Extraction: Episode 14 “The Infusion”

Extraction is a serial thriller by Tom Farr. Check out previous episodes here.

Mallory had never heard voices inside her head before. This one was faint, but she couldn’t mistake it.

“Help me,” the voice of a girl said. “He won’t let me go.”

Each time the girl spoke felt like someone was gripping Mallory’s head between two hands and squeezing.

“Please go away,” Mallory pleaded.

She tried to move her arms, but they were strapped to the table she was lying on. She lifted her head slightly to look around the dimly lit room where Zander was keeping her. The way he looked at her the last time he came in gave her chills. She didn’t understand why he’d kidnapped her, but it seemed clear that he was the one behind Skylar’s death.

Bryant’s face came to mind then. She both hated and loved him, and the dichotomy threatened to drive her mad if the girl’s voice in her head didn’t. Zander told her this was all Bryant’s idea, and for a moment she believed him. But as cruel as Bryant could be to her, he was too caught up in his carefully manufactured life falling apart to plan anything so sinister as what Zander had in mind.

The door to the room came open. Mallory snapped her eyes closed, pretending to sleep.

“You’re not that quick,” Zander said. “What’s the matter? You don’t want to see me?”

Mallory opened her eyes. “Why are you doing this?”

Zander smiled. “Because I loved a girl once, and she left me.” He walked to the other side of the table. “Bryant would do the same thing, you know. If he knew what I’m planning to do to you, he’d do it himself. He’d bring Skylar back.”

“She’s dead.”

Zander lifted an eyebrow. “Is she?”

“You have to let me go,” the girl’s voice said, and Mallory winced from the pain.

Mallory looked at Zander. “The voice in my head. You did this to me, didn’t you?”

Zander smiled. He leaned down next to her and laid his hand gently on her cheek. Looking into her eyes, he said, “You’ll soon be back with me, Emily. What happened won’t matter anymore.”

Mallory’s eyes went wide. “What did you do?” Her voice was frantic.

Zander stood back up. “Soon you’ll disappear, and Emily will take your place. You should feel privileged that I chose you.” He paused. “Well, actually I chose Skylar, but she decided to take herself out of the equation.”

He leaned down, his face close to hers. “How did it feel to watch Bryant hook up with Skylar, especially after all he did to you? You still loved him, right?”

Mallory slammed her forehead into Zander’s face, sending him stumbling back, hands to his face.

The pounding in Mallory’s head intensified. “Sounds like I wasn’t half as jealous as you are.” She turned her head to look at him.

Zander pulled his hands away to reveal blood pouring from his nose. “You couldn’t possibly understand the level of loss I’ve felt.”

“Try losing a baby.” Mallory laid her head back.

“A baby?” Zander said. “You told him you lied about being pregnant.”

“I didn’t want him to know.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter. Soon you’ll be only a memory.”

With that, he walked out the door.

“I don’t want this,” the girl’s voice said. Emily.

“I don’t know how to stop it,” Mallory said.

###

Detective Mark Kendrick looked up from his desk to see Jack Summers walking toward him, a troubled look on his face. Kendrick stood up. “What can I do for you, Mr. Summers?”

“It’s my son,” Jack said. “He’s missing.”

Kendrick sighed. He knew he should’ve kept that kid in jail.

###

Bryant’s head throbbed as his eyes tried to adjust to the darkness of the room Zander had thrown him in. He’d briefly caught a glimpse of Henry Westfield. So they were in this together?

It made sense. When Emily died, Westfield disappeared. If he’d figured out how to perform an extraction of someone’s soul, though, it must’ve been before Emily jumped. Otherwise, he couldn’t have extraction Emily’s soul before she died.

Did Emily know what her dad was trying to do? If she wanted to die, wouldn’t bring her back only make things worse for her?

Bryant struggled to get up. That’s when he noticed the shadow of someone sitting on a chair on the other side of the room. Then he heard a groan. A man.

“Who’s there?” Bryant said.

The man groaned. “You have to stop him.” Henry Westfield’s voice. “I never meant for this to happen.”

“What are you talking about?”

“That boy,” Westfield said. “Zander. I should’ve never told him about Extraction. I’ve held onto Emily for so long, waiting for the opportunity to bring her back. But I never would have killed someone to do it.”

Bryant stepped toward the man. “You’ve really figured out how to strip someone’s body of who they are?”

The man sighed. “When my wife died, Emily was devastated. So was I. I wanted to bring her back. I eventually discovered I couldn’t. But what I did discover was a technology humanity should never have control over. I developed a device that could extract a person’s essence. But the device only works when someone is close to death and desperately wanting to die.”

“Skylar.”

“He did something to her. Something to make her sad. Suicidal. But she figured out he was up to something and knew that dying was her only escape.”

“He was going to extract her?”

“And infuse Emily’s essence into her.” The man’s voice broke. “Emily didn’t kill herself. We got into an argument. She fell.” The man was sobbing. “Before she died, I extracted her. I want to bring her back. To give her the life she never got to live. To say I’m sorry.”

“Does Zander know?”

The lights came on in the room, blinding Bryant for a moment.

Zander stepped out of the corner, holding a knife. He walked up to Westfield. “This is your fault?” he said. His shoulder rose and fell to the rhythm of his heavy breathing. “You took her from me!”

The rage in Zander’s voice made Bryant jump.

Zander jabbed the knife into Westfield’s chest. The man cried out.

“You’ll never live to see her,” Zander said through gritted teeth, sliding the knife out and stabbing the man again.

Bryant jumped on Zander from behind, and Zander threw him off. He went back to stabbing Westfield over and over again.

Bryant rushed Zander again, and Zander sliced Bryant’s arm, then threw him to the ground. Zander stepped toward him and pointed the knife at him.

“You’re not going to stop me, Bryant,” Zander said. “That man deserves it. He’s as much responsible for Skylar dying as I am.”

Bryant clenched his fists. “You won’t get away with this.” He looked at Westfield.

The man looked him in the eyes. “Please save my daughter,” he said with weakened voice. Then his head dropped to his chest.

Zander took the knife and jabbed it into the man’s gut one last time for effect. He looked back at Bryant. “It’s already done,” he said.

Continue on to Episode 15 of Extraction.

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Tom Farr is a blogger, storyteller, and screenwriter who teaches English Language Arts to high school students. He loves creating and spending time with his wife and three children. He blogs regularly about writing and storytelling at The Whisper Project.