Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Michelle's Bad Day (story)

Please find the discussion thread here.

Michelle was having a bad day.

She sat, slumped somewhat languidly over the table, her arms forming a temporary, makeshift pillow for her head. For the moment, at least, the murky room was silent, and still, and Michelle was taking advantage of the relative calm.

Of course, it couldn't last.

With a thunderous roar, the room shook, and the lighting became even less certain than before. Reactively, Michelle stood bolt upright, and made haste to the door. As the shaking calmed, she pushed onto the door, as it offered no real resistance. With a brief glance over her shoulder, Michelle hurried through.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

Post by Edminster »

The muffled sound of air raid sirens permeated the hallway as Michelle staggered to the stairwell. Quickstepping her way down to the ground floor, she realised that perhaps stiletto heels were not the brightest choice this morning. This feeling is amplified when she reaches the final landing and her left heel snaps off.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Mumbling a brief curse to her choice of footwear, Michelle tried to cautiously make her way to the street outside on the ruined heel, before finally conceeding defeat. Hastily removing both shoes, and pitching them away with more force than entirely necessary, she continued with only 50 deniers of delicate cloth between her foot and the harsh, cracked surface of the floor.

She steadied her resolve before taking in the scene outside, but even this preparation was not nearly enough for what she saw.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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The street she had gotten to know over the past four months had once been uniform and, despite the dreary feeling from the continuing rows of terraces, homely. Now it was gone, and instead the scattered relics of some of those terraces imprinted a new, less secure, feeling that left her heart stuttering out of beat.

She wet her lips and shifted her weight to her left foot, trying to peak at the gaping hole that had been left by the four or five missing terraces. She could not yet tell how many had disappeared into the crater only that they had been swallowed by the new feature.

Neighbours poured onto the street, stumbling, shocked, and shaken. One woman was in her night dress, and Michelle was glad she had still been dressed for work. There where apparently advantages to being forced to work an extra three hours overtime. The loss of her third favourite high heals was not one of them.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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The shaking started again, not as strong as it was the first time, but still strong enough that one of Michelle's neighbors whose name she'd never learned lost his balance and landed face-down in his yard. A crack formed in the street between her and the crater and grew to the full width of the road in a matter of seconds. For a moment, the street was quiet; quiet enough to hear the moaning timbers of the houses closest to the edge. Then the crater wall gave way.
The house on the far side briefly appeared to fall straight down before toppling in towards the center of the growing pit. On the near side, roads, trees, and half of a house just fell out of sight as the crater grew to its new diameter. There was now only one house left between Michelle's and the edge. She took a step backwards, then turned around and bolted. The rising sun was in her eyes now as she dashed half-blind away from the expanding gulf.
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.

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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Gasping for air, her chest a painful reminder of human frailty, Michelle ran, not looking back for even a glance, until the blood was pumping in her ears, resounding and throbbing with such ferocity she could no longer hear the sharp cracks of the masonry so desperately close to her. When her feet -- now bare, her stockings long having given up the ghost -- could take the punishment no longer, she stopped, tears streaming from her face in frustration, mascara streaked across her cheeks like...

Like warpaint.

Enough was enough. No more running.

As Michelle defiantly turned to face the ever-hungry crater, the rising sun caught a darting reflection within the mass of chewed up rock. The beaten bronze surface was instantly recognisable, and Michelle knew that no matter how far or fast she ran, she would be pursued. They had come for her. Anger now burning within, she steadied herself briefly, before leaping headlong into the hellish hole, confident that she must survive the chaotic mass of detritus swirling all about her.

By God, she was going to kill some molemen.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

Post by Edminster »

The first one went down easily, thanks to Michelle's extensive Tae-Bo training and the moleman's stark disbelief that such a slight woman could move so swiftly.
"This is easy!" Michelle thought to herself, clambering amongst the rubble towards the steam-powered digging machine which had so unceremoniously burst forth from the ground. This is what all those patient years of training had been for. This was the time where she would stop being a victim of uncaring managers. This is the day that all will understand that Michelle Harriman will not be stopped.

As the firemoleman's shovel contacted her face with a sickening thud, Michelle learned that while he can create an effective exercise regimen, Billy Blanks is completely unable to instill a Warrior's battlefield awareness in his students.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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As her vision started to clear she tentatively tried the grasp of the mole men holding her, 'not even a bit of give' she sighed to herself. Slumping in her captures arms she looked up at the imposing bulk of the mole man in front of her. He twitched his nose towards her, dark goggles blocking out the bright pre-dawn light and hiding his large solid black eyes from view. Wishing her work outfit was a bit more covering she sighed again and stared up at him straightening, trying to gather what little fight was left in her after the beat down she'd just suffered.

"Fine, you got me. Take me to my Father."
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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The two guards at her side marched forward, but only to the mouth of the tunnel. Michelle could see a second, much smaller vehicle behind the enormous digger. Light poured out onto the wall from a hatch on the side, where a large moleman climbed out, carrying a straw hat and an electric cattle prod. After a few minutes, a man followed. He was a lean man with ashen skin and fine blond hair, and he wore a white tuxedo with matching gloves. He looked briefly out at the sky, and then inspected his clothes for dirt. Somehow, there never was any. The mole extended its claws to offer the man the hat, which he wore, and the iron, which he held at his side like a cane. He was a little taller than Michelle remembered him, but otherwise Lucien Harriman looked exactly like he always had.

He took a few steps in the Michelle's direction, and drawled, "Now, where did you think they were going to take you? Six Flags under Missouri?" He sounded like he always had, too, and his affected Deep-South accent made Michelle wince every time she heard it. The molemen at Michelle's side took a step forward, and Lucien, chuckling at his own joke, lazily lifted the cattle prod to her face, close enough that she could hear it hum. He held it there a moment, as though he were trying to decide the best way to use it, and then extended his arm, moving the two prongs away from Michelle's face and forcing them deep into the nostrils of the guard at her left side.

The stricken rodent fell over backwards, squealing, and the one at Michelle's right let go and scrambled up the slope away from the tunnel. Lucien watched the animal writhe on the ground for a moment, then turned back to look Michelle in the eyes. "Sugarbug," he said,
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.

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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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"Do be going and getting Michelle here some proper dress, can't be havin' her lookin the harlo't now that she's a comin' home." with a small smile he he proffered his hand to Michelle calmly waiting for her to take it. She knew if she didn't the cattle prod wouldn't stop some small distance from her face. Looking down she realized just how badly her blouse was torn, showing more cleavage then hiding, and the gigantic rip up the side of her already short skirt wasn't exactly helping matters. Controlling another sigh for what was about to come she took his hand, preferring the pain that was to come to the cattle prod now.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Michelle Harriman underwent the rigorous torture of ‘cleaning’ with a dignified poise and a glaring expression. The two little molewomen who had clearly been waiting to tend to her scrubbed every available surface with something that resembled a pine cone more than a brush. Considering the downy fur of their species Michelle always wondered at their less than adequate grooming facilities but was too curious to ask them and too afraid to ask her father.

Her clothes had been hurried away by one of them while she wasn’t looking, as if she would protest the removal of the now useless and indecent garments. A flowing white sundress, reminiscent of her childhood, had been lain out on the four poster bed when she had been allowed to emerge from the ensuite and despite the displeasure she felt at being decked out like her younger self she had put it on. It was, after all, better to be clothed than naked, and naked was the only other option at this point in time.

Then she had waited in the locked room (she had checked) for her fathers summons knowing that it would not take long before she was ‘needed’. The rumble below her feet as the drilling machine plotted its new path below the surface was comforting because of it’s familiarity, and disturbing for exactly the same reason.

While waiting she tried for the millionth time to decide how she could explain the whole mess to her father again. After all, it wasn’t her fault, it had never been her fault but he never listened.
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Unfortunately, Michelle had hardly any time to think before one of the molewomen returned; they must have been watching her from somewhere to know that she had finished dressing. The molewoman spoke to her in their strange, squeaky language; Michelle could barely understand but the message was obvious enough; she was to follow the molewoman to her father.

It had occurred to her to run, but she doubted that it was the right moment; the tunnels are always crawling with moles, even if they couldn't be seen. Therefore, escape would have to wait. After some time the molewoman looked back and said something. This time, Michelle picked up part of the meaning, and started to follow closer. Certainly enough the tunnels were getting more winding with many branching passages, and if she wasn't careful she could be lost here forever, or at least until someone found her, and she wasn't willing to risk what one lone moleman would decide to do; at best she'd be right where she started. They seemed to be going deeper and deeper.

They finally reached a room with a simple wooden table and chair, and a finely carved passage that she could not spot the end of. The molewoman squeaked something brief, then wandered down the passage. Michelle chose to remain standing, since she could not possibly have the advantage sitting.

Her father came shortly after, with the moleman and his cattleprod. "Well girl, it's just about time." Michelle began to work through the weak excuses that she had thought of on the walk here, but her father held his hand up, silencing her. "Now girl, that ain't important anymore. I' been too hard on you, I think. I expected too much of you. You were only a child." That same small smile. Those same awful teeth. "After all, not everyone is prepared to become a princess."

He paused. "What's important right now, listen here, is that you're here right now, girl. And now you're back the importan' thing is tha' you do the righ' thing... Righ 'now."

Michelle shuddered. "What are you saying, Lucien?"

Lucien winked. "Call me father, please. Now, follow me." He briefly gestured, and turned down the passageway. Michelle hesistated but the moleman growled and threatened her with the cattleprod, and she hurried forward down the passage. Eventually they came so far down the passage that the light from the previous room disappeared, and she started to see the room that they arrived to.

They arrived at the room. Michelle glanced around and realised something. Something was wrong.

"Everything is the same," she thought. "Just like last time." Chills ran up her spine. Time seemed to stop.

Her father slowly turned to her. He smiled. "And finally, girl, this time, it's time for you to become--" he paused slightly; "one of us."

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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Michelle's eyes had by now adjusted to the dimness of the passageway enough for her to tell that she was definitely looking in through the window of her childhood bedroom. The floor of the tunnel outside was flush with the bottom of the window, but inside everything was exactly as she remembered it. She couldn't say for sure if her father had had her original bedroom moved underground somehow, or if he'd rebuilt it from scratch, but she didn't think it mattered. In either case, this was the room where she'd spent the first fourteen years of her life.
Lucien's smile softened somewhat, changing from an expression of triumph to one of pity. "You are your mother's child, aren't you, Sweet Pea?" he remarked gently. "Eloise, God rest her soul, died far too young. And I don't mean to let you make the same mistake she did. But there's no rush. All that can wait until tonight." He opened the window and stooped to enter the room, then held his hand out to Michelle. Michelle, not seeing any other options, stepped forward and took his hand. She ducked into the room, being less cautious than she should have with her sundress. "Make yourself comfortable, child," Lucien continued. "And then I hope you'll join me on the veranda." Once again he gave her that unsettling smile that showed all of his teeth, filed flat so that their profile was unnaturally flat; then he removed his hat, bowed slightly, and walked out the door at the opposite end of the room.
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.

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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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"Well, Michelle," she resolutely muttered to herself, "it's time for some answers."

Grabbing the ornate wooden chair from its resting place by her desk, she dragged it directly underneath the hanging light fixture, trying desperately not to glance at the out-of-date invitation to the dance resting on that same, familiar desk. As she stretched up to test the wooden board of the ceiling closest to the light, she couldn't help but wonder if Greggie Patch had waited for her all night when she didn't show. Had he been angry? Sad?

Unimportant. More pertinent to her current situation was that Michelle found, to her relief, that the board was still just as easily removed, and if Lucien had indeed reconstructed her room, it had been with all the flaws intact. Throwing the loose plank onto her freshly laundered bed, she pulled herself up through the gap, into the darkness of the attic.

If experience from her youth had taught her anything, it was how to navigate this room in darkness. The stillness of the room made dusty wakes as she moved directly to the skylight, and opened it. Only, instead of the fresh night sky greeting her as it used to, Michelle became the recipient of a significant bulk of loose soil.

Waiting a moment to allow it to settle, she climbed the new mountain of earth to make her way onto the roof. Blinking out the stray dust, Michelle found that the roof was actually a newly formed hole in the floor of a wide, roughly-hewn corridor. Exactly where she didn't want to be.

Three immediate doorways presented themselves as options, as did continuing along the corridor either way. But Michelle knew the tunnels were infested with moles, so the closest doorway was almost definitely the most sensible choice. As she ducked into the alcove of the rocky archway, she noticed that, unlike many of the doors, this one was metal, with an odd corrugated quality. The silvery sheen of the access pannel and the small, numbered buttons made it clear this was inaccessible to the clawed, stubby fingers of the creatures who created these tunnels.

"Five five five, two three six eight," whispered Michelle, entering the code with practised ease, "Same old Lucien."

As the door began to slide ponderously upwards, Michelle ducked into the room beyond without hesitation. The sudden brightness nearly blinded her. Michelle irritably wondered just how often she'd have to allow her sight to adjust for the remainder of the day, but her interest in the room quickly shook the thought from her mind. Each of the six surfaces that made up the walls of the lab were polished steel, as was the large table off to one side. A tesla coil hummed to itself in one corner, and instruments -- from oscilloscopes to test tubes bubbling with fluorescent liquids -- were strewn about the place with an order indecipherable to Michelle.

However, of most interest was the young man strung up on the far wall next to the only other exit. His wrists and ankles held in place by black leather restraints, he struck a marginally pathetic figure, replete with copper beard and lenghty hair that grew awkwardly from freckled skin. His simple blue overalls named him as "Greg".

"Greggie Patch?" Michelle gasped.

"Oh, hello Miss Harriman!" replied the restrained figure with a conversational tone. "I'm glad you found me."

"What in the blue blazes are you doing here?" was all Michelle could manage.

"Well, that's your father's doing, sad to say. I've been here a couple of months, without a shave, even. I think he wanted to fiddle with my Dee-Emm-Aye, or something. He's changed me a bit, I've got these nifty new claws, and I can see in the dark real easy, but that's about all he's willing to do to me. I think he just wanted to make me like one of his mole people so I'd marry you."

"Why would I want to do that? I haven't seen you in years!" shouted Michelle, more to the universe in general than to the captive man.

With a slightly hurt expression, Greg mumbled out a reply. "Um, it's delicate business, Miss Harriman. When he found out you'd be, ah, birthing a child out of wedlock, I think he figured it'd be better you married someone, and since we used to be sweethearts, I'd be a plum choice."

"Oh," said Michelle plainly. "Yeah, that."

"Well, that WAS his plan. He's gone and changed his mind, though. Now he's concentrating all his time on what's through that door, next to me."

Unable to help herself, Michelle quickly asked, "What's through the door?"

"Don't exactly know, Miss Harriman. All Doctor Harriman says is it's his new project. Project Emm-Emm."
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Re: Michelle's Bad Day (story)

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Michelle was torn at the moment, indecision left her still and speachless. There was certainly an urgency about the moment to continue looking for a way to escape. There was no way for her to know whether Lucien or some other mole attendant would discover she managed to slip out of her room and raise an alert. Her curiosity was piqued with whatever it was that might lie on the other side of that door, and what Project MM could be. Seeing what they did to Greg, it no doubt was horrific, and there was a large chance that it would either involve or relate to her personally. And still, she could not just up and leave Greg alone with the molemen. If she did manage to escape and the wedding had no bride, the moles likely would not see further use of the groom.

Michelle took a close look at the chains holding Greg. They were definately stronger than anything she could yank off, even with her strength. Not even the Mole SuperSoldiers would be able to break him off of this thing. Besides, the room was fairly empty. Whatever equipment they used to experiment on him had long been moved, and Michelle wouldn't know how to use the rest of the things in a Macgyver-esque attempt to free him.

Tears began to swell in her eyes, as just how dire this whole situation might be began to dawn on her. "What's the matter, Miss Harriman," Greg asked in a gentle tone.

"I'm so sorry that I got you dragged into this mess, Greggie. It's my fault they did this to you."

Greg stared at gaily at her, as if oblivious to her tone.
"Don't worry about it lady, after tonight things will sure be looking up for us. After all, they promised if I cooperated I'd have complete freedom!"

"Surely you cannot expect me to go through with it! I am going to find a way to escape, and I will find a way to free you as well!"

"Naw, that ain't gonna happen, lady. Ya see, they kept me free just like you are at first. After I tried to escape, they caught me and did sumtin to mah head. Now I can't get more dan 500 feet from the doc without hurtin sumtin aweful."

At that, she began sobbing uncontrollably. All she could do was hug him, hold him close, and apologize as he tried his best to reassure her while restrained.

After a moment, she felt something strange poking against her hip. Greg fell silent, the expression on his face becoming more grim. She took a step back, staring at his overalls, and placed her hand against the bulge. There was something there, and she had to see what it was. Shoving her hand down his pants, she felt it. She wrapped her hand around it, grasping it tightly.

It was a rolled up series of papers with the words "To Miss Harriman. Please read in private. URGENT" scrawled sloppily in brown handwriting she recognized from the love letters she had once exchanged with Greg.

"It would be wise of you to leave this room, Miss Harriman. There should be someone coming by to prepare me for the ceremony any moment. You would be in a heap of trouble if they found you here instead of in your room. Any moment now, they'll be checking on you too."

That was when she noticed a small recording device embedded in one of the shackles. "Is that..." she began, startled. He merely nodded, knowingly.
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