As requested, I have written out an end to Huck’s story in last week’s Once I Dreamed post. So if you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check it out before you read any further, otherwise this post won’t make sense!
We left Huck trapped in the stone courtyard, back up against the wall and snarling at the young redheaded woman. What happens next? Let’s find out:
Huck, breathing hard and coiled tight as a spring, stared into her eyes. The woman wore glasses, and he caught sight of himself in the reflection in the lenses. His eyes were blacker than he’d ever seen them. Just like the wolverine.
A terrible terror built up inside him and Huck growled again, not wanting the redheaded woman to come any closer. If she did, the wolverine inside him would escape. The woman hesitated for a moment but continued to get closer. Huck’s whole body was tense now. He fixed his gaze on her outstretched hand, pressing himself further and further against the wall. When she was only inches away from him, she paused, then gently put a hand on his shoulder.
Something in Huck snapped.
With a feral sounding growl he smacked her hand away and jumped up at her, tearing her glasses from her face and ripping the fabric of her dress. As his sharpened teeth sunk in the soft flesh of her arm, the woman screamed and tried to push him away, but Huck continued to claw her, her screams echoing in his head.
Suddenly he was grabbed on either side and pulled from the young woman, who collapsed on the ground. He screeched and growled and kicked and fought, but nothing he did would free him. The men holding him only squeezed tighter as he tried to get away. Dimly he was aware they were shouting something at him, but that only made him fight harder. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the redheaded woman stand up and stumble towards them.
The plain grey fabric of the woman’s dress was stained red in the places he had bitten her. He saw the dark angry stains staring back at him and all he could think of was his mother’s mangled body and her blue dress stained red. The wolverine had struck again, only this time he was the wolverine. Huck only had time to lift his wide eyes up to the woman’s before he was hit in the head hard and knew no more.
He awoke much later to find his wrists tied tightly to the cold metal rails of a bed. His breeches had been removed and he was now wearing a loose dress sort of outfit. Gritting his teeth, he yanked the restraints on his hands, but nothing he did loosened them. A needle stuck out of his right arm, and attached to the needle was a long tube that led to machines beside his bed. Lots of little green and red lights flickered on the machine. Huck watched them warily, then jumped and struggled when the machine started beeping loudly.
Instantly two men dressed in white entered the room and approached the bed. One put his hands on Huck’s shoulders to hold him down, the other fiddled with the machine to stop the beeping. Then he shined a light in Huck’s eyes and put his fingers on Huck’s neck and forehead. When Huck tried to bite him, his eyebrows came together in a v and he scolded Huck. The two men spoke to each other in fast, low tones, using words like sedative and consult with psychiatrist. Huck wasn’t sure what that meant, but he knew he wouldn’t like it.
Suddenly he heard voices coming from the doorway and he tried to sit up, but the other man in white was still holding his shoulders and the restraints on his hands and feet kept him still. There was a bit of a commotion and Huck caught sight of a flash of red hair. Moments later the redheaded woman walked up to his bed, her face pinched together like she was worried about something. Huck blinked lazily. He felt sleepy all of the sudden and had trouble keeping his eyes open. Just before he drifted off, he thought he heard the woman say, “It’s going to be alright, dear.”
Huck became used to waking up with his arms and legs restrained. It was very hard not to fight, but he forced himself to be calm. The men in white were nicer when he was calm.
They came everyday. The men poked and prodded him and made Huck do all kinds of strange movements. They stuck him with needles and took his blood, and put him into machines. And everyday they asked questions.
Huck never spoke a word.
Sometimes the men took Huck to a room full of couches and chairs. They told him to sit where he wanted. Then a man with curly black hair came into talk to him. “You don’t have to talk until you want to,” he told him the first time Huck met him. So Huck didn’t. Still the man asked lots of questions and seemed to expect an answer. Huck didn’t like him.
The only good part of Huck’s day was when they took him to a large room and let him run. There Huck ran and ran, but never found a way out. Still, it was good to run again.
The redheaded woman visited him often. He learned her name was Kate. Huck liked when Kate came. She never asked him questions. Instead, Kate brought colorful books and read to him. Huck thought his mother might have read to him a long time ago, but he couldn’t remember. Kate also brought puzzles and clay for him to play with. Sometimes she would sit and make things with him. Huck liked these times the best. But as they played Huck could see his teeth marks on her arm. They were mostly faded to pink now, but Huck felt ashamed when he saw them.
The men in white kept him in a white room with one small window. Huck hated it. He longed for the green and browns of the earth and vast blueness of the sky. When Kate came, she caught him staring out of the window. The next day she brought him flowers, and Huck thought he had never smelled anything so wonderful in his life. He was so excited he ran up to Kate and threw his arms around her, hugging her tight. He didn’t notice the tear that rolled down her cheek when he did so.
This routine continued for many months. Huck wasn’t sure how long he’d been there exactly, only that he’d been there long enough for the seasons to change twice. The curly black haired man still asked him questions, but no longer seemed to expect an answer. The men in white, his doctors, stopped taking his blood and sticking him with needles. They ran the usual tests and exercised with him in a bored, routine manner, making Huck’s life very dull, except for the times when Kate came.
One day, when it was particularly fine outside, Huck was sitting in his usual spot beside the window when Kate arrived. “How is my wild boy today?” she asked as she always did. She smiled at him when he shrugged in an offhand manner, which she knew to mean “okay.”
For a while she read to him, but when it came apparent he was not paying attention, she stopped. Huck didn’t even look over. He was too busy watching a robin fly outside the window. “Would you like to go outside today, wild boy?” asked Kate, breaking the silence.
Huck whipped around. “Yes!” he cried, hardly daring to believe she could be telling the truth. But Kate never lied to him.
The book slipped from Kate’s hands and her mouth fell open. “What did you say?” she whispered.
“Yes Kate,” Huck repeated, suddenly unsure why she was acting so strange. “I want to go outside.”
Kate jumped up from her seat and ran to him, pulling him into her arms. “Of course you can, my wild boy. Whatever you like. You spoke! Oh! What is your name, wild boy?” she cried.
“Huck. My name is Huck.”
Kate held him tighter to her. “You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to know that,” she said. “It’s so good to meet you, Huck.” The smile he gave her in reply was blinding, filling his whole face and making his eyes brighter than they’d ever been.