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MOONBEAM BOOK 1
Copyright©2017 Casey West
I watched the overhead lights whizz past me as the gurney rattled down the hallway. The leather straps used to restrain me felt tight against my skin, and I couldn’t stop my heart from racing. To my right and near the foot of the gurney I could see the back of the nurse, her auburn hair tied neatly into a bun.
‘You need to try and calm down Embeth,’ the voice came from my left and I knew it belonged to DR. Wiles, because of its soft and emotionless tone.
‘Why do you keep doing this to me?’ I pleaded with him, tears trickling from my eyes.
‘Because we need to understand your biology better,’ if there was any concern in his voice it was masked beyond recognition.
What was there to understand?
I was a twenty year old woman. As far as I could recall I was just one of many millions and our biology wasn’t exactly a big secret. I couldn’t understand why I had to endure these painful procedures every other day for as long as I can remember.
‘I know I am a woman, but surely I can’t be that hard to understand,’ I cried, and the nurse at the front let out a giggle. I could see her shoulders shudder as she tried to suppress her laughter.
Wiles on the other hand didn’t seem to have a sense of humor. He simply sighed and rubbed at his eyes. I imagined they must be stinging from lack of sleep since he always seemed to be around in the cold, sterile place that had been my home for as long as I could remember.
‘Embeth, your biology is vastly different from other women. We’re doing these tests to figure it out so we can help you and any others who may be like you,’ I noticed the good doctor doesn’t look at me as he speaks.
I always assumed when he did that, he was feeling guilty about something. I could never understand why at first, but then as the years ticked on, I came to the realization that I was basically nothing more than his prisoner.
I had no idea where and when I had been born. My earliest memories were of the times spent in my little room playing with my toys. And then as I got older the toys turned to magazines, books and movies. The outside world was a mystery to me. The glossy magazines that were delivered to me on a weekly basis gave me only the briefest of glimpses into what could possibly be a normal life.
Well, a normal life according to the movie stars and singers, who filled the pages with their divorces and current love interests. What I would have given to just stand outside in the rain. To feel it splash against my skin and soak my clothes until they became heavy.
‘When can I get out of this place?’ I blurt, as my mind drifts back to the present moment. I felt pleased to note that my heart had stepped down a couple of gears, and I wasn’t breathing like a woman possessed.
Wiles sighed and rubbed at his eyes again. The nurse was bringing the gurney to a stop and when I looked up I could see the double doors leading into the laboratory. The site of those doors would have been enough to send my anxiety skywards once again, but I managed to keep it in check.
‘Embeth, I can’t make any promises. The U.S government has invested a lot of money in this place and you. I can’t just let you walk out of here, and even if I could, where would you go?’ Said the doctor as he removed his swipe card and moved to the scanner next to the doors.
Where would I go?
His question rattled around in my head and I realized that I wouldn’t know where to start, if I was allowed to walk free. I had no idea where the place was located and if it was near a city or maybe even in the heart of a city.
But still. The idea of having the freedom roam where I wanted was just too appealing to let go of.
‘Everywhere,’ I said, my voice more of a whisper.
For the first time, Wiles smiled and chuckled to himself as he swiped his card. There was a soft beep and then the rush of compressed air as the doors slid open. The smell of disinfectant came rushing to meet me.
The world began to swim before my eyes, and before I could stop it from happening, I passed out.
The only dream I can ever remember is one where I’m standing alone in a nameless street. All the houses have long since been abandoned, and even the handful of stores that I pass have been left to ruin. As I walk, I can sense that something is watching me. Following every step that I make so that it’s never far away.
Not once during this dream do I ever get a chance to see what it is that follows me. Instead, I have nothing but a sense that it’s big, powerful and not very friendly. I continue walking, my anxiety creeping up to a higher gear as I become more aware that I am alone with the unseen creature trailing somewhere behind me.
I take a moment to study the houses better. All the windows have been smashed. Curtains have been pulled outwards by the wind. Front lawns are littered with rusted toys and overgrown grass. The life that once brought the street alive, had long since left, and in a hurry by the looks of it.
A flagpole buried into one of the yards catches my attention and when I look up, I can see the American flag hanging torn and limp. Even though I had stopped, I could sense the unseen creature was still on the move. It kept coming towards me.
Its continuing movement created a fear inside me that I have difficulty putting into words. My legs start moving and before I know it I’m running as fast as I can. I glance over my shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of what chases me, but again I can see nothing.
The street eventually gives way to a dirt track which leads to another house propped up on stone pillars. It too has been left to ruin, and yet somehow, I feel like it could be a safe haven. So I keep running towards the opening where its front door had once been.
Damp rot is eating the house inside out as I burst into the living room. Wallpaper, black with mould, hangs from the walls, and the carpet squelches under my bare feet. I scream as the house rocks back and forth, caused by the weight of the creature bursting through the front doorway.