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 results.
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 seen.
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 beeping.
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 be alive.”
“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 lungs.
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 out.
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 myself.
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
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
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 barber.
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 mirror.
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.
© Copyright 2016 Bartholomew. All rights reserved.