Follow the tag Nipisi for more from this work in progress...
Juliet sat with her back to the door and pushed like her life depended on it.
“You have to let me in,” said the Nipisi on the other side.
“No I don't,” she thought back, too concentrated on the exertion of trying to keep the door shut to manage physical words. She couldn't keep them out. They were stronger than her. But she was going to try for as long as she could. She would retain her humanity. They could not stop her from remembering any more. They couldn't break her. They would not break her. Right here, with her back pressed against the door, she was sending them a message that she was going to win. She didn't know what winning was going to be. Knowing that there was an outside world didn't mean she wanted to see it. She didn't know what she was doing here and she couldn't remember how or why she ended up in this cave, but she wanted control of her own thoughts. She wanted freedom to decide what she wouldn't and wouldn't remember. She wanted to feel like a human being again.
“Juliet, you're sick,” said the Nipisi, “let us in so that we can help you.” Juliet could feel the weight of the nurse pressing against her mind, trying to soothe her, trying to make her calm down so that they could sedate her. But then what? For more days than she could remember now she had been suffering visions like headaches, suddenly and unexpectedly cascading down on her when she tried to think about anything. She knew that the nurses were poking about in her mind and she couldn't stop them but she also knew that they were failing. She was tired of the things that they were trying that didn't work. Couldn't they just leave her alone? Couldn't they allow her to remember things? Was that so dangerous?
“Stop it!” she screamed, surprised to find that the sudden burst of anger gave her strength. “Stop trying to control me! You can't do it! Leave me alone!”
“Juliet, we can't do that.” The voice was as level as if they were asking her if she wanted tea. How could they be so passive? Couldn't they see they were hurting her? Couldn't they see that they were making her sick? “Please, let us in.”
Juliet sagged against the door, finding that her strength was beginning to fail. She knew that they would overpower her, but she couldn't stop trying. The door gave an inch and Juliet rammed against it, shoving it back in place. Her feet were starting to slip; the carpet didn't allow much purchase.
“Should we call the Enforcer?” A different voice on the other side of the door. There were more of them now. This was her last stand. If more of them pushed against the door then she would certainly lose. Why were they letting her hear? Why weren't the keeping their conversation to themselves?
“If we call the Enforcer we'll be in trouble.”
Juliet knew that name, and it made her afraid. She let up for a moment and the door pushed opened a fraction. She watched it with wild eyes, knowing that if the Enforcer got called in then she was certainly finished. Probably in more than just a mental capacity. She pushed more urgently. She was starting to sweat.
“We're in deep trouble here already.”
The Nipisi were scared. If they were scared of the Enforcer then she definitely should be. The gap in the door was getting wider. She squeezed her eyes shut and wondered if she could find any more strength to keep them out. She couldn't give up, she just couldn't...
“She can't hold out and she knows it. Just give it more time.”
“Please,” she thought, “please leave me alone,” but it sounded futile, even to her. She was too tired to keep going. She couldn't help it. The door gave another inch. Her feet slid on the carpet. She tried to dig in but it wasn't going to help, she was going to lose and it was going to happen soon...
A tentacle found it's way through the gap in the door and snaked it's way towards her. The Nipisi couldn't see where it was going but it was just a matter of time before he found her. She tried to shuffle over out of the way but that ruined her leverage on the door and just gave him more room to get another long feeler through. The bud on the end flexed in and out like it was breathing.
“What are you going to do?” asked Juliet. She couldn't take her eyes off the tentacles but she tried to keep pushing. There was no response, just the determined searching of the Nipisi to get hold of her.
“Answer me!” she shouted, and then everything happened at once. The Nipisi's limb found her and coiled around her neck, effectively paralysing her. Her feet lost their purchase on the carpet and she slipped, the door crashing open even as she fell against it. The Feeder made his way into the room unsteadily, even though he was so solid that he couldn't have lost his balance when the door gave in. He didn't let go but wrapped another limb around her waist, lifting her straight off the floor and tightly into his embrace. She was held fast as two nurses followed the Feeder in, closing the door behind them quietly. One of them held a large syringe.
“Oh god, no,” thought Juliet. The three Nipisi stood sedately as she shook with exhaustion and fright, desperately trying to think of a way out of this. The nurse with the syringe made a move towards her and she wondered how they could be so calm when she was struggling so much.
“Wait!” she shouted, her eyes on the syringe, “lets talk about this!”
The nurse didn't stop moving but she saw her his eyes flick to the other nurse.
“Juliet,” said the other nurse serenely, “there is nothing to talk about.”