• Chapter ~
    My arm was soar from the abuse it had taken from the day before and it seemed unusually sweaty. It took almost all my strength to lift it up to examine it. The pain brought tears to my eyes and the bright color in this beige “hospital room” stood out like a soar thumb. I blinked past the tears to adjust my vision and realized what made the color.
    Hot ruby red trails of blood coursed down my arm, the color shocking my vision in this colorless room. The new medicine that Dr. Taylor was trying out on me was so bad that it was eating away at my flesh making me bleed. I stared horrified at my arm. It was shaking, making the blood scatter onto the white sheets. How much longer would my body be able to take this abuse before it finally broke? I didn’t want to think about it.
    I set my arm gently down onto the cotton sheet that was now red, and winced in pain. It throbbed painfully and felt like a bee sting but at a much higher level. It itched so badly, but when you went to itch it you would almost scream in pain. I bit my lip and fought the urge to itch the irritated decaying skin. There was a knock at the door and I braced myself for another torture session. I sighed when the nurse poked her head through the door. This surprised me, since she obviously despised me with all her heart. But on Dr. Taylor’s orders she was forced to treat me like I was an uninfected patient.
    She ran in the room “Oh dear, what has happened to your arm? We shall get treatment for that right away. Oh, the sheets are a mess! We’ll get you new ones. Sit up.”
    She helped me get painfully out of bed, trying to not show her disgust at the matter that she was touching me, without success. I could feel the untested drug start to work through to the other parts of my body. I started to shake and crumpled to the floor in pain. She called for another nurse.
    My head was spinning and I was dizzy, but even through my bewilderment and being able to only see the floor, I knew who it was. It was Stephen and he looked down at me like I was some pooh he found on his shoe.
    “What is it this time, Janet?”
    “She’s in pain.” She smirked.
    “Well let’s fix her up so we don’t get the same fate throw on us by my father.”
    He picked me up with such care, I actually thought that all this hate might just be an act for Janet’s sake, but I was sure that it was all in my head. It could also be the drugs. His arms held all my weight so that every step he took it didn’t cause me any surges of agony.
    Janet was walking silently behind us staring suspiciously at Stephen’s tender hold on me. I stuck my tongue out at her childishly. She scowled. I tried not to laugh but a chuckle escaped. Stephen’s gaze was cold. I shivered.
    Then somewhere in my mind I remembered my earlier thoughts, struggling not to remember the pain as well, though it was the same pain I was enduring now. I observed my surroundings. We were walking through one of the hospital patient dormitory halls, my dormitory hall. There were many doors to various rooms all were an unknown mystery to me, except for my room. It was at the end of the hall. Anyone of these rooms could be a secret way out of here.
    I strained my ears. Maybe I could hear the blow of wind or the heartbeats of the other patients and be able to tell. Once I leave my room I wouldn’t have much time before someone notices. I had to be prepared and lock these small but important details into my memory for tonight. Tonight? Should I go tonight, or wait until tomorrow. I’ll decide once I get to my room. I have to listen for clues.
    I closed my eyes and listened. I couldn’t hear anything. Maybe the pain in my arm was keeping me from concentrating. I sighed in frustration. Stephen glared suspiciously down at me. I quickly looked away to study my surroundings again, any noticeable escape routes. I found none. I pouted silently, careful not to bump my sore arm.
    We reached Stephen’s father’s study. He barged right in, not even bothering to pause and knock. Dr. Taylor was seated at an oak round table in the center of the room leaning in toward two men on the opposite side of him; they both looked pale and had boney features. The one on the right had spiked green hair; the other had long straight brown hair with red streaks. Dr. Taylor was speaking in a low, frantic whisper. He looked up half-heartedly, hardships and concerns had turned his face into a sorrowful blank stare. He recovered quickly and addressed his son.
    “What is it Stephen? Why have you brought Melanie here?”
    The two strange men seated across from the doctor looked at each other in confusion and then smirked at a secret joke. They saw my quizzical stare and their faces went blank.
    “The treatment isn’t working.” Stephen said
    The doctor grunted his understanding and went – complaining all the way – to retrieve two flasks from a cupboard on the other side of the room.
    He brought them over to his son and smiled. “This will stop the flesh eating wound from spreading and this one will heal the wounds inflicted. Now if you don’t mind I have business to attend to.” He inclined an open palm toward the two men seated at the table. Like a good host he escorted us to the door and saw our way out, and then as soon as Stephen and Janet stepped outside the room the door was quickly shut and locked.