NanoWrimo: Introduction

Check out the introduction to the draft of the novel I wrote for NanoWrimo! Please give me some feedback so I can improve the writing style and write up some more drafts before publishing.

The bulky grey heart monitor recorded the irregular heart beat of a young girl as she laid in a hospital bed. The monitor flickered, creating an eerie glow around the girl that flashed in and out with each beat. The girl in question lay motionless, her brown hair, bunched in matted dreads from dirt and sweat, framed her gaunt face. Her big, almost sinister, grey eyes were fixed on the only other person in the room… …a skinny and frail man dressed in a white lab coat. He had just entered the small room just moments before. The man swallowed nervously and approached the bed, careful to position himself at least arms-length away…

The girl didn’t move an inch but her eyes followed his every movement. The man leaned forward an inch, “What’s your name, sweetie?” he said, his voice higher pitched than he had wanted. He cleared his throat. The only answer was the heart monitor. “How old are you?” He tried again, the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end. The grey eyes flickered and she blinked but made no other movement.
“Where were you before you came here?” by now his heart was pounding against his rib cage, his hands clammy.

There was movement from the door and the man visibly jolted in fear. As the door opened, a tall woman entered the room, she too was wearing a labcoat and she walked towards the man with long, confident strides. Her lips were in a thin line and turned slightly downwards in frustration. The man turned to her, unable to hide his feelings of relief at having someone else at his side. “Baptiste, sir,” said the man and with his new found confidence, he turned to Baptiste and asked, “Is she stupid or just plain mute?” The woman stood beside the man, seeming to ponder his question as she stared at the young girl. The silence in the room was almost unbearable, and the heart monitor only made it worse. “Leave,” said Baptiste, her voice carrying the authority of a leader and she never once took her eyes off the girl. The man didn’t need to be told twice and he exited the room with as much fanfare as he had entered. When the man left the room, the girl’s owlish eyes shifted towards the woman who was now at her bedside. Baptiste didn’t say a word, if this was going to be a waiting game, then she would wait with all the patience in the world. At last, a small but steady voice was heard, “I have a message for Andrea Parks”. Baptiste completely pale but retained her composure, “A message for whom?” “Andrea Parks,” came the measured reply. The grey eyes didn’t reveal any emotion. “What is the message?” “I don’t know, but I have to deliver it to Andrea Parks.” Baptiste glanced up at the wall for a few seconds and then brought her gaze back down to look upon the young girl, “Andrea Parks was executed for treason five years ago”. A look of surprise flashed through the girl’s eyes before she quickly closed them. With a faint whisper she said, “but Andrea Parks is my mother”. After hearing those words, Baptiste turned on her heels and all but fled from the sparse hospital room into the grimy hallway where a fluorescent light flickered, the door slamming behind her. Just outside the room, two scientists waited. Baptiste barked orders, “I want a full physical done on this girl, I want to know exactly how old she is, where she comes from, and how the fuck she knows Andrea Parks.“ “Yes Ms. Baptiste, sir” The other two acknowledged her orders and swiftly went down the hallway. Baptiste furrowed her brow as she leaned against the wall that separated her from the girl on the other side. All she could hear was the incessant beeping and her thoughts wandered back to the painful memories of her past. “Oh, Andrea”…she whispered to herself as she slid down the wall, drew her knees up and cupped her head in her hands.

There was a knock on the door. “Come in,” Baptiste put down her travel logs that she had just been furiously looking through and looked down her glasses as one of the scientists entered the small cozy room. Baptiste sat in an armchair, a small lamp casting a warm glow on a wooden desk and a framed picture of a forest that hung on the other wall. The scientist sat on the other side of the desk in a chair that constituted the only other piece of furniture in the room. Doctor Sanders didn’t say anything as he slid five polaroid photos across the table. Baptiste picked up the photos and looked at each one intently before saying, “Show me”. Doctor Sanders led the way as the two walked down the hallway just a few doors down. He opened the door and Baptiste noted that two more monitors were hooked up to the girl, the cords disappearing under the blanket that she had pulled up to her chin. Doctor Sanders approached the bed and, without saying anything, ripping back the sheet from the girl’s body, revealing her naked torso. Baptiste drew in a sharp intake of breath, “Son of a bitch!” The gaunt eyes of the young girl looked defiantly up at Baptiste and she made no move to cover herself. Her torso was covered in black marks the resembled circuitry as they spread like tendrils from her heart to her extremities. They covered her entire left side and faded back into the skin as the tendrils reached out from the heart. Sanders began his report as Baptistes eyes followed the shape of the markings. “The labwork says she is exactly twelve years old as of today.” Baptiste gave him a look of is that all you could find out? He continued, “due to her…irregularities we analyzed her DNA sequence and we found something quite astounding.” Sanders led the way back out of the hallway into a lab next door. Clearly the most expensive room in the dilapidated hospital, the lights shone brightly upon all the top quality machines that buzzed softly. Sanders and Baptiste now stood in front of a three panel monitor; one monitor was running DNA sequences, the other one was running numbers, and the third was slowly typing out words. Sometimes the third monitor would type three letters, pause, and then continue at a halting pace. (Little by little want a different phrase) it was possible to tease out the words being written out and then the sentences that followed. Sanders turned to Baptiste, “A message has been encoded into her DNA.” He continued, “The girl is not only the messenger but also the message.”