Compensation of Spotlight by luckynamegame, Chapter 5, Fantasy

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Compensation of Spotlight by luckynamegame, Chapter 5, Fantasy

Post  luckynamegame on Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:11 pm

When I opened my eyes again, everything was quiet.
It could’ve been night for all I knew, but I didn’t know what the night sky looked like and there was no way to tell, the way Foxtrot is lit up all the time.
After a while, though, you just get used to the fluoresce of the place and learn to fall asleep with it still glaring the back of your eyelids.
As I sat up with my aching sore arms, I noticed a tray sitting where my meal slot was on the back of my cell. And on the tray, believe it or not, was the stupid pineapple.
I wanted to hurl it at the next scientist I saw walking by in hopes that it would stab him or something, but I shook off the thought and neared the strange fruit.
I picked it up gingerly off the tray, weighing it in my sore hands, feeling the prickliness of the spiky skin on my palms. The pineapple had a line going down one side of the skin, to my surprise, which revealed shiny yellow stuff on the inside. I peeled the tough skin off in a few pieces, looking curiously down at the yellow stuff that rested on the tray beside its skin.
I wondered if it was sweet or sour, salty or spicy. There was no way to know by just staring at it, but the scent that wafted my way was vaguely sweet.
Still careful, I picked up the big slimy glob of pineapple and sunk my teeth into it.
My jaw ached at the backs with the sudden bite and my tongue seemed to jump alive at the taste of real food.
The pineapple was the sweetest thing I had ever tasted, sending my one bite of caution into a fury of trying to stuff my face while savoring what I had slowly. It was a very difficult task, I assure you.
“Potli?” Sam’s calm voice called through the air duct.
“Mmm?” I muttered through my full mouth, chewing slowly as the pineapple took effect on my empty stomach.
“…Are you eating?” He asked curiously. “Breakfast doesn’t come for another three hours.”
I paused to reluctantly swallow my mouthful of pineapple, and then looked up at the air duct while I evaluated what to do with my sticky fingers. “Yeah, I got a reward for beating my old time in the maze.”
“Really?” He asked, his attention sparked. “What time did you get?”
“Three forty.”
“You finished that entire maze in three minutes and forty seconds?” Sam asked in bewilderment.
“Um, yeah…”
“That’s incredible, Spotlight!”
“Yeah, yeah,” I replied, a little impatient to get back to my pineapple.
“So what are you eating?”
“It’s called a pineapple,” I said curiously, as if I wasn’t sure that I was naming it correctly. “It’s really strange looking. It’s got these spike things on the outside—”
“You’re eating spikes?” Sam asked.
“Oh no, no, it’s part of the rough skin. You peel it off and it’s this big yellow glob that you eat. It’s really sweet.”
“Oh,” Sam finished, seemingly amused. “Can I have some?”
I paused; not out of selfishness, mind you, but the fact that I yearned to share the pineapple with him. At the back of my head, and the middle of my head, as the feeling grew stronger, I wanted to share my reward because I felt like a pig for eating it.
I felt as if I had stooped to the level of the scientists.
The thought made me shudder as I poked a sore finger at the yellow glob with several bites taken out of it.
I knew that even as he asked, Sam knew he couldn’t have any, because well, it was just impossible. But to have the strength to ask the rhetorical question was just like Sam.
He didn’t stay within the mental barriers the scientists put up for us. Sometimes, I believe he forgot the solid wall that was between us, and the metal bars that restricted us from the rest of the world.
I wanted to be as carefree as Sam was, to feel confused and angry and sad all at the same time and not care about it. And I knew he said those kinds of striking sentences so he could pretend that we both weren’t behind these walls sometimes, which was just about the best thought in the world. To be free—that was all we wanted. That was all any Unknown ever wanted.
Nevertheless, I smiled, even as the pineapple juice was dripping down my chin uncomfortably.
“You’re the best, Sam.”

If I spent one more day in this cell, I swear I was going to go crazy.
That was always the first thought I thought of when I woke up, either on the cot or on the ground.
It got to the point where it wasn’t even me anymore, just the angry voice at the back of my head that was my conscious.
I would set the Abyss alarm off, or I would throw myself into the wall until I bled to death, or I would snap my neck myself, or—
The thoughts could race on forever if I let them. Sometimes, suicide sounded like my only option, but then a voice pierced through all those dark thoughts that reminded me of why I kept going every day.
It wasn’t my own voice that had the power to do that.
It was Sam’s.
“Morning, Potli,” Sam said cheerfully through the air duct.
“Five more minutes.” I joked, turning over on my back on the cold hard floor.
“Five more minutes in the real world?” Sam asked in a slightly bitter tone, but it meant no offense to me, just the real world.
“Yeah, five more minutes where I’m at the beach with one of those four legged hair balls…what are they called again?”
“You mean a dog?”
“Yeah, those things.”
“Bark bark!”
I was startled and a bit surprised to hear an unusual sound through the air duct. I knew it was Sam with his voice manipulation, but I wasn’t familiar with the voice he had used.
“What’s that one?” I asked curiously.
“That’s a dog.” Sam replied. “They say ‘bark’.”
Sam’s tests weren’t like my obstacle courses. His, as much as he had told me of his, were actually voice tests.
He would be taken to a big soundproof room and sat in a hard chair in front of this black stick with what looked like a fist on the end of it. He said that the scientists called it a ‘microphone’, and that it let them listen to him while he was in the soundproof room. One of the walls of the room was a black sheet which Sam guessed the scientists watched him behind.
They would play a tape of a voice or a noise, tell him what it was, and then tell him to repeat it.
Sam did voices of things like ducks, dogs, people like Elvis Presley—I have no idea who that is—or just sounds. He was so good at manipulating his voice that he could sing in people’s perfect voice given the chance to hear a song, and could even go to girl pitches (like mine, duh) but he hadn’t yet mastered the very high sounds of a girl, which he calls ‘octaves’.
The last time they had tested him, they were forcing him to work on a thing called ‘opera’, which as he sung some of it to me, is this hideous way of making your voice go ridiculously long for long periods of time saying words that no one understands.
When he comes back from his tests, he usually is silent; the only sign of his return is the sound of the metal bars in his cell creaking open—our metal bars open vertically from the ground up—and he’s silent because of his voice being stretched. If he does talk, it’s in a voice that sounds like the scientists scrubbed his throat with sandpaper.
I always talk to him after he gets out so he doesn’t feel alone, and we made up a system so that one knuckle rap on the wall means yes, and two means no.
Was the test hard this time?
One rap—yes.
How are you feeling, good or bad?
Three raps—so so.
“Ready to get out of here?” Sam said in a impossibly low, scratchy voice.
One rap—yes.
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luckynamegame

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