Animal testing.Mature

Lazarus sat dumbly, staring at the floor. Melissa was with another man? She wouldn’t... would she...? They must have... got it wrong, made it up. Melissa wouldn’t just abandon me so easily? The man was saying something, but he couldn’t hear what, only his laughter rang in his ears. I mustn’t be so selfish, he thought, giving himself a mental slap. If she’s... happy... if she doesn’t have to run for me... I should be glad. So why do I feel so sick?

‘Oh stop crying, mutt.’ The man said, his lazy words accompanied by yet another punch. Lazarus looked up. The silver burns were nearly healed, replaced by bruises that didn’t last long. The man watched as a patch of purple blossomed on Lazarus’ cheek before fading again. The dog hadn’t even winced, the man noticed. He pressed his lips together and wondered where the other hunter had got to. Probably lost, the man snorted contemptuously. Not like the guy knows this area. He pulled out his phone again and jabbed a button to speed dial. The call went to answer phone and the man frowned. ‘Whatever,’ he muttered, snapping his phone shut, stuffing it back in his pocket angrily. He turned back to Lazarus.

Lazarus felt himself flinch away as the man grab for his arm, hating how weak he was making himself look. The man growled something and grabbed again, wrapping his steely grip around his upper arm. He pulled, dragging Lazarus and his chair across the floor. Pain flared in his upper arm as the man tugged. It felt as though he were trying to pull his arm out of its socket. The agonized noise that escaped him sounded too much like a kicked dog whining as it limped away from its brutal master. Except that Lazarus couldn’t go anywhere; he couldn’t get away from this brutal master. The chair leg caught on one of the floorboards and stuck, tilting as the hunter refused to stop pulling. Instead the man let go, letting Lazarus crash to the floor.

Lazarus swore as he fell, his arm trapped around the back of the chair in an awkward angle. There was a loud crack and Lazarus howled, feeling the bone in his arm crack. He kept perfectly still, his weight leaning easily on his arm. The man tutted and reached down, pulling Lazarus up by his other arm. The pain coursed through him as quickly as the adrenaline that sped through his veins.

‘Can I...’ Lazarus started, wincing as the man released him, ‘can I set my arm, please?’ He did his best to be polite, despite everything and looked up at the man. The man smirked and nodded, but didn’t un-cuff him or make any move to help. ‘Wait,’ Lazarus whimpered as the man moved out of sight, ‘I need you to un-cuff me!’

‘Why would I do that?’ the man asked from somewhere behind Lazarus. His voice was as cold and sterile as the white lights in the room.

‘What, you think I’m capable of escaping like this?’ Lazarus yelped, grimacing as his arm throbbed.

‘Of course.’ The man said. His footsteps reverberated as he made his way back to Lazarus.

‘Then you’re stupider than you look too,’ Lazarus spat the words out, expecting the man to deal him another blow, or to hurt his arm even more.

‘No, I’m just careful.’ He bent over Lazarus, pushing back Melissa’s coat, sliding the sleeve down his arm to the bend at his elbow. The man was holding a syringe, the needle poking out the end menacingly. Lazarus looked away as the man put the needle to the vein in his arm, breaking through the skin. The man filled the syringe with Lazarus’ blood and pulled away, not bothering to wipe the blood off. The hole healed almost instantly. Grunting, the man moved away again, behind Lazarus.

‘What do you need that for?’ Lazarus asked, trying to distract himself from the pain.

‘Trying to find a more effective way of killing you and your kind,’ the man replied confidently, telling Lazarus in a way that made him suspect this man was not about to let him out of this room. At least not while he was alive...Lazarus swallowed.

‘Wouldn’t it be better to try and cure, rather than kill?’ he didn’t know why he was attempting to reason with this man. I must be insane the voice in his head laughed weakly.

‘No. Things like you don’t deserve to live on this planet.’  The words were said with such ease that Lazarus flinched. How could this man be so callous?

‘Don’t tell me,’ Lazarus frowned, trying to explain the man’s bitterness to himself, to figure out why this man was so full of loathing for him, ‘first hand negative experience with a werewolf? Umm... family? Friends? Killed by a werewolf before your very eyes?’ the man said nothing, the only sounds he made coming from whatever he was doing with the blood sample. Lazarus tried to look over his shoulder, but the movement set his arm off again. He gritted his teeth. ‘I really need to set my arm, you know. I’m sorry if your family or friends were hurt by werewolves, but I’m not like that. I’m not one of those ones that enjoy the transformation; I don’t deliberately do any damage, okay? If I had a choice, I would be human. Please, let me set my arm!’ Lazarus despised the begging tone that his voice had taken laced with the pain he was trying to hide. There was a sharp bang as the man slammed something into the table behind Lazarus.

‘If it makes you shut up, fine!’ the man snapped, unlocking the hand cuffs. ‘Don’t try anything.’ He snarled, pushing the barrel of his gun into Lazarus’ neck threateningly. Stiffly, Lazarus rolled his shoulders, trying to work out the dull ache in his muscles before pulling his broken arm up into his lap. The bone crunched as it was pulled back into place. Lazarus contained the shout of pain as best he could as he set the bone back into place.

‘Done?’ the man asked impatiently. Lazarus nodded tentatively and swore as the man pulled his arms behind him again, setting the silver cuffs tightly around his wrists again. The man moved away again and left Lazarus to sit and wait for his fate. Melissa...

The End

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