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Stories from the Verse
For Better or Verse
Chapter 11: Brown 59
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 10: Slade 46
No one seemed to be coming to Derek's rescue. The walls of the container continued to press on him for longer and longer stretches, more and more frequently. To make matters worse, his head was now definitely stuck in some narrow space at the bottom he took to be the drain, and was being squeezed into this with each crush on his body. The near voice continued its periodic cries, but by now Derek's ears were stuck in this drain so everything was far more muffled, but for the pumping of the machines which pounded around him. Other voices were talking as well, not without some urgency to them, but nothing was changing. The walls were no longer soft. There was nothing he could do. He felt like shouting, "Pull the plug," but by now his mouth was caught tightly in the pipe.
He could feel his head squeezing farther into the pipe below; but now it seemed that the pipe was turning. The pressure from above was trying to force his head to turn, to twist his neck. He tried to resist this; he had visions of his head being ripped from his body. The pressure from above his feet came stronger, and it was harder to fight it. He gave up, and let his head turn. Again he was pushed down. Now the twist of the pipe was trying to pull his head up. He had no strength left to struggle, and surrendered to it.
Suddenly he closed his eyes. A bright light assaulted them. Cold engulfed his head. At first he had no idea what was happening; but as he gasped in a breath of air he realized that he had come out of the machine. Another squeeze and his shoulders felt the air, and the rest of his body seemed to slide free. Something was holding him upside down, and he coughed, spewing water from his mouth. He was turned upright and around until he lost his bearings.
He opened his eyes, squinting in the light. He wanted to tell the people that their machine had nearly killed him. But there was no machine. He was looking at the blurry face of a young woman, a very kind face dripping with the sweat of hard work but smiling weakly. He seemed to be held in very large, strong hands. He tried to say Where am I, but his mouth did not respond and his ears heard a strange voice calling "Waa Maa".
"Oh, he's so beautiful," the woman said, and the voice sounded familiar. She reached out very large arms, and lifted him to herself. He realized at this moment how very small he must be, as she cradled his body in her arms. Her face came into focus, and he could see a bit better. There was something behind her back. The shock of realization came to him. This was the voice, this was now the face, of Theian Orlina Lelach. He was the child she had been expecting.
And she had wings.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with ten other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #157: Versers Restart. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: