This is my first story ever posted on here! And I wrote this story for my English class and I was just wondering if this is a good site to publish on here as I have a longer, more polished sitting on my Desktop waiting to be read by someone. I hope you all enjoy this short story!


Infested

"We have captured all nine; she makes ten."

I hate when people don't refer to me by my real name.

"I have a name, you ignorant son of—"

The guard clamped his mouth over my mouth, effectively cutting off my words. He should have let me finish; he needed to know what I thought about him. I never kept anything inside.

Annoyed, I bit his hand.

Well, his mistake. He should have let me finish.

Another guard, one that had been so silent behind me, gripped my arms with great force, until I finally released the other guard's, my capturer's hand.

"Ow! What happened to those days where men never laid a forceful hand on a woman?" I made a face of disgust. "And keep your hands of me; I do not want you to infest me with your nasty diseases. Gross."

The guard gave me a "friendly" smile. "In just a few hours, you will be one of the infested as well."

"That is if you can keep me stuck inside this 'prison' long enough and I do not manage to escape…again." I, in return to his smile, threw him a sadistic grin.

The guards were two new employees, I could tell as their faces were not familiar to me, so they did not have the slightest clue as to who I was. Believe me, I pretty much had had an encounter with every guard in this institution. The taller one of the guards, the 'woman abusing one' (my way of seeing it), said, "Honey, this is top security. Once you are in, you will never leave."

I, once again, smeared a crazy grin on my face. "Not so 'top security' when I have successfully managed to escape. . ." I pretended to think about it. "…three times now—four, if you are already counting this one I am about to do."

"I've had enough!" my captor yelled.

If there was anything great about my life, it was that I could talk a man to his death. Seriously, once anyone had me talking…it was like trying to stop a bomb as soon as it had been set off. In other words, there was really not much of a chance such thing could happen. Even more specific…it was almost impossible.

Oh, yeah. The other great thing about me—by some miracle, my parents, both 'infected' as they had loved to have fun, had given life to me, a rare, non-infected child. In this world nowadays, fun was socializing into the world of "The Illegal and the Unethical." It was basically the world of drugs and selling one's body on the street.

But the most, the most fun, and trendy, thing a person considered fun was being 'infected.' To fit into the society, one would have to be hosting a Sexually Transmitted Disease. What other people considered "fun and trendy," I considered completely and utterly disgusting.

According to the Legends, there had been a 'clean' society once, where the STD rate had been 1 out of 3 people that was infected. Now, it was 1 out of 3,000,000 people that was not infected. Crazy, right? In our society, with a population of thirty million, a population that decreased vastly every day due to the exaggerated amount of deaths caused by the diseases, there were only ten of us.

I was one of the lucky ones, lucky to me. To the citizens, I was the curse. Even my parents had thought so. I had been a curse to my parents; I was the curse to the people of my society. The curse. Actually, my parents had named me Anathema because it meant 'curse.'

Yes, people really have loved me throughout my life.

I yawned. The guards were so not amusing me.

We had been through this before. Three times already, going by the same routine every time I was captured. It went something like this: two guards brought me to the "high-tech" and "top security" institution; I was thrown inside what someone, back in the day, would call a "jail cell" (now, it was just some random space with lasers acting as steel bars…cross those without the key and people were fried); play chummy with the guard, flirt him into handing over the key; and I left the institution.

"This is boring; you are boring. You know I will just leave again."

My captor came right in front of my face to show who was in charge here, who held the most power, and to intimidate me. I was captivated, though. Eww, not by him. By the little rectangle screen with his name illuminating the screen. Matthew—like my name, his name meant something as well. He was "Gift of God," while I was stuck with being the "curse." Hysterical. It should have been reversed. Him the curse and me the gift of God as I had been born uninfected.

"You aren't leaving the intuition this time."

"That is exactly what the last guard said last time. And look at me now—okay, don't. You creep me out."

Matthew released a breath in frustration, I could tell. "To the cell."

Shaking his head, "Gift of God" pushed me towards the prison.

Someone, presumably a guard, yelled behind me. "Wait!"

"My God…what do these people want now?"

I was held back again by Matthew. What was it with this man and all this touching? I didn't like it.

Curious, I glanced behind me…and almost died of a heart attack.

"The other Main Lab is already in use by all the other nine; I think we can make use with this smaller lab for this one."

I swallowed hard, staring at the man before me. If there was anything I feared in this life, besides being infected, was this man standing before me. This was the new man in charge (the other one had been assassinated), Ivan Tarus, leader of the group of people who worked with the rare uninfected people like me. Ivan had been trying to find the cure for the all the diseases that killed people so ruthlessly every day ever since the last leader had been murdered, the only man who had been successful in finding the cure, his secret dying with him.

"Anathema, darling, I have been waiting quite some while now to finally meet you."

Ah…something new has been found to be a stop to my running mouth.

"Uh…Hi."

Ivan gave a "sweet" (it was nasty to me) smile. "Matthew and Paulus, please ready yourselves. You will help me perform all of the many procedures on Anathema."

"Make it stop!" I yelled once again, thrashing around despite the arm restrains on my arms. I was numb, yet I could feel everything. The procedures were horrible, possibly the most horrible thing I could ever imagine. This was inhumane, this was pain, this was torture.

"Be quiet, crazy girl! We will never succeed with crazies like you. Now, shut up and let us continue. You don't want me to accidently kill you, do you?"

His words, so harsh, were the light to my dark. I would give anything for death to take me now; I would do anything just to get the hell away from this mess. He was treating me like the curse everyone had always made me out to be, sticking needles in my skin, piercing the flesh, my blood spilling out carelessly. Electric shocks ran through my body, painful, every time my skin was penetrated.

And this was only the beginning of the "procedures."

With red and tear-filled eyes, I glanced at the guards. They stood, ready to help, to follow any order Ivan commanded. Pleading eyes, I said, "Help me…please."

"Argh!" Ivan slapped me hard. "You are not letting me work. If you do not stop moving around, I will just forget about saving your people and inject your veins with Infections. It will not be long till you die, joining those other people dead, rotting on the streets. Now, you choose. Keep on moving and don't let me work? Or be a good girl?"

In response, gathering all the strength I had left in my body, I spit in his face.

Even more frustrated, Ivan threw his materials against the ground, slapping me once more, and exiting the room.

I was in comfort, in temporary comfort, though I was shaking, bleeding, and barely able to open my eyes due to all the blood loss.

"Follow him, Paulus. When he is mad…it is not a good thing to let him go alone."

It felt like an eternity later that Matthew was leaning down eye-level to me.

"What do you want?" I snapped, hating how he saw me, my weakness.

"It will be at least thirty minutes before Ivan calms down. I would never betray Charles Ivan Institution as I pledged to follow every order, no matter what it is that I have to do. I will give you ten minutes to leave, but if I catch you, I will have to kill you or else no more chances and you will be infected."

Not waiting for my answer, he started to undo my arm straps. His kindness went far enough to help me up, lead me to the door, and send me on my way. "Ten minutes," he reminded me. "And remember, I will never, ever, break my pledge with CII. I find you, I kill you…or turn you back so you can be infested."

Once out the door, I ran, running like a thousand hounds were after me.

Ten minutes.

My life came down to these ten minutes.

Well, one thing was for sure. There was no way in hell I was ever going back to that place…alive.

The woods were somewhat a safe place for me as I entered the room. Anything other than the wretched institution was a better place for me. The thick lining of trees, shrubs, greenery inside the forest would hide me.

I was weak with fear, with blood loss, as I made my way through the forest, trying desperately not to fall flat on my face. I could see, on my left, my city. Massive buildings, glaring down upon the city. The structure in the middle of the city, gaining a level every other month because it housed remains of those who died ever day because of their infections. The crowd, the society, walking down the streets with pale faces, blisters on their bodies, cuts and wilts covering every inch of their body…and those who looked about to fall dead in any given second all due to the fact that they had been infected with those disgusting diseases.

There was more to the city…but there was only so much I could take without wanting to vomit.

It was horrible. Disgusting. Terrifying. And all those words used to describe anything in between horrible and terrifying.

I ignored the city, the institution behind me and kept on going.

I kept on walking. . .

. . .walking into. . .

. . . a trap.

Dumb Anathema! He was sending you to your death!

It seemed the forest ended too soon for me. Not even my "ten minutes" could save me. There was a cliff coming into my line of view with each further step I took.

I glanced around, hoping to find somewhere else to go. At least six minutes had been since I left that place; I needed to find that somewhere fast or else I would be screwed forever, one way or another, be infected or die.

"You are trapped. You have nowhere to go."

I did not even have to turn around to know who was speaking to me. The deceiving, lying male who had sent me to this trap.

Matthew stepped closer to me, each step brining me closer to the edge of the cliff.

I turned my back on the edge of the cliff, turning to face him instead. The edge of the cliff would be more trustable than Matthew could ever be. If I fell, at least I would die knowing I had been one of the lucky ones, the ones to never be infested with those sickening, repulsive diseases.

"Why did you pretend to save me and send me here?"

He came even closer. I stayed where I was. There was a plan formulating in my head and he needed to be extremely close to me if I wanted it to function.

"I want to be the only one, the only person who was once infected and cured. I was the man, the one who the ex-leader CII managed to find a cure for. I want to be the only one. I will be the only one. The others have been taken care of; it is just you who needs to go."

"From where I am standing, you don't seem much like a man to me." Not the first time in my life, I was thankful I could 'talk a man to his death.'

"I am the only one. Always will be." He managed to come close enough to breathe all over my face. Disgusting. "Now, darling one"—he pulled out a lethal looking injection out of his pocket—"you let me inject you with this Infection or you die."

I realized why in the world he chose his name to be what it was. "'Gift of God,' that is why you changed your name to 'Matthew. Because you were the only one ever to have been successfully 'cured,' you chose your name to be something that was related to the 'miracle' that happened to you."

"The same with you, Anathema. You are the curse. I am the gift of God."

"That is about right, I guess." I pulled out my theatrical moves on him, making my eyes as wide as possible, stepping a little closer to him. "I don't want to die," I pleaded.

Matthew's threating green eyes lightened. "And you don't have to, at least not now." He gripped my hand, nearing the injection closer to my arm.

Before the needle touched me, I whispered, "You were right about me being the curse."

"Sorry, darling, for me doing this."

And I had thought Ivan was horrible. He was actually trying to help. Matthew is trying to kill me.

"It is okay…but one last thing before I become infected."

"What is that, Anathema?"

Still wearing my 'innocent' demeanor, I closed the distance between our faces. Tilting my head upwards as if for a kiss, I whispered, "Matthew…you will never be the only one of the rare kind."

"Why? You are going to get infected right now."

I didn't answer.

I wasn't named Anathema just for laughs.

He was the gift of God.

I was the curse.

Instead, I twisted the needle in his hand, piercing his skin as I did.

I threw myself over the edge of the cliff.

And dragged him along with me. . . .


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