A/N: This is a remix for the Remix Redux Challenge and it's of FairyHunter's very, very cool drabble, "Reflection". It doesn't really stay true to the original, though. (I phail!)
Disclaimer: AF and etc. belong to Eoin Colfer and etc. General concept belongs to FH.
The sound of my master's voice is the first sound I hear. It is smooth, beautiful, beckoning me to awake. The pull is so inviting, and I must accept.
I open my eyes and become a part of the world again, my body rousing itself from a sleep that was meant to be forever. Light burns my unprepared pupils and continues on to warm the rest of me, to thaw the frozen passages of my system.
My master's face is the first thing I see as it hovers over my own. Black hair. Blue eyes. A word, the first word that registers in my newly conscious mind, leaves his pale lips.
The word repeats itself on mine. Perfection. In awe, I watch him as he smiles, and I think that he is perfection. It is the first thing I know and I decide that blue is my favorite color.
I adore him.
I am watching him, eyes wide, as he turns his perfect face from mine to finger a wire attached to my neck. I look at my body, finally, and see hundreds of small, black wires twisting out of my flesh, embedded into me like dead snakes. They lead past my field of vision, hanging limp off of the metal table that has made itself my bed. Behind me, I can hear a whirring noise.
My master senses my curiosity and tells me about how he found me close to death, how he took me home with him and saved my life, and how I would be even better than I was before.
Who was I before? I notice, now, that there is a metallic ring in my voice.
"A girl," my master tells me.
I look at myself. My clothes, if I ever had any, are gone. My skin is scarred and, I notice, artificial. I know what girls are—and I am not one. Who am I now?
I smile and I thank him silently as another wave of sleep, safer and warmer than the last, envelops me.
The days pass and I wake, countless times, to my master's voice. I never leave from my metal bed, but there is never a need to. I never see any other face, nor any other voice, but he has never left my side. As I sleep, I know that he is holding my hand, stroking my hair. We are always alone together in that small, windowless room with the sound of life-giving science all around me.
I live for my master and every time his voice calls me to that room, I know my only purpose is to adore him, and that I must adore him flawlessly.
I am rewarded for my efforts. He frees my body from a wire each time. One by one, the black snakes fall away and I can see what is left behind: hundreds of pink love-bites, dozens of tender spots on my skin that I can pretend are blushing because of me.
As each snake is caught, I find myself staying awake longer. I can now count the number of times blood rushes through the pumps in my heart in a minute and forget that this is thanks to the buzzing machines above my head. I count and I wonder if that number is the same as my master's, if his heart bled in time with mine.
He does not bleed, I remind himself. But still. But still, I wonder if he could.
The snakes are all gone now. My skin is raw with so many bites, but it is clean. I sit up for the first time on my metal table and the pumps in my heart jump a little.
I am smiling, but this stops once I see my master's face. He is not happy. I look away in shame.
My master's eyes no longer smile for me, but instead are cold and calculating. I remind myself that I am his experiment and it is only expected that he should act in such a way. Even so, I find myself uncomfortable around him.
I have asked him what such discomfort meant. I described to him a tightness in my chest and a sting behind my eyes. He told me it was anxiety. He told me that it was human.
Human. The word escapes me accidentally, but I like how it sounds. I wish that I could taste it on my mouth.
My master looks at me, frowning. Soon, I am asleep again, and I go, hoping that I will have dreams this time.
Days pass and I awake to his voice a thousand more times. I awake to see the crows-feet crawling deeper, to see his skin grow paler and paler. My eyes are tired of his image and the sameness of him is almost painful.
My heavy thoughts are reflected and magnified a hundred times over in my master's scowl. As each day passes, he becomes more displeased with my performance, my appearance. I can no longer satisfy him with my love. I cannot help it, but I am no longer to his liking.
He tells me that I am to be replaced. My heart nearly stops. I search his face to find a hint of the lie I wish might be there, but instead find disgust.
I try to stand, but as my feet touch the floor, my legs crumble beneath me.
Please, you cannot leave me!
"I can. You are obsolete."
Suddenly, I hear a strange noise. It is dry and erratic and horrible. And it is me. I am crying, I realize, and I bring cold fingers to touch my cheek. There are no tears.
My master walks away, leaving me alone for the first time.
Every day, I grow to hate him.
One day, he wakes me up, but the room is different. There are more machines, less light. And he has something in his hand. Silver. Sharp.
Please, don't... My hands are bound, but my voice is not. There are no wires in me now, but in their absence is the possibility of something worse.
My master smiles and strokes my hair.
"I am going to continue the experiment." He cups my chin. "And then..." Kisses my lips. "And then you will be perfect."
I want to scream, but my lungs were not made strong enough. I can only watch as my master tears away my skin—never mine, I amend, always his—and drains my blood. He washes away the red and it is replaced with silver.
The pump of my heart becomes more and more faint and my eyes grow heavy with sleep.
I know that I will be different in the morning. My body, my mind will be different. I will be pleasing to my master, then. But, even as I drift, my dying heart, with every last pitiful pump, is bursting with hatred for the color blue.
In time, I awake.
When I open my eyes, I adore him again.