Sunday October 9th, 2016

The exercise:

As promised, today we return to the House of Mercy yearlong prompt.

Had a pretty busy day, considering how little we had planned. Kat cooked up a chili for dinner, along with pumpkin pudding. I picked apples to get them in the cooler before they went bad on the trees so that we can make some more apple sauce for Miles once he starts eating solids. Max also managed to convince me to pick some ornamental pumpkins with him so that he could decorate the deck for Halloween.

Dinner was tasty, though it was weird to be up there without Kat's parents around. Max and Natalie had lots of loud fun, as expected.

Good day, overall. But I'm very sleepy right now so let's get to it, shall we? Only two visits remain after this one...


Julie blinked, ever so slowly. It felt like the first movement she had controlled since she had been thrown to the floor by... whatever. Or whoever.

The buzzing in her ears had subsided and the hypnotic voice was fainter now, as though a barrier had been placed between her and their source. She still couldn't seem to make herself stand up though. Blinking felt like a step in the right direction but she needed to be running full tilt for the door.

"You're still mine," the voice hissed. "Don't think otherwise, girl."

"Whatever," Julie mumbled. Encouraged by a second act of defiance, she tried to push herself up off the floor with her elbows. Her fingers twitched in response. "Damn it."

"Julie!" Anne's voice, echoing and distant as it was, still spurred her onward and upward. "Julie!"

"Kill her!" the voice commanded.

"Not likely," Julie countered as she finally reached a sitting position. Beside her, Bradley moaned and shifted but did not wake up. "Quiet, you."

"Julie!" Anne's voice was much closer now. Julie could hear her footsteps growing louder as she approached. And then, at last, she was there in the hallway. "Julie! Are you okay?"

"Couldn't be better," Julie said, sucking in deep breaths before attempting any more movements. "Can you come in?"

"There's still something blocking the doorway.... but it seems weaker now."

"Okay." Julie bit back a scream as she forced herself to her feet.

Bradley woke up.

The voice in her head came once again. This time it was yelling.



Greg said...

That sounds like a nice party, although I know what you mean about being there when someone you expect to be there too isn't. Still, this is the loud house party I mentioned a few comments back, right? ;-)
Right, so we have Julie awake but not moving much yet, Bradley waking up, Anne back but stuck outside and Cecilie not giving up even though losing Babs seems to have weakened her. It's getting pretty tense here!

Bradley grunted as though he'd been kicked and rolled over. He was waking, but it looked like he was having the same kind of trouble that Julie was. The voice screamed in her -- in their? -- heads again.
"Why useless?" Julie swayed on her feet and reached back behind her to support herself against the wall. A headache was pounding like a blacksmith hammering on an anvil and the question slipped out almost on reflex.
"He's a man. They're all useless, disposable, discardable."
"Harsh," said Julie. She placed her palms against the wall and edged closer to the door. There was a new pounding now, staccato, in arrythmic counterpoint to her headache.
"You came here because of that!"
For a moment everything became still and silent and the buzz that was somehow Cecilie became a golden glow. In the middle of it was a tall, elegant woman; everything Julie wished she saw when she looked in the mirror. She remembered Doug, though he seemed cruder and uglier than she thought. Perhaps that was the benefit of a little distance?
"Join us," said Cecilie. She held out a hand and blurred. Julie saw three, then eight, then dozens, then hundreds of individual women all somehow part of Cecilie. Faces turned to her, imploring, desperate, grief-stricken; mouths all moving and murmuring the same words, "Join us."
There was a crash somewhere outside the glow, but it didn't really matter any more. Julie could see that this was a better place.
"The medication makes it easier to join us," said Cecilie. She smiled, pulling back into one uncommonly beautiful woman again. "Together we're stronger. No man can dominate us, can ruin us, can make us feel like we're getting the crazy on the carseats. We're better together." She held out both hands now, and Julie found the temptation to take them irresistible. She pulled her hands off the wall--
-- and blinked and sat down as her vision disappeared in a cloud of cold, white foam.
"She's a vampire!" yelled Anne somewhere close by.
"KILL HER!" screamed the buzzing voice in her mind, and Julie shook her head, blobs of foam flying free. She wiped her eyes: Anne was swinging a fire extinguisher around her as though trying to bat a swarm of wasps. Bradley loomed behind her; he must have woken up while she was talking to Cecilie. The fire extinguisher caught him on the temple and he went over again, eyes rolling back up in his head.
"Kill you too, you bitch!" Anne sounded angrier but more controlled.
Julie coughed, wiped more foam from her face and tried to think. What on earth did they do now?

Marc said...

Greg - hah, yes, I suppose it was the big house party :)

Great continuation! I have to admit I laughed at Bradley getting knocked out again like that.

The fire extinguisher was a clever route to go, nicely done.

Now... we've got two months left and a decision to make about where to go next. I'm glad I've got some time to think it over :)