Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tease Me, Tease Me...

This week's Teaser Tuesday picks up right where last week left off, so if you didn't get a chance to browse that little snip, you can find it here.

Now, on with the show!

Panic seizes me, clutches at my insides.  My vision blurs as all the moisture that had moments before vacated my mouth floods my eyes.  A whimper escapes, and my inner parts spasm.  Terror runs down my leg, pools at my feet.  A lake of shame and fright spreads out beneath me. 
“Jesus, Duncan,” Mick swears behind him.  I’d forgotten we weren’t alone in this room.  “If you’re going to kill the bitch, just do it already and quit playing with her.”
“Please,” I whimper, my voice just as shaky as my body.  The lake beneath me grows, as does my humiliation.  I’d thought I was strong, that I’d meet Death without fear, but the truth is there for all to see.  I am not the hero that Leda always believed me to be.  I am weak.  I am nothing.  I can only be thankful that she never had to see me reduced to this quivering pathetic creature that I have become. “Don’t kill me.” 
“I’m not going to.”
My head snaps up, and for an instant, my body stops shaking.  Why is he speaking to me in human?  Or is he talking to his brother?  I shoot a look at Mick, who rubs at his chin thoughtfully, but says nothing.
“I’m getting tired of waiting for your answer, Zero.”  He presses another button on the weapon.  A fourth light pops on. 
“I…I don’t know.”  Words finally tumble out of me, but they are small, scared things.
“Come on.  You’re a smart one.  You can do better than that.”  He shakes his head, clearly disappointed with my answer.  “If only Fours and Fives can survive being shot just once by a Taser, and Threes not at all…?”  He rolls the weapon in the air, the red dot jumping all around my face.
“I-I’ve been hit twice?”  It comes out sounding like a question when we both know it to be truth.  “So…I must be a Four or a Five?”
“Exactly.”  He points at me.  “Which brings us to our problem.”
He presses another button.  The box whirrs as the final light pops on, and I know deep down that the weapon is now on its highest setting.  I’ll be dead the instant he releases the trigger.
My muscles start jerking again.  The lake beneath me suddenly floods, morphs into an ocean.  It spreads out in all directions, its shores receding until the waves crash against his boot. 
He glances down, frowns.
“Please, don’t kill me,” I plead again.  “I’ll…I’ll…please.”
“I just told you I’m not going to kill you,” he assures me, again speaking in human.  But then, he straightens his arm, placing the weapon against my forehead.  The constant change-up dizzies me.  Why is he doing that, skipping back and forth between his language and mine?  Between telling me he’ll spare my life and then threatening me with imminent death?
“The problem,” he continues, reverting back to my language.  “Is that we are a work camp here.  Now, I don’t know what you think that means, Zero, but I can assure you that ‘work’ is not a euphemism for something else.  This base is not equipped to handle the violent natives.  When I allowed you to stay with your sister, it was because you’re noted in our files as being a Zero, one of the peaceful ones, which I see now that you clearly are not.”
“Please,” I cry.  “Don’t.”
A sob chokes its way up the back of my throat and fat tears spill down my cheeks.  This is not how I wanted to die.  I wanted to go out fighting.  I wanted to be strong, right up to the bitter end.  Now, I am less than nothing, and still I beg for my life.  Pathetic coward that I am.
“I could kill you,” he says in my language, pressing the weapon harder into my forehead.  “But, I won’t.” Now, back to his.
“Please, don’t.  I’m not a Five.  I promise.”  I sniffle around another sob fighting its way free.  “I was just…” I trail off, grasping for the right combination of words to make this jumbled up conversation end.  I can’t keep up with the way he changes the dialects he speaks.  And, as my body continues to quake out its terror of the weapon in his hand, my brain refuses to help me keep my features smoothed down at his words.  I am no longer in control of my reactions.  “I-I’m scared.”
Finally—thankfully—the weapon drops away from my face.  My shoulders droop; relief blooms warm and wonderful in my chest as he flicks a switch on the box, turns it off.  He reaches behind him and affixes it to his belt.
“I don’t think you’re a Five, or a Four for that matter.”  His mouth pushes up at the corners into a small reassuring smile.  “But, you’re definitely no Zero.  So…”  He lifts his hands in a so-what-do-we-do-now gesture. 
I don’t know how to respond.  I can do nothing but stare.
He pushes to his feet.  “Get yourself cleaned up.  After that, we’ll find a work assignment for you.  Then—“ he shrugs. “—we’ll see what you really are.”
“What the hell was that, Dunc?” Mick asks, bewildered, as they turn to leave the room.  “All that mixing English in with the gibberish?  It made me kind of dizzy.”
I haven’t moved yet from my position next to the toy-let.  I won’t until they are out of the room.  It’ll be safer that way.
He shakes his head.  “I had to be sure,” he answers, sliding a significant look my way.
“Sure?  Of what?”  Mick follows the lieutenant’s gaze, still confused.  It’s obvious the moment understanding dawns on him.  He stops dead in his tracks, his face going slack.  “Oh.”  He considers me for a long second, then inclines his head toward his brother.  “And…are you?”
The lieutenant stays quiet, clearly deciding his answer.  He opens the door and waits for Mick to step through.  “Yes,” he finally responds as he, too, exits the room.  “I’m sure.”
It’s not until they leave and I climb to my feet that my brain clears enough for me to replay the whole scene.  Realization hits me like the hendling weapon had twice before.  It jolts through me, robbing my muscles and limbs of all movement.  All that back and forth between the languages, throwing me off kilter, dizzying me.  He’d been trying to find out if I understood his human language.  And, he’d just told his brother that he was sure of his answer now.
But, was that answer yes or no?

Sooooo....What do you think? Does the evil lieutenant know that Thia can speak human? (I know the answer to that! *evil grin*)

1 comment:

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