As much as I hate to say it, Marlee was right: I couldn’t take it. Amaya was a horrible nurse.
Or first-aid-applier. I have no clue what I’m supposed to call her at this point. Well, actually, torturer might work.
“Ow,” I hissed, trying to pull back my arm as she poked me with metal again. I couldn’t tell you whether it was hot or cold; it just hurt.
“Stay still,” she ordered impatiently for the umpteenth time.
“I’m trying, but you keep stabbing me,” I growled back, hissing as she did it again.
At this point, I was half wondering whether or not she was doing it on purpose.
“It’s not stabbing,” Amaya said, pausing with the metal torture device long enough to roll her eyes, “I’m fixing you.”
“That implies that I was broken in the first place,” I grunted, gritting my teeth against yet another pinch.
“I’m going to not answer that one,” she said, amusement sparking in her eyes.
“You think this is funny?” I growled at her.
Her reply was an even more painful pinch, making me yelp.
“Watch it!” I snapped.
“I just think it’s amusing that the fearful Calypso is hissing at me poking her with a harmless needle,” Amaya said, smirking, stabbing me again.
I yanked my arm away, realizing that I shouldn’t do that until I was sure that the needle wasn’t still in my arm. Luckily, it wasn’t.
“I’m done,” I said, holding my throbbing arm. “You made it worse, you imbecile
Amaya’s eyes sparked. “Have you looked at your arm? You’re better, you moron.”
I glared at her for a moment before turning to look at my arm. I was expecting at least some pink skin from the pricking and prodding if not blood from a reopened wound, but I found… nothing.
I stared at it in absolute astonishment before realizing that my jaw had dropped.
Amaya hooted with laughter. “I’ve made her speechless,” she said in delight, “the amazing Calypso is speechless!”
I snapped my mouth shut and turned to glare at her. “Why do you keep calling me that?”
Amaya rolled her eyes. “You can’t tell me that you haven’t heard people speculating about you being the girl the prophecy was talking about. Everyone’s talking about it.”
I kept glaring at Amaya, clutching my arm. It still hurt, but I had to admit, it looked better than before. Better than it normally did, actually.
“What did you do to my arm?” I asked, slightly alarmed by how smooth my skin looked. For a moment, I thought I was missing a freckle.
Amaya’s eyes darkened for a moment. “Just used my dad’s old medical device thingy. I don’t know what it’s called, but I know how to use it.”
Well, that was both comforting and horrifying at the same time. Wonderful.
“What rumors are going around?” Marlee asked, leaning in.
Amaya reached over and managed to hit her with the needle thing, causing her to flinch away. Amaya looked up and sighed. “How am I supposed to help you two if you don’t let me?”
I cast her a disgruntled look. “You could stop stabbing us for one.”
Amaya shot me another cutting look. “Again, have you noticed any puncture wounds on your skin?”
“No,” I replied. As Amaya looked triumphant, I kept going, determined to win. “But why does it feel like you’re stabbing us if the needle isn’t stabbing us?”
Amaya’s face fell. “I don’t know,” she whispered, looking down. The needle rested on her knee as her hands lowered.
I should’ve felt bad about making her upset, but I was more intrigued about the needle. As it slid from her fingers, I picked it up, studying it.
“It doesn’t even have a point!” I exclaimed, looking at it. “How does it work?”
Amaya’s head snapped up, her eyes wide with alarm. “No! Don’t!”
But I had already touched it on my pointer finger. Immediately, I felt pain much worse than what Amaya had inflicted, but this pain wasn’t like Amaya’s at all. It was burning, like it was fire flooding into my bloodstream and burning me from the inside out.
Amaya wrenched the needle out of my hands and hit the middle knuckle of the same finger with it. Her face twisted up in concentration.
The pain eased and my eyes stopped watering. My tongue hurt and I tasted metal. I had bitten my tongue. I couldn’t move my finger from the middle knuckle up, but I wasn’t focusing on that at the moment.
“What the…” I began, gasping. I cursed. “What is that?” I glowered at Amaya.
“I don’t know,” she rasped. “All that I know is when other people try to use it, it hurts them. Only I can make it heal them for some reason.”
I kept glaring at her. “Thanks for telling me,” I hissed, anger boiling up inside of me.
“You didn’t ask!” she shrieked, pain flaring in her own eyes.
I recoiled, surprised by her outburst.
“You weren’t supposed to pick it up!” she kept squealing, her voice beginning to get raspy. “You weren’t supposed to use it. You weren’t supposed to end up like-like…” Her voice trailed off and she began hiccupping as tears filled her eyes. She squeezed them up. “Go away,” she hissed, not opening them. Her face twisted up in anger. “Leave.”
I stood up, no feeling much of anything. I didn’t even look at Marlee, but I was talking to her. “I’ll be sleeping. Wake me when you want to go.”
She didn’t reply and I could hear Amaya sniffling almost through a tunnel. Nothing was making sense anymore.
I turned and began walking back to my bed, where I plopped down and instantly regretted it. I was still sore everywhere from earlier. I pushed aside the blanket and slid under it, trying to shift into a more comfortable position. I’d be lying if I said that any position felt comfortable, but I was determined to fall asleep.
As my eyes drifted shut, the last word I remember thinking was: why?
Amaya was leaning over me, her eyes blank. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. Hadn’t I made her angry earlier? Why was she here standing over me?
I felt a prick and I looked down to see her pricking my other arm. This time, instead of yelling at her like I had earlier, I let tears of pain trickle down my face.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured shakily.
Amaya shook her head, not replying. Uncertainty crossed her face, but she shook it again, harder this time.
All I felt was repeated pricking, moving from my right wrist up my arm and then across my collar bone and down the other arm. Amaya picked up my hand and gently probed the finger I had touched with the needle earlier.
“Why did you do it?” she whispered softly.
I shook my head, tears still streaming down my face.
“You’re supposed to survive,” she rasped out, tears shining in her eyes, “you’re supposed to save us all.” She swallowed. “I’m supposed to help you, but I’m not sure how. And you keep hurting everyone. What am I supposed to do?”
I still couldn’t speak. My lips didn’t work. They refused to move.
There was another pinch, this time over my eyebrow.
I squeezed my eyes shut tighter, feeling more wet seep out onto my cheeks.
So, this was what it was like to have a nightmare.