Traits of a Turned

“You don’t understand me” he said, head in his hands, “you can’t see inside my head.”

Amily sighed at her brother. He was in a sorry state, not that she would tell him that. Bandaged up, more white cloth than skin was visible on his legs and arms. On his head sat a helmet covered in blinking white lights, monitoring his mind.

“I know feeling sorry for yourself isn’t a trait of a Turned,” she said, “and I know my own brother.”

Ivean shook his head. Stubborness was a family trait, and Amily could have sworn to the five gods to get rid of it across them all for just one day. The doctors had said how Ivean had fought the infection with as much of his mind as his body. The newest research indicated you could not Turn if you had the will to fight it.

Amily had already lost her mother to the stupid infection, she was not about to lose her brother to it too.

Ivean groaned in the bed.

“Go fuck yourself, Amily,” he said, and stop being a hypocrite.”

Amily sighed, ignoring the insult. Ivean had become more abrasive since his hospital visit, even more so than previously. First it had been their mother’s death that had made him blame her. as if it was her fault that it had happened.

“The only reason you don’t want me to Turn is because then I’ll know the truth about you,” Ivean grinned at her, more snarl than friendly smile, “one Turned can sense it in another.”

Here it was again. The accusations. The lies. Amily turned to look at the wall of the room, not rising to the bait.

After all, she couldn’t afford to expose herself, not here.

“The tests came back negative,” Amily said, almost taken aback by the venom in her own voice,” so you can stop your bullshit, Ivean. I’m here to help.”

It hadn’t just been one test. It had been multiple tests over course of three months. It was as if they had been trying to prove that she had Turned and killed her own mother. A crap excuse by the investigations to try and find someone to blame when they had no leads. Even now, she still got odd looks from others about the Base. No doubt the rumours would begin again in earnest if her brother Turned as well.

And if he did Turn, there was no way they would let her be free, even if the tests did come back negative. They’d try something, they’d rig it, just to put her in the Pit with the other Turned.

“I want you to be better,” Amily looked back at her brother, “Because I don’t want to lose another member of my family.”

Ivean barked a laugh.

“You know what, Amily,” he said, “you almost sound convincing. I’m sure that’ll be your line to the nurses, but you can’t fool me.”

“I mean it,” she said.

“You want to save your own skin,” Ivean replied, “you might have the rest of them fooled but I know what you are. I see it. I smell it.”

Amily gripped the arm of her chair. For a moment, she thought he could sense it. He shouldn’t be able to, not with the drugs they were treating him with. Her eyes flicked back to the helmet on his head, which was still all white lights, blinking away. The helmet would turn green at the first hint of someone Turning.

“The only skin I want to save is yours, brother,” Amily stood up, trying not to show how shaken ahw was.

Ivean turned away from her, muttering under his breath.

Just walk away, Amily thought to herself.

“I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Amily said. Ivean gave no response, so she shouldered her bag and left.

Featured image credit: Brandon Holmes on Unsplash

Don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly writing newsletter Writing on Caffeine. Subscribe below to get access to monthly writing advice and prompts!

Success! You're on the list.

Enjoy this flash fiction? Check out some of my others below!

Sundown Sky

“Reminds you of home, doesn’t it?” Canath remarked, kicking their legs under them. In front of them, the great City of Naithe burned into smolders, leaving trailing smoke floating high into the sky. The final home of the Regency, defeated. Tanteth gave Canath a look. “I don’t remember as much burning on Evanil,” he remarked.…

Slow Down

“Can we please slow down a bit? I need a rest.” “I need to rest,” Davi said, sitting heavily on the dirt track, “please.” “We don’t have time, Davi,” Tabatha grabbed him by the arm and hauled Davi to his feet again. Everything ached, his head pounded, and his wounds were starting to leak again.…

This is not a plan

“You said you had a plan for this?! Flying into the port with no approvals is not a plan.” Taelew looked over at his co-pilot. Yivonn was not one for breaking the rules, which is why he hadn’t told her of the plan until they were on the final descent. “I do have a plan,”…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.