Is a Name

Partials from the story by Lynn Stewart (Rynoah)

In this scene, Agent David Painter pays a visit to a yet-to-be-named girl who, like Sean, murdered by tearing out the throats of her victims.  I was just fooling around with different dialogue ideas.  I like her attitude.
She regarded him with dark eyes.  The gentle hum of the fishtank seemed to echo in the silence.  Painter shuffled his feet uneasily.  Her gaze never wavered.
"How are they treating you here?" he asked in an attempt to soften her up.  She wasn't buying it: he could see it in the cynical, barely visible sneer on her face.
"Can't complain," she replied flatly.  "Free room service and all the drugs I could want."
"You don't seem the type to go for drugs and the like," he remarked.  The corners of her mouth upturned ever so slightly in a fiendish smirk.
"You've got a good eye, Agent Painter," she grunted.  "I only say that because my shrink told me to try and be more optimistic."
"Does it work?"

"You know the saying.  'Doctor knows best'."
"I never trusted that saying."
"I'll assume you don't trust much, judging by your lack of a partner."  She shrugged slightly.  "Or so the movies tell us."
"I don't trust movies much either."
"Thanks for proving my point."
"You're welcome."
"However, your lack of a partner could also be a sign of trust.  You know, visiting the psycho cat girl without back up.  That takes trust."  She snorted softly.  She was toying with him.  He sighed and touched the tips of his fingers together.
"I wanted to talk about that night four years ago."  Her face didn't change except, perhaps, to take on a more sinister jaded look.
"Of course you do," she sneered.  "Everyone does.  That's the whole reason for my being here.  Nobody can talk about the weather or movies or books."  He opened his mouth to apologize, but she cut him off.  "Oh, don't give me the whole 'sorry' act.  Frankly, I couldn't care less what you talk about.  After all, once you go crazy, all you ever want to talk about is your condition.  So ask away, Agent Painter, ask away."  Her eyes gleamed wickedly.  He couldn't tell if she was being sarcastic or not, but he went on anyway:
"What do you remember about that night?"
"Let's see... four years ago.  That would make me twelve.  What about you?"
"I'd've been 27."
"Goody for you."  She looked up at the ceiling in mock concentration.  "Dad and I had a fight as usual.  This time, he slapped me.  Mom tried to pull me off his screaming face, but I just attacked her too.  My brother managed to call 9-1-1 before he jumped into the fray.  When the cops arrived, I almost attacked one of them but I was a good girl and minded my manners."  She glanced back at him in that same cold way.  "I don't really like the taste of blood like they said in the papers."
"What about before that?  Any signs of it?"
"Oh, I've had anger issues all my life, Agent Painter.  It wasn't until I hit my teen years that I started holding it back."
"And then it just came out that night, huh?"
"There was a time two days before when I almost latched onto a kid at school.  The usual bullying."  She showed her teeth in a grimacing smile.  "They can't kill me becaus I'm a minor.  They threw me in jail, but my lovely roomate left a bloody mess on the floor.  They moved me here, to the Stainless Wonder Room.  It's only another two years before they send me to the Happy Psycho Ward in the sky."
"What sets it off?" he asked, reverting back to the subject.
"Before, it was only anger.  Now, it's practically any heightened emotion.  I couldn't give you the specifics, though.  You'd have to ask my chart keeper."  She nodded at the fish tank.  "The fish were his idea.  Supposed to keep me calm and all so they don't need to pump me up so much."
"Does it work?"
"Sure.  I feel hungry and try to get at them now and then, but that's what the bullet-proof glass is for."  He stared at her blankly.  She narrowed her eyes slightly.  "That was a joke, Agent Painter."
"Good one."
"Thanks.  I try."
"So, is there any insight you can give me about this... condition?"  She quirked an eyebrow.
"Now you've gone and piqued my curiosity," she stated.  "Why do you want 'insight'?"
"You haven't heard?"
"Let's pretend for a moment that I live in a cell where my only contact with the outside world is the nurses that pump me full of sedatives to ensure I don't hurt someone."
"I would think they'd give you a newspaper at least."
"You're funny.  Lemme guess: you do stand-up when you're not chasing bad guys."
"There's another person out there with a murder technique similar to yours."
"Couldn't be one of my relatives."  He glared.
"You're sarcasm isn't helping much."
"Yes, it is.  It's keeping me as sane as I can be.  You have no idea what it's like being locked up in here trying to keep your heart rate at a certain level so you don't start howling at the moon.  Over the past four years, it's gotten harder and harder to control.  In another year, I'll be beyond the help of any drug in the world.  The only way out is death, Agent Painter, and that isn't a wonderful thing to wake up to."
"Then help us.  Make your last moments worthwhile."
"'Worthwhile'?  Oh, that's rich.  For a minute there, I thought you were going to yank off your jacket to reveal your superhero costume underneath."  He sighed.
"If you're not going to help, that's your decision.  Have a nice life."  He got up and moved to the door, but she stopped him:
"I'll help for a price," she sneered.  He glanced at her.
"I can't  guarantee anything," he muttered.
"No, really?"  He snorted in disgust.
"All right.  Name it.  I'll see what I can do."
"I'll help, but I'll have to see the bodies and the newest crime scene.  And I want to be able to go with the cops on the investigation."  He stared at her.  Was she serious?
"In other words, you want out of your prison."
"You're sharp, Agent Painter.  I think I've got plenty of 'good behaviour' points saved up for a trip outside before I lose my mind completely."
"I don't think they'll give it to you."
"Then you're in a bit of a tough spot aren't you?"  They stared at each other for a long time.  Finally, he pounded on the door and called for the nurse.
"I'll see what I can do," he repeated as the door hissed open and the nurse ushered him out.

Story and all characters therein  me.  No touchie.