Music (Stories on a Theme – “Soft”)

Anya shut her eyes and let the music drift over her pounding headache.

The speakers were on their lowest setting, so as not to make it worse. The rain hammering against the glass of her window managed to drown out most of the notes apart from the few high pitched ones. A gentle ping of the flute echoing through the room.

I really don’t want to work tomorrow, she thought.

Everything hurt. Her body and mind hurt. The idea of having to get back up and go back into the research lab and continue the tests made her soul hurt.

She had been told that this was for the greater good. That testing the immortals was for the greater good.

Anya knew it was a lie. She could taste it on her tongue every time she told Kevin about it at lunch. Every time she said to her brother and sister that her work was involving biology, not torture. Every time that she swiped in with her ID at the office.

They would be drugged now, the immortals. Waiting for their next batch of tests to extract the data out of them. Understand how they simply could not be killed whatever was thrown at them.

Anya sighed, focussing on the music. No matter how much she tried to tell herself it was just a job, she couldn’t do it.

She pulled the wet flannel off her forehead, reaching over towards her phone. The message still sat on it, unopened, from Kulaia. The leader of the immortals on this planet.

Anya flicked opened the message.

Are you in? it said.

Anya squinted at the screen as she typed out the word yes.

Here goes nothing, she thought.

She hit send.

The message disappeared off into the ether. Anya laid her phone back down on the table, pulling the flannel back over her throbbing eyes.

The music still echoed in the background, as she felt a weight leave her shoulders.

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