Today’s Friday Muse piece gives light to a new character who, after I wrote her character sketch out, reminds me somewhat of Poison Ivy. Many of the books I have published touch on themes of human experimentation, and this story seems to be no different. Enjoy!
Doctor Ephod pointed to the young girl behind the viewing glass. She was asleep in the small room, with only four walls and a floor covered in potting soil to keep her company. “She has the power to create life,” Ephod said.
Doctor Curt huffed. “We know that, E. We’ve been observing her for three months now. She’s only done so on two occasions, and both were in rooms full of water. She has yet to do it in this room. What I want to know – what the panel wants to know – is who she is. Where did she come from? What are her origins?”
Ephod watched the young girl intently. Her bare feet and fingernails were caked in soil. Her face hid behind a curtain of long blue hair that acted as a shroud for her countenance. She wore nothing more than a simple purple dress that went to her knees. It was the only thing she had been wearing when they found her in the middle of the crater in the Wastelands.
“You’ve grown attached to her, haven’t you?” Curt asked.
Ephod shook his head adamantly. “No.”
“You lie,” Curt snapped. The man’s thick black eyebrows raised in accusation, like sabers readying to come down to decapitate Ephod. “While you’ve been watching her, we’ve been watching you.”
Ephod tried not to act surprised at the admission. He had his suspicions that the panel’s eyes were all over the research facility, but he didn’t know how extensively they had been scrutinizing him. He shrugged, sighed, and pointed to the girl again. “What do you want me to say? She’s a beautiful specimen.”
“That’s all she is, Ephod. A specimen. An alien.”
“I know that. I was there when she was discovered.”
Curt grumbled something under his breath, but Ephod couldn’t make out what.
The girl suddenly shifted, and Ephod felt his heart skip a beat. Curt moved in close to the glass, and they both watched as the girl sat up and moved the hair out from in front of her face. Her eyes glowed a ghastly blue, and her lips were covered in small pieces of dark soil which she brushed away with her thin arm.
She stood to her feet, watching the two doctors as she did. Ephod knew the girl didn’t trust them – and she was right not to. She stretched her arms out to her sides and wiggled her fingers and toes.
“What is she doing?” Curt asked.
Ephod shrugged. “I don’t know. She doesn’t usually do anything other than claw at the soil.”
“Yes, I know. But you refused to put into your reports why you think she claws at the soil.”
“I never included my thoughts on the subject because I don’t know why she claws at the soil. I have an assumption – she’s trying to find something to create life from – but since it’s just an assumption, I figured the panel didn’t want it included in my report.”
Curt moved his lips close to Ephod’s right ear. “The panel wants to know every damn thought that runs through that tiny head of yours. You’re on our dime. We own your thoughts when you’re within these walls.”
Ephod ignored Curt’s intrusive proximity and continued to watch the girl. She simply wiggled her fingers and toes. Nothing more.
Curt moved his face away from Ephod’s and grunted. “I have serious doubts about you, Doctor Ephod. Doubts that I find myself having to continually remind the panel of. I think you’ve been compromised by this subject.”
“Why do you say that? I’ve done exactly what you – and the panel – have asked me to do. I put her in different environments, I observe her day and night, and I turn in reports on my findings. I haven’t helped her to escape, I haven’t done anything to interfere with the tests. I don’t know why you’re so suspicious of me.”
Curt huffed. “I don’t trust you, E, because my gut tells me you’re up to no good.”
Ephod shrugged and half-smiled at his colleague. “Your gut is wrong. I’m one of the good guys, Doctor Curt.”
“That has yet to be seen.”
Ephod watched as the girl closed her eyes and lifted her hands above her head. The ground suddenly shook slightly, and the soil near her feet began to shift and crack. A bright green stalk broke through the soil and rose high enough to clear the girl’s head to reach the ceiling.
“No!” Curt shouted.
The stalk burst through the stone ceiling allowing for a burst of sunlight to enter the girl’s room, bathing her in a warm glow.
Curt ran off down the hallway, no doubt to get security.
The girl opened her eyes and looked directly at Ephod. She lifted her right foot off the soil and stood like a flamingo for a few seconds before she lifted her left foot and floated in the air. She smiled warmly at Ephod, and then she rose out of the opening and into the midday sky.
Doctor Ephod fled down the hallway in the direction opposite Doctor Curt, glad he had been given the chance to smuggle a mound of vine seeds inside the room’s soil the night before.