He quickly gains consciousness. His head feels like it is going to explode. His legs feel like ice blocks, stinging like from a thousand yellow jackets. Cold bright light hit his optic nerve so hard, he wants to yell out. Then, suddenly, a dark round shape blocks the flood of light. He squints against blurry shapes and colors. Then: a human face. A brunette wearing a lab coat, about fifty years old. She has a large scar running down the side of her cheek. It looks familiar.
Suddenly a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of twisted memories unleashes in his head. Sick pictures of violence and lust twirling around in his tired brain. “She is still pretty. I would do her for sure”, he thinks.
As his eyes adjust to the bright surgical lights, he becomes aware of himself and his surroundings. Still squinting, he looks around. His hand is handcuffed to an operating table. He is wearing a mint-green patient robe. He is in a small operating room with white-tiled walls, large metal cylinders lining the walls, and a variety of medical equipment. A small vital signs monitor emits a soothing soft “beep”. There is a bottle of Jim Beam and a Smith & Wesson firearm on a stainless-steel sidetable. It’s a newer model he hasn’t yet seen before.
Jack tries to sit up but he is too weak. “Where the fuck am I?” asks Jack. The woman smiles with a wink. “In my lab.” He grunts in pain as she helps him to sit up. It feels like his intestines are like crunchy bags of ice being pressed together as he slowly leans forward. She takes a bottle from the table and hands it to him.
He takes the bottle and flashes a dirty grin. “My old friend Jimmy.” He nods towards his handcuffs but she shakes her head.
“Not yet.” She says.
He shrugs and takes a long sip. The burning liquid runs down his throat and turns his stomach into an oven. He starts to feel warm and alive. She sits down on a stool with wheels, watches him like he is a god-damn miracle. It makes him feel uncomfortable, a feeling he normally reserved for women.
They stare at each other for a long time as if they were seizing each other up for a prize fight. He takes another long sip.
“Remember me?” she asks.
“No.” he shrugs indifferently. “Should I?” She just smiles. A weird, sly smile that creeps him out and he doesn’t get spooked easily.
“How long have I been frozen?” He wants to know. “About 30 years”. She says. “I picked you up at the Moundsville Penitentiary yard sale. They were going to liquidate you because their Cryogenic Tract was running out of funding. So I pulled a few strings and they released your body to me. You served only 30 years of your 523-year sentence.”
Oh, yeah – the sentence. He almost forgot about his rep sheet. “Lucky me. I guess I have to thank you for saving my life.” He eyes her trying to gauge her reaction. She shakes her head and chuckles. “I guess so.”
“Do you remember this?” She point to her scar. His memories still blurry, he shakes his head.
She looks grim. “Let me refresh your memory. 35 years ago, you broke into my home and hid in a closet. After I went to bed, you tied me down, raped me and cut me with a kitchen knife. 15 cuts.” She rolls up the sleeve from her coat exposing a horrific scar.
The memory flashes back in his brain. Oh, yeah – the feisty one. A real squealer. He lifts his arm. Three long scars of fingernails that dug deep into his skin are visible on his forearm. Bitch!
“So you do remember.” She concludes. “You left this scar as a reminder that you would kill me if I would talk to the police.” She points to the scar on her cheek. “But I did.” She says softly. “And you got 523 years in the ice tub.”
“Bitch! You testified against me.” He slurs. “Should’ve killed you just like the others.” He yells. He doesn’t remember how many others there were but there were many.
“I guess so.” She says with a sad smile. “But what done is done and what past is past.” She gets up, takes the bottle of Jim Beam from him and chucks the rest.
“This is a new time. A time for rebellion. Women rise up, stand up to their attackers and they finally get the revenge they deserve.”
Jack looks suddenly worried. “What are you going to do, kill me?” He chuckles awkwardly. She grins with deep satisfaction. “No, I – am not.”
She takes the handgun from the side table and points it at Jack. “It’s time.” She says coldly. Pointing the gun at Jack, she opens the handcuffs and helps him down from the operating table.
“Time for what?” Jack asks, now in panic mode.
“You’ll find out.” She says casually. He tries to stand but his knees are still weak like pudding.
Still holding the gun, she supports him as they limp towards a door. Out of breath, he stops in front of the door. “Wait. Let’s talk about this.” He bargains. “What’s going to happen when I go through that door?”
She gazes at him with a look of vengeance and flashes a devious smile. “You are right. You really want to know what is on the other side of this door? Sure, I think you have a right to know.”
She takes a few steps back and looks him straight in the eye, still holding the gun.
“I cloned your victims. Rachel, Alexandra, Carry-Anne, Terry, TJ, Lisa, Patricia, Jen, Bobby, Alison, Linda, Deb, Patty and Olivia.”
His jaw drops as he tries to keep his balance.
“And they have kitchen knifes.” The feisty one says.