Dog Tag

In this alternate reality, werewolves live among us. Feared though they are, they are treated as normally as possible. Just one thing marks them out from others - a silver dog tag necklace. Every full moon, the wearers of the dog tags are rounded up and put in cells in the WereControl Headquarters.
Wisteria Lewin wakes up one morning wearing a tag that she cannot get off and has no idea how it got there................
*I've used the name Wisteria before, yeah I know, but it's such a lovely name that I couldn't resist using it again*

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6. Five

Head.

That's my first thought.

Oh my god.

Pain pain pain.

My eyelids flutter, trying to drag myself up from the dark hole of sleep. My head is hurting so freaking bad. I feel like I'm getting stabbed repeatedly in the forehead.

Where - ?

I try to open my eyes, but I instantly recoil and moan, my whole body snapping back to try to avoid the agony of light. It's not even that bright - in fact, it's positively dim. But right now, any form of light is painful.

I rub a hand over my closed eyes, shifting up on one elbow. My skin grates against the cold stone floor. Wait, stone?

My eyelids inch open again and I'm struck dumb.

I'm in a small stone cell, about four by six metres. The only light is moonlight, filtering in through the tiny barred window. The ground is covered in a light sprinkling of straw, and a small iron bunk is bolted to the wall, with a thin greenish mattress and white pillow.

What the heck?!

Oh.

It all comes flooding back so fast I press a hand to my forehead, scrunching up my nose. Freddie and the soldiers and Big Cheese and they found the Tag and the van and the injection -

I sit up properly and examine the pale skin of my arm in the meagre light. A tiny smear of dried blood marks the spot. I growl automatically. I insult them graphically in my mind, over and over again.

"You know, you're cuter when you're not pulling a face like an annoyed pelican."

I practically jump a foot in the air, letting out a little pathetic squeaking sound. The voice is clear and male and slightly gravelly, like it hasn't been used in a while.

There is a slight shifting in the shadows - this guy camouflaged himself well - and as I scramble backwards, the light falls into place and I can see him. He's about my age, maybe a tiny bit older, with spiky dark blonde hair and blue-hazel eyes. His face is unique and distinguished-looking, with naturally frowning eyebrows and full lips. His clothes are dark and grubby and ripped slightly, with lots of layers. He looks like he spends a lot of his time outdoors.

The reality of what he has said finally sinks in as my back hits the wall, and I snap without thinking, "excuse me? A pelican?!"

"Yes," he muses, looking at the iron bars on the window, his face mischievous. "A pelican. That seemed accurate for you frustrated face. But your surprised face was more like a gopher."

I can feel my anger bubbling up automatically. I've spent enough time getting crap for how I dress, but now for my expressions? "I wasn't aware that I looked like various animals," I hiss. "Your face looks like a polar bear that got run over by a truck!"

He looks surprised, and somewhat pleased. "Good. You're catching on." He sticks out a hand. "Rikan."

I eye his slightly grimy hand warily, then take it gingerly. "Wisteria."

"Wisteria," he reels off, "a genus of flowering plants from the pea family Fabaceae. Very hardy and fast-growing.It can grow in poor-quality soils, but flourishes in moist, well-drained soil. Wisteria grows by twining their stems around available supports."

My mouth has drifted open by the time he finishes rambling about my namesake flower.

He notices my shocked expression, and chuckles. "Sorry. Eidetic memory."

I shake my head like I'm trying to get rid of water in my ears, and continue to stare.

We sit in slightly awkward silence, when suddenly I break it.

"Why have they put me in here with you?"

"Huh?" is his intelligent reply.

"Well, I'm a girl, you're a boy."

"Oh. Um," he says, his face flushing red, "they........uh.......they like to encourage breeding."

"Oh." My cheeks get very hot, and I turn my head, coughing slightly. "Right."

"But we're not going to - "

"Of course we're not!" I snap.

"Right," he mutters.

"Why do they encourage..........you know," I say awkwardly.

Rikan clears his throat, trying and failing not to blush. "Oh, little werewolf babies. More for them to experiment on."

My head whips up. "What?"

He stares at the floor. "Nothing. Nothing."

"No, that was not nothing," I say, straightening up. "You said something about experiments."

"What - no!" he bluffs. "No, of course I didn't."

"Yes!" I growl. "Yes, you did. And don't lie to me, I can smell your nervous sweat."

He sighs, his resolve breaking. "Alright. No point in softening the blow. Wisteria, they're going to take you out of this cell at midnight, strap you to a table, run tests, wipe your memory and then send you back out into the world to carry on your merry, blissful, ignorant way."

It feels like a slap in the face.

"What?"

 

 

 

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