**We present to you Mulia: human by day, Vampire Cat by night, and she titled this one Trust. Take a few minutes (okay, maybe more than a few minutes) of your time to read this. Leave a comment, too! This is sci-fi, yo!**
Cathleen’s Research Institute
12:01am (present day).
“This procedure has never been tested on a human, ma’am”, Tyler stated, already at the end of his nerves. This woman could make a man see red.
“He has left me no choice, Ty, he did see me kill his mother”, She replied. Today was the day it had to be done. Despite the fact that she loved him and that he was her husband, he had seen her kill his mother. The reason notwithstanding, he had chosen to testify against her in court and like her lawyer had told her that could put her away for a very long time. Now, that was something she could not let happen. Not everybody ran a multimillion dollar research institute dedicated to discovering cures to the most difficult brain disorders so it would have been a disaster to let the competition get a hold of her blood and sweat just because she had gone to prison.
“Love is tough, Ty, but staying married is tougher”. Just last week, the institute’s best scientist, Tyler Moshane, had discovered a procedure that could help erase memories while planting any new ones of their choosing. It had worked on the test rat but has never been used on a human subject. Now, her husband of 15 years was going to be her test human.
“He was my first love, Ty, my first kiss, the first everything”.
Tyler just stood there staring at his boss of 11 years. He didn’t recognize this woman. The Cathleen who recruited him was sweet and considerate. Heck! He had even had a crush on her in the earlier years of service. Well, time changed people as well as experiences like murder.
“Sure ma’am”, He replied, just wanting to be done with this as soon as possible.
Tyler hit the red button to begin the procedure. Cathleen’s husband had been kidnapped and drugged so that he would be unconscious for the whole procedure. If things go as expected he would awake in his office with his memory reset like after someone hit the “button”.
The experiment was designed to correspond to a time in Franklin’s life when he had been a writer, just before he had met with Cathleen. That is what you get when your spouse knows everything about you, huh?
“I am sorry, Franklin”.
June 18th, 1996.
I was running as fast as I could but it felt as if I wasn’t even moving. Someone*multiple someone-s* was chasing after me and there was debris everywhere. It was dark. I didn’t know where I was going but I knew I had to get to safety. Another thing I did know was why I was running. I had literally stumbled upon a gruesome sight; a young male recently clubbed within an inch of his life and had died in my arms. And his murderers *maybe* were chasing after me.
It was 10pm and I was on my way back from the dance club where I usually spent most of my evenings. Being a freelance writer allowed me the time to engage in some leisure activity and dancing felt like the best way to both have fun and burn fat *not that I needed to, what I did need was to stay trim*. Walking back home from the club had become a routine the past three months since I hadn’t written any articles in that time and felt as though I had run out of ideas. There was just too much extra energy that needed to be expended, energy I could have put into writing if I so much as had one tiny clue what to write. I varied routes every time, though, between taking the major road that led to the Catholic Church and saying a little prayer before heading home, and the footpath beside the club that led right to my backyard. Every night for the past 3 months, I walked observing the world around me, looking for some kind of idea- any idea- to fuel my fingers and help me write again.
Today, I had danced with way too much zeal and was feeling tired so I opted for the footpath. I distracted myself with thoughts of a warm shower and good food, maybe a little hot sex with the girl next door *I had observed the world for too long without result, what could a little distraction hurt?*. I hadn’t done more than five minutes on the walk when I tripped on something solid and fell into this pool of moist substance. I quickly rose to my hands and knees, feeling around for my cellphone which had dropped in the fall. My hands came up against a face, a human face and I let out a bloodcurdling scream *wrong move*. The face moved and I had to clamp my left hand across my mouth to keep from screaming again. I felt around some more and found my phone. Curiousity made me turn on the lights on my phone to inspect and I found a battered body, supposedly male and dying. There was blood everywhere, kinda like in the Spartacus movie. He raised his bloody hand, touched my face and whispered “get out of here, run”. I didn’t see his lips move but I felt his hand stiffen and drop from my face. He was dead. Then I heard a shuffle of feet along the path behind me and turned to see three men walking menacingly towards me. My first reaction was to scream, and I did pretty loudly. “Hey young man”, one of them said as they kept coming. I thought “someone killed this boy, probably these fellas, and they are going to kill me too! I’m not ready to die.” So I ran. And they followed. I knew I couldn’t go home with these men on the pursuit so I strayed off my usual route and took another path.
You know how they make those “ boss vs actor” chases look in the movies? I could have sworn this was the exact same thing. Three men, just me, a dirt road, night-time, this was a race for my life. I had my heart in my mouth, the only thought in my head being “run!”. They didn’t stop following. I ran for what seemed to be hours until I came to what looked like a major road. I had no idea where I was but I did feel a sense of security. Then they began shooting at me. It was as though they had come out of nowhere, I was sure I had lost them.
Then a car sped by and I waved at it to stop. It reversed and came to a halt beside me.
I did and we zoomed off. I turned to see my rescuer. She had the loveliest face I had ever seen and she smiled at me as she said “you are safe now. Hi I am Cathleen”.
Cathleen’s Research Institute
2am (present day)
“How far have we gone, Ty?”
“He is quite a strong man, ma’am. His vitals are stable and despite the horror of the memory we uploaded, he has stayed within safe bounds”.
“He has always been a strong man, my Frank”. “You may proceed”.
Federal High Court
July 12th, 2011(next day)
I was coming from dinner with my mom. She had invited me over to tell me something important about Cathleen, my wife. She told me that Cathleen had developed a new procedure to help people with acute insomnia by uploading pleasant memories to their minds that would help them relax and sleep better. She wanted me to be her inside man and gather information about the procedure so that she could work on something similar. I refused. I couldn’t spy on my wife. My mom had been her biggest competition since forever.
Just then, as I was driving into the compound *by the gate* three men walked up and asked us to step out of the vehicle. They had guns. Something sounded real familiar about one of the voices. “Mom, stay close”, I said. We came out and stood in front of the car. They searched our pockets, took some money. Looked like a common robbery at the time. Then they were leaving and I and momma were turning to enter the vehicle when he turned and spoke. “Hey young man”, He took a shot at me but my mom dived in front of the bullet. Cathleen rushed out at the sound of the gunshot and the men left. They were the same men who had chased me many years back. He went on to narrate the story of how he had stumbled on a badly beaten man and had gotten chased till Cathleen saved him. My Mom saved my life and those men killed her. Cathleen had nothing to do with it. She even helped bring her to the hospital where Momma was pronounced dead.
“But, Sir that was not what you said yesterday”, the prosecutor said, pretty surprised at a testimony which was not at all what he had expected.
“Well, Mr. Prosecutor this is how I remember it”.
Outside Courthouse (few hours later)
Mr Franklin was shot only a few minutes ago. The police suspect that it may have to do with the three men whom the man alleged to be his mother’s killers. Investigations will be carried out to put these people behind bars. His widow, Mrs Cathleen, was acquitted this afternoon after her husband’s testimony and has been weeping uncontrollably over his death. She will be provided with 24-hour surveillance and tight security as she is his only surviving relative.
Cathleen’s Research Institute (evening of the same day)
“I’m glad you could make it, Cathleen. I didn’t think you would come”.
“You did say it was urgent, Ty”.
“And you didn’t tell the guards where you were going?”
“Just taking a walk was what I said”
“This is just perfect then. I am sorry, Cathleen”.
“You provided the perfect cover story. The three men caught up with you”.
Flashback [what really happened?]
As Cathleen felt the life slowly seeping from her body, she wondered if there was heaven waiting for her. But how could heaven wait when she had lived like this? Her life flashed before her eyes, going slower at the beginning near the last couple of weeks and faster thereafter.
The last couple of days were sure sickening to see. Her mother in law had caught her in bed with another man in her son’s house. He was just the gardener who apparently “did” more than lawns.
One disadvantage of being married to a man like Franklin was the fact that he always liked to assume he knew perfectly well what a woman wanted and that he was the ultimate giver. Well, he was at some point but age had taken its toll on him and for a woman like me, it wasn’t enough that he had a “huge ride” and knew where to park it. The “how to” was becoming quite questionable. His technique was becoming old and his stamina wasn’t what it used to be. That was when the gardener had come along. He had been working for us over a year then but I’d hardly ever noticed him. Just that afternoon, he was mowing the front lawn and when he looked at me and smiled I waved him over. I probably shouldn’t have. It was the beginning of the disaster that has become the death of me. I didn’t have anything to say to him but he seemed to know all the right words. One thing led to the other and we were soon talking about sex, his girlfriend, my husband. He never told me what her name was but I remember the feeling of jealousy. I thought “why would Frank not be more like this?” We had grown apart and didn’t talk about much besides work. Even then, I wasn’t very honest about mine. His mother was my biggest competition and I trusted that his loyalty lay with me, still I couldn’t be explicit.
I and the gardener chatted on for awhile before things got heated. He was asking how I liked to be licked, touched and I was getting wet from just talking. That should have been my cue to get up and leave but some sort of curiousity held me pinned to the chair. Then he moved to show me, “like that?” he had asked me. “Yes! Oh yes!” I told him. And soon we were on my matrimonial bed doing it. It was then that my witch of a mother in law chose to walk in. I hadn’t even climaxed. Everything went downhill from that point.
After “the great catch” like her mother in law kept calling it, she started making unnecessary demands of Cathleen. Cathleen knew she had had it when momma dear had asked her to screw one of her clients as incentive. “You were in bed with your gardener in my son’s house. It couldn’t be any different now. Could it?” Cathleen had angrily yelled right back, “I am a good woman. I have never cheated on my husband before. I won’t let you exploit me anymore”. I mean, it was one thing to refer more than ten of your most loyal clients to your mother in law but to have to sleep with them too? That went above and beyond. “Wait till my son finds out what you’ve been doing”.
Later that evening, momma made an unannounced guest appearance at their home and Cathleen could guess why. She had come to ruin her marriage. After dinner, she invited her son into her room for a private chat. Cathleen had to do something. She loved this man and couldn’t lose him because of one silly mistake that didn’t even get fully made. Then the thought came.
“ Rat! Rat! Frank?” Cathleen screamed, brandishing her pistol. She shot once and both Frank and Momma came rushing out. “You interrupted us because of a rat?”
“Cathleen? Cathleen! Give me the damn gun! Oh my goodness! Momma? Mom?”.
Cathleen had shot her mother in law in the head. “The r-r-r-r-a-t. Oh frank.” Momma had died on the spot but they had taken her to the hospital to confirm.
Then there had been an investigation into momma’s death and her loyal husband had chosen to testify against her despite all her pleas. Heck! She even gave him some wild nights too. At least she had stopped momma from breaking her marriage, but for what? The husband she had fought for was going to lock her up for life anyways. And Tyler had come along like an angel with the genius invention. That was all she needed. It had been her idea to test the procedure on her husband because she wasn’t about to go to jail and lose her business. But what was the way Tyler had kept mentioning “erase the memory!” Oh No! He didn’t. Ty? Anyways Frank had been working on this book about murders and the like and was waking them up with nightmares every night since momma had died. So, all she had to do was implant one of the scenes from his book in his head and change the how of momma’s death to rhyme and she’d be free. It was genius. What did they say about writers being so embedded in their work they could be living it? Franklin was going to live his work. And since the procedure couldn’t be trusted, he had to die before the real memories resurfaced. It had been her genius idea. Or hadn’t it? Why could she not seem to shake the way she had seen Tyler’s suggestion? “erase the memory!”, was it?
The rest of her life went by pretty fast. She was tiring out.
Just before Cathleen drew her last breath, she opened her eyes to see the gardener and Tyler Moshane making out on her work table.