Be kind, rewind

Wednesday Write-in #52.


Sometime later (indeterminate and indeterminable because, as rational as Robin is with things like the passing of time, every day spent with Marie has warped the linear progression of seconds, years, months, heartbeats), after she learns that Marie is dead, they get Robin into an interrogation room for a ‘full debrief’. This consists of a basic memory dump of everything that’s happened since she left the facility back in January.

The investigator is a sweet girl in her late twenties – probably chosen to coax out the learned tendency in Robin to respond to kindness over cruelty. She delicately wipes her brow as they come to the end of another tape. Robin is, of course, able to self regulate her body temperature but the investigator – she hasn’t introduced herself and is unlikely to ever do so – is struggling in the stuffy basement bunker room.

Robin’s been talking for almost four days straight – literally describing every waking moment she’s had from the beginning to the end. This is completely beyond her: her creator foresaw the need for a memory capture function for a number of different scenarios she was destined for and after that, it’s a matter of a few drops of this and that in an IV while she’s unconscious and she wakes up prepared to tell them everything – everything – even the excruciating first moments leading up to and following their first kiss. Three investigators rotate in and out, in and out, tape in, tape on, tape out. They need sleep, rest, sustenance. She is able to function for an entire week before her functions drop to 85% effectiveness. She had become so used to lying by Marie every night, just to make her feel like she wasn’t the only human in this.

Eventually she falls into the pleasant rhythm of it and is only mildly curious when she blinks and wakes up back in the hospital ward, the IV being fed back into her arm. “What is that?” she hears herself ask. The doctor only glances up at her before going back to his perusal of his chart which seems to be telling him something about the dials on the drip.

“It’ll help you to forget. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt. You’ll feel sleepy soon.”

Robin blinks up at the ceiling, every drop and lift of her eyelids over her eyes signifying the passing of another level of the last year that she is leaving behind as she descends deeper and deeper into sleep –

-the first weeks, hiding in plain sight and planting misleading clues so they could make a break for the border when they would least be expecting it.

-France and Spain and Italy – eating themselves silly and bouncing around between cash only hostels, paying cash for all of the things they needed for the next steps

– dark nights spent in poor lighting with a bottle of something sweet and intoxicating between them (Robin’s superior liver and kidney function prevented her from losing any motor control at all but Marie had been incredibly beautiful when doing shots of brandy in flickering bare-bulbed light.

– repeatedly and scarcely escaping all the people who had been sent after them, dropping everything and heading in the opposite direction

– fevered admissions, confessions and promises as they hid in the filthiest, grimiest of holes –

The doctor gentle covers her flickering eyes and she slips sweetly, slowly, ever lonely, gratefully and finally to sleep.

Then the hospital door is kicked open.


2 thoughts on “Be kind, rewind

  1. Oh, fantastic. The writing in this is so smooth, I didn’t even pick up on ‘learns Marie is dead’ until I reached the end and the deliberate phrasing jumped back into my head, and I had to go back and check. This is awesome.

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