Here's to the Broken Kids | Part One | Chapter Ten
Posted February 11th, 2019 by Zelda
in a perpetual predicament
A/N: What's this? An update that's almost on time? Miraculous.
Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the story
Jeanelle woke up alone. Her right arm itched, a mask was strapped to her face, forcing air that felt closer to Reruna’s air and tasted like plastic. She was inside but couldn’t remember how she got there.
“Ji Kien?” She sat up, shoving blankets off. No answer, the room was empty except for Jeanelle, the bed she sat on, and a couple screens. Scratching her arm, she walked around the room, taking in the windows—all covered, and a closed door. She didn’t make it more than three steps before the itch in her arm turned into sudden, burning pain.
She glanced at her arm, at the tube sticking out of the crooked of her elbow and the streak of red smeared on her skin. Frowning, she ripped the tube out and tossed it to the side. What had happened? She pulled the mask off too, the straps tangled on her horns briefly. She could remember the cold, collapsing. Her sister under her, crunches and pops that she couldn’t find the origin of. Had that been her sister’s bones? Her bones? She’d been out long enough for any of that to heal. Ji Kien must be healed too, then, she had to be somewhere in this place.
Jeanelle wasted no more time in the room. She needed to find her sister and continue their mission.
Beyond the door was a maze of waist-height beds and pastel walls and tall humans. Bars of light lined the ceiling, illuminating every corner of the vast space. Jeanelle squinted, the light here stung her eyes. If she wrote a report on this dimension it would consist of two words; cold, bright.
Noisy too, every human was talking, machines were beeping. Someone yelped, drawing Jeanelle’s attention. The source was a thin human girl with green hair, hunched over on one of the many beds. The girl was bleeding more than Jeanelle thought a human should, and sobbing into her bloody hand. A larger human was hovering over the girl, trying to get her hand away from her face, to look at the injury maybe.
Did humans heal? With the presence of apparently injured humans on the rows of beds in this place, Jeanelle decided not. At least, not very fast. She turned away from the green-haired girl and wandered away from the busiest area. She needed to think and it was hard to hear her own thoughts over the noise of the humans. She was going to have to get used to their noise if she stayed. She nudged a closed door, but it wouldn’t budged. She shoved it harder, the handle rattled but that was it.
“You can’t go in there, it’s off limits,” a human said. Jeanelle pushed the door one more time before moving on, ignoring the human. ‘Off limits’, humans could jam their doors? She would have to examine that later. She carried on down the hall, taking in the human building. Their floors were smooth and hard, their walls were even and long, with wood doors to break the monotony, the bars of light on the ceiling were continued in equal spaces down the hall and beyond the place where it forked. There was such a methodical structure to their buildings. She ran her hand over the wall. The texture wasn’t as smooth as she expected, it had a dimply feel, almost like the thin bark of the trees on Reruna but not as slick.
“What the hell did you do?”
Jeanelle hesitated, her hand on the wall.
“What did you do, what did you do.” The voice pitch spiked and cracked like a whip. There was no reply. None that Jeanelle could hear anyway. She threw a glance around the hall, but the only human was a male sitting in a chair beside a partially open door. He was poking at a rectangle in his hands, enthralled. The voice didn’t belong to him, unless he was talking to the rectangle. But it was coming from his direction. Jeanelle wandered closer, peering through the sliver of open door. The lights in that room were dim, pleasantly so compared to the harsh hallway lights. A human was lying in bed, even smaller than the green-haired girl from earlier. They didn’t look injured, but they didn’t look healthy either.
“You could have just left.” The tiny human moaned, writhing in the bed as if they were trying to escape something terrible. Strange, Jeanelle thought, craning her neck to see farther into the room. The human outside the room sat up suddenly, and banged on the doorway.
“Quiet.” He barked, never taking his eyes of his rectangle. Immediately, the tiny human settled down, and no more words came from either of them. Double strange. Jeanelle’s eyes lit with curiosity, and she leaned against the wall to regard the man and the tiny human in the bed.
She still had to find her sister.
She weighed her options for a second, then pivoted on her toes and vanished from sight.
She reappeared at the foot of the tiny humans bed, tripping. She caught herself on the edge of the bed and immediately flashed a grin. The human—a girl, Jeanelle thought, but she couldn’t be sure—jumped so hard she should have fallen off the bed. It was almost a miracle she didn’t. Then Jeanelle saw what the girl had been fighting to escape earlier; her arms were tied to either side of the bed with foam-padded cuffs, and her feet were fastened down the same way. She couldn’t have fallen out of bed if she wanted to.
“Who are you talking to?” Jeanelle whispered, hopping up on the bed. The girl’s eyes widened, she opened her mouth as if to scream, and Jeanelle scrambled up the bed to stop her. “Shh shh,” she stuck her finger in the human’s mouth. Which worked, sort of. It stopped the girl from screaming anyways.
“I’m not here to hurt you,” Jeanelle said, forming the human words too slowly for her taste. The human girl was shuddering. Jeanelle hovered centimeters away from her face, up close she looked fragile. Like a dry leaf, a breath away from crumbling. Jeanelle took her finger back and wiped it on the bedsheet.
“Am I in hell?” The girl said breathlessly. Her eyes, too big for her pointy face, got impossibly wider.
“What? I don’t know, where’s hell?” Jeanelle furrowed her brow. The girl ignored her question.
“Are you a demon?”
“No, I’m a Rerunite. My human name is Jeanelle, and you are…?” Jeanelle leaned back, giving the human room to breathe because it looked like she had stopped. A machine next to the human’s bed beeped.
“Ann,” the human stammered.
“Do you have another name, Ann?” Jeanelle asked, rocking back to crouch on her haunches. Ann’s eyes roved over every inch of her, lingering on her curved horns. She bit her peeling lips and glanced towards the door before answering.
“Mavros. Ann Mavros, I’m from La’Salle.” That wasn’t quite the answer Jeanelle was looking for.
“Who were you talking to before I came in here?” She tried, and it was like a switch had been flipped.
“I’m not crazy.” Ann deadpanned, her shoulders creeping up to her ears. Her steel eyes went flat, whatever terror had been there before fled the scene. That was all the confirmation Jeanelle needed.
Bingo. Eureka. This was it, Ann was the missing puzzle piece. Jeanelle couldn’t help but crack a smile.
“But you were talking to someone, right? Someone you share a body with?”
“How did you know that?” The blood drained from Ann’s already pale face. The corners of her mouth curved down in an expression that couldn’t decide whether it was more scared, or more confused.
Jeanelle beamed even wider. “Ann, you are my new best friend.”
After months of searching, she had finally found a dual soul.
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