Gruff pt. 2

N.B.  Hey, you crazy cats and dogs. Mealing here. I hope you don’t mind, but I decided to continue my story from May, Gruff. I hadn’t finished it (writing like a fool close to the deadline- YES, I ADMIT IT ARCHER. I SHOULD HAVE STARTED EARLIER BUT THIS WAS VERY UNLIKELY TO CHANGE). I think I want to extend this further again, so if anyone has ideas- holla at me. To read part one, click the smiley face that looks like it’s lying on the floor… 🙂 

Thank you for being lovely readers, readers. It’s, as expected, lovely to have a year’s worth of writing to account for. I, as I’m sure the others do, am grateful to our resident asshole, Archer, for facilitating this…whatever it is.

The room has been acidically white for 14 years. However, in my time here, I have decorated the place with desperate scratches and smatterings of now dry blood. Somewhere along the way, I stopped trying and began incubating, stewing in notions somewhat resembling an acceptance of my new, unwelcomed form. 7, maybe 8 years in. But it took barely an hour to learn that the mangled remnants of Capra’s body could appear, by a trick of the eyes, imprinted psychedelically upon the blank walls when I looked at them. When my nervous system kicked in, propelling my arms topped with hideous appendages in sporadic jolts until I had more fluid control over the stumpy little stalks, I’d crawl to the wall. I’d claw at the monster holding Capra’s head with its talon pierced in his eye, beat it with newly acquired fists until I bled a different blood. The grim, taunting image merely grinned and multiplied with each flicker of my eyes, vanishing and reappearing at a new slice of the chamber.  There was no relief when I gained control over the fleshy mechanics of my eyelids. Well, physically some relief. Unable to close for some time, my eyeballs itched something fierce as it accumulated invisible dirt and grime until I was able to coolly scrunch my eyes and blink it away. Yet I found that Capra’s image remained, presumably scorched into my retinas- but they weren’t even mine. Not my eyes, not my body. Only my brain remains from my old form. At least, I think it’s mine. I’m not sure how they did it, but…no, I no longer have any confidence to say that any part of me, the real physical me, still exists. Although my reflexes kicked in with the rest of my naked body and I could now begin to walk almost fluidly, I have largely been crumpled on the floor, head curved down and instinctively clutching my knees to my chest. Eyes loosely fixed and out of focus downstairs, my mind hopelessly bored and numb. The silently ringing and blaring whiteness will not end.

 

There’s a faraway noise.

I almost miss it, with my dormant brain and my unfocussed eyes weighing heavily, but it’s there. A succinct little tsuuum. A tsuum unlike any other I had seldom heard here from the monsters beyond the wall (though, I guess, that was more crackle-y and click-y than a tsuum but anyway). I press my head closely to the point in the wall I’d heard it from. Silence. Tsuum. More tsuums follow, the frequency now increasing within seconds. Squashing my face to the wall firmly now, more sounds appear. Squelchy. Painful. I think I hear a crackled roar. And now a thunk. Then no noise at all.  I ram my head closer, furrowing my brow in a way that will allow me the hear better. Nothing.

A whirring blade breaks through the wall, just a hair away from my nose. A noise emits from my mouth that neither myself nor the body I was forced into expects: sharp, brief and odd.  Regardless, I hurl myself into the centre of the blank space and watch the furious metal grind a circle into the white. For the first time in about 10 years, I’m desperate to move but my now gelatinous legs splay out and my arms are locked upright behind me. Instead I stare blankly, screaming, as a chunk of the wall hurtles towards my

Head. Is. Throbbing. Bruised. My eyes are closed, but I distinctively know that it is my loose jaw bone, flopped over entirely on its hinge, that is gently grazing my left ear. “I couldn’t leave him. He could be useful to us!” A blunt yet soothing voice fades into earshot. I roll my head to the side, inadvertently trapping my jawbone under my neck and letting out a feeble grunt. The voice stops, apparently halting mid argument with another voice, and soon I feel the warmth of two callused hands turning my head back up. My sore eyes open and I see a female two-leg staring back. I raise my head confused, wondering whose voice I had just heard, but the two-leg lowers it down with a gentle force. “Don’t rush yourself, take it easy” she says. Or, at least, I think that’s what she says. I’m now screaming in her face, my jaw wobbling and clanking loudly against whatever hard surface I’m laying on. Words. I heard and understood actual words. From her mouth. A two-leg’s mouth. She looks, understandably, concerned as I flail in blind panic in front of her. “It’s- uh- it’s okay. Don’t scream, I- god” she blathers at me. Which, of course, elicits additional, more aggressive screams. Into her face. She grabs a mottled grey slab, and whacks it into my

Face is very much swollen. My eyes are loosely shut again, and my tongue lolls further down my neck than normal. I go to move my head, but it feels like it’s being held down by two different hands across my forehead. Another 2 sets take the arms and legs. The one on my right leg is somewhat overzealous in his pressing. “Looks like he’s wakin’ up,” “Great, more screaming,” “Poor kid,” the woman sighs with a strain in her voice, “lord knows what they were doing to him in there”. My eyes bolt open as I hear the word kid. The trio holding me tense up, pressing down harder. “Kid?” I try to reason with my captors, but the lack of jaw turns it into a slurred, dribbling kuurg sort of sound. I seek the eye of the female who, despite being the subject of my previous unintentional screaming, seems the warmest of the three two-legs. She points a hand-sausage at my face. Somehow I know this is a good indicator to stop moving or trying to talk. “Don’t scream. No more screaming from you. No.” I blink in pain, trying desperately, as instructed, not to scream. “Good. Now, you can understand me yes?” I hesitate. How to communicate this without a scream or a fully affixed jaw… She realises the error. “Uh…Yeah. Right. Okay? Blink if you can understand me.” I’m not sure whether it’s my pre-existing subordinative relationship with the two legs (“eat this hay” means I eat hay) or the threat of being walloped in the head again, but I try incredibly hard to scrunch my eyes into the most definitive blink I can make. “Good. Blink twice if you agree not to scream again.” I scrunch my eyes twice. With an edge of caution, she softens. I guess she knows I was lying. Nevertheless, she releases her grip and instructs the other two to do the same, “Thanks guys, you can go.” “Sure?” “Yeah. I can take it from here”. They leave. We stare at each other in the silence.

She is dressed entirely in grey, save for a little fabric orange image on her left breast. It probably means something. Her legs are strongly planted and her arms folded. The rotund two-leg who came to the field every so often to feed us used to do that exact same pose. Father theorised it was a two-leg way of asserting dominance. Lying down, jaw misplaced and barely cowering, I know think there was something to the old goat’s thinking after all. She blows her cropped mane out of her face. “Sorry about the-“ She loosely points towards my head. I feel a half nod is probably appropriate now. She smirks and we return to silence. I fill the gap. “I suuhuuy  thurr err scheenging”. She nods back politely but blankly. Which is fair. Not even I could understand it. After a thought, she makes a definite hmm and wanders off around the corner behind a brown wall. I get a little lump in my throat as I take in the not-white surroundings. The lump gets harder, heavier, as I noticed the brown is mud. Close to home.

She reappears wielding a whirring metal thing. I do not like the whirring metal thing. It’s a different one to the one in the room but nevertheless it is whirring and metal and, I have recently discovered, I do not like those things. She lays her eyes my floppy jaw. Oh no.  “This might make things a little easier…” she grimaces as, and I don’t think she’s doing this on purpose, she abruptly whizzes the metal thing. I piss a little, anyways. She yanks the free end of my jaw up to my cheek and presses the soon-to-be whir-y barrel to it. I flail my right arm to claw the instrument away but she persists, deftly shooting her palm into the crook of my elbow and continuing the job one-handed. “Ready? The female grins through her jet black fringe. “N-“ The drill bites into the bone, a metallic hurricane spitting out slithers of flesh and bonemeal as it bores through my face. My head furiously knocks the table as the machine vibrates it. She pulls out the horrible metal thing  and replaces it with another, inserting it tightly into the hole. My hands claw the air as the whirring starts again.

It stops and she lets me go. I curl into a ball, clutching my jaw which now seems to be moving up and down like a gate rather than side to side like a horse’s tail. It works perfectly, but I still frown at her beadily. “Better now, huh?” I frown deeper. “Hey, don’t be like that. I helped you out here.” I frown slightly less. “Still,” she continues with a chuckle, “you didn’t scream as much as before.”

“I’d not heard-“ I suddenly stop mid-sentence, struck by the clarity of my speech. The woman acknowledges this and urges me to continue, which I do. Slowly. “Sorry. For screaming at you. I’d never understood a two-leg before.”

The female’s face drops, confused and concerned, “…two-leg?”

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