Luca: Shaky Grip On RealityMature

Word Count: 1324


The only thing that made me able to pull off their escape was the adrenaline that had thundered through me when I saw Joe’s face at the door instead of that bitch nurse. She had seen me as her one shot at getting us out of this shit hole world and back to some kind of normality and latched onto it. That’s fine – we all do stupid things. Her first mistake was believing that we could ever get back to normality now.

Her second was believing that I would let her sacrifice me. I’m not a fucking pin cushion, or a monkey. Okay, they were bad things to pick when you’re a junkie and don’t know how to read but fuck. She had my blood… that was enough.

When I closed my eyes, all I could see was white walls. I gripped at the edge of the car seat underneath me, repeating over in my head that I wasn’t there anymore, but those drugs she spiked me with were taking me on some nasty ass trip. As soon as the adrenaline faded – pretty fucking quickly thanks to whatever was in that IV – the trip I was on was all I knew.

What had been hope and an almost too easy escape morphed into something pretty fucking different. Suddenly, Joe and Rayn weren’t my friends anymore; they were on the nurse’s side. They were moving me to a different lab, and the only way they could’ve ever gotten me to play along was if they made me think I was going to be free. The people in the front of the car weren’t even Joe or Rayn, they were strangers, soldiers dressed like my friends, masks and wigs made them look real enough and I wasn’t in any state to try and find out if their hair would come off if I tugged on it.

I sat up, watching the road bubble up into view. My stomach turned at the speed I saw the scenery going past and if I hadn’t been so fucking stoned, I would’ve managed to open the door and roll out onto the highway at two hundred kilometers an hour. Rayn noticed me leaning across, clawing at the handle, trying to find a way out of the car I thought was driving me to a lab.

“Joe, stop him,” Rayn yelled, trying to keep his eyes on the road.

Joe twisted in his seat to see what I was doing, grabbing my hands when he realized what was going on.

“Cancer, what the hell are you doing?”

“Let me out,” I growled, “let me out you fuck.” I tried to pull my hands out of his grasp, yanking so he was forced to let go.

“Joe, can you drive?”

“No,” he huffed, trying to hold onto my wrists this time.

“Shit. You’re gonna have to get him to calm down.”

“You what?” Joe yelped as I slammed my arm – and his fingers – against the door, still telling them to let me out.

“Do you remember how I got him to calm down before? When you thought he was going to kill you?”

“No, I was too busy trying not to be killed, Rayn,” he shouted.

“Well he’s already down, you just have to climb into the back and stop him from moving around too much.”

“How the fuck am I supposed to do that? He’s taller than me!” The all too familiar sound of someone shouting through a megaphone after us was slowly getting louder behind us. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Rayn didn’t seem to like it. Neither did Joe.

“I managed it, you can too. Just pin his arms behind his back and sit on him until he remembers where he is.” Joe looked like he was about to protest, but in their distraction, I’d sat back up from where I’d been leaning so far. Shuffling over to the door was my only option, I couldn’t reach properly, and if I was closer it would be harder for them to stop me. I was not going back to the lab. The road sped past me. For a moment, it looked like grey velvet. Sure it was going fast, but if I jumped out of the car now, it’d catch me, and nothing would happen, I’d be able to get away before they could stop and turn around for me.

Then that moment was gone. A skinny, lanky ginger thing had thrown himself through the gap in the seats. My head slammed into the window. The thud it made reverberated around in my head, making me blink in shock. Joe took advantage of the fact I was too out of it to spring straight back and throw him out of the car instead, and slapped one arm across my back, forcing me down into the leather seat. My arms were pulled behind me and an unfamiliar weight settled on my back, pinning them between me and him.

I struggled, but Rayn was talking to Joe again.

“Now, just tell him it’s okay, remind him where he is and what’s going on, and that we’re definitely not being chased by that nurse.”

“I’m not going back to another fucking lab,” I shouted, trying to throw Joe off of me. Desperately, he started telling me what Rayn had told him to. It was a fucking weird sensation having someone else do this to me instead of Rayn. The voice, the accent, the weight, all of it was wrong. But he managed it, somehow. He forced me to stop trying to get free, and even though after all that struggling, I was half hanging off the seat but not entirely on the floor, I ended up staying still, breathing hard.

“Do you remember where you are yet?” Joe asked me eventually.

“I’m in a car with a fucking ginger on top of me, that’s where I am,” I growled, blinking furiously against the white walls. Slowly what I was seeing began to match up with what I was saying.

“Can I let him go now?” he asked Rayn. A glance in the mirror and a quick nod had me out from under the ginger’s butt. I stayed where I was for a moment, my face pressed into the leather, reminding myself that this was the reality I was supposed to be in. I guess this is why they say drug abuse fucks you up. “What was that?” Joe breathed, sitting down beside me, glancing around as the shouting from the megaphone started up again.

“Cancer,” Rayn looked in the rear view at me and then at whoever was behind us, “has a very shaky grip on reality, sometimes. Some drugs make it worse. He’s usually pretty good at staying away from those, but there’s not much that can be helped when they were forced on him,” he explained, pushing the car for all it was worth down the highway. I massaged my temples, happy enough to let him do the talking, for once not really caring what he revealed about me. In the middle of an apocalypse, being able to trust people was one thing that had gotten even harder for me, but Joe was hardly a threat to me, and after getting me out of that lab, I had some kind of grudging respect for him now too.

“I really don’t like these people on my ass,” Rayn muttered, swerving to avoid something in the road. He might have avoided crashing into something but that was twice that window had made friends with my head now. “Time to lose them,” he decided out loud. I didn’t like the sound of that. That sounded too much like he’d seen a way he thought we could lose them but would actually turn out to be a worse idea than just shooting out their tires or something. 

The End

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