The next two chapters will be more explanatory–will have the back story. This story has taken on a life of its own. I have a whole synopsis. Am I following it? Basically. It’s the edgiest thing I have written. I don’t have much time and can’t become obsessed over it. It has made writing fun again.
The first three chapters:
The hard part is putting in the words after the fact.
Nell and Justin went to the living room. He motioned for her to sit on the couch. It wasn’t one that she remembered from yesterday or from her interlude with Denny. She supposed it was an interlude. Maybe it had been a hallucination. How could she trust Justin? How could she not? He gave her some more water. She had been drinking the water constantly in the closet. She couldn’t imagine ever feeling satiated.
The water wasn’t bringing back her memory but was making her feel sharper. Nell felt as if she had been in an altered state for years. She didn’t feel that she could run a marathon but she didn’t feel as weak anymore. She felt as if she was noticing things for the first time. From the windows she could see leaves falling. It must be autumn and very windy. Wind chimes were playing. She remembered how much she loved that sound but didn’t remember any specific memories to go with it.
Nadia came in. For the first time Nell really looked at her. Nadia had pasty blotchy skin, dirty blond lifeless greasy hair and horrible posture. Nell sensed that things like posture were important to her as was skin and hair maintenance. She knew that if they were in a bar together there would be no competition. She couldn’t believe that she was thinking about such stupid things when she should be taking advantage of this probably temporary upsurge in her thinking to….Nell had no idea what. It was as if her brain said “sayanora,” and switched off at strategic points.
Getting her out of here was up to Justin and she had no frigging idea whether she could trust him or not. She thought she could but would you buy a used car from a mind like hers? Nell smiled as she wondered if she was always this weird. Nadia finished lighting a Marlboro. Only the very observant would notice the quick look of fury that fumed from her dishwater blue eyes, and Nell was:
You? Why are you staring at me?
Nell resisted the urge to say Nadia was more interesting than the cat calender covers that adorned the walls. She couldn’t act sharp or at all with it.
I asked why you were staring at me?
Nell shook her head. She didn’t know if that was a usual question or what she would say. She looked at Justin for support but he was engrossed in a computer game.
Come with me. Nadia grabbed Nell by the hand. She was surprisingly strong. They walked back to the bedroom, Nell stumbled more than she should have. Nadia sat her in a chair that had wrist and leg restraints.
You were good in the living room and with Justin. Four whole hours. So Ella we’re going to make sure you’re good the rest of the day so Mr. Del doesn’t have to punish you. His punishments are worse than mine. Or so he thinks. Good, Justin left. Hear that Ella? The door closing? Usually you jump when doors close. Justin must have done extra good things to you.
Nadia held a large hypodermic hand in her hand:
Just for being good I’m going to give you an extra dosage. What does it matter? You can’t think anyway. This will keep you sweet and Nadia likes you when you’re sweet. You’re Nadia’s doll, and Nadia loves to play with her doll.
Nell wanted to scream. Nadia expertly inserted the needle before Nell could say anything.
Nell tried hard to remember everything that had happened. All she could remember was Justin’s name. Nadia was on top of her. She knew this was wrong. She knew she shouldn’t be feeling anything but she wasn’t sure why. But Nadia felt wrong. Ella couldn’t even get Nadia off her. Then Ella felt good.
Ella was in bed. Nadia was feeding her vanilla ice cream. Ella was giggling because Nadia was also tickling the sole of her feet A man walked into the room. He frowned at Nadia.
I told you not to touch her except when necessary. And no feeding her ice cream.
Yes, Mr. Justin. She was being good for once. Controllable.
She’ll be more controllable if you just give her the foods I told you to.
Ella’s body felt good when she saw the man. She wanted him to care of her. But Nadia took care of her. She lived with Nadia and Del. Once she had another life. Once she had lived a grown up life. She didn’t know how she knew all that. Her mind felt tired from trying to think. Nadia said she shouldn’t try to think. Real adults thought. Ella had a doll. Nadia said she had a doll to play with, and Nadia had her. Ella didn’t really understand but she liked to kiss her doll
She heard Nadia talking to the man. They were using grown up words. she played with a book. It had pictures of animals made of materials that felt good. When she touched the materials they made funny noises. There weren’t any words in the book. She hated books with words. They made her angry. She knew the letters and that when they were put together they were supposed to mean something. She wanted to know what they meant. But books that felt good and made noises were fun. Ella didn’t think of words or anything when she had books that made noises
The man came up to her. He held something metal that looked scary and put it into her arm. She tried to make him play with her body. He put his hand on her shoulder and whispered into her ear. Her whole body jolted.
Nell. You’re Nell and I’m Justin. I’m going to get you out of here tonight.
She understood the words but didn’t understand why somebody would want to take her away. Her doll was next to the book. Her doll was scared. She had to comfort her doll. She held the doll close to her body. They were going to be safe
Vaguely she heard the man on the phone:
You got Nadia out of here? We have to get Nell out tonight. She doesn’t seem to be coming out of it. Too many injections of acid and synthetic MTHL and she’ll be a basket case. It might be too late.