Authors: Tara Brown
Tags: #Speculative Fiction
Born to Fight
Book Two of the Born Trilogy
A Novel by Tara Brown
Copyright 2013 Tara Brown
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book, and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. No alteration of content is permitted. This book is a work of fiction, any similarities are coincidental. This book contains materials not suited for people under the age of 18. All characters in this fictional story are based entirely on the crazed mind of the author and are not based of any human. Any similarities are by chance and not intentional.
This book is dedicated to my fans—thank you so much. The interest and support has been amazing. I also must thank my husband and children. You supported me even when I was in my writer’s frenzy.
Cover Art by Once Upon a Time Covers
Edited by Andrea Burns
I have enjoyed writing this series and hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much.
Thank you Nick J (sexiest Proofreader ever).
A special thanks to The Nators. Thank you all. Best E-Friends an E-Girl could have!!!
Other books by Tara Brown
Cursed, Book One of the Devil’s Roses
Bane, Book Two of the Devil’s Roses
Hyde, Book Three of the Devil’s Roses
Witch, Book Four of the Devil's Roses
Death, Book Five of the Devil's Roses
Born, Book One of The Born Trilogy
The Light of the World, The Light Series
A New Dawn, A Short Story
Vengeance, The Blood Trail Chronicles
The music doesn't make the dream better. Everything in my dream is grey, except the blood. The blood is red and running throughout. I don't know the song playing, but it makes me feel like I should be dreaming about children playing or couples dancing, like in the old movies I watched with Granny. It's a happy song.
I hear a whine through the music and look around for Leo. I smile when I see him next to me, until I see he has his worried look in his eyes. I want to tell him everything is going to be okay, but I'm not sure.
Seeing him, I know it's all a dream. That realization hurts. It makes me miss his sloppy wolf face. The dream starts to hurt more when his wet nose is against my arm, shocking me. But when I reach for him, the dream won't let us touch anymore. It's keeping us apart. The blood flows on the ground like rivers do. I don't want to cross it. I'm scared for some reason.
I hear my dad calling me.
I turn and look back at him; he's standing next to the bunker lid in the yard, where we hid when everything ended.
"Em, I told you, it's us and them. I told you not to trust anyone." His words sound funny, like he's underwater.
My eyes open. The light blinds me momentarily.
I glance around the room, as the memories of it start to fill in the blanks I have.
I hate that things have changed.
I hate that my rules have changed…that I have changed.
Months spent living with others, have aged me more than the years I've spent alone. More than the years I spent with my dad. The memories of everything still feel so new and fresh. They hurt, like it all happened yesterday, which scares me.
How long will everything else hurt, if my childhood still pains me?
I look around the stark room and feel darkness settle in. I knew I would feel it eventually. You can't spend as many years alone as I have, and not expect the feeling would come for you. I have spent too much time alone in my head, to not know I would be able to sense it, like I am now.
The feeling that has finally arrived, makes my hollow insides tremble a bit. Almost a decade alone, and it has chosen now to come. Perhaps, because things don’t seem like they can get worse.
The feeling is my impending death.
I'm going to die today. I feel it. I sense it in the air, like a pig smelling it's final moments before being taken to the slaughterhouse.
It burns inside. It's desperation to change the way my life will end. I hate that he isn’t with me. I hate that I'm here. I hate that I am focusing on every detail, as if the next one will truly be my last moment. I wish I had one of those balls the gypsy lady at the fair had. The one she could see the future in. I wish I knew which moment would be my last.
I sigh and look for a solution. It isn’t as if I haven't already spent hours investigating every detail of my time spent in this room. Some of it has been tied to the cold, metal table, like I am now. All of it has been spent in this lonely, cold room, with a man I am planning to kill.
If I had to guess, I'd say he has the same intentions as I do. It feels like an unspoken race between us, to be the one to live through the unspoken battle.
There are things I am certain of.
Firstly, I know I am going to die escaping. I am too exhausted for it to be a perfect escape. I know I will die today. I can feel it in the air. I will escape today and die trying, and that is a better outcome than remaining tied to this table with this man. I've been too lucky. Way too lucky. I have no lives left. As long as I die free, with the wind in my face, I don't care about the other details. But I will not die strapped to this table.
Secondly, Leo is near me. I can sense him. He is looking for me. He is pacing. I can feel the cold of the floor on his paws. Maybe it's the drugs they've put been putting in me. They make me feel funny, thick and foggy. Maybe, it's the fact I have nothing to do but stare at the ceiling and the nineteen pinholes in the plaster directly above my head. They form a constellation. I don’t know which one; but when I've camped out in the summer, I know I've seen it in the sky. I don’t know the names of the constellations, but I know when I will see them, and what they remind me of. This one is one is the donkey. He reminds me of Will. Will the ass.
Will, who has a nice ass, as Meg always says. Damned kid. I grin, weakly. My chapped lips bleed when I do it. The blood trickles down into my mouth. It's the first thing I've tasted in a while.
Lastly, I know the devilish doctor will slip up. Today is the day. Just as I sense my death, I feel his exhaustion. I can see it. He seems more tense than normal. He's upset about something. He's human, after all. I have spent a lifetime watching humans. We make mistakes. When he does, I will kill him with whatever means I can.
He moves about the room in a white coat and a light-blue mask. He touches my arms and pokes me. He likes his job. I can see that in his squinty eyes behind his mask. He squeezes my flesh to tighten it and stabs extra hard. I cried out the first time, but it made smile creases around his eyes. I don’t scream for him anymore.
The minute he unties me, I am going to be stabbing that needle into his eyeball. His pale-blue eyeball, that I think is the coldest thing I have ever seen…colder than a winter in the mountains.
I can't help but wonder about the other kids who have been in his care, and the stabbing of the needle. It fuels my fire. My anger.
I don’t know how many days/weeks I have been here. I haven’t left the room. I woke, tied to the bed. The first doctor was nice to me. He called me sweetie and had sad eyes. He let me be untied more often, drugged and mellow, but free to roam the room and use the toilet. He left one day, and this guy came the next time the door was opened. I have spent more time tied to the table with him here.
No one else has been inside my room.
I'm disappointed Marshall hasn’t been to see me. I am going to skin him, probably alive. My Granny's skinning knife is the best. I can imagine peeling him. I can imagine the screaming. It makes me happy, which I assume makes me no better than the man torturing me with needles. I am comfortable with that comparison.
I look back at the doctor, there is no way he is alone here. We are not alone. There have to be others. My skin crawls imagining what is down the halls. What horrors could there be awaiting me?
He pats my arm and grins, "You're a special girl. A very special girl." His voice is gravely and weird, like he doesn’t talk much so it gets bogged up.
I don’t respond. He has no idea, just how special I am.
I am waiting for it, my moment to show him.
My eyes flutter when he injects something into my arm. I fight it, but I'm out before I even realize what's happening.
I don’t dream but I hear voices, "Emma. I need you to wake up, Em."
The voices make tears flood my closed eyes. The wetness of them on my cheeks feels real. The voices have been my constant for the past weeks. I have imagined the voices so often. If only they knew where I was. If only they could come and save me. If only they were real. My exhaustion is too great to escape alone. It's why I'm going to die.
The drugs fade slightly and I open my eyes to a surprise. They flutter again, but this time it's the flickering of the inconstant light that gets them. I hate the inconstant light.
The voices have become a hallucination. The face behind the mask smiles, but it's not him, it's her. It's her eyes and her face and I feel my lips split into a grin when she talks again. "We gotta be fast, Em. You okay?" she says softly. She touches my arm and I swear it's real.
I shake my head, as my hands reach towards her, regardless of not being able to move from the restraints. My fingers twitch and strain themselves; they want to touch her back. They want the confirmation it's not a dream. But the door opens and the evil doctor comes back in. I close my eyes and pretend I'm sleeping, in case she is just a dream, and he's here to torture me some more.
"What are you doing in here?" his voice is grumbled and cold.
She speaks again and my heartbeat picks up on the monitor, "I was asked to come and get some samples of her tissues."
"I told them, I'm not ready. I'm injecting her with it soon. Now get out of here," he says here like he has an accent.
Her voice is still singing inside of my head. I'm freaking out. I don’t want her to leave me. I peek through my lashes as she walks from the room. My heart sinks. I press my eyes shut and let him think I'm sleeping. She was real. She is here for me. They came.
I can't focus on them coming for me. I have to focus on the fact she's gone again, and when he came back in the room, he had a tray of things in his hands. I peek through my lashes when I hear him doing things. I see the tray and shiver. The things on it look shiny and new. Tools of his cruel trade. I can imagine the feel of them in my fingers. I have to block out the thoughts of them in my skin.
His cold fingers brush against my arm, as he unties one of the leather cuffs that's around my wrist, and starts to change the IV needle in me. I'm not sure if I believe in God and miracles, but this moment feels like one. I act like I am falling back to sleep. He takes the rubber tube off and turns his back. He is humming a creepy song. It might not have been creepy if someone else was humming it, but he is creepy in general.
I peek at him through my lashes. His pulse in his neck is slow. His breathing is steady. His back is to me. He doesn't know that the girl who was just here, is my way out. She'll be back for me and I am praying she isn’t alone.
The adrenaline mixes with the hope she brought me, and the rush of anger and fury come in a wicked flash.
Moving fast, like lightning, I grab his back and tip his balance. I pull his lab coat by the collar, until his neck is low enough, that I can wrap my skinny arm around his throat and hold him tightly to my chest. He is flailing about and kicking with his feet. Something sharp stabs into me. I feel a cold rush of something, but I don’t let go of my grip on his neck with my arm. His body is fighting hard. He is panicking. He scratches me with his needle. I scream out for the first time, in days of stabbing and pain. His throat makes a crunching noise. The tray is smashed and his worktable is kicked over, before he stops thrashing about.
He doesn’t go limp. He scratches and digs his fingers into my arm. He reaches around grabbing at me, but I lean back. My boney arm is perfect for making the sound that comes next. It's a crunching sound in his throat. It turns to a snapping noise and I feel him leave his body. I let him go. My arm is cramping up. It hurts to straighten. It's bleeding and scraped up.
I take my first, big breath since he came back into the room. My heart monitor is going wild. I pull the tabs off my chest, making the beeps turn into a constant hum. I untie my other arm and push myself to sit up. Something instantly pulls between my legs. Terrified of what I'll find, I slowly put my fingers between my legs where the nightgown I'm wearing is open. I don’t have any underwear on, they must have taken them off. Fear and disgust start taking turns at being bigger in my heart, as I feel the tube that's running in me down there. My fingers shake. My arm, where he put the needle is going numb. I gag and feel woozy when I feel the whole apparatus. The tube hurts when I move it. I pull slowly and try not to let my hands shake. It doesn’t hurt to take out, but it scares me, more than killing the man by crushing his windpipe. I pee all over the bed and floor when the tube is out completely. The warm urine is running between my legs. I look at the door and pray this isn’t the moment that she comes back.