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TOPIC: ARV: Scraps
Piper (User)
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ARV: Scraps 5 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 13  
I highly doubt I will ever finish this story, but I figured I'd at least post a scene that's been kicking around for years now. Forgive flow and sentence structure, it's been a long time.

James Reed's second wife Jessica has caught the AR Virus. James is willing to empty his son's college fund to pay for experimental treatments, desperate to keep his wife from regressing too far into childhood.
By this scene, Jessica has started to show behavioral problems which James can no longer ignore.


A key rattled in the lock, waking James from his pre-dusk doze on the couch. He waited in the dark as the skinny figure crept in around the door, hunched over with exaggerated care. He waited until she had closed the door behind her and dead-locked it, ensuring that she could not simply escape again, before turning on the reading lamp beside the couch and tilting it toward her.

She froze with her back to him, giving him time to examine her in the light. His heart sank.

The clothes that used to hug her nubile figure were sagging on her, an immature younger sibling borrowing an older sister's clothes to go out. To her credit, the over-sized leather jacket she wore made the whole outfit appear to be a fashion statement. Her makeup, striking and attractive on a mature woman, looked overdone on her round face which appeared too young to use any but the smallest, most subtle amount of make-up. Her brown hair, tied back with a pretty complication of hair ties, was disheveled as rogue locks of hair had broken loose to drift around her face.

When he didn't break the silence, she turned around somewhat unsteadily to look at him. "What the hell are you doing up?" she blustered, her words slurring slightly. She squinted at the light, holding up her black-nail-polished hands to shield her eyes.

"I was worried," he replied, then quickly countered with, "What are you doing sneaking in so late? Feeling guilty?"

"I was being considerate!" she countered

He sighed. "Look, Jessica, I know you haven't been feeling yourself -"

"Don't talk about my feelings!" she screeched. "You don't know anything! Just because I look like a teenager, my feelings aren't real? Fuck you! They're the only real things I have left!"

With that she tried to storm from the room, but her unbalanced lumber made her stumble against a side table.

"Good God!" he thought. "She really is losing her mind." He jumped to his feet and caught her arm to steady her. Aloud, he said, "Not so fast, Missy! We may still be married, but I became your legal guardian..."

He paused when she recklessly tugged her arm free and stood unsteadily peering up at him. Another shock, her small face only came up to his chest.

"You're drunk," he sighed after a moment. "Go to bed, sleep it off. In the morning we'll talk." He pulled back on the collar of her leather jacket, easily slipping it from her shoulders and arms. Then, with a gentle push, he sent the girl who used to be his lover stumbling into the guest bedroom. She fell onto the bed, and after a moment, her loose boots dropped to the floor with dull thuds.

Everything had to change, he knew. The treatments had only slowed her regression. Even if the virus went into full recession that night, she was already too young to remain his wife.
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