Purgatory

After being frozen for a millennium, Avanna Myles awakes to a new age of Earth. She is in a time of plastic beauty, of advanced technology, and of life easily bought. But her newfound life is not a blessing, but rather a curse. Her past visits her in her wake, when she closes her eyes, and it takes all of her strength to ignore it. She is a slave to the government and its people, and every time she escapes them, she reawakens in the arms of authority. When she finds her reason to live, it lies too far away for her to reach. But her hope is strong. Unadjusted to the new life ahead of her, she needs to learn to adapt to the new rules of the society, or else her heart will stop. For good.
(Currently in the process of being re-written.)

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2. Chapter I.

I feel anew, alive. My mind is open to senses I didn’t realize I had; I feel a metallic texture under my back. I am lying down. The world suddenly smells repugnantly of disinfectant and blood. My body shakes uncontrollably for some reason. I hear a high-pitched scream that cannot possibly be mine. It sounds miles away, and so unfamiliar. My vision is a colored blur that begins to sharpen, slowly at first, and then my mind comprehends that this is not Purgatory. My body snaps up, suddenly awake and riveting with energy that I have never known existed. My muscles are tense and my head is swimming as I sit up. I realize trying to move was a bad idea, because I am suddenly drained of the riveting energy in my body, and slump back onto the table. My head slams against the metal table, and I make a mental note to find a pillow. I judge it would be best to just observe, rather than take any action at this point. I can’t move, anyway. The colors in my head sharpen to form recognizable images: people with pale faces and lab coats staring at me, white walls, screens with my face on them, screens with my name on them. My shaking body is reduced to shivering. Everything is moving so quickly. The doctors swarm like ants to a crumb. I feel the pricks of thousands of needles. I see their mouths moving, but I can’t hear anything anymore. There is no screaming. Just silence, as I am overwhelmed in every other sense.

 

I am given a reprieve when my head drifts off and everything becomes black. This is what I am used to. This is what I am comfortable in. The darkness does not present colors or textures. Just darkness. It is cathartic and I welcome its swallowing embrace.

 

I awake to the white walls, but I am in a different room. I am on a cot, not a metal table. The room is dimly lit, and my eyes adjust to the lighting. I notice I am wearing a hospital patient’s gown. I want to tear it off, but there is nothing else to put on it its place. It will have to do for now. I see my bedside table has a vase filled with a single red rose. I weakly reach out and pluck it from its place, lifting it to my nose and inhaling the familiar scent, sweet and light as summer breezes. My head suddenly spins and lurches, and I grasp the rose so tightly that the thorns etch through my skin. The pain awakens me. To be alive is to be able to hurt. I place the rose back into its rightful spot.

 

When I look up, he appears so suddenly and quietly that he could have been there for hours and I might not have noticed. He stands tall in a white shirt and an open, thin, long black jacket that drapes to his knees, and black jeans that lead to brown leather shoes. His hair is a light blond, his face is long, and his skin is so pale he almost melts into the walls. He has eyes that glint of golden caramel, but he stares at me as a lion might a steak. I feel self-conscious and pull my knees to my chest.

 

I wonder if I can speak. My mind is bursting with questions, but my throat hurts. “What day is it?” It bursts out of my mouth in a gnarled yell before I can stop myself. I look at him eagerly, however, because this is a question I expect an answer to.

 

 He returns my heavy stare and his mouth twitches up in the hint of a smile, but then his face returns to the stony anvil of before. He opens his mouth, and yet I can see him hesitate to answer the basic question. But then his inner confliction is gone and he begins to speak: “It is currently the ninth of September, precisely eight thirty-four in the morning, in the year 3014.” His voice gets louder throughout the sentence. He sounds extremely pretentious.

 

I begin to tremble heavily, shaking to the point where I can hear the squeak of the bed’s weak hinges. The strength vanishes from my limbs like water flooding down a drain. I can’t sit up anymore and I just fall into the mattress, hugging myself until I stop trembling. A sob escapes my lips and I try to capture it and shove it back down my throat. I don’t want him to think I am weak. I can feel his pretentious gaze bare into me, and suddenly I don’t care anymore. The only thought in my mind that begins to matter is that I have been legally dead for centuries. 

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