A Broken Reverie

So, for this prompt, I took a peek into Valdis’s thoughts on what is going on inside him.

Prompt: Insides

He looked the same as he remembered.  It was different for Ilya and Taurys.  Both of them were shorter now than they’d once been.  He was the height he also had been.  That bothered him, though.  He hadn’t been as tall as them because he was still growing.  Now, he couldn’t grow.

There were other differences, too.  They didn’t eat.  They didn’t need to, at least… not yet.  Dr. Schneider said he was working on that.  He closed his eyes and set his hand against his chest.  His heart didn’t beat in the familiar rhythm he’d once used as an anchor when he was upset.  Indeed, it seemed to whoosh, as it forced fluids that were like blood, but also entirely different, around his body.

“Valdis?”

Startled, he turned around and blinked at his cousin.  “Hey, Taurys,” he said, forcing a smile and waving.

Taurys saw right through the show of bravado.  He leaned against the doorjamb and frowned.  “What’s wrong, Valdis?” he asked, his voice soft.

Valdis closed his eyes and sighed deeply.  Then, he looked at Taurys.  “Are we alive?” he asked.  He turned away the moment the words left his mouth.  “I mean… Is this really living or…” he trailed off.

“Gilbert seems to think we’re alive, after a fashion,” Taurys said.  He set his hands on Valdis’s shoulders.  “We’re conscious, Valdis.  It’s more than we had before – shades, unable to touch anything or speak to anyone.”

“Is it enough?” he asked, his voice strained.  He shook his head.  “This body feels… cold and heavy and… the insides are wrong, Taurys.”

“Gilbert said it would be an adjustment,” Taurys said.  He used his grip on Valdis’s shoulder to turn him around, so that they were looking at each other.  Meeting his eyes, he said, “You are the only person that can decide if this is enough, Valdis.  If it’s not… I’ll help you, but you need to really, really know for certain that it’s what you want.”

Valdis bit his lip and thought about it.  Could he live like this?  Could he accept the way things were now as how they would be for years to come?  “I’ll give it more time,” he said, his voice soft.  He sighed when Taurys hugged him close.

“Maybe Gilbert can fine tune things for the next model,” Taurys murmured.  “He’s working on making it so we can eat.  A heartbeat would be… nice.”

“A real heartbeat instead of this… click, whoosh,” Valdis agreed.  He pulled back from his cousin and nodded.  “I feel better now, Taurys,” he said, his voice soft.  “Thanks.”

“Anytime,” Taurys replied.

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