Dark Metropolis

Free Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Book: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jaclyn Dolamore
half-smiled, half-winced. “Well, sure, I’ve thought about escaping, but even Brigitte decided burning to death was a better way out. What am I to think of that?”
    “Better think you’d be more successful at escaping than Brigitte was.”
    “Maybe.”
    Nan didn’t press Sigi. She didn’t want to say that she had yet to drink another full dose of serum since her first day.
     

N an could hear the moaning and screaming before she even reached the cafeteria.
    This morning Helma and the boy were both at the bars, reaching out with awkward, flailing arms. Their eyes were beginning to sink. Their skin was discolored, darker and sort of shriveled, so their bones stood out. The change had been alarmingly rapid.
    It wouldn’t have been as awful if they weren’t moving, if they simply decayed quietly like the dead. But the pair didn’t really look dead; they were something else entirely. Their desiccating flesh moved; their pathetic, shriveling eyes darted; their mouths opened. “Help…help…” Helma sounded hoarse, as though she’d been screaming all night.
    The boy clutched the bars now, lunging his body against them when he saw Nan’s eyes on him. “Just a taste…so hungry…”
    The guard never looked at them, never stopped them from reaching out or screaming, and he didn’t stop the workers from staring, either, although few did. He just kept the workers from getting close enough to touch the prisoners.
    Nan watched for a long moment. She wasn’t even sure why. It didn’t do any good, but she stood there as if she could do something about it, if only she had a moment to think.
    Sigi tugged on her sleeve. “Nan, come on. Let’s eat,” Sigi said. “I’d hate being looked at if—”
    Helma’s eyes rolled to Nan. “Please…” she breathed. “Please. I’m so hungry….”
    Nan’s fingers clenched her cup of serum. She fought an urge to throw the cup or yell at the guard. Her insides felt all twisted.
    She noticed Sigi’s eyes move to a point behind her. Valkenrath was at her shoulder. “Miss Davies, would you come with me, please?” A guard stood with him.
    “Why?” Nan asked, as she felt Sigi squeeze her fingers.
    He gave her a tight smile and no answer. The guard put a hand on the pistol at his hip. Nan got the message. Sigi reluctantly let go of her, then almost dropped the tray she’d been balancing on one hand.
    “I’ll be fine,” Nan said softly. Sigi seemed so worried.
    Would they put her in the cage with the couple? Their withering fingers reaching for her…She forced this thought back as she followed Valkenrath down a maze of halls and finally through a door. The guard had followed them and now waited at the entrance. Valkenrath handed her a pile of clothes—nice ones: a dress, stockings, and heeled shoes.
    “I need you to do something for me, Miss Davies,” he said. “I’m going to take you to see the boy who brought you back from the dead.”
    “So, I am dead?”
    “Well, not anymore,” he said impatiently. “And very lucky you are, after what you did to yourself. But this boy wants to know that you’re well. He’d be upset if he realized the extent of our program.”
    “What program?” Nan struggled to grasp exactly what Valkenrath meant. “And what did I do to myself, anyway? Just tell me what the hell’s going on!”
    “Calm yourself,” he said, sounding excruciatingly calm himself. “It’s very simple. You committed suicide. Freddy brought you back from the dead. You are in our work program, and your memories have been taken from you, because if you went right back to the mental and physical place that caused you to kill yourself, you might do it again.”
    “So all the workers back there killed themselves? Do they ever get to remember anything, or do anything else? I’ve heard some of them have been there for years!”
    “Some of them have no place to go.”
    He was lying, and it was plain to see, because none of this made any sense. But he was a very

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