Chapter 6: A Lullaby – sweet but mysterious
Everything was so dull. So unreal. Like – you know those movies, right, in which the protagonist regains her consciousness in the middle of a chaotic battle? The sound is off, but slowly filling their ears, getting clearer and clearer by the second. The people around them seem to be just stains, blurry figures at first but then you see that they’re actually people.
And suddenly someone pulls you up, yelling: “Run! Please, run!”
Only my someone wasn’t yelling it – just saying it over and over again. Singing it, actually.
“Run, please, run. Run, run, please. Run, please, run. Run, run, please.”
And there was no battlefield, but there were two people running. One naked with red stripes on her naked body, the other with bells around her ankles and a vest that waved in front of the other girl’s face.
The red stripes made it harder to run – they had some kind of numbing effect on me. I knew we were running in all kinds of directions: she pulled me left and right, straight forward, but never stopping.
Were we in some endless, pitch black alley? Or had I gone blind? Were my eyes closed?
I had no idea.
I couldn’t think clearly.
I was dead. I was non-functioning. Rebooting.
No, I wasn’t a machine, Jesus.
Her hand was so tight around my wrist – it hurt.
My chest is moving up and down – that hurt too.
Couldn’t we stop for a minute?
Why was it so dark—ugh light. Too much light.
The hand around my wrist let go and I was left standing. I heard an annoying creak and someone talking. The whoosh of curtains. A weight on my shoulders – it was soft.
Then “oh” and THUNK.
…HOLY MOLY SHIBBIDIBBLES JESUS CHRIST GOD LASAGNA—
I whirled around, the blanket falling off of my shoulders and saw a girl - kind of naked, kind of not, with really pretty hair, who was pulling up a chest and putting stuff in it that had fallen out.
Who was she?
I slowly backed away. I had no idea what I was going to do, what I was going to say, to think.
Come on, Quinn! Dad’s trained us for this! How many times hasn’t he preached on the greatest wisdom of the world? How many times hasn’t he told what to do when all hope is lost?
Stay calm! Be brave! – how cliché that sounds. How was I going to be brave when I had no fucking clue about what was happening and—WHY AM I NAKED? AGAIN?!
No—Was she—Am I—No but it couldn’t be… NO. No no no no no no—
I WASN’T PRETENDING TO BE PROSTITUTE RIGHT?
THEY HADN’T DRUGGED ME, RIGHT?
Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap—
Still not having a plan, I charged at the blanket, put it around me and grabbed something – it was squishy – and threw it that girl, ran straight at the door and pulled at the doorknob.
And then a hand kept me from opening it and pulled me away from the door.
I felt her hand on my back and felt enveloped by her strange but o so warm warmth.
No! Crap, no, no, no—
I pulled myself away from her and ran to the other side of the room.
“Please, calm down,” she said again.
I didn’t dare to look back, I was shaking.
I felt her coming closer. Her footsteps were soft and quiet, different from my quick breathing and my crazy going heart.
When she was very close she didn’t touch me.
“Who are you?” she asked.
I didn’t answer.
Wasn’t there a hole in the wall? Or something else? …Please?
“I can see if you don’t tell.”
A way to get out?
I slammed my fist against the wall. Again. Again. Again, again, again.
I went for a very hard one – she grabbed my hand.
“Quinn,” she said. “You are Quinn.
“Nothing more, nothing less.”
She made it sound weird and special.
“Quinn,” she said again.
There is really no way out, is there? I’m really scared, aren’t I?
Why? Why can’t I just go home? Mommy, daddy – why aren’t you here?
I’M SO SCARED.
Heavy breathing, falling down, shaking, continuously shaking, head aching—what to do what to do what to do—mom, dad—that guy that knife, cold cold cold—why did you leave, you son of a—why didn’t stay with me at that damned fountain—it was so dark, so so dark—what is this—HELP.
And then the arm came around me and the warmth was too soothing to deny. She rocked me back and forth, humming a song.
Oh, it was so warm here.
“Lullaby,” I heard her whisper, “I am Lullaby. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Aha. So that's Lullaby, huh... She seems nice, I guess? At least, she makes Quinn feel safe - and we all now that feeling safe is the thing she really needs right now in that way too crazy world.
Hopefully we get to understand the world a little better in chapter 7!
...Or everything might get even more confusing...
See you on the next page!
[PIC ORIGIN: From Flickr, made by samuel006]