- A Serialized Novel -

This isn't a superpower. It's a curse.

Brief Lucidity

I have to admit, I don’t do so well with drugs. Pretty much of any kind, honestly. I seem to have adverse reactions no matter what it’s for. It doesn’t matter if it’s calamine not working on chicken pox or Larabee’s pill giving me a tentacle. My genetics are messed up to where you can’t predict the effect any given injection will have on me.

Not that I really told Kilbourne this.

He wouldn’t have listened.

And it almost worked to my advantage.


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Clayton was floating. He remembered feeling kind of like this before, and he didn’t really think he wanted to wake up this time because the last time this happened, he woke up to find a tentacle. He shuddered. He didn’t want that. Not again. He wouldn’t be surprised if he did, though. Kilbourne was messing around with the stabilizer, after all, and that was what got the tentacle in the first place.

Clay tried to open his eyes, but they weren’t cooperating. Nothing was. He couldn’t feel anything but floating. Like a little boat.


He needed to get up and save himself here. This was not working.

He sighed, trying to get feeling in his fingers. This was so trippy. He hated it. Hated being like this. He was not good on drugs. Not good in general, but far worse on drugs.

He rolled over and fell off the bed.

Wait. Was he dreaming this bit? He was just hallucinating because he was high. He’d been restrained before. He remembered that clearly. He knew it had happened. What was going on? He didn’t feel right. It was all wrong.

He looked around. Yeah, this was, near as he could tell, the floor. Okay, so he wasn’t really sure how he’d managed to get free, but then he didn’t really care that much. He was free. He had to focus on that. He grabbed hold of the edge of the bed and dragged himself up it, trying to keep from falling down or puking, either of which was a good possibility at this point. He was not in good shape. Had Kilbourne done it, then? Had he managed to get Clay to shift without a full day of passing out afterward? Or was this the eight hours or whatever time belonged to how long it had been when Kilbourne injected him? Clay had no idea. There was no convenient clock, and even if there had been, he hadn’t looked at it before the injection.

He saw the computer in the corner and decided that even if he didn’t make it out of here, he could at least get the information on all of Kilbourne’s experiments. That would be something. Clay dragged himself over to the desk, sitting down. He turned the computer on and tried to figure out where what he needed would be. It should be simple enough to find. Yes. He didn’t know how much he’d actually get because it wasn’t like he had a flash drive or anything to copy it to, but he did have an online digital storage account—he’d started using it after his laptop broke and it had been useful when it got stolen. True, that could have been a partial information leak, but right now, he didn’t really care to think about it. He started the simplest thing—the automatic back up—and looked back at the door.

Okay, time to escape. He had to get out of here, plain and simple.

He stopped. Maybe the computer had information he needed besides the experiments. He pulled up Kilbourne’s most recent notes first. Hmm. Kilbourne had actually thought Clay would choke himself in the restraints, so he’d had them removed. That was one question answered. Now for how to escape.

He heard someone at the outer door and shut off the monitor. Yeah, it probably wouldn’t really work, but he had to try something. The more that copied from Kilbourne’s computer, the better.

Clay knew he needed to make the other man think he’d never been near it. He moved away from the desk, to the middle of the floor.

Oh, this was going to suck.

He took a deep breath and prepared himself for another shift. It hurt, and it did pretty much what he expected it to—he passed out again.

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