This was the place where people gave their lives. She knew this the moment they strapped her to the table.
Above her a florescent light hummed. The battered paneling of steel surrounded her. Machines buzzing, saline dripping, this was her youth, what was left of it.
She no longer waited and hoped for freedom. It was clear now that no one was coming. But then, who would come? He had already betrayed her.
They tried to sedate her but the drugs wouldn’t claim her. She endured the torture, every prick of the needle, every slice of her flesh, with excruciating pain. Her body lay battered and bruised, sliced open and stitched back together, all the while her sharp mind plotted.
“How is our patient today?”
The dark haired nurse handed him the clipboard. “Still holding strong, it’s quite amazing.”
The Doctor glanced at the chart. “Quite.” He ran his hands up the length of her arm, his fingertips cold and calloused as they trailed along her skin.
She wanted to shirk away from his touch, from the fingers that poked and prodded, but she knew better. If she fought they would only tighten her restraints. Then the days she had spent working to loosen them, inch by maddening inch, would be for nothing.
The girl stared blankly at the ceiling, yet from the corner of her eye, she watched every movement. She had memorized the ritual in the weeks she had been strapped to the table. Like a choreographed dance, the Doctor would move religiously through his tasks.
She knew her moment was approaching, soon they would be alone, the way he preferred it. Just the two of them, the girl helpless beneath the slice of the blade. She stared into the light, fighting the urge to close her eyes. He wouldn’t have let her. He wanted her awake, wanted to see her pain. But this time…this time, she would make him feel her pain.
“We’ll run another sequence. We’re getting closer, I can feel it.”
Yes, you’ll feel it.
“Very well.” The nurse went to work setting out his tools on the metal tray.
“Any response in the test subject?”
“No Doctor, not today.” From the corner of her eye, she saw him nod. His constant failure never etched frustration across his face. If anything, it pleased him, more time with her to inflict his experiments. To revel in her pain. “Leave us.”
The girl heard the click of the door, the shush as it opened. Heard it fall back into place, leaving them alone. Just her and the Doctor now, just as he wanted.
He slipped on his glove, the snap of latex echoing through the sterile room. Soundlessly, the girl worked her hand against the restraint, inch by inch, slipping it through the cuff that bound her.
“I have hope,” he said as he readied his tools, arranging them by size and shape as always. “That today is our day, little one.”
Beside her, her free hand lay, still and hidden, waiting.
He turned, opening a cabinet to retrieve the bottle of alcohol he would use to prepare the injection site. The girl sat up slowly, silently lifting a surgical knife from the tray.
The Doctor turned, bottle in hand, and met her feral gaze. “Well now, what have we here?”
A rattling noise rumbled from deep inside her. She lunged for him, the movement quick, the sweep of the blade precise as she jabbed it into his throat. He coughed and sputtered, tried to scream but the blade lay lodged in his throat, blood spewing down his neck. He dropped the open bottle, alcohol splashing across the floor, the stringent scent stinging her nose. He clawed for his throat, his fingers grasping for the knife.
She swept her legs around, her feet landing solidly against his throat. Buried the knife deeper, breaking his hand.
He stumbled backward and the girl reached for another scalpel. Sliced the leather band that held her left hand. She lurched from the bed, threw her weight against him, sent him tumbling to the floor.
She climbed atop of him, legs straddling his midsection as she drew the blade up, the sharp tip hovering dangerously above him. She stared down into his wide eyes, enjoyed the terror, the confusion, the pain swimming in them.
Yes, today he would feel her pain.
She slipped the knife under his shirt, carefully sliced the fabric in two, exposing the grey hairs that fanned across his chest. He kicked helplessly, his pulse dipping, his fingers clawing weakly at her. But he was a rag doll beneath her and she could have her way.
But she couldn’t do it. As much as wanted to make him suffer, she couldn’t give in. She hated the weakness in herself, hated him because he hadn’t broke her. Sliced, poked, prodded…yes, but no matter what he did, her resolve never wavered. It would have been easier, if she’d just broken, but it hadn’t happened that way.
She drove the knife into his chest, breaking bone with the force of her fury. “Yes,” she whispered, “Today is going to be our day.”