Rock Stars aren’t People

As soon as I saw Chuck Wendig’s “Must Contain Psychic Powers” Flash Fiction challenge I couldn’t resist. I even set up this blog with hopes of doing more!

The Challenge was to pick a power from a list of 20 and write a 1000 word fiction piece on it. Mine is 1100 but surely +/-10% still counts?

Any feedback is appreciated. Hope you enjoy :-).

Rock Stars aren’t People

 Paige’s tears caught in her throat as she heard the chains crawling across the linoleum floors. Two nurses dragged the man into the room as he hung in their arms, unable to walk with restraints around his feet and visibly too weak to try – they wouldn’t waste a wheelchair on him though. His uniform matched his nurses but where theirs was bright blue like Paige’s brother’s room, his was drained of colour. His hair covered his face, walling him off from Paige as she tried to shrink away from the stranger. She had heard about them.

“Finally,” Paige’s Mummy mumbled, quickly glancing at the nurses before turning back to Dr Bremner, ignoring the man. “Do you know how long we’ve been waiting now?”

Dr Bremner looked up at the man slumped in the nurses’ grip for an instant before she began peeling away the bandage’s on Paige’s leg. Paige gnawed on her lip as her Mummy looked away. She had said she was sorry for playing around the glass when she knew she wasn’t supposed to but Mummy wouldn’t say anything. Though Paige could see her fingers grazing her legs, even against her open wounds, she couldn’t feel anything.

“We’ve had a busy morning,” the doctor said, mimicking the monotonous newscaster that Mummy and Daddy insisted on watching every night. “The tools have only just become available.”

“My daughter’s been bleeding for half an hour.” Paige covered her ears at her Mummy’s shout but refused to look away from the man, close enough to grab her with his handcuffed hands. Out of the corner of her eye, the zigzagged wounds on her legs flashed at her, making her stare even harder at the man to avoid her stomach flipping every time she thought about the blood.

“Calm down, Mrs Harper.”

“You said she would never walk again!”

Dr Bremner froze, dropping the bandages though she was so close to finishing. Her icy eyes flicked to Mummy. Those eyes doused the fire burning within Mummy instantly. She averted her gaze and grabbed Paige’s trembling hand in a clenched fist. What had she been thinking? Even Paige knew better than to be rude to a doctor. With Dr Bremner’s eyes on them, they both held their tongues, waiting and wishing that the moment would pass by unnoticed.

“That’s without the treatment,” she said, words more clipped now to ensure that even someone who was foolish enough to question her would understand. She began unwrapping the bandages again. “She’ll be fine now. Even after the wait.”

Mummy nodded, her cheeks reddening.

She squeezed Paige’s hand, letting her know she didn’t need to be scared anymore. Paige didn’t see her muscles were still tense, awaiting the attack.

Dr Bremner unravelled the final piece of bandage, unveiling the criss-crossed masterpiece. Every other part of her was stitched up but her legs had received the most damage from the fall. The blood began to seep again from some wounds but when Paige tried to move before she made a mess of the bed sheets, her legs refused to budge.

Dr Bremner checked her watch, returning to her bored tone when she said, “I’m obligated to make sure you fully understand the consequences of the treatment.” She rattled off her spiel too quickly for Paige to understand.

Paige only realised she had stopped watching the man when he whispered, “Does it hurt?”

She almost screamed until she saw his face peeking through his curtain of hair. He was just a man. A man with pale skin and huge bags under his dull eyes, but a man no less. He reminded her of the rock stars with long curly hair and guitars on Daddy’s CDs.

“Does it hurt?” He asked again.

She shook her head, tears looming when she remembered the blood.

“You can’t walk anymore?”

She shook her head again.

The rock star smiled and though his teeth were yellow and some were gone, Paige thought it was nicer than Dr Bremner’s. “Don’t worry. I’ll make you better. You’ll be dancing by the time the sun goes down.”

Paige caught his contagious smile. “Will it hurt?”

Something passed over his eyes and his smile died. “I’ll make sure it doesn’t.”

Her Mummy waited until Dr Bremner was finished, not willing to incur her wrath. “Fine. Do it.”

After Dr Bremner nodded to them, the nurses repositioned the rock star, putting his hands on her legs. The room of people crowded around, surrounding her like bars of a prison cell, the world disappearing behind them. She whimpered for a moment before the man smiled behind his hair, hidden from everyone but her. She quietened instantly. She would be fine now.

The nurses let go of him, forcing him to stand on his own. Then his smiled disappeared.

His face twisted, lines carved into his face as he groaned and shook. The sweat ran down his face and though she couldn’t be sure, Paige thought he was crying.

Paige grabbed her Mummy’s hand, burying her face into her thigh as the rock star howled, rawer than any song Paige had ever heard. His sweet smile was ripped apart in agony.

Her Mummy gripped onto her, as if to absorb her pain. “It’s alright, sweetheart. It will be over soon.” But Paige couldn’t feel any pain. His grip became a little tighter with each second. He cried again and Paige screamed.

“Sorry!”

He stopped and the silence dropped on them like a bomb, pinning Paige to Mummy’s leg as she trembled. A weight dropped onto her, sliding off as the man tumbled from the bed.

“Get that off of her,” Dr Bremner. The nurses lunged for the man, grabbing him violently. They kicked at him though he never moved and hauled him along the floor, pulling his arms at wrong angles. He didn’t struggle.

Paige peeled herself from her Mummy’s arms, screaming as she leapt off the bed. Wailing when hands caught her in mid-air, she kicked out with her unmarked legs, reaching out for her rock star. Hair caged him in again and she screamed as he disappeared from the room.

“Paige!” Her Mummy said, trying to avoid her swinging limbs whilst manoeuvring her to sit on the bed.

“They’re hurting him,” She screamed as she tried to wriggle out of her Mummy’s iron grasp. Dr Bremner watched her with a mix of interest and impatience as she tapped on her folder, waiting for her Mummy to sign forms so she could go about her work.

“It’s ok, sweetheart. You saw what it did. It isn’t people.”

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2 comments

  1. Eee! Very well done, I kept cringing worriedly the whole way through. I liked the feel of seeing only little glimpses of a much larger world through the story.

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