4 Nova Fleura
Clarissa woke up some time after sunset, flailing her arms around as if a tornado had struck her. Her heart thumped against her ribs and her eyes pulsed violently. Either that was a surreal dream or a terrifying reality. Was her arm actually a pulsating blue? she couldn't tell.
Her insides felt foreign to her, she felt confused and ready to panic. The part of her arm in question began to feel rather cold when it was still warm to the touch. She could feel the air around her skin, the longitudinal waves colliding with her hair. Her neck felt extremely sensitive to the environment, her sense of range felt as if it was increasing. It felt as if she was reborn a human
A new Human in the same old world she hated.
She pushed herself off her bed, her head tipping over as she stood. She could feel the torrents of blood behind her eyes, knocking against them like an angry spirit trying to break free. She slowly stepped out of her room to the kitchen counter, where sat the innocent little flower, pulsing away in its black-blue body.
She held the flower in her hand, slowly lifting it out of the water. She felt an urge to smell the petals once more, an urge she could not explain, nor could she deny. One, single sniff. The smell was sweet, like ripe fruit, refreshing and yet... indulgent. The mere smell lightened her heart. Was this an undiscovered narcotic? or a new anesthetic just waiting to hit the market. Either way, she had to find out what it was and if it had any relation to her nightmare.
Clarissa walked out of her home. She had to head for someone she could trust. For now, Marie was the one to see. Her only friend could, at least, be trusted to keep her small secret.
Finally, the house came. She had no idea what time it was, nor how long she had been walking. She traversed the stair-steps 2 at a time and once arriving at her door. She gave a subtle knock. Footsteps, they didn't seem very heavy, it couldn't be her mother, they were also quick in succession, too quick for her mother after her earning hours. It could only be-
"Who is it?"
"Marie, it's me"
"Clari?" She opened the door, the insides of her home were more-or-less the same as hers. Just more bottles of Alcohol and small wrappers strewn about.
A small meet & greet later, they settled into the small couch in the room.
"How are you? things been okay?"
"Yeah...well... not really, no."
"Oh... I'm sorry...Is there anything i can do to help?"
"Yeah, i need to find some sort of medical practitioner... preferably someone who knows about chemicals that affect your head."
"I...I know a few people from my Dad's old contacts but...why?"
"Well... Promise me you'll never tell anyone about this"
"Clari, listen. I'm your best friend. I won't sell you out like that"
Clarissa could only smile, mentally shaking herself for doubting her.
"Okay. So...I found this flower. One that shines bright blue and has a dark stem. I sniffed it and i liked its smell, somewhat fresh and fruit-like. I took it home and just as i slept, i have this crazy nightmare and everything was dark and-"
"Easy tiger, calm down. So you're saying you got a crazy trip after smelling a flower?"
"Simply put, yeah. I think it left some serious effect on me because when i woke up, my arm was glowing blue."
Something seemed to click in Marie's eyes. Her shoulders began to shiver a bit, stopping almost immediately. She could feel that something had happened to her mental energy.
"Hm?...sorry I...I had a reminiscence moment. I have a contact, maybe its not too late to speak to them. He stays in the Hospital 24/7 too, He knew my father and it's is the only reason i get medicine and health checks."
"Alright, should we go?"
The girls made it out of the apartment post-haste, making for the Hospital that was some ways away from their residences. About an hours walk later, they arrived at the busy Medical center. Making their way through the help desks and the influence of Marie's bygone father, all the while Clarissa dealt with the horrible smell of Chlorinated Disinfectants. Finally arriving at a door labeled "Dr. Greer" The qualification seemed to be scraped off.
Marie softly knocked on the wooden door.
"Come in" a calming male voice spoke from the inside.
The door opened to reveal a male doctor whose face held a reassuring smile, blonde hair and small yet soft-spoken eyes.
"Come in, kids. Come in. Have a seat"
Marie sat in the chair next to a desk and an examining gurney. Clarissa sat on the gurney rather than the chair.
"So, how are you, Young Marie? Friend of yours?"
"Yes...This is Clarissa."
"Well hello there. How can i help you?"
"I think i've inhaled some sort of anesthetic or narcotic substance. I want to know what and how to get rid of it."
"Well sure. Lets get the test kit out."
He proceeded to pull out a small box. it contained a bunch of cotton swabs, colored papers and a small booklet, probably a scale for the results. There was also a small tin with a screen and a hole sitting in the corner. It looked fairly modern.
The onslaught of extensive tests was a first for for Clarissa and was too awkward to bear, Marie could only watch as every cotton swab from her mouth was tested with numerous fluids, turning the colored paper sometimes bright pink, sewage-green or even deep red.
"Well, you surely didn't do any drugs. Maybe its something else? a bodily reaction?"
"I don't think so. That feeling was too different, it felt like a foreign entity"
The Doctors eyes widened, something must've clicked him about her condition. He pulled the final swab, took a final sample from her mouth and finally pulled out the polished tin. The metal gleamed in her eyes as it was stuffed with the swabs head. A perturbed beep came out of the small tin as it spelled out some words too far for her to see.
"What is it?" Marie tried to swerve her head to see the screen
"You...do you have a while? this can take some time"
It must've been something bad. Clarissa's heart suddenly felt as if it were falling out of the sky. Her financial status was horrible and there was not much Marie could help with. If this was something big-...
"I've time. What is it?"
...-She was as good as dead
"You have a harmless parasite inside you. It's the flower you smelled."
The doctor sounded tried to help elude Clarissa's fear "It's completely harmless. That flower was probably the second of its kind."
"Because they were-...You know what? its a long story...I'll tell you what you need to know."
Marie only shifted in her place uncomfortably as he said the last words of the sentence.
"So what you've got is a rare parasitic infection of Nova Fleura"
"New Governors?" Marie had her fair share of Latin skills
"Precisely, This fleur de lys of sorts, was engineered by humans, for humans. It gives the human body increased control over itself. It first starts by entering your brain stem, sometimes giving you a nightmare or some vision. The parasite then works its own charms, replacing the Myelin sheaths on your nerve cells with itself, making impulses pass almost 300 times faster than that with your standard myelin sheaths"
"So I'm...some sort of superhuman?"
"You can say that, yes. Nova Fleura hasn't been found anywhere for years now, where did you get that flower?"
"In a garden...it stood out to me and it was almost instinctive for me to smell it"
The doctor seemed to stare into Clarissa's eyes as if the answer was hanging off her irises.
"Well...in either case, whats inside your head right now is called Fleuric Archaea, it still seems to be in
the first stage and i personally don't know much beyond that."
"Thanks, Doc. We'll contact you in case anything happens"
"Sure,I don't know whether i'll be of much help but I'll try my best"
Clarissa proceeded to leave the bewildered doctor while Marie followed. The long road to their homes finally came to an end, step by step through the concrete alleys and roads.
"Thanks for helping me out there, Marie. Really."
"Don't sweat it, Clari, It's what friends do"
Marie managed to curl a smile for Clarissa before walking through her own door, vanishing behind the dying brown wood. Clarissa made for her own home.
She threw herself at the couch the moment she shut the door behind her. Nova Fleura, Parasitic Infection, Fleuric Archaea, It was all so much to take in at one glance.
"It's pretty late now...I'll...have some rest..." were the few words she managed to speak before a small yawn and falling asleep, shutting the eyes that had seen enough for a day.