Finalist # 1
Monsters In White
by Devin Berglund
by Devin Berglund
Where am I? I can’t move! She looked down at leather straps holding her hands to the table. The memories flashed across her mind of men and women holding her down. They poked and prodded her with sharp silver instruments. Some also injected her with insulin which had thrown her into a coma. Rows of empty surgical beds filled the room. She breathed deeply, How am I going to get out of this?
The doors flung open as two nurses rushed into the room with a squeaky wheeled silver table. They hastily pushed it to the foot of her bed. The large machine to the right of Claudia squeaked and beeped. One nurse was writing on a clipboard. The scratching noise of the pen meeting the paper sent Claudia squirming. I doubt she knows how much louder things like that are for me compared to her. Claudia wrinkled her eyebrows wishing the screeching pain from the noise would leave.
“It took three months for this one to come around…” The one with the clipboard spoke to the red head.
“We should start the third stage test on her.” Said the red head while she bulged Claudia’s vein by tying an elastic band around her arm.
“The arm straps are still tight, right?”
“Oh don’t worry! She should be weak, still.” The redhead smiled.
I won't let them do it again, Claudia thought.
The nurse turned to the table filled with a silver operating scalpels, tongs, and syringes. She picked up a long thick needle and stabbed it into a vile of bubbly chemical and drew it into the syringe.
“This chemical will have a severe affect on her.” The nurse with the clipboard giggled.
Claudia’s heart raced while pumping faster as adrenaline filled her muscles with strength. The red head came at her with the syringe, Claudia’s eyes stretched open wide with fear. She started shaking as her instinctive defensive nature took control over her - she ripped her hands free of the restraints. The other nurse screamed into the walkie-talkie for help and then assisted the redhead to try force Claudia back onto the table. Claudia pushed one nurse away and grabbed the redhead by the throat. The other nurse ran out the doors. Claudia’s heart raced as she squeezed the woman’s throat and watched the life drain from the nurse's face and then dropped her to the ground. Mixed emotions filled Claudia’s heart as compassion flashed through her eyes. I didn’t want to kill her, but she was going to hurt me. Cuts, bruises, and burn marks were scattered all over her body. She got up and knocked down a locked door on the opposite side of the hall. She ran to the end of the narrow hallway and turned right into another passage. She entered the first door on the left. It must be the storage room. The slightest sound made her jump as low rumbles and high pitched barks echoed through the passageways. She hid behind some boxes stacked in the corner.
Leaning over in pain, she sat down while whispering a song her mother had sung to her.
"Hush little baby... don't you cry... Momma's going to buy you a mockingbird." The floodgates of her eyes opened. Footsteps echoed on the ground in her hallway. The men yelled as the dogs barked. They opened the door, while the light from their torches leaked into the room reflecting off the damp floor and walls.
"I don't see her in here!" a male nurse spoke to the other two while the dogs were barking and jumping up and down on the wardrobe’s door.
"Is she in there?" The other pointed his plastic glove covered hand in that direction.
"Stupid dogs…No, that is where Test subject 48's remains are kept, besides this room is filled with wolfsbane,” the first man replied.
Test 48? Who is that? She thought as the nurses and dogs made their way back into the hallway. Claudia’s heart beat faster as she pushed herself upwards. Everything went foggy as she grabbed onto the wardrobe, that the dogs had been barking at, for support. She fell forward on all fours after realizing she had accidently pushed opened the wardrobe’s door.
Why am I feeling so sick?. She thought while her memories started answering her own questions. It is wolfsbane! She thought back to how at one time the vases of pretty purple-blue flowers held her to the bed stronger than the wrist restraints. To an outsider’s eye it may have seemed like a few visitors had dropped off some flowers for her, but it wasn’t from a visitor, as she had never had one. She couldn’t stop sneezing as her eyes watered, her airways started closing, and her strength became nonexistent.
“It seems to be working.” One doctor spoke. Another doctor quietly spoke with a nurse and pointed at her notes on the clipboard.
Several doctors stood above her and stared. One doctor with giant black-rimmed glasses pressed a silver bullet into her waist. She could feel it burning. Her skin made sizzling noises upon contact with the silver. She screamed and howled as her back arched off the table. Beads of sweat poured down her forehead.
“Please! You’re hurting me! I am not a bad person!”.
Another doctor answered, “You? You are no person!” The doctors laughed as tears dripped from the corners of her eyes.
“Dr. Frankenstein, can I have a second opinion?” the doctor with glasses asked.
“Yes, you may!” the man looked up from the clipboard and sat down next to him.
Even now the scars on her waist hurt just thinking about it. Inside the wardrobe doors, test jars and tubes filled the shelves. Body parts floated inside them.
A heart floated in some clear liquid inside the largest jar. Claudia leaned in closer to inspect the heart. Something looked strange - a silver bullet was lodged inside the heart. Her stomach jolted as she slammed the doors of the wardrobe shut in disgust.
I need to get out of here, the wolfsbane is making me weak, she thought while crawling to the door. She paused when she felt wetness on her knee. Looking down she couldn’t see what it was in the dark, but it burned. She pulled the door open while crawling into the hallway. She stood up and leaned against the brick wall. She breathed in deeply and saw the blood dripping from her knee. But why does it burn my skin just like the silver had? After rubbing the blood off with her nightgown. Silver specks shown in the low light. Oh no! it looks like this might be test subject 48’s blood. They must have filled her bloodstream with silver and it must have caused a lot of pain, so they shot her. Such a high dose of silver would kill any werewolf in the matter of seconds. She closed her eyes while holding her breath, which cleared her senses. The throbbing pain in her head disappeared.
I have to get it together. Let me see, which way did they go? Claudia raised her nose in the direction she heard them and breathed in deeply. She couldn’t smell them, but she could definitely hear them ahead of her. They must be using the anti-werewolf scent serum, which prevents me from smelling them. She tip toed past different cell doors, but one caught her attention. Inside a giant man with bolts in his neck and stitches in his skin moaned at her and dragged his leg toward her. He pointed in the direction they went.
“I am sorry they have done this to you, too.” Claudia spoke, “They’ve been torturing us.” The big man nodded his head in agreement.
“Thank you for your help! I hope that you get out of here soon, I would help you if I could, but I must go!” she was met with a smile. I never knew something so huge and ugly could have such a kind smile.
“Bye!” she waved. She walked toward a door leading to a spiral staircase. Moonlight shown through the narrow windows lighting up the stairwell. Not much longer now, She thought. After reaching the top she pushed the door open. Before stepping out she looked both ways and then stepped into the hallway. This is near the front door. I remember walking down this hallway when I was admitted.
The cool air bit at her bare ankles, as she tip toed down the white washed corridor stretching out in front of her toward the exit door. She moved at a quick pace past the thick iron doors leading to some padded rooms, the laundry room, and the cafeteria. Her nose twitched at the overwhelming smell of antiseptic and chemicals. She jumped and stood in a fearful stance while suspiciously averting her red eyes from one end of the hallway to the other - just to make sure no one was watching her. She raised her finger to her mouth and bit on her knuckle anxiously while breathing deeply. She continued forward to an office area and on the front of the desk a sign read “Nurses Station”. No one was there at the moment.
Claudia sighed deeply. Is this for real? Am I escaping? She thought as she made silent leaps toward the door and pushed on it. The thick steel door didn’t budge.
“Oh crap!” She yelled.
She ran to the nurses station and then shuffled through drawers full of papers and personal items. Pulling another one open to find a huge ring of keys. Yes! A breeze blew the blinds away from the barbed windows, filling the room with moonlight momentarily. Her fingers thicken and her fingernails lengthen. She dropped the keys.
“No, not just yet!” She said while clumsily picking up the keys. “The dogs have her scent, she is this way!” she heard yelling echoing through the hallways close by.
She ran to the door and tried the first key. It didn’t work, so she stuck the next one in. After a few that didn’t work she fumbled to try the last one. Panic set in as the growling pack of dogs rushed around the corner leading the mob of doctors and nurses.
“She is trying to escape!” the doctor with the wide rimmed glasses screamed while pointing at her.
“Get the silver bullets.” Another one yelled.
She pushed the last key into the hole without complication. It fit perfectly. She twisted the key, time slowed down as a doctor stopped running and lifted a rifle toward her. The door clicked. She pushed the heavy door open and ran into the yard enclosed by a huge black iron gate.
“She won’t be able to get out.” Doctor Frankenstein yelled.
Claudia felt like the sun was warming her soul, except it was night. She ran toward the gate - the moon’s gentle beams settled her anxious nerves as she leapt over the gate. She landed on all fours, but they were no longer her useless clumsy human limbs. Instead they were her furry paws that she’d choose over feet and hands any day. Turning she growled and then bolted into the forest. Freedom!
“No! Open the gates…” the Doctor with the glasses yelled, “Send the dogs after her!” They opened the gate, but the dogs cowered in fear.
“Stupid dogs!” he kicked the dog closest to him.
“Dr. Frankenstein, what are we going to do now? She was our only hope to figuring out the werewolf infestation.”
Dr. Frankenstein looked up and frowned, “We have to call into action Plan B, call the werewolf hunters. She wont be safe for long. They will find her and then…” He grinned evilly, “We will finally find a way to exterminate their race.” he stared at the full moon as a long deep howl echoed through the surrounding mountains.