walls were garish, attempting to force a sense of friendliness into a place it shouldn’t be in. It didn’t cover the slightly septic smell or the beeping machines. It didn’t stop Rien from hating the place. “They say I can be home for our birthday,”
the girl in the bed gave a bright smile. She was small and a bit frail looking, but the smile lit up her entire face. “We’ll still be able to celebrate.” “But you’re going to miss the violin recital you were excited about tomorrow!”
Rien scowled, folding their arms. “And they said they’d let you out days ago, Katja.” “Well they still don’t know what’s wrong,”
Katja pointed out. “Doesn’t mean they can’t release you.” “I don’t think that’s how it works, Rien,”
Katja laughed. “I’ll be home soon, don’t worry. “Good, I’ve been waiting for you to get home to finish our painting!”
Rien nodded, turning their head as the door to the room opened. An older doctor walked in, followed by the twins’ adoptive parents. “Marijn, come outside while the doctor talks with Katja.”
Rien didn’t want to, but they followed their father outside anyway. It seemed like hours that they were stood out there in silence. They could tell that something was wrong from the heavy silence – none of the normal jokes were cracked. But then again, Rien didn’t find it as easy to talk to their parents when Katja wasn’t around. And it didn’t seem like their dad was ready to make conversation with the twelve year old either.
Eventually they were let back in and left alone with Katja. “So we’ll continue the painting when I get back,”
Katja smiled, less bright than before. She was avoiding telling them something, Rien knew. They always knew with her.
Rien sat down on the chair beside the horrible hospital bed, folding their arms and fixing their twin with a hard stare. “What did the doctor tell you?” “Well they’ve figured out what’s wrong with me.” “Yeah?” “I… I’m dying, Rien. I’ve only got a few years left to live.”
Rien definitely wasn’t planning on sharing the details of those ones.
“Something with that guy who’s house we broke into… John? Yeah, there was one with him.” They shook their head slightly. “But I don’t know what it meant.”
St Mercer Hospital@Atrophy
Tuyen looked at Rita as she approached, panic only increasing as she realised someone was seeing her in this state. No, that was the last thing she wanted. She didn’t hate the comfort – if anything the hand place on her shoulder was nice. But she needed to pretend.
“I’m- I’m okay. I’ll be fine, thank you,” she barely gasped out, trying to take on the advice. Breathing in and out. That was all she had to do. You’ve just gone and disappointed another person.
Yeah, like Tuyen didn’t know that. Everything was going through the same shit and yet she was the one having the breakdown. Fuck, it hadn’t even been that bad for her.
She was just a disappointment.
“Really, I’m okay, thank you.”
And then everything disappeared and it was just her and her shadow sitting at a table with two sheets of paper in front of them.
No, fuck, she didn’t want to relive this. She looked at the shadow, but it just stayed silent. Still there, taunting her with this memory.
A banging door and her Aunt and Uncle walked in.
“What do you call this, Tuyen?” her Uncle pointed to the test paper on the table, before going on to answer his own question. “A fail in mathematics? Do you think this is acceptable?”
“It certainly is not,” her Aunt chimed in.
“We did not take you into our family and raise you as one of our own for you to fail
school subjects. Min-Jun is years above his age, yet you cannot even do something this simple?”
“You never live up to our expectations.”
The scene played out just as it had before, yet her Aunt and Uncle’s faces twisted into something less than human. They kept talking far beyond what they ever had.
“You’ve never been good enough. You’re nothing but a disappointment.”
She knew everything they were saying was what they’d always thought.
“We should never have taken you in. You only bring Min-Jun down.”
“You’re a failure who’s never going to amount to anything.”
She knew they were right, but that didn’t mean she wanted to hear it.
“Min-Jun will always be better than you. You can never surpass him.”
“You’re never going to be good enough.”
She just wanted them to stop talking.
“You never should have been born. You were a mistake.”
“You’re just like your father and you’ll die in this town just like him.”Shut up.
“Your writing is never going to lead to anything.”Shut up.
“You killed your mother. And for what? Your own worthless life?”[/i]“Shut up!”
The hallucination faded and she was back in the hospital… with Rita still there trying to help her out of a panic attack. Who’d just heard her shout shut up. Fuck. Deep breathes.
“Ah, uh, that wasn’t towards you,” Tuyen got out, managing to get her breathing more under control as she did. Not panicking quite so much – though she really should be. “It was towards-”
What? What did she say? That it was towards the voices in her head and the hallucinations she’d been seeing. Right, make herself look like crazy towards someone else.
Might as well tell some of the truth.
“It was towards my power thing… it’s kind of sentient.” She shrugged, quickly changing the subject. “Thank you, though, for helping. I think I’m actually fine now.”
At least she’d managed to do the whole steady breathing thing and her shadow had actually shut up.
St Mercer Hospital
The pre-competition nerves were beginning to get to Caelea as she stretched, ignoring all of the other teenagers around her. It didn’t help that they were running late. She was supposed to be on a few minutes ago but she was still waiting.
“Mum and dad are thinking about leaving soon,” Blair crouched down to get to her level where she was in the splits. “They want to get dinner started.”
“I’ll be on soon, please get them to stay,” Caelea looked up to her older brother with the best puppy dog eyes she could muster. “This competition is really big and they’ve never come to watch before. And they’ll never let me continue if they don’t see.”
“I know, Cael,” Blair sighed, ruffling her hair – much to her annoyance. “I’ll try and get them to stay, I really will.”
Caelea jumped up, trying to shake away the nerves.
“Good luck, kid.”
She just rolled her eyes at her brother as she stepped through to the competition area and walked onto the floor for her routine.
The music started and she got into it. All nerves disappeared as she moved about the floor, landing each leap and jump. She felt free, freer than she ever had before. As if she was the air she moved through. She felt like she was soaring. It was a feeling she loved. This was something she was good at.
Soon she reached her last tumbling pass, leaping from hands to feet until she made it to the last jump. Mid-air she looked to see if her parents were there, only to find that they’d already left.
Then she hit the ground with a loud crack and everything went black.
Caelea woke up gasping, sitting bolt upright only to have her vision swim before her. Where the fuck was she? A quick look around made it fairly obvious. Just how long had she been in a hospital? She really didn’t want to think about it.
At least her parents wouldn’t give a fuck about her not being around. They’d probably be delighted to be rid of her.
But those were depressing thoughts for another time. For now she needed to get out of here. She didn’t want to stick around if that thing from before was coming after them again. It was easier said than done, though, as her legs gave out under her the instant she got off the bed. Slowly she pushed herself back up and took a few moments to gain her balance.
As she made her way over to the door a loud scream sounded, ringing in her ears. Fuck. Caelea set off running towards the source of the scream – maybe she had a death wish, but she didn’t want anyone else hurt if she could help it.