In Hyde's Lament, out now, Catherine Hyde, who we first met in Only The Few by L.N. Denison, has begun changing into the very kind of monster she has been fighting in a post-apocalyptic England.
Two men, armed with semi-automatic rifles, entered the dingy makeshift medical wing of the bomb shelter. One held a straitjacket, and the other, a syringe. Looming over Hyde, the man with the syringe slowly motioned toward her thigh. Hyde had been watching them through her eyelashes, feigning sleep. Without warning, she opened her eyes, and widened them as the needle’s point headed towards her left leg.
“What’s that?” Hyde’s voice shook. “Get that thing away from me.”
Pulling violently on the tightening restraints, she could do nothing to resist the needle as it slid in.
“Just a little Diazepam to calm you for the short journey to the training facility, that’s all.” The man regarded her with indifference as he slowly pumped the drug into her system.
Hyde became weak as the drug took effect, relaxing her muscles as though she had no bones holding her together. Her eyes grew heavy as she struggled to keep them open. The men released her restraints but by then, she was too feeble to take advantage of it and had no way to resist as they lifted her off the bed. They threaded her limp arms through the sleeves of the straitjacket, fastening the buckles tight and forcing Hyde to exhale sharply. Each pull stole her breath away. The sleeves were wrapped across her chest and the ties secured behind her back. As well as being so relaxed she could hardly walk, she had now lost the use of her arms.
With a man stabilising her either side, Hyde was led out of the cold room into the corridor devoid of any life or feeling. The bad lighting seemed to be the norm in the bomb shelter. Whilst being pulled along, she took in the starkness of her surroundings as they passed her by. She tried to marshal her thoughts against the creeping effects of the drug that flowed through her system, and to resist being pulled..
“Don’t be getting any ideas in that pretty little head of yours,” One of the men said in Hyde’s ear. “I can see what you’re doing; I’m not stupid.” He stopped and pulled the thin, green cloth scarf from around his neck. Swaying unsteadily, Hyde could not stop him using the cloth to cover her eyes, depriving her of vision and winced as it was pulled tight around her head.
“If you can’t see where you’re going, you can’t think about escaping.”
Not that I could escape even if I wanted to, not in this thing…. fuckin’ idiot!
Now, completely in the dark, Hyde’s legs were made to walk faster than her body and mind would allow, but no amount of pulling back was going to stop the speed in which she was being carried along between the two soldiers.
She stumbled once and was hauled back upright.
“Don’t give me an excuse to hurt you, caver.”
And this is where it would begin: the name-calling and prejudice. She knew she had been changing, felt it happen, but they had not let her see the changes for herself. The thought left her heart heavy with sadness and dread. Am I really changing? I haven’t looked on my face in weeks. What have they done to me? I need to know.
A tug on the straitjacket sent Hyde to her knees, but with the momentum of the fall the two men could lift her straight back up and keep her moving. A sudden, jarring halt made her wary.
“You’ve reached the end of the line,” the man to her right said as he pushed her forward. There was the sound of a door being opened just in front of where she stood and then she was being pushed through it. Not being able to see, Hyde wasn’t sure what this room might be, but like everywhere else, it was a cold, and smelt damp… and unwelcoming.
“Bring her to me,” a man’s voice said from some distance away. “Take that blindfold off, and leave us.” They forced her forward, and removed the cloth from her eyes, then turned and left. The room she was in was as depressing as the one she had been dragged from, and to add to the anxiety that grew in her mind, she spotted a steel six by six cage in the corner, which she guessed was for her.
The only other occupant of the room was someone very familiar to her, and one that frightened her. It was Judd. But how? I was told that he was scheduled for execution. He should be dead by now. Hyde’s knees buckled, but there was no one to catch her this time. Judd watched as she fell, but did nothing to help her.
“Do you intend to stay there all day, Hyde?” Judd asked, his voice stern and angry. “Get to your feet, soldier. I won’t ask again.”
Hyde felt her gorge rise with anxiety, and the blood in her veins begun to run cold, as she tried, but failed several times to obey the captain’s order. With a sense of purpose, the man stalked towards her letting her see how displeased he was by the lack of response.
“Get to your feet,” he bawled as he bent over her. “You look disgusting, Hyde. Have you seen yourself lately?”
She answered with a single shake of her head and he stepped back, his nose wrinkling in disgust.
“Just get up!”
With no hands to push herself up, Hyde tried again to stand. It hurt to do so, as her muscles were still in such a state of relaxation from the Diazepam, that her whole body was uncooperative. It took every ounce of energy to keep her from falling again.
Grabbing at the straitjacket, Judd led her over to the cage and pushed her inside. He kept her trapped in her canvas prison as he closed the door and locked it.
“This will be your new home for next few months, get used to it,” he seethed. “Don’t think for one minute that I won’t pick up from where I left off.”
Hyde's Lament is available now!