A quiet moment

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Entering a new flash challenge! How could I not, when the prompt basically screamed “Flamel Project”? Today’s post is inspired by Cara Michaels’ #MenageMonday flash prompts. Check it out at the link!

Enjoy!


Though he hid it well, Nate was struggling with claustrophobia. The lack of windows didn’t help, plus the sleeping space wasn’t exactly roomy. His pacing was grating on my nerves, too, so I did us both a favor.

“Do you want to go outside?” My eyes were on his blood sample under the microscope, but I heard him stop.

“Can we?”

Pushing away from the counter, I motioned for him to follow.

“Emergency exit.” We walked through the sleeping space into a tunnel with a ladder that led out of the bunker. It was a bit of a climb, but worth it. Outside, we emerged onto a steep cliff. The northern lights shone above us, reflecting off the lake at the bottom of the drop, and though it was cold, the sight was beautiful and it felt good to breathe fresh air.

I thought we would sit in silence, but he had other plans.

“So what made you stir the pot? Building this bunker couldn’t have been an overnight decision.”

“We were supposed help people. Cure cancer, auto-immune diseases, build viable limbs from scratch.” I pulled my coat around tighter. “Not make super soldiers. I knew my father was hiding something, and when I saw the military contracts…I just couldn’t do it anymore.” I looked away from the lights and at my feet. “Alchemy wasn’t meant to create weapons.”

“Selah, you saved my life.” He stood in front of me, pulling my gaze to his.

“But at what cost?”


Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

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Side-Effects

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As much as I don’t want to put another story on my plate, today’s #ThursThreads prompt inspired another piece in Selah and Nate’s story.

Prompt: “Glad you think so.”

Enjoy!


Nate’s nap did little to improve our moods. Not that I expected it to help me at all, but still. He said little, and I knew better at this point than to try to stir conversation –  especially while I stuck him with needles and hooked him up to all manner of machines. On the bright side, almost everything was normal.

Almost.

Everything seemed fine until I withdrew the needle that had been taking blood samples. I prepared a cotton swab and bandage to cover the wound while it bled, but I didn’t need them.

“You’re not bleeding.”

“What? You got your samples, didn’t you?” He pointed at the vials on the nearby table.

“Yeah, but look,” The spot on his arm where I stuck the needle showed no sign of even a prick, “You should be bleeding now, but there’s nothing.” I wiped at the spot, even applied a bit of pressure to see if it would bleed. Nothing. “Give me your hand.”

Though reluctant, he did as I said. I reached for a clean needle and pricked his finger. No blood. “So what does that mean?”

“Your cells are repairing themselves fast enough to stop any bleeding.” I turned to my notebook and wrote that down. “That’s incredible.”

Caught up in the discovery, I didn’t stop myself before muttering it aloud.

“Glad you think so.”

“Sorry.” Mentally kicking myself, I went back to being quiet before turning my attention to the vials, focusing on searching for more serum-induced abnormalities.


What other side effects will Selah find?

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Hiding

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Another peek into Selah and Nate’s ongoing struggles.

Prompt: “This isn’t the first time.”


“Sorry about the dust. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to hide here, but I try not to come back often. Safer that way.”

Nate’s eyes widened. At least he was emoting again. “You took enough money to fund this place, and they didn’t notice?”

The bunker was just a few rooms, aside from the lift. For obvious reasons, I dedicated the most square footage to my lab. I had everything I needed to figure out how the serum changed him. Across the large room, one door led to the sleeping space/kitchenette, and the other to the bathroom. The room’s lights flickered to life as we walked across.

I shrugged. “I was in charge of company finances and embezzlement is surprisingly easy to get away with when no one is looking. Plus, I’d been planning on leaving for years before I actually did.”

“You were in charge of finances?”

“Keeping me out of R&D was supposed to keep me in line.” I led him across the room. “Bed’s through here.” Opening the door, I showed him the cot and where I kept my vacuum sealed sheets and blankets. “Get some sleep while I wipe the place down.”

I turned to leave, but he reached out, stopping me with an icy-cold grip. “Selah, about before-”

“Don’t.” This close, his lack of body heat was a stark reminder of what I did to him. “You have every right to be upset. Just sleep. I’ll get you when the lab is ready.”


As always, think happy thoughts!

Four Letter F Word

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I keep meaning to contribute to this story more regularly, but the drive just isn’t there. Anyway, excuses excuses. Here’s a bit inspired by #ThursThreads.

Prompt: It’s going to be fine.

Enjoy!


He didn’t speak again, and I couldn’t tell if he didn’t want to, or he was holding back. Whatever it was, I embraced silence for the remainder of the ride. When I stopped the car, I could hardly see past its headlights, but I couldn’t help my relief.

“Where are we?”

In the middle of the woods, the bunker was two hours from the nearest town and underground.

“Stay in the car.” I hurried out without checking if he did, and moved toward a specific tree. Feeling for the knot near the bottom, I found it and pushed. A mechanical whir called me back to the car, to a slot that opened in the ground, revealing a touch screen. Pressing my palm to the screen, I waited a moment before the ground shook and I retreated back into the car.

“What was that?”

“We take a lift down.” We started our descent, engulfed in darkness as the ground closed above. “I spent years building this place. We’ll be safe here.”

“Where did you get the resources? I thought you were cut off?”

We reached the bottom, and the lights flickered on. His eyes were trained on mine.

“I left with more than just the clothes on my back. They never noticed the missing money.” I shrugged. “I have a lab, we can…we can figure out what the serum did to you.”

“Okay.” He looked away, a struggle on his face.

“It’s going to be fine.” It had to be.


As always, think happy thoughts!

Side-Effect

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Sup!

I’ve really dropped the ball on posting here, but know that I’m still around. Just not doing as much online as I used to. Someday, I’ll come back to regularly posting.

This is a continuation of this piece.

Prompt: “What could I say?”

Enjoy!


We rode to the other safe house in uncomfortable silence.

When Nate woke up a few hours before, he didn’t want to talk, and now was no different. After I helped him check his vitals, he shut down – completely silent save for small sounds of agreement or dissent as we readied the car to leave. I didn’t push him to talk to me, knowing full well I had no real right to demand communication. Not after what I did. He could pretend he didn’t blame me all he wanted, but it was obviously not okay.

Still, the silence would drive me insane long before reaching our destination. What could I say to break the tension?

“How are you feeling?” The words tumbled out, awkward and clunky, before I could stop them.

“Exhausted.” It was more syllables than I expected.

I risked a quick glance at him, unwilling to take my eyes off the road for long. His eyes were closed, head tilted back against the headrest.

Was it a side-effect of the serum? I hadn’t expected a personality change. Any sign of the man who’d almost begged me to stay by his side was gone, replaced by someone I could only describe as cold. Literally. The only thing off about his vitals had been his body temperature.

“You can get some proper sleep when we’re safe.”

“And when will that be?” I flinched at his frustration.

“Soon.” My hands tightened on the wheel, eyes fixed on the dark road ahead.


Don’t forget to check out the other responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Update:

I won this week! Woo!

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Everlasting Guilt

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Happy Thursday!

Today’s piece comes from the #ThursThreads prompt series.

Prompt: “You aren’t insane.”


“You aren’t insane.”

But I’m not sure that’s entirely true. The doubt looking back at me from the mirror only makes it worse. Behind my reflection, Nate is still on the couch in the other room, sleeping as his body continues to adjust to the serum. Deep down I know I gave it to him to save his life. At least, I keep telling myself that. It has to be the reason, right? Not because I was curious about what could happen – not because I still share my father’s insane ideas.

“Selah?” His voice is weak, as he struggles his way back to consciousness.

“I’m here.” Returning to his side, I push thoughts of my guilt away – I can deal with those later – and refocus on him. “Let yourself sleep. We can’t stay here for long and my other safe house is more than a day’s trip away.”

He reaches out, his face contorting in pain at the effort it takes him to move. Of course it hurts – I can’t imagine a DNA rewrite being pleasant. Despite that, his hand makes it to mine and squeezes.

“Stay.” He barely manages the word. Does he think I’ll leave him behind? Though his voice is faint, his grip is strong, unyielding. “Rest.”

Even through the haze of sleep, I make out a single emotion in his eyes – worry. If only to make sure he goes back to sleep, I sit on the floor by the couch, his hand still in mine.

“Okay.”


Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Consequences

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I’ll keep this short and sweet.

It’s a miracle I’ve actually typed something up today! Didn’t think I’d participate two weeks in a row, but here we are!

Prompt: “I think we pushed too far.”

It’s also a continuation of last week’s piece! I think I’ll be making a new category for it so I’ll group the posts together and treat it as another serial. Not yet, though. Need to settle into this story a bit more before I make that commitment. Enjoy!


I still can’t believe I managed to get him back to my bunker. Watching Nate lie on the couch, his body numb while the serum works, I can’t help but offer up a silent prayer of gratitude. Still, we aren’t out of the fire yet and it’s only a matter of time before our location is compromised.

“I think we pushed too far.” Though his body has all but shut down to recover, he can still speak, and follows my pacing with his eyes.

“You don’t say.”

“I mean, we shouldn’t have risked you being in the lab, Selah.” When I look at him again, his eyes aren’t on me anymore, but on the ceiling. “Maybe given it a few more days.”

“While you might be right, what would have happened tonight if you’d been alone? Or if no one had been there to grab a sample?” The vial, half empty after using some on Nate, is heavy in my hand, its contents looking innocent enough. Does the company know someone would try to steal it? Well, someone other than me.

Does my father know?

“For all we know, that was a reaction to you being there.” At his words and the sight of him, immobile after only an hour ago being at death’s door, guilt settles in my chest.

“Maybe.”

“I didn’t mean-”

“No. But it’s my fault you were shot. My fault you took the serum.” And whatever happens to him as a result is on me, too.


Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Update:

Earned an honorable mention for this one!

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