For the past hour all I've been
able to hear is this flat beep chiming right next to my ear. I
can't see or move. It was like that for a few hours, it got to
the point where my ability to be annoyed by it was droned out
with the noise. After a while the beep toned down and soon after
dissipated all together and I was able to twitch my fingers.
Opening my eyes a bright light instantly deemed them shut once
again. I tried several times, each one yielding better and better
I found myself infinitely
surrounded by white turfs. Such clouds that would hang miles
above my head were now the ground I stood on. The air was still
or rather, wasn't there at all. I lifted my foot to walk forward
kicking up the plush covering under me. Feeling safe and alone I
continued to walk without direction. Whenever I looked at the
surroundings the clouds just ran on past my vision. I couldn't
find the source of light that kept me so warm and kept the sky
bright. I reached up to ruffle with my hair, I don't remember
fixing it so neatly. My dark brown hair was stiffly jelled back
yet running my hand through it I felt no oils. Only then did I
notice the quiet dapper suit I had on. It was completely white
aside from the purple tie. There wasn't a ruffle or crease to be
I wanted to be scared and I wanted
to be confused. But at this moment I feel like everything made
sense. Like getting under the covers after your nine-to-five. It
had been a while of constant scenery before it was broken by a
single silhouette graced on the horizon. I picked up my pace to a
light jog, I didn't necessarily need the company. But I certainly
wouldn't mind it either. Looking at the clouds at my feet they
appeared to by scurrying away from my feet. Initially I assumed
this to be from my increase in pace until the feeling of dread
kicked in. After all this serenity it was so intensely jarring
that nothing would shake it from my bones. I dare not look back.
Just keep running. Please don't look back. But, I am just a
human. As my head turned with robotic precision I glanced at the
massive black hole like entity behind me.
It carnivorously pulled in the
clouds around me until they were nothing. I could feeling in
pulling at my clothing and rustling my hair.I was now in a complete sprint, this being was
so terrifying. It's something that shouldn't exist and yet it
does. Looking forward again I caught a glimpse of the man in
front of me. Those eyes, I've never seen any softer then his.
They were green like mine, only his were a tad brighter. His eyes
were the last thing I could make out before I felt my feet
separate from the ground. And at this things utter whim I was
ripped backwards with a blanket of clouds.
"Not yet I suppose." The man calmly
shouted out muffled by the clouds suffocation. I stretched my arm
out breaking past the puffs, reaching for this stranger I
screamed out in terror. The threads on the suit's arms unraveled
and dissolved into the air. And then, darkness. Darkness and
I was forced to once again regain
visual focus while desperately prying my eyes open. I heard the
beeping become more rhythmic beside me. I felt the chill of the
air course through me. I felt again. Everything rushing into me
at once, shaking me awake. Eyes bolting wide I dealt with a
quivering pain eating away my body. My back arched shifting the
paper thin covers like I was beginning to levitate. I screamed,
it's all I could do. My fingers clenched tight on the bed covers
nearly ripping the fibers. I stared at that bland gray ceiling as
the beeping became erratic. My saliva pooled in the throat
gurgling my screams.
There were rushed footsteps and
some chatter all around me, people putting their hands on me. I
heard "Thomas try to relax." several times. "Screw you, this
hurts." I thought to myself. Hardly noticed the needle pressing
into my skin. It stayed there as I felt the pain in my body
subside. It was slow but it took forever. The kind of thing where
you just need the next second to get you through. Someone put a
tube in my mouth and with a whirling noise it sucked the saliva
out of my mouth. I wasn't aware they had something for that. It
took awhile but I became docile and my panic had halted. I now
had a more definite understanding of my surroundings. The
colorless room, empty bed across from me. The flowers and cheap
chairs. The dim lighting. I hate hospitals but more so I hated
not knowing why I was in one.
There were several nurses around me
but they had all left and now only the doctor was with me. He was
reading through a clipboard but every now and then I would see
him look at me. Each time he look bewildered, which is never an
emotion I want to see in my doctor. It was like that for a few
minutes. Probably a few minutes. He set the clipboard on the
hardwood table next to us and then he looked at me.
"How are you feeling." He quaintly
asked me resting his hands in his lap. Those old, wrinkly hands
of his. They didn't bother me but his graying 'I don't even try'
"A number of words come to mind.
None of them very positive." I starkly replied. I was still in
pain, that's my excuse for the attitude.
"I only ask because, you shouldn't
"At four fifty-seven. Thomas Crane
was pronounced dead." He said with such a calm in his voice. I
looked to the analog clock on the wall. It was Five thirteen now.
Feeling the bile building up I shifted to lean over the bed just
in time for the hot clunked liquid to trickle out of my throat.
It crashed onto the linoleum floor where it collected. After it
was out of my system I could still taste it. I could still taste
his words. I moved to lay back on the bed to look at the ceiling
again. I was such a mess. Hair, cloths and body just shattered.
Someone moped up the mess I made with haste. And the doctor stood
up and placed his hand on my foot and walked out. Almost like he
was ignoring me. I was alone in the room, with no comfort. I felt
so out of place. And for the record those flowers weren't for me,
there were for a woman by the name of Eva. I had seen the tag
while I was throwing up. I put my hands on my face. I could see
my name written on the wrist band the hospital had put on me. And
I began to weep. Alone I cried. I'm not sure why I was crying.
Only that I did until my tear ducts had nothing left.
This next bit is boring. I stayed
in that hospital for a few weeks. Several types of test were run
on me constantly. No visitors or anything. Terrible food and
shivering night terrors. Not once did I ask what had happened to
me or what had killed me. I thought about it several times. I
came up with a bounty of silly scenarios. I was shot in the heart
trying to save a defenseless woman, my ribcage would shatter and
I'd suffer massive internal bleeding.
I was on the job when a 8.4
earthquake struck the city and destroyed the floors under my
desk. I would've been taken to the hospital with broken legs with
a large collection of hazardous kicked up particles infiltrating
My parachute failed to deploy while
skydiving and I pelted the ground at well over fifty mile per
hours. No, never mind. That one probably wouldn't work
I like these situations more then
the bland reality that I'd be greeted with if I asked. A few
doctors tried to tell me but I would always stop them short. But
I did find out I was walking, which is something I often do. I
did get better as they medicated me and put me through physical
therapy. Then I was released. It was odd, waking up so suddenly
there. Coupled with my time spent in that place. It was like
home. Almost didn't want to leave. That might be attributed to me
not having anyone home to return to. With my parents passed on.
And my sister living far away trudging her way through art school
and bills. I think that's what she's still doing. We don't talk
much anymore. Not that we had a big fight or anything we just
lost contact somewhere along the way.
Walking out I was greeted by a cold
chill of wind that easily penetrated my thin coat. I waited until
I saw a bus approach. Getting on I sat and watched the hospital
getting further into the distance. It was only about ten minutes
until I got home. My parents might be gone but they did leave me
a nice house to live in. It was a ranch house, three bedrooms
with one of those big backyards. I only used one room and rarely
had company over, especially of the female sort. And when I did
it was normally to discuss finances. I sat down and called my
place of employment to ask if I still had a job there. I did not.
With my head cradled in my hands I let out a deep sigh just
sitting in the kitchen. I got up and cleaned various things that
were somehow dirtied. Wiped up the settled dust with much
coughing. I made my way to the bathroom and shaved off my now
thick facial hair. My hair was getting long, I hate having long
hair. At least I knew what I was doing tomorrow now.
Every so often I would look at the
phone on the kitchen table and would think of calling my sister.
Then the thought would fade. I don't need to bother her. Feeling
like enough was cleaned I sat on the brown leather couch that had
grown stiff and cold in my absence. With the assistance of my
fingers the TV flicked on. I looked for anything to watch, to no
avail. I was honestly surprised the cable was still on. "The
mail." I spoke aloud like I needed to verbally remind
I forgot how cold it was stepping
out with just my black tee-shirt, frigged. Opening up the mailbox
I saw a plethora of news papers and envelopes. I reached in and
collected the assorted papers. I quickly made my way into the
house and shut the door behind me. Leaning my back on the door I
quickly skimmed through the headings of the letters. Reading what
I knew would be bill after bill. All of which I didn't know how I
was going to pay. Then a pink envelope came into view. Looking at
the address all I saw was: for Eva.
"Okay Eva." I mumbled out lightly
tossing the pink letter on the table. It slid until being caught
by the phone, neatly packed under it. Rolling my eyes I watched
away and shuffled the others in my hands. Opening seal after
seal, racking up bill after bill. I could feel the stress already
crashing down on me. But my natural light was fading quick and I
dare not tempt the electric company any further. Lest they come
collect my soul.
Plopping into my bed I slowly let
myself drift off. It wasn't as hard as I feared it would be. My
bed was just so much more comfortable then that brick I slept on
in the hospital. Falling into slumber I was jarred awake again by
some dog loosing it's mind. It sounded close so I pulled off my
covers and stood standing in the dark for a moment. Ignoring that
I was only in my boxers and a loose fitting Tee I walked out of
my room. Making my way to the living room where there was a large
screen door leading to my back yard. Pulling the blinds aside I
looked out at the little mutt still barking. It was some short of
Shepherd but other then that I couldn't make it out.
Sliding the door open I peaked my
head out, dog still clambering away at me. "Hey!" I shouted back
at the dog. It ceased for a moment and cocked it's head at me.
"Shut up." It sat down silent and just looked at me. "Fine stay
there. I don't care." I said leaning in sliding the door shut
behind. I didn't bother to move the blinds once more. Walking to
my room I looked into my kitchen. The light from the moon was
shinning perfectly on the pink piece of paper on my table. I
shrugged it off and made my way back into bed and let myself
drift into slumber.
I can't remember any of the dreams
I had or if they held any significance, but I did wake up feeling
the best I've felt in weeks. So that has to be worth something. I
wrapped my body in a green tee that once had some graphic on it
but was now faded from multiple washes. Simple pair of blue jeans
and a tight fitting black sweater, the kind with the hood. I
scored the room to find my wallet. Knowing there wasn't much in
it. But I did need my bank card more then whatever crumbled bills
were there. After finding the decaying generic piece of leather I
looked through it's contents. Four single bills were packed into
the main pouch. Looking for the change I saw two quarters and
other small coins. I only ever cared for quarters.
I headed to the door but before
leaving I checked to see if that mutt was still there. I was met
with a piercing glint from the sun reflecting off something.
Curious I made my way to the backyard and looked through the
brush for whatever it was. My eyes eventually focused on a dog
collar laying on the grass. It's metal heart tag is what had
caught my eye. Bending down I wrapped my fingers around it and
pulled it up with me. The bronze tag had no information on it.
Just completely blank. I looked at the hospital band still loose
on my wrist. I told myself not to take it off, like it was proof
that I am still alive. That sounded less weird in my head. I took
the collar inside and threw it to the couch. Maybe the dog would
come back and I could put it on him.
Before anything else could distract
me I rushed out the door pulling the hood over my head. I walked
a few blocks to the closest bank where I stood in the cold to
access their ATM. While I entered my password I was impressed to
still remember it. I clicked through the confirmations and
clicked to withdraw. I only need a five to make sure I had enough
to trim my hair down. Clicking one too many zeros I heard the
machine clunk and soon after spit out a collection of fifty
dollars. I didn't think I had that much in there, last I remember
I was broke and loosing all my necessities. But I wasn't going to
question it. I put the money in my wallet and made my way to the
The usual guy I got cut by wasn't
there. It was some new kid. Which meant I had to explain to him
how I wanted my hair. Leave three inches and trim the side burns
as well as taking another half in off the back. I sat waiting for
my turn in the very neat shop. Next to me were several magazines
that would never interest me. Then I was called and sat in the
chair. I told the stranger what I wanted and he worked without a
word so I just watched the hair falling from me in the
He did a good job, I would've like
more conversation but what can you do. I paid the man for the
hair cut. I had to use my two quarters. Now the only change I had
was the nickle and two pennies. I hate pennies with all my being.
I left and made my way to the ATM once again. I was curious as to
just how much was in my checking. Standing in the cold again I
punched my numbers again. This time clicking to check my balance.
When I saw what I had I immediately back out. It had to be a
mistake. In my head that was impossible, and I've come back from
death. Slowly this time I typed my numbers in. Squinting to make
sure each one was input correctly.
I once again hit to check my
balance. And- I couldn't believe it. I stared at the screen for a
few moments reading the number over and over. Just how in the
hell, do I have two hundred and forty thousand dollars? Well two
hundred and forty thousand and fifty.