Chapter 6

I am only awake for a moment before I pass out again; as I drop from consciousness I can only think, "Uh-oh, not again".

I peek out from squinted eyes and feel a massive pressure on my eyes as the burning light from the room strikes deep into my mind. A deep throbbing headache and annoying ringing in my ears makes it hard to concentrate.

I just can't recall where I am and how I would have gotten here.

I close my eyes again, trying to concentrate. There is a very unpleasant odor making me gag. I start to breath through my mouth, but that isn't really helping and my arms are stiff and sore. My legs are completely numb.

I peek out again, and as the glare subsides, I realize I am looking at the side of an old steel wash basin.

"What the..." I think to myself.


Feeling painfully returns to my legs - I find that I am face down on the floor, well almost. My legs are still on a cot behind me. I slowly pull my legs down off the cot and then try to raise my head off the floor.

That wasn't such a smart thing to do just yet!

I must have started out lying on the cot but at some point tried to empty my stomach into basin. I missed. Not only did I miss the basin but neither did I get back to the cot and ended up half on the floor. Must have seemed like a good idea to stay on the floor at the time.

That smell - ew! - I realize that smell is my own vomit.

Well, I will have to get the hell off the floor, but I am kind of sticking where I am. Not that I can actually exert that much effort just yet. A few moments to gather my will and extract my head from the floor and as I slowly regain control of my legs, I pull myself onto my hands an knees.

"Aaargh!" Pain shoots through my right arm as I put weight on it. I pull it back into my chest protectively and maintain my balance using just one arm. I lean over on the cot and close my eyes again. Slowly, painfully, I pull my myself onto the bedding. Nausea and sweat hit me instantaneously and I can feel my brain moving around in my head.

I feel the heave coming and move towards the bucket, I missed the basin yet again! That explains a lot, or at least much of the mess I have been lying in!

After emptying what seems like every meal I have ever eaten I drag myself back onto the cot. Lying on my back I look at the room I am in. There is a single, glaring bulb casting a harsh light onto the room. I turn my head away from the pain of the light.

I am in a small room. The concrete walls once painted white are now showing the effects of many years of neglect. The paint peeling off and the grout seams to be deteriorating. Along both sides are steel framed beds, something like army cots. They're in pretty bad shape but I can see that they were also once white. In the space between the cots is the steel wash basin.

I crawl over to the basin; rust and corrosion have long since have taken the gleam from the bucket; the liquid inside is a scary inky blue and coffee color but it is cold. I wash the puke from my face and hair anyway, it has to go!

Crawling away from the bucket and my puddle of puke I sit against the wall and study the room once more. It's a bare floor, and bare walls, and a lonely vent window is found in one wall, high and long since sealed up and so I won't be able to get a look outside from there.

The single door has been jammed closed with the remains of one of the cots. A frightening amount of blood is on the door and the cot.

I curl into a ball, trying desperately to get my head straight. I take a look at myself. I realize that I have only a denim shirt and white shorts on and only one boot! The shirt is stiff with dried blood, puke, puss and some weird glowing blue stuff. The shorts not so white anymore either.

I take a look at my wounds. Marks on back of hands showing that an IV had been used and ripped out. There is dried blood flaking from my right arm. I stare at my right hand in shock, my little finger is gone! A short stump of the finger is all that remains, it looks like the finger was torn off and the wound burned to cauterize it, it's black, and bruised and terribly painful. From my shoulder to wrist my arm has deep scratches and a cut that is going to need some stitches. My left arm is in much better shape. I remove the surgical tape which was trying to hold my eye open.

I close my eyes again and try to relax.

"Cold. Wet. Miserable. I ain't in Kansas anymore!"

I am having serious difficulty remembering anything other than the last twenty minutes. For some reason this does not strike me as strange. I try to focus on anything I can remember from outside this room. Nothing. All I manage to do is give my self another headache. Then without warning a vivid memory fills my mind as I sit alone on the concrete floor. I remember... running wildly, in a panic to escape... a giant insect-thing which had broken out of a small building thing, after it discovered my stealthy approach!
"How did it know I was there?!"
Getting over the shock of seeing this sort of mantis like thing, I emptied a full clip into it. I think it might have been laughing at me; then it roared - I guess it was a roar, or a scream or some screeching sound - and started right after me! I know I hit the damn thing at least half a dozen times; there's this black stuff oozing out of it, but you sure wouldn't know it from how fast it's coming!

This is too much! Did this really happen or is it the remnants of a drug induced hallucination?

I am not sure how long I remained sitting alone in the room after that. I pulled myself off the floor and promptly trip over a canvas back pack. Inside is half a bottle of wine, a bottle of water, a vintage .45 with no bullets, a handful of breakfast bars and a knife with a broken tip. Alright, now I've got something to start with, so I carefully pack everything back into the bag and head over to the door to pry the cot way from the door.

The noise that accompanies the cot being pried away from the door is a terribly excessive but I need to see what is out there, so I keep going. I push the cot aside and slowly open the door. The hallway beyond is dark but for the red glow of the emergency lighting. The outside of the door is covered with dried blood. Next to the door is a bunch of pale green colored vines with large thorns and broad flat leaves, trailing away down the hallway. The outside of the door has taken quite a beating. Gouges, scratches and dents confirm something was trying to get in - and then there is a strange growling sound coming from the hall.

I open the door more and allow the light from the room to spill into the hall. The bright chrome of a gurney frame is jammed sideways in the hall. Making a barricade nearly five feet high. One side of the hallway has suffered considerable fire damage.

A large forearm and hand are on top of the gurney, but the arm doesn't move. Slowly creeping forward I take a closer look at the hand. It looks like a human hand but it has large claw like nails, all covered with blood and some dark moss like growths. This just keeps getting better!

It takes a few minutes to get up the courage to look over the gurney. On the other side of the gurney is a massive pool of blood a bloody big mangy dog! It looks up at me as I stumble backwards against the door jam. The dog's head is caked with blood. I have a distinct feeling that this might be the source of my missing finger. It doesn't come over the barricade right away so I try to get a closer look. It is all cut up and bloodied and obviously starved and chewing on what must be another body part. I can't make out the breed. It looks like part labrador and part pug, or maybe part chow, or maybe even chi-wawa. Whatever! It's a big dog with a face that is oddly flat. Its nose is small and pushed up. With a bark it thrust forward a growling face towards me and I can see a missing fang. After a half hearted attempt to get over the gurney it falls back and starts lapping at the drying blood at the bottom of the gurney. I can see form here that the arm ends in a bloody stump.

This dog is between me and what might be the way out. I shake the gurney trying to move the dog off and it kind of growls in fear and backs slowly away, dragging the arm with it through the mess on the floor.

I sit down on my side of the gurney and dig out a breakfast bar from the pack, tear it in half and throw one over to the dog. Maybe we can be friends, or at least this would be better than chewing on me! After finishing the bar and some water I take another peek over the gurney. The dog is no where in sight.

I push down the gurney which hits the ground with a loud crash. Too loud maybe.

I scale over and limp down the hallway looking for the rest of my clothes and anyone who might be able to tell me just what is going on. It is only a few feet to the end of the hall. I take a look around the corner and the dog is still nowhere to be seen. A few feet away is a set of metal stairs and another door. I walk over to the door and walk into some sort of garage bay. Must be a hospital judging from the three ambulances and the cop car parked in neat rows and thickly covered in a sooty dust. I slowly cross the garage floor and set into the hospital building itself.

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