“We’re going to rescue you, Petunia,” Thea said as she kissed her naked friend on her lips and cheeks, always rocking her back and forth. “Guy will help me, then we’ll take you home with us.”
“Thank you,” Petunia said, surprised that she could finally speak for herself in the white room. “I knew you’d never abandon me.”
“No, we’d never do that,” Thea said, now kissing her way down Petunia’s neck to her chest. “But first, let me show you how much I love you, the way Guy did.” She put her face between Petunia’s legs.
She closed her eyes and sighed at the sensation of Thea’s tongue sliding up her vagina. That tongue began wiggling in a familiar way.
Then it felt as if severed from Thea’s mouth, and still wiggling inside Petunia’s vagina, and crawling deeper and deeper inside.
Soon, it no longer felt as if it were there, but rather somewhere inside her intestines. It grew warmer…then hotter.
Petunia opened her eyes. Thea was no longer there. She looked down at her chest, which was glowing, as if there were a fire inside. Indeed, her insides felt hotter…and hotter…
There was a scraping sound by her ears. She opened her mouth to scream…
Petunia was woken by the sound of a small, window-like square door, on the wall at the head of her cot, unlocking and sliding open. This night offered another opportunity to escape. There were three other such doors, on the wall on the other side of their room, that also opened, waking three other sex slaves. Still feeling the effects of the blue Creeps put in them to drug them to sleep, they all crawled into the holes, unsure if they were still dreaming or if this was reality.
As Petunia crawled into her escape hole, she wasn’t sure if she was seeing metal walls or transparent ones made of flesh, outside of which seemed the endless waves of an ocean at night. The other ones escaping had the same feeling. Was it dream, or was it real?
As with the last time, there was a shifting back and forth between the sense of crawling through tunnels made of steel and of transparent intestine flesh, a moving back and forth like waves, waves seen outside the ‘flesh’, then seeming to transform into steel, then back again.
As they were crawling through the intestine-like tunnels, Mark and Jim were watching in the Regulating Room, where they’d watched Petunia with Thea, with video screens monitoring every other room in the building, as well as computer tracking systems for the tunnels.
“You sure their hopes won’t be so frustrated, after so many failed attempts, that they’ll stop trying to escape?” Jim asked.
“I’m positive,” Mark said. “The blue Creeps, apart from putting them to sleep, put them in a semi-awake, semi-dreaming state that makes each escape attempt seem new, as if it’s happening for the first time. On top of that, our fake announcements of successful escapes, like last time, when we killed Frank Bender and claimed he got out, will keep their hopes alive.”
“I don’t even get the need to give them hope,” Jim said.
“If they despair, it’ll affect their physical health,” Mark explained. “We’ve had Commodities who’ve actually died of hopelessness. Ever since we came up the Escape Hope Initiative, we’ve never had a death from despair.”
“Hope of escape. Hope of freedom. Hope of upward mobility. We teach that idea to people all the time, though ever so few ever rise out of the lower classes. I’m one of the few exceptions, hence everyone calls me ‘Free’ Mark.”
“You think I’ll ever rise that high one day?”
“It isn’t impossible, Jim. As hard as it is, never believe it’s impossible. Just work as hard as you can, and you can get there with me.”
Petunia kept crawling and crawling through the labyrinthine tunnels, as did the other three. It was so dark and claustrophobic: they could get around only by feel, and with the dim help of the little dot-like lights that appeared every so often in the tunnels. Her tense panting was a rhythm that went against the frantic thumping of her hands and knees on the metal floors and walls she was feeling her way through.
Keep going, keep going, she thought, her head swimming from the effects of the drug; Am I crawling through tunnels, or am I swimming in the sea? Am I dreaming? I’m not sure. If this is real, I might die, as Frank did…I think. I might get drugged and taken back. I might escape. But if I never take these chances, I’ll only remain a sex slave, for the rest of my life. I must keep my hope alive. Was that Thea with me earlier today, or was that a dream, a wish-fulfillment? I can barely tell fantasy from reality anymore, it seems.
The other three, two women and a man, thought the same things to motivate themselves. One of the women thought, I’ve done this before, I think—crawled through tunnels, or swam in the sea at night, to try to get out…or was it a dream I had? Am I dreaming the same thing again? I can’t tell. But if it’s real, I must try to get out. Did the other woman I tried to escape with die in here? I can’t remember. Everything feels like such a fog in my mind. Still, I must try.
That woman reached a passageway that Petunia would come to right after her, so Petunia was then crawling right behind her.
Soon, the two women saw a glow up ahead, along a passage that intersected with theirs. There was also the faint noise of the other two crawling along that way, with other, as yet indistinct, noises. The other two seemed to be yelping with fear.
“What’s that ahead?” Petunia asked in a slurry voice, beginning to find the sounds familiar, but in a bad way.
“It’s a way out, if we’re lucky,” the woman in front slurred. “Let’s hurry. I can’t stand…being here anymore.”
Then, the squeaking noises came.
The squeaks of what seemed like millions of Creeps crawling after all four of them, squeaking, screeching noises like those of the string section of an orchestra playing a composition by Penderecki.
Petunia looked behind her and saw a glowing colony of Creeps coming after her and the woman in front of her. The glow was a clutter of blues and yellows. A shot of adrenaline throughout her body made her heart pound. She shrieked, then scrambled ahead.
“Hurry!” Petunia said as loudly as she could with her weak, drugged voice, and tapping the woman’s feet. “They’re coming.”
The woman in front looked back. “Oh, no!” Now she felt the adrenaline rush.
As before, the adrenaline woke them up to see only metal tunnel walls now…no waves undulating outside transparent plastic walls.
Both of them were scurrying as fast as they could, hoping to see a way outside soon, as faint as such a hope was. The glowing from the intersection ahead made the woman in front more visible to Petunia, and then she looked back again past Petunia to see the Creeps gaining on them. Petunia recognized her as one of the people she’d chatted with several days before, with Sam and Wendy, the woman who’d asked if the Creeps’ colours had any meaning.
“What’s your name?” Petunia asked.
“Mary,” she said. “Why?”
“If we die here, I wanna know…who I’m dying with.”
“And your name?”
“Pleased to have…my ass…in your face, instead of…my ass in…some creep’s, eating me out.”
Speaking of Creeps eating them out…
Petunia screamed as she felt several crawl up her right leg, tickling the sole of her foot and her calf. She squeezed her legs and her buttocks together, as tight as she could, desperate to keep those things from crawling up her vagina or rectum.
Those Creeps were just too fast, though.
One of them slipped up her asshole.
Her panic made the effect of the original drug wear off faster. She was shaking all over, her head and limbs banging against the metal sides of the tunnel. She felt the Creep tickling deeper inside her rectum, flickering against her rectal, then intestinal walls. She was slipping on her own sweat, which was soaking her as if she’d been out in a heavy rain without an umbrella.
Her panic was so intense, she didn’t even notice Mary kicking her in the head and shoulders, for she now had a Creep crawling up her vagina, making her reaction as violent and spastic as Petunia’s.
Further off, both of them could hear the faint screams of the other two, the man with a Creep dancing its way deeper in his ass and approaching his large intestine, and the woman with a Creep twisting its way up her vagina. Their screams soon died down, though…had blue Creeps gone inside them? Petunia hoped so. Were they feeling the soporific effects of blue Creeps? Their banging against the walls of the tunnels soon stopped, and they collapsed. Petunia hoped they would survive, but she had no way of knowing. Would she recognize their faces in the cafeteria? She hadn’t seen them up close in the tunnels.
Petunia was lucky enough to get a blue Creep. She felt herself getting drowsy, as if high on a downer. Her vision got blurry, and she barely noticed Mary looking back at her, no longer in terror, but with her face all tensed up, as if she were in agony. No longer was Mary kicking and punching the walls: now, she was just trembling—was she acquiescing to fate?
The next morning in the cafeteria, Petunia looked all over the place for Mary. She tried to focus as well as she could, as against the numbing effects of the green Creeps she’d been given to keep her docile and in control. Her blurry, wavy vision forced her to strain her eyes to see if Mary’s face was anywhere to be seen among the two dozen others in the cafeteria. She looked and looked.
Maybe what I saw last night, she thought as she searched for Mary, of her dying, was just a dream. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t real.
“Mary,” she murmured, as if drunk. “Mary, Mary…”