by Jeff C. Carter -
Nosey was trying to get Bruzzy to talk again. She had known the boy her entire life but he had only recently spoken his first words: “Rahab is death.” Now Bruzzy crouched on the floor, once again as silent as the grave. What had Dr. Lev done to the boy to get him to speak? And what did it mean? Bruzzy wasn’t telling.
“Do you know what the definition of insanity is?”
Nosey looked up and gasped when she saw Valljon towering over her.
“It’s trying the same thing twice and expecting a different result.” Valljon said.
His face flickered between a sneer and a smile, which was unbelievable because it usually held no expression at all. Valljon was the oldest patient at St. Christina’s Clinic for the Neuro-Atypical. The rumor was that he was turned into a servant for an aristocrat, but when they put the control chips in his brain something went wrong. He was little more than a vegetable after that, just a fixture of the Rec Room among the furniture.
“What happened to him? What happened to you?” Nosey gasped.
“The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out…,” Valljon chanted.
“…crawl into your stomach and out your mouth,” Bruzzy finished.
“Would you like to see for yourself?” Dr. Lev said.
Nosey scrambled backwards when she heard Dr. Lev’s voice.
“Leave me alone!”
Something caught Nosey’s ankle. It was Bruzzy’s hands.
“Come along now,” Dr. Lev chided.
Valljon hooked a hand under Nosey’s arm and yanked her painfully off the ground. His strength was incredible. Bruzzy latched his small fingers around her other arm. Dr. Lev opened the door to the medical ward.
Immediately Nosey’s terror increased as they entered the unfamiliar room. Her fear of open spaces careened with her current panic and she went limp. Her mind curled into a fetal position.
“That’s better. This will only take a moment.” Dr. Lev cooed.
Valljon pinned her face down on an examination table and lifted the hem of her flimsy gown. She felt cold air on the exposed skin of her back. Dr. Lev withdrew a long thick-gauge needle.
“This is like a spinal tap, but we’re not taking anything out. We’re just giving you a little gift,” he said.
The needle’s contents seemed to shine and bubble. Was it a drug? Dr. Lev walked around Nosey and she saw it up close. The thing in the needle undulated, its thin glistening body catching the harsh exam light on a thousand cilia and teeth.
The worms crawl in. The worms crawl out.
Nosey’s body tensed and she drew in her breath to scream.