Tea Leaves and Diamond Bracelets

Kikimora

Match Twenty-Nine: Kikimora:

She had a name back when she was human. Right now, she sat dazed in a white room. She tried to piece together what happened. She could barely see anything because of the bright lights. Her head felt like it was underwater. She took in slow breath with the pain in her limbs. It was a miracle that she was able to be sitting up at all? Where did this smell of flowers come from?

“Can you hear me?” a man’s voice asked. The test subject lifted her head.

“Huh?” she mumbled.

“Good, she’s conscious,” the man said. Mumbling came through the speakers. She tried to get a better look. The lower frequencies in the room made her ears hurt. Where was that scent of flowers coming from?

At least, she wasn’t smelling bodies anymore. Ah, yes. There were dead people in a room with her. Where did they go? Who was that talking to her just now? Too many things started to surface in her head.

It’s always so cold in Russia at night. It’s worse when you have nothing to eat. She knew this too well. She dug through trash cans and looked for places to stay warm. People will do anything for food. If a starving was given the choice between saving a baby and a fat roasted pig, that baby would be dead in a heartbeat. That’s right. They were all promised food. She wanted something a little more than trash can scraps for a change.

“We will begin the test.”

Test? What test? Wait, when did this room get so cold? She looked down to see a small tray in front of her. Five white tablets sat on a small plate. Beside them stood a tall glass of water.

“Take the pills,” the man said. Chills ran through her body. Something told her not to take them. But what choice did she have? The pains of hunger started to creep up in her stomach again. She reached forward and took the pills with the water. She lay on the floor with glazed over eyes. The room started spinning.

This wasn’t the first time this happened.

Another wave of visions filled her eyes. There was another white room. Not much was inside. Just a piano, a stool, and a white teddy bear on the stool. She had seen this place before. Her hand reached for the little stuffed bear.

Someone called her name. She turned her head. A woman with a bird head gave her a cold look. She had her arms folded across her chest. The bird woman was talking to her, but she couldn’t understand what she was saying. Whatever it was, it frightened her.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

The bird woman grabbed her by the hair. She tried to push the hand away. Instead, she was dragged out of the room by the bird woman.

“No!” she screamed. The hand through out through the door. She fell to the ground. She found herself cold and naked on the ground. Her body shivered. She shut her eyes tightly.

A hand grabbed her chin. Her mouth was forced open. They force a big needle into her mouth. She felt the liquid going into the back of her throat. Her whole body went limp.

She woke up in that white room again. A light flashed in her eyes.

“She’s still with us.”

“Good. Keep the test going.”

“Yes.”

Footsteps. The door slides shut. It goes quiet.

She stares at the ceiling. When did it look so high? No, the room was shrinking. The walls looked ready to swallow her whole. Faint classical music played in the background. How many of them were out there? She’s heard two of them speak. There could be more. They were enjoying this, weren’t they? All of this for food and a warm place to sleep. They took advantage of her. There were others that were trapped with her. What happened to them? Were they still alive? Where was that scent of flowers coming from?

Suddenly, white changed to brown. The floor became soft and fuzzy. The smell of flowers fought to overpower the cigar smoke in the room. Someone stood over her. They had a fat lit cigar between their fingers. Hot ashes fell on her skin. This person smelt like they hadn’t had a bath in years.

They started speaking. She couldn’t hear what they were saying. The person grin like a demon. A hand picked her up off the ground. Her body slowly came up off the ground. She could see dead eyes staring at her.

“Ready the next dose.”

“What?”

A sharp pain shot through her frail body. She couldn’t look down before the hand held her head in place. Her vision grew blurred. Her body went limp.

Do not be afraid.

She opened her eyes. There was no one in sight. She could feel something crawling on her bare skin. She tried to scream but found herself unable to move.

Do not be afraid. Just let it take you.

Why?

A soft breeze went into her ear. The answer became so clear to her. Her whole body relaxed.

I understand. This won’t hurt, will it?

No. It’s going to feel wonderful.

She closed her eyes as the crawling moved up her body. The burning didn’t even hurt either. She herself sank away into a new world. This must be what home felt like.


-The Next Day-

Ivan, Alisa, Adrik, and Karp walked up to the two-way mirror. Adrik flipped on the light. The homeless woman that Ivan nearly ran over sat up in the other room dressed in her dirty hospital clothes. Her short dirty blonde hair grew out to long and white to her shoulders. Her eyes glowed bright red as she looked up at the mirror in front of her. Ivan picked up the microphone.

“Tell me something, subject 1,” he addressed her. “How are you feeling right now?” The test subject’s lips curved into a devilish smirk.

“I feel good,” she purred.

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