Chapter 03

I open my eyes and nearly scream from the pain that assaults my eyes. The light burns into my mind. I can't seem to clear my head or get back to my feet. I close my eyes to escape the light and the pain and I return to my coma like sleep. As I lose consciousness I feel more than hear that there is someone else in the room.

My eyes open but sting with the sudden brightness of light. I close them again and my other senses kick into overdrive. At first I perceive the strong smell of disinfectant so I must be in a place that requires a high level of hygiene.

I move my hands and realize I am under some blankets. They are thin and stiff like a newly pressed shirt. I am a bit surprised how rough the sheets feel. I can almost feel the weave of the sheets as I run my hand along the seam of the sheet covering me. I press my fingers down and feel the soft give of a bed and hear the crinkling of plastic. The sound reminds me of nights long ago when I would tuck my niece into bed. The sudden thought of her brings a smile to my face and I feel a gentle calm. I wonder if she ever needed that bed sheet as I cannot remember a time when she had an accident in bed. She had, in my mind, always been a very smart girl but then again she was my only niece and I had only nephews to compare her too.

I used to visit her and my sister a lot before I joined the firm. I wonder how long it has been since I have seen Them. I wonder why memories of them are more real than where I am right now.

My niece would bug me because she never knew anyone who had two earrings before and would constantly ask me if it hurt when I got my ears pierced. That would always lead into the stories of how I got them.

The first one was from my sister. She thought it would be cool if she gave her little brother this as a present for Christmas. Mom had always said that I could not get one till I was eighteen but my sister worked her over and I was allowed to get it pierced the Christmas year I turned sixteen.

The second was my niece's favorite. I was seventeen and I was having a good time with my friends. It was Friday and we had just won a soccer game that no one expected us to win. We dug deep and we pulled off a major upset. I would like to say that I had scored the winning goal or that I was the goal keeper that had stopped all the shots fired at me, but that was not the case. I played defense but I was first defensive substitute. Don’t get me wrong that position is still important - if someone from the main line grew tired or the coach wanted to rest them up for a special play - then I was sent in. So anyway, we were all living it up and I got a little drunk and passed out. My friends decided to take advantage of this situation. When I sobered up there it was a brand new hole with my school pin in it. At first I was angry, but now it reminds me of all my friends and how we would do anything for each other.

My niece lived outside the city in a place we called the big woods. It has an actual name, but she and the rest of the family just called it the big woods. When I was out there I would run and play with her and that was always such a treat. We would play one of fifty versions of tag. There was freeze tag, hamburger tag and frog tag. Each of them a bit different then the one we played before. Most of them were based on an animal and that you had to act like that while playing the basic game of tag.

I always got a lot of exercise while visiting the big woods a lot more then when I was in the city. Don’t get me wrong I am reasonably fit as I walk to work every day. This is because like most people I could not afford parking in the city... well that was before I joined the firm.

Thinking of the firm strikes me with sudden fear. Do they know where I am? Will they be sending someone to help me? I block those thoughts and return to pleasant memories of my niece.


That is the name my niece used to call me. Well at least now I think I know who I am. I try to open my eyes again, this time only slightly. I squint hoping to see something, but all I see is light. I know this will take time so I wait for my eyes to adjust. I look around. I must have opened my eyes looking toward a window since my eyes are now starting to see more clearly.

I now try to open them fully. The bright lights are gone but the dull pain remains. I can manage the pain and look around the room. I notice I am in a bed. There is a sink near by and a table. The table seems to have a lot of bottles of different sizes on it. There also seams to be gauze on it.

My calm turns into fear as I realize I am in some sort of hospital. How did I get here...? Why am I here...? What happened to me...? Who am I?

I roll off the bed and look at myself. I am dressed in a light blue hospital gown and hospital slippers. I look at the bottles and can't make sense of what they might be used for. The largest is labeled "Refined Equine Latrodectus Serum Globulins". It is the type of bottle doctors use to fill needles. There are a few smaller bottles. One is labeled “Halothane” and another seems to be a pain killer. There are a few that are empty with nothing in them. I look over my body. My right shoulder is sore as if I had recently received a number of shots into it. I lift up the sleeve of the gown and I see a blood soaked bandage. No wonder it hurts so much. I try to peal back the tape on one side to take a look at what is underneath. The tape pulls back at my skin. This is gonna hurt. I contemplate just ripping it off and then notice that the blood and the bandage are working as a clot for the wound. I will have to look at this later when I can soak it off.

Continuing my self examination I find that I have a tight gauze bandage on my left calf. Deep marks along my calf indicate that I had a splint on the leg until quite recently. I also notice a tattoo. I have a tattoo? I scan my memory to recollect when I would have gotten it, but my memory comes back blank. I look at the tattoo more closely. It is a tiny brown cross with some sort of branch wrapped around it. Above the cross are three symbols that I do not recognize and below are three letters. B.R.G. I touch the tattoo and feel a bit of discomfort. It must be new. I feel a bit more scared.

I walk over to the sink and wash my face and neck with cold water. I glance in the mirror. My hair is a bit messed up. It is not an odd look as it often looks this way when I first wake up. I gently run my fingers through it and it falls into place. That is the nice thing about having short hair. I have my two earrings in and I gently think ‘Go tigers Go’. I am a bit thirsty so I look around for a glass to fill with water. There is no cup near so I fill my hands and drink a few gulps of water from my cupped palms. At first I fell a bit of pain as I drink. It might be because I have not had a drink in a while, but it more feels like something else. That’s it. It feels like the time I was at a rock concert for SugaBabes. I had yelled so much that the next day I could not speak and my throat was sore. I try to speak to test my theory.

“Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers..”

The words come out very softly and I have to clear my throat on every second word. That must be it, I must have been yelling and that is why my throat is sore. I drink a bit more.

I step over to the window and look out. The natural light actually makes my eyes feel better. I am quite high in a building, maybe as high as six stories up. It looks like mid morning from the light. I can't see any signs that would identify the hospital I am in but across the street is a huge Daimler Chrysler building. It looks like a factory.

I almost fall over when I see the street between the factory and the hospital. There are cars everywhere. Some are parked on the sidewalks and meridians, others are smashed into each other or into trees and poles. None are moving. Some of the cars have blood on the windshields where the occupants slammed into the windows on impact.

I retreat from the window back into the room. I open the locker in the corner and find clothes. There is my Treo. At last something I know is mine. I check to see if it is on but the batteries seem to be dead. I will have to charge that as soon as I get a chance. Also in a small sealed bag there appears to be a key card. It looks like a security card. I flip it over and realize both sides are blank. I put it back on the shelf and put on the clothes but they seem to be a size too big.

I see some glasses and try them on. The room goes blurry. They must not be mine. I fold the glasses and put them into my pocket along with the security card that I had placed on the shelf.

I look into the hallway and see someone else. They are hunched over in the hallway next to a pile of furniture. The furniture seems to be a crude barricade. Looking the other direction the hallway seems do be a dead end. There are three other doors down the hallway. The person seems to be hurt, they are not moving and a pool of blood is on the floor around where they are seated.

I walk toward the other person when a loud bang sounds from inside the building.

No comments:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.