Creature of Unknown Origin


A whine escaped my stained lips. My mind clicked and whirred , electrocuted by my

memory’s reboot.


Tears welled in my eyes. My body cracked as bones and tendons and muscles shifted or

split and fused together again. When it was done, I was all too aware of the stickiness around my

mouth. I swiped the back of my han d across my lips, not daring to meet Spencer’s eyes as I sat

back on my haunches, and spit, doing anything I could to get that taste out of my mouth. The

tatters of my clothes hung from my fatigued body. Any surge of primal adrenaline had vacated. A

vacuum of shame and loathing remained.

Any progress Dr. Harper and I had made was gone. And so was Dr. Harper, I realized. A

wave of nausea burned in my stomach.

Soft footsteps slowly, hesitantly came toward me. My face burned with the flames of my

own disgust. Or perhaps it was the overwhelming bite of a particular, metallic flavor on my tongue

that the repulsion stemmed from.

I didn’t look up at the rustle of fabric, or when Spencer kneeled in front of me to drape his

jacket around my shoulders. The warmth was a welcomed sensation against me, something that

penetrated the shredded remnants of my clothes and layers of sick self-hatred. Spencer gently

placed his hands on my shoulders. It was the only thing that stopped me from flinching away from


How could he stand to be around me?

“Ava?” Spencer asked softly. He gingerly wiped away the tears rolling silently down my

cheeks and tilted my chin up.

I shook my head. The tears squeezed my burning throat, effectively choking off my

airways. “I - I’m s - sorry.”

“For what?” My eyes sheepishly met his, hidden behind my lashes as if they could protect

me from the fear, the disgust that surely blazed in his eyes. When our eyes met, I hiccupped, pulling

his jacket even tighter around me. His eyes held only concern, warm and honeyed.

“Let’s get inside and clean up, ok?” Spencer helped me to my feet , and I nodded weakly.

“Can you walk on your own?”

“Yeah,” I whispered, my mind already withdrawn into the cl ouds.

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