Obey the Comb
The laboratory was becoming more like a prison than a home. Then again, it was a prison from the start, how could she make such a place into her home, it was a place where no child should be and she often questioned why was she here and where was her mother and father.
She had faint memories of them, but she never could remember the important pieces. She asked Clara, her caretaker, if one day, maybe just one day. She could visit her mother. Clara was one of the many care takers in area 66 and there were many to take care of, as they called them, the new born promise. She wondered what The New Born Promise was, she bets Ciara would have known. Ciara was smart, she always knew when everything was wrong and she smiled at these memories. Where is she?
“Alright, Penelope… let’s go”, said Clara a woman with nice long black hair and beauty mark on her neck.
“Where are we going?”, she inquired, Clara would usually chastise her for asking questions, she guessed she just simply didn’t like questions like Commander Erik, who was a nice man, he often gave Penelope and Ciara candy.
“Don’t ask, just follow”, said Clara with a boring note. She desired to ask more questions, but decided against it. Penelope picked up her hair and brought it with her, as it was too long for a small black child like her. Penelope was brown in the skin and possessed long white hair that she swore moved on its own. Lately, she was starting to hear things. She supposed it could have been just random voices in the vault because most of the time it was.
Clara took Penelope by the hand and they walked to Dr. Garamond. She didn’t liked Dr. Garamond, one time Ciara swore the man was looking at her strange and it frightened her. He never looked at Penelope maybe because she was too large. 5’11 at age ten was weird. Clara said the average height for a ten years old was 54 inches, she was way too tall for an average ten year old.
Dr. Garamond was a light skin man, white enough that Ciara and Penelope called him Mr. Snow. He had brownish hair and eyes that were far spaced apart and his nose was kind of flat, she hated that. She attended at the dirty colorless walls made out of metal. She didn’t know what kind of metal, but she recognized there were different types. It wasn’t Copper or Gold and it wasn’t aluminum or Brass.
“I have a question”, she demanded. “What am I going to get checked for? Am I sick? I don’t feel ill”
“No, not because your sick…”, she said biting her lips. There was no check up, she wasn’t sick, there was nothing wrong with her.
“I don’t know… they… they just ordered me to bring you”, she lied, she knew exactly why they wanted her because if they left it in there any longer, she’d be dead, there wasn’t any hope for the world if they let her remain in there.
Project Cure would be a failure all because they had to…
“Another question!”, she announced which earned an eye roll from Clara. “What?”, she alleged in calm tone despite how irritated she actually was. “Are mermaids real?”
Clara bit her tongue and looked away. In her mind she had gripped the girl by her hair, swung her into the wall and beat her bloody. In her eyes, Penelope was a little devil, nothing normal, she wouldn’t even get in trouble for it because technically she could get rid of the cure.
It technically wasn’t her fault, she didn’t ask for it. Penelope looked at Clara would her blue eyes. She could see some parts of her were red. Penelope had special eyes. She understood things in others that no one can see so, she asked her. “Clara, are you mad?”, she inquired with a smirk across her face. She got redder and she gripped her hand harder and walked faster.
They last reached the place and Clara opened the door using a code. 1-0-8-0-8 “Care Taker Clara Kinsley, your responsibility today is bringing Penelope Weaver. Go on ahead”, said a man over the intercom.
“Where are we going? Are we going to the doctor? Am I going to get a sucker this time? One time Ciara–“, she didn’t hold back and let her hand fly across the child’s face. “SHUT UP! Don’t you dare say another word! Just shut up and be a good monster!”
“Monster?”, Penelope narrowed her eyes. “Why?”
She earned another smack. “Hush!”, she demanded. “Don’t say anything else the rest of the way!”
“Fuck you…”, Penelope muttered.
She led the girl into the medical facility and pushed the girl into a chair. She looked at her, she sighed and ran a hand down her face. “I’m sorry, can you tell? I’m frightened, nervous, afraid… I care about you Penelope”, she kissed her forehead. “Whether you believe me or not, you are very special to me, like a daughter and I’m sorry… We messed you up…”
She was speechless but she picked up her mood shift from red to blue, a sad color but she was confused. She didn’t understand, she always understood Ciara, maybe cause, she was always pink, pink, love for her… nothing but love.
“Be good… ok? I know you don’t realize because you’re emotionally unresponsive to certain people. I understand that, do you realize what that is? She shook her head. She explained, “emotionally unresponsive are people who are…” she strained to explain it, but it was like the words didn’t form. “Numbness, deadness, you don’t react to people…”
“Yes I do… I just don’t like you”
“Where’s Ciara?”, she asked with most demanding voice. “I’m so sorry Penelope, but she’s closer than you think”
“What the fuck does that mean!?”
“Language”, she reprehended. “Screw you, what does that mean. Where is she!”
“Doctor, she’s all yours”, and with that she turned to depart. Once she passed away the chair automatically locked her in, straps around her feet and arms. She struggled and began to breathe heavily, confused about what was happening or what was about to happen..
“Ms. Weaver!”, said a nasal voice. She turned quickly to the direction of the voice.
“What am I here for!”, she cried. Dr. Garamond sucked his teeth in frustration, “I’m sorry Penelope… but could you look away for a minute”
“I will do no such thing!”
“I’m asking you because your afraid of needles”
The doctor would ask the kids to turn around when they would get a shot. Penelope clenched her teeth, “Go ahead… I won’t turn my head. I can take it”
The doctor sighed and color was bits and pieces of blue and black, black meant something evil. Either internally or externally. She wished she read minds like Ciara. An irritating but somewhat helpful ability. She always knew what she was thinking so never got surprises.
The doctor had the needle ready, filled with a green solution. “What is that?”
“Something to help you sleep”
“Sleep? I’m not tired….”
“You will be soon….”, he murmured.
The colors blue flashed but the color black was swarming and there was I spot of pink between his legs. She got concerned, scared, her anxiety rose the more she looked at him. He tapped the needle as always for bubbles, and he approached her in the seat.
“This might pinch a little”
Penelope please… run
His hand gently touched her and she flinched. The needle was close to her neck, just a little more, just inches off. Her mouth felt like cotton, her face and legs were numb and felt oddly weak. “What did… ya do to me”, she slurred her speech. “Relax Penelope… it’s just the medicine”, said Dr. Garamond. She writhed in the chair, her body wouldn’t move right, her vision was slowly going and she couldn’t breathe. “”Penelope?”, Dr. Garamond checked to find out if she was still responsive. Garamond took off his lab coat and laid his hand against Penelope’s face to bring her towards him. Gently he placed five kisses on her face, her heart was racing, she couldn’t move. Every once in a while he’d check the door to make certain no one was coming in.
Penelope… he did the same thing to me…
Her eyes were wide and she looked at Garamond. He was unbuttoning his pants, she gained a face of disgust and she kicked him. Their color changes from pink to dark red. Her eyes were wild as Garamond was doubled over in pain, she tried frantically to make out of the straps. Garamond got up and took hold of a hammer from the table that was previously already bloodied.
With the pain below him slowly easing away, he took the very hammer he picked up and bash Penelope from behind. She yelped in pain, her eyes were dilated and hair was in a frenzy. The injury from the hammer was healing, her anger was uncontrollable. “WHAT DID YOU DO TO CIARA!”
She broke free of her cuffs. The doctor was picked up by his collar. Hair… hair, her hair was moving. It was alive. She slammed the doctor on the ground and the hair wrapped round his throat. “WHERE IS SHE!”, she cried. “Tell me where, where is she!”
The doctor struggled and couldn’t get any air, the loss of oxygen… the floating feeling. “S-she…”, he tried to talk. The threads of her hair were cutting his throat. “She… closer… than you think”, he smirked. A segment of her hair split and started forcing it’s way it his mouth. Deeper, deeper, stomach… the man was split asunder.
“Ciara!”, she yelled for her, she was thinking she was near, somewhere in the lab. She was near, she was in here, she just knew she had to be. And then she raced out the room, with her hair withdrawing from the split apart corpse of the doctor. She was racing through the lab with rage and determination filling her. Ciara was her best friend, her everything, they separated them, but she didn’t know the reason. She was calm around her, she wasn’t angry anymore. She didn’t feel like destroying anything anymore, but now she was upset, in a blind rage. Anybody that was in the way she instantly killed them. She ran down the narrow hallways with her hair choking and absorbing everything. The screams as people’s bodies were drained and the sound of bones being crushed under the massive weight of her hair and she paid this no mind as she went down the hallway, towards her room.
This was it, 110 was her room, “Ciara!”, she screamed. The door was left ajar. She broke in, she wasn’t there. The room was very clean. Emptied, her clothes weren’t in there, her playthings in the box were gone. “Ciara…?
“She’s not here Penelope”
Penelope’s head snapped back behind her. “She isn’t here… she’s–”
She grabbed Clara by the neck and thrashed her around the room a bit and finally dragging her by her throat to her face. “Wh… ere”, she gasp out. “Where… is.. she. My best friend?”
“She’s… closer–“, Penelope cut her off by hitting her in the face. “Don’t give me that! TELL ME WHERE”
Clara looked at her blue eyes, at how they were now a yellowish tone. “Pene—Just calm down…”, Clara’s eyes were watery and her throat pain. “Ok! I–i know where…”
Clara pointed at her hair. “In there…”
“Is this a joke to you!”, she called out and delivered a smack across the face. “I’m serious… she isn’t dead, just barely alive”
Penelope looked at her hair, dropping Clara on the floor.
She picked her hair up and a hand dropped, it was black and boney. “Cia… Ciara…?”
She heard faint gasp of breath and hesitantly reached for the hand and to her shock, it took hold of her back. “Ciara… no?”
She rooted the body out of her jungle hair and screeched to the heaven. She was there, she was closer than she thought. This whole time, and somehow still breathing. Black almost as if she was burned, her eyes. She knew those big brown eyes.
Her voice was gruff and gravely. “Hi, Pe-pe-nelope”