"I dream in golds, shimmering rays of sunlight dappled with fairy dust." Lenora smiles and I almost feel sorry for her. "I dream in moonbeams."
Ray rolls up Lenora's left sleeve, ties a band around her upper arm, and places a red rubber ball in her hand. "Squeeze," he says, and she does.
The ball reminds me of that clown with the bright red nose and orange hair, two acute triangles protruding from either side of his head. "You remember Bozo, Ray?"
"Dude with the funny eyebrows? Smile the size of the Grand Canyon? He's Illegal now."
I put my hand in front of my face to hide the smile I'm sure is spreading there.
"You're not laughing, are you? Laughing is Forbidden."
"No." I rearrange my face, smooth out the lines, return to impassivity.
"Maybe your Transformation isn't complete."
"I dream of oceans blue and forests green," Lenora says, and her eyes have a dreamy look as she squeezes the red rubber ball in time with her words.
Ray tears open a syringe, flicks a finger against her arm like he's biffing the nose of a cat.
"Ouch," Lenora flinches. "What are you doing?"
"Got to get a vein." Ray allows an illegal grin to flash across his grimy teeth as he holds up the needle. "We're going to infect your dreams with bitterness and despair. Turn your star-shine into sorrow. We're going to grey your blues and chop down your forested dreams."
"Why?" Lenora has stopped squeezing the ball. Her eyes are wide.
"Dreaming is forbidden." Ray pinches Lenora's forearm, jams in the needle. She lets out an involuntary giggle. Nerves.
"Stop laughing," Ray says.
And Lenora does. Her eyes flutter and flicker and finally close.
But when Ray turns his back, she opens her eyes and gives me the signal.
I smile broadly.
I am ready.
This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was infect.
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+