Oh, hey, it’s Teaser Tuesday and I nearly forgot. Which would be tragic since I love everything I wrote this week. But here I am, and here you go.
This excerpt is in no way spoilery, though in most novels you would expect it to be. But, hopefully, the revelation Taylor makes in this scene has already been figured out by the reader.
Context: In a dream Taylor’s been having of Austin, a soldier Simulant, Austin’s arm was cut deeply, exposing his electronic bits inside. Right before this scene, Taylor was told that the only Simulant to be recycled was Justin, who he also has been dreaming of.
I pace back and forth, trying to talk some reason into the jumbled craziness in my head. I just keep seeing Malinda over and over, calling me Justin, and the five seconds it took me to remember that I was Taylor.
“I’m Taylor!” I scream and punch the wall between my bedroom and bathroom. I lean my forehead against it and pound it a few more times with the heel of my hand.
I can’t be a Simulant. Because it would mean that Rosie ordered me, and Rosie doesn’t even like BOIS-friends. And she didn’t want me. She made me chase her for months. I can’t be her BOIS-friend. I can’t be a Simulant.
I look up and right above my head is the poster that she defaced ages ago. The pimply faced girl was supposed to be her apology to me. Saying, “look at how I defaced myself.” The girl is hand-in-hand with a Simulant.
It’s supposed to be me. I’m the Simulant in the picture.
“No.” I rip the poster out of its pushpins and tear it up. “No.”
I run into the kitchen and search the drawers for a knife. I’m not a Simulant, and I’ll prove it. I find my sharpest knife in the drawer near the fridge. I cut along the tip of my left pinkie finger, not deep enough to do a lot of damage, but deep enough that it should bleed. I squeeze my eyes shut at the pain, but force them open to look at the blood.
It doesn’t come.
I’m practically hyperventilating now. I take the knife to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. “Is that you, Justin?” I whisper. I shake my head. But I remember him getting ready in the mirror. Same wild blond hair, same blue-gray eyes. Who has gray eyes?
I bite my lip and put the knife against my left arm. I know about how deep to cut if I have to, but if I see blood, I’ll stop. That’s all. I’m about to pass out at the mere pressure of the blade against my skin, but I force myself to press down. I hope for blood, but there’s nothing. I press harder and cry out at the pain. I clench my teeth and keep going, but there’s no blood, just a clear liquid starting to dribbled down my arm. I stop when I see a flash of silver that isn’t the knife. I stop when I can see a spark of electricity under my skin. My right arm falls limply to my side as my left arm exposes me for what I am.
I’m a Simulant.
Lots of love,