Awakened By W J Richardson

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Leavon starrs into the painted eyes of the plastic man he holds, knowing that it is mocking him.

Submitted: October 25, 2011

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Submitted: October 25, 2011

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Awakened

By William Jeffrey Richardson

Edited by Robyn Hill and Bob

Chapter 1

I lay staring at the ceiling for so long I didn't bother counting. Trying to ignore my heaving chest and pouring sweat, I concentrated on the yellow stain above me. The question arose again, should I paint it? The thought quickly disappeared as I remembered, "Hell, I didn't create it so I won't paint it. Besides, what then would I stare at if I did?"


I wake up two or three times every night, chest heaving and sweat rolling from these damn nightmares. I wish I could say they were about clowns, or apple pies, but I have no memory of what I dream about;  I just that never get sleep because of them.
Now calmer, I decide to get out of my metal-scratching, floorboard-creaking, spring- bouncing bed onto my cold carpet-less second storey floor. 


It takes me a few steps to reach the sink in the top left corner of the studio apartment. In the bottom-left corner is the door that cannot open because of the dresser. Though I never seem to remember that fact when I dramatically enter the room, only to have the door rebound at me with vengence. The bottom right corner has the bed and the top right has the armchair in which I sit. 


Turning on the tap, I waited for the water to clear to a muddy brown. Unfortunately, I spent the time looking in the mirror through my long, admittedly greasy black hair. I tried to wash it once in this tiny sink but ended up with more bruises than a boxer after ten rounds. Besides, for who would I be washing it? Still, I like to gaze at the mirror, because it is my only functional possession.  It is unfortunate that you cannot gaze at a mirror without it staring back at you with its bland-featured, oval shaped and weary looking face. But if I smashed it, what working item could I show visitors?
Three backwards steps and a stumble and I'm slumped in the armchair.  I undid the top of strongest whiskey Kentucky can make and necked it for a second before replacing it, topless, on the side table that wedged between the chair and wall. This is my biggest apartment; the last was smaller and shared with another.  That one also had a functional toilet to show visitors. With my social skills equivalent to a Nymph's, it was best I moved out on my own. 


I can guess by the faint light coming through the window that it is about four in the morning. No matter what drugs, legal or not, no matter how much whiskey, Unicum and vodka I drink, I cannot get through a night without awakening. 


I could feel the whiskey glazing over my mind; the peacefulness it brings is always calming. Once again, I gaze to the yellow spot on the ceiling, take another large gulp of whiskey and let the comatose sleep drift upon me.

Chapter 2

At work my manager is wiggling a Lego man in front of me. That's right, I work at a Lego factory putting the arms onto the bodies of the men. I am not allowed to do the women; I feel the issue is sexist. 


Apparently I am crap at it. “Everyone else has a success rate of 98%.” 

 

He was really laying into me today, but I could barely hear him through the throbbing of my head. The throbbing was because of all the whiskey and no sleep. “But you!”  He really wiggled it then. I would have laughed, but I had soon come to realise that that ball-less excuse for a plastic man is more important than I.

 

 “You have only 65%.” He rubbed his eyes; the manager, not ball-less “Look, Leavon, you have worked here for near on 15 years. That is longer me and so I do not want to fire you but…” 


His last sentence caught my clouded mind. “I told you, Frank, that it’s a molding problem.”


“What a coincidence that only the shoulders have the problem, because everyone else-”


“All right, all right!” I ran my hand down the length of my face in exasperation.


“I am being serious this time, I have pressure from above,” he said.

 

 Even I smiled at the thought of a Lego space station that gave out all the orders to us below.

 

“You have till the end of the day to improve. If you can reach your target today then we can see about tomorrow. Are we clear?”


“Fine.”  I turned ninety degrees to my station and watched the conveyor belt. Frank had come in during my break, so I didn’t even get to miss work for the bollocking. The alarm sounded and people poured from the tea room to return to their stations. The armed man moved on and an armless figure came into my tunnel vision. Stretching my hand down to it, I saw the calluses on my fingers from putting on 960 arms a day for 15 years, and the cuts and bruises on my knuckles from pounding the little buggers that looked at me the wrong way.

Another hour of arm plugging passed. Then the headache started to push through the 2000mg of Paracetamol. Dizziness washed over and I struggled to get the arm into the socket. I caught the ball-less bastard laughing at my incompetence. Fist raised, I pounded the bugger into flying pieces, again and again. “Whose smiling now, buddy!” Then I felt the hand of a co-worker on my shoulder. 


For long moment I considered repeating the act to him, but thought better of it when he shout-whispered, “Keep the thoughts in your head, Leavon, or Frank will hear you!” I shrugged him off and walked to the tea room. Downing four more pills I lay across four brown plastic chairs. My mind drifted.

Chapter 3

Paul strolled into the room and announced his presence with a question.

 

 “Name?”


The paramedic replied with an equally abrupt answer, "Leavon". 

 

An unusual name, but I kind of like it. Though the paramedics had already determined that he was in a coma, Paul wouldn’t be happy until he had confirmed the diagnosis for himself. There is no point in panicking with coma patients; we have the capabilities to keep them alive until they wake. The sad part is that most never do; leaving families with the decision no one wants to face. 


I already had the patient undressed and hooked up to the monitors within 20 minutes of admission. With Paul satisfied, we left the room and switched off the lights.


“Have you rung the family?”

 

 I had spent the last hour ringing person after person, among the fifty other things I had to do, but had found no one linked to this man. 


“I've tried but there's no one. It appears he’s an orphan.” 


“Friends?”


“No one. The paramedics said none of his coworkers wanted to accompany him. His work just said he was no longer an employee.”

 

 Another lone patient; it’s horrific to think no one cares whether or not they die. 


“Some people bring it on themselves.”


“Paul!”


“It is just fact. People isolate themselves, we all do it but some more than others”
“Some are unfortunate,” I said in the man’s defense.


“Most people are”


“Not as-” he cut me off.


“By the sounds of it he had the same start that you did. Yet you’re an established woman and he is alone and unkempt.”


“But I was adopted!” My voice squeaked, showing the anger I had wished to hide.
“I’m not convinced that alone is a reason for someone to succeed or fail.”

 

 I didn’t want to, but I had to agree with him.

 
“Sometimes you're just too blunt,” There, I didn’t agree!


“I am just giving you the facts.”


“I know.” Now I let my anger show in the tone of my voice.  “But the man has fallen into a coma and nobody cares.”


“You do, he should be grateful for that.” Paul walked off down the corridor without another word. He wouldn’t say as much but he cared too, even if it is just out of scientific interest.


I picked up the man’s chart. “Leavon,” I read and continued down the page. Looking up to his monitor to check the figures, I the saw sweat forming droplets on his forehead. His chest was heaving and the bed was shaking from his body's tremors. Looking at the monitor it read 200 b.p.m. Already over the limit for a man his age, I ran to the top of the bed and checked his pulse. It was racing so high I couldn’t count it, looking at the monitor again it was reading over 400 b.p.m. That’s impossible! I turned on my heels towards the door, knowing I had to get Paul.


Once in the corridor I shouted for him, “Paul!” I didn’t have the composure for formalities. Moments later, Paul emerged from a door down, turning to apologize to his patient before marching towards me.

Chapter 4

"Another nightmare," I thought, in my chest-heaving, sweat-pouring state. Crap! I must have fallen asleep at work; Frank is going to go crazy! These damned nightmares; I swear they'll kill me in my sleep or drive me to suicide. Maybe I should see a psychiatrist and get these non existent 'daddy' issues dealt with or maybe it is more a Freud issue. I wanted to kill my dad and shag my mum but never had the option; that's gotta leave some scars right? 


I wish that woman would stop shouting. Who is Paul anyway? Certainly no one on my floor. Crap! I hope it is not one of the big-shots Frank mentioned. Despite my obvious firing if they find me here, I just can’t be bothered to move. These chairs are surprisingly comfy. The ceiling is a nice cream; cream would go well on my ceiling.
I heard a man’s voice now, equally as emotional. “What has hap-"


“His heart rate was above 400, he was trembling and breathing uncontrollably.” The woman’s voice is closer now; still frantic with words and out of breath like she’s just run a marathon. I wonder who she’s upset about. 


There seemed to be a long pause before they spoke again. “His, his,” the women was obviously surprised now. “Heart rate is normal again.”


“But his eyes are open.” That man again.


“Owe! Get that out of my eye!” I shot up pushing the man away from me. “Geez, what a way to wake someone up.” I had to pause and think about where I was. But my attention was diverted to the stinging sensation in my arm.

 

“Blood!” I yelped. It weeped from the groove of my elbow. A needle lay on the bed hooked up to a bag of milk. Looking around the room I saw a man in a white lab coat and a woman standing behind him on his right. Both seemed cautious and amazed, but they couldn’t have been more shocked than me. “I’m in a hospital!”


“Do not worry,” The woman stepped forward with her hand up as though she was surrendering, which I wouldn’t mind. She was smoking. “You’re in London hospital, you were brought in a few hours ago.” She was getting closer now and I could finally focus on her. She’s the nurse of fantasies; long flaming hair framed her white skin and red lips. She turned to look at the doctor who began to talk.


“You were in a coma.”


“Excuse me?”


“A coma,” The nurse spoke in a less blunt tone, “is when your...”


“I know what a coma is, but I was just sleeping. I was at work, just taking a nap.”


“You may think that you were sleeping but..”


I cut her off. “I know I was I had that stupid nightmare again. It’s always the same." I looked down at the blanket covering my legs. “I never remember them but I always wake up the same.”


The doctor cut in again. “Are you sure?”


“Positive.” The blood was not weeping out of my arm but it was covering everything around me. The nurse moved towards me at pace now that I was calm, bandage in hand to patch me back up. 


“We are keeping you in overnight then; do you mind us doing some tests?”

 
I like him; he is outspoken. What have I got to lose? I suppose my job has already gone.

“You don’t have to.” The nurse seemed concerned but I didn’t mind. 


“Nah, it’s okay, do whatever.”


“Good. Lisa get the monitor set up immediately.” And he was gone. Lisa sighed and turned to me. 


“Sorry about Paul, he is..abrupt.” She seemed kind of embarrassed for him.


“Really I don’t mind. Anything to get to the bottom of these nightmares.”


She brought over two more pillows from a cupboard and stacked them with the one already there, for me to lounge into and return my gaze to the ceiling. 


“Are you in any pain?”


“Just the usual.”


“Which is?”

 

“Tunnel vision, throbbing headache, aching chest, strained limbs.”

She seemed genuinely concerned by my list. 


“Have you taken any painkillers?”


“I have taken,” I looked, deciding whether to tell the truth or not, but I figured it was best to do so, “Eight today.”


“What strength?”


“500mg ea..”


“What?! That is lethal!”


“I know, but they never have any effect so I just keep popping them; hey, I am still alive.”


“Yes, but that could be the root of the problem!”


“Not when the problem started before I took them.” 

 

She was shouting a little but I knew it was from concern, though I did feel like I was a child being told off. 


“I will get a blood test done.” She walked to the doorway and called a nurse.“Kylie, can you come take this man’s blood and get it to the labs? I want it to be done as you hand it in please.”

 

She had a great amount of authority in her voice. I wondered how the other nurses would respond to that but when she appeared moments later there was an honest smile filling her lips. 

 

“Once the blood is back I will see what painkillers I can give without killing you!” She was still scorning me but I didn’t mind; she was cute when angry. I dumbly smiled at her whilst the blood-sucking nurse left the room. 


She walked towards me, returning the smile, appearing at ease again.

 

“So you worked at a Lego factory; what was that like?”


“Crap.” my smile faded waiting for the pick you up comment.


“I couldn’t imagine, what did you do?” 


Thats not it; after a severe second of interrogating her eyes for the truth in the comment, I saw unusual honesty.

 

“I put the arms on the Lego men.” 


Her red lips curled in the most beautiful of smiles; her eyes danced in playful laughter. I liked that; most people try to be sympathetic.

 

"I stick arms on Lego men - how much worse can you get?"

 

But her smile was short lived.

 

“Don’t worry,” I said, “I know they would have fired me.”


“I am sorry.” She sincerely was, though why, I did not know. 


“Can’t say I’m bothered.”

 
“I bet; it must have been a bore beyond belief.”
“You could say that again.”
“I bet, must have been a bore beyond...”


Chapter 5

You can see it in peoples faces; the creases in their skin say how they smile, what they think is told by the power of their eyes. Even in a coma it is easy to get a sense of who a person is. That is why when I first saw Paul in a coma 10 years ago I knew that I was looking into a broken man. However, when he woke up from it, his eye’s had changed. The creases still told the same story, his rough skin explained the same habits, but those eyes revealed a new tale of ambition. 


At the age of 23 he returned to school to retake GCSE’s he had failed. He had to study A-levels and reach the excellence he had once mocked. To finally become the doctor with whom I work.


I asked him from time to time, ‘Why?’.

 

He always answered, “You wouldn’t understand.” I hate the reply but I always let it drop until the next time curiosity overwhelmed me. Paul has been a fascination of mine since I first saw him lying in the same bed Leavon does today. 


Paul was one of my first coma patients, and the only one to have undergone such a transformation. He is the reason that I still practice in this field, and have gained enough qualifications to be a doctor if I so desired.


Leavon has the same eyes as Paul did: broken, weary, and bored. Each time he awakens from a ‘nightma’, the pain and anxiety that clouds his mind escalates.
The hand-wetting sweat, bed-shaking tremors, heart racing, mouth-frothing awakening was beginning. I moved away from his side, not able to bear seeing his eyes opening again, always with more agony.

 
Paul walked in just as Leavon’s eyes snapped open; he did his usual chart checking. Then walked to the back of the room and sat down, slumping into the chair low enough to avoid Leavon's gaze. Finally the glaze over Leavon’s mind eased enough for him process Paul’s words.

 

“Leavon?” he asked. A time lapsed; Paul did not repeat the question.


“What?!” Leavon's voice was cutting; the chill of his annoyance obvious within the word.
Paul was not phased. “Are you okay with me doing the presentation?”


“I have already told you that I don’t care.” The air-cutting words made Paul close his eyes in guilt.


“Good.” Paul’s reply was nervous, his emotions undermining his usual confidence. It was not Leavon’s tone that caused the guilt in Paul and I, but the reason for our presentation.


We were bringing Leavon’s case to a board of directors, to get funding for research into a cure for him but, we both knew that Leavon’s condition was fatal. We were using his case to get money and equipment needed for the department.


Though we had been up front with Leavon from the start and our cause was just, we both struggled to look him in the eyes.

Chapter 6

I opened the door to a meeting room of mingling people. “Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Paul, please take your seats.” They all eased into the smooth sliding chairs, rustled papers and clicked pens. 


I stood at the front of the room, looking down the oval table filled with directors, board members and specialists. I felt a twinge of nerves, but saw no point in another one so put the feeling to one side and began. “I have called you all in today to talk about a coma patient.”


“He was admitted a month ago. He was found in a coma at his work by the paramedics. When he arrived at the hospital, I also confirmed that he was in a coma. However, after a couple of hours the patient awoke in a fit of hyperhidrosis, tremors and hyperventilation.”


“We kept him overnight, and when the patient appeared to fall asleep, he fell into another coma of which he awoke from in the same fashion a few hours later.” 

 

Many eyes seemed positively shocked at this fact; they obviously had not read my paper I had sent to them. A few people did nod in acceptance. 


“Through tests and observations we have determined his condition to be a novel one. When asleep he appears to be in a coma. During this coma he experiences nightmares. Then he will wake up from the coma a few hours later.  We are calling the condition, ‘Nightmas.’”


“Each time the patient falls into a nightma, he experiences three nightmares each sixteen and half minutes in length. He awakens immediately after the third nightmare.”


“The patient’s condition is worsening. The time between nightmas is decreasing. When he wakes up he experiences extreme anxiety and confusion. His ability to communicate during these periods is declining.”


“The increase in the number of nightmas has been calculated and determined to be a logarithmic scale. To the point, this means he will fall into a continuous nightma within a week. At this stage his heart will give out after only a few cycles of the nightmas.”

 

We need the money. I have to keep impartial tones and professional eyes.

 
“With the patient's condition being fatal, we must conduct experiments quickly, needing all the equipment listed in my paper within a day.” 

 

They had been willing to listen unquestioningly until this point, but now they wanted to bombard me with rounds of questions. Before they could start, I continued.

 

 “Tests have been carried out on the patient’s brainwaves at the time when he wakes from a nightma. It is hypothesized that we can record this pattern and use it to awaken coma patients.”

 

Now that they had the costs and the rewards, it was time to try to repel their bullets.
Most of their questions wanted facts and figures on the cost of the equipment and how certain we were about the research. 


Except for one question.

 

“How many ‘nightmas’, as you call them,” Doctor Susan Wilkon posed the question as she looked at her papers for his name, “will Leavon have had before falling into what you call the fallen state?”

 

 She had the figures on the page in front of her.


“One hundred and forty-four thousand and one nightmas, by our calculations.”


“And what are those calculations?”


“As I said. the nightmas are increasing in number on a logarithmic scale. Once we found out the scale it was easy to date back. From the patients memory of when they started and from our data we are quite confident that this number is accurate.”

 

She did not ask anymore. Further questions buzzed concerning the length of the research, how much space we would need, and so on.

Chapter 7

Leavon was awake and still recovering, I was sitting in the chair next to his bed finishing off some paperwork. I didn’t need to be there, but it wouldn’t be long until he fell into the next nightma and I feel the company helps.

 
His questions came as a surprise. “How long will I have spent in Nightmas?” His voice was weak, the only supplements he’d had in a week was from a drip, never conscious long enough to eat for himself. 


“Six hundred and sixty six days. Though the figures are just theoretical.” He didn’t ask anything more; the time was closing in so I started for the door. We had confidence in the calculations because we can predict the exact times he falls into the nightmas and when he awakens. I’d reached the door when he spoke again.


“Look through Revelations for me.”


“What?” I turned to look at him. 


“Please.”

 

I wanted to ask him more but the nightma had started.


Chapter 8

“How was the meeting?” I closed the door to Paul’s office. He lounged in the large brown leather chair, feet on the desk, hands behind his head and eyes closed. 


“Fine, we got the funding.” 

 

To most he wouldn’t have seemed excited. I suppose he wasn’t jumping for joy, but his calmness showed he was happy. Still, the guilt was holding onto his joy not wanting to celebrate a feat achieved only with the aid of a dead man.


Avoiding the subject, I got to the point. “Leavon spoke.” 


“Did he say ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’ first?”


“Paul!”


“Sorry, bad joke.”


“Extremely!” Immediately I was fuming, my chest was heaving so much I must have been puffing like a bull. I’m pretty sure that my hand was twitching to hit him before the shock of the knocking door brought me out of my rage.


Paul happily welcomed the person in, hoping that he could escape my wrath. He should know better than that.

 
“Dr.Wilkon, how can I help?” She was a middle-aged women, just starting to grey, but still held an image of her youthful beauty. I recognized her as one of the doctors we had hand-picked for the research committee.


“Dr.Boom, I would like a word please?” She did not look at me but I knew she meant a private word with Paul. She’s got the wrong idea if she thinks I am moving. 


“This is Leavon’s nurse and my co-worker, Lisa.”


“Oh, sorry.” She extended her hand to me, which I shook politely. “I remember your name in the research proposal.”


“Please go on.” 


“I am concerned by the length of time the patient will be in the nightmas.”


“There are no mistakes in our numbers, Doctor.”


“I am not questioning them. I have repeatedly checked the numbers myself and have found no fault. However, I would like to talk about an observation of mine, how the length of his dreams coincides with the number of the Devil.”

 

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

 
“Excuse me!” Paul snapped out of his relaxed position and stared at the woman, mouth wide open.

 
“I am not asking you to believe in what I say, but I know that if I was not upfront then you would not let me near the patient to question him.”


“And you think I will let a religious nut anywhere near him?! Especially one that thinks he is the devil!” I had never seen Paul lose his cool before; he would always speak politely even to the most obnoxious of people. “Get out right now!” He pointed towards the door.


“Please, Dr.Boom.” The woman raised her hands in defense. 


“I will not repeat myself.” He did not get more angry, he just looked directly into her eyes. After a moment she gave into his authority and turned for the door.


“Paul,” I spoke softly, a little confused myself.


“What!” his voice was still raised but I thought I would let it slide.


“I have seen the same figure.” 

 

I walked to the desk to place the printed copy of Revelations, on which I had underlined the number 666 and 144,000. He did speak but looked at the page.

 

“As I said before your crude joke, Leavon spoke just before he lapsed again.” 

 

Dr.Wilkon was peering over my shoulder at the page.

 

“He asked about the length of time he’ll be the nightmas. I gave him the figure; he then asked me to read the book of Revelations. I found the reference to 666 - the sign of the devil. Also the number of individual nightmas almost matches that of the number of martyrs.”


“What else did he say?” Paul slumped back into his chair.

 
“He fell before I could ask anything.”

 

His voice was calm now, but confused.
“So both of you are saying that Leavon is the devil?”


“I am saying no such thing!” I interjected. “I am just pointing out that the figures are the same.” 


“Why would he mention this, Lisa?” 

 

Looking at Paul I saw the worry in his eyes.


“I do not know.”


“Maybe he is remembering the nightmas?” We both looked at her; she had a point.

Chapter 9

We had talked more, but in the end Paul let Dr. Sarah Wilkon come into Leavon’s room. Paul had done background checks on her before the research proposal, and we had her frisked before entering. He had always been concerned that he would bring the wrong attention to Leavon, his case would be one of intense study if too many people heard about it. 


“There is no evidence that the nightma ended any differently.” We had expected that if he had remembered the last nightma, Leavon would have told me he had done so, or the monitor will have shown a change in his brainwaves during the last awakening, but neither was true. 


“Maybe he is not remembering them.” Sarah stood in a corner chewing her left thumb nail. “Maybe the dreams are leaving a subconscious imprint on him.”


Paul carried on her thoughts. “I suppose it would be like having a nightmare, when they leave a lasting impression on your mood that day.”


I was a little confused. “So, what, we think that the nightmas are starting to leave an impression on him that has lead him to think about the Bible?”


Paul added to my question. “It wouldn’t be the first time a dying man turned to the Bible. If he already knew that 666 represented the devil his subconscious may have just put the two together making him think it was significant.”


“A few too many coincidences.” I was not convinced by their train of thought.
“He has plenty of time to think, just because he cannot talk doesn't mean he isn’t thinking.” 


Sarah commented, “He doesn’t exactly look like the devil, does he?”

 

I had relaxed around Sarah’s presence, not seeing her as a threat any more, but if she is still considering Leavon as the devil then she remains in my sight at all times.

 
“Do not be ridiculous, Dr. Wilkon. I have studied the Bible and I am sure that the Devil would not humble himself as Jesus did by living a simple and meaningless life as Leavon has.”

 

I didn’t like how Paul talked about him but I knew that his point was accurate and I wanted it to be made clearly to Sarah.

 
“I agree,” I said, as Leavon’s heart rate shot up over four hundred; the sweat ran and the tremors rumbled.

Over the next three days we never got the chance to talk to Leavon. The nightmas, as we had predicted, were closing in on one another. The time between them was decreasing by minutes after each one. We had come to the correct conclusion a month ago, that on the 18th March, 2029, Leavon will go into a continuous nightma; we called it "the fallen state." Today is the 17th March, 2029, and all of us gathered to speak to him for the last time. When I say all of us I mean Paul, Sarah, Kylie and myself. 


Leavon will only awake another three times before he falls. Though he will only be awake for minutes we are all hoping that he can hear us enough to know that he did not fall alone.


Chapter 10

I always smiled when my eyes opened to no yellow stain, although I was lying in a hospital bed for what would be my last few minutes alive I still smiled. 


The nightmares that screamed within were silent for only a moment; my final chance of clarity, the last opportunity to change my fate. She’s standing in the doorway; only now I can see her for what she truly is.

I am standing in the doorway watching his eyes open for the last time, the same smile on his lips. He had told me that he smiled when waking because there was no yellow stain on the ceiling. Thinking about it makes me laugh softly. I take a step forward wanting to be beside him when he falls. 


Leavon twists out of his bed, the needles in his veins ripping through the flesh, sending droplets of blood spraying into the air as the plastic cords sprung back to the IV pole. He falls forwards, his legs too weak to hold his weight. A branch of the IV pole slices open his wrist as he tries to gain support from it.

 
My mouth is moving; I can feel it, but all I hear is the throbbing of my heart. The horrific chaos, like ice in my blood, is freezing me to the spot. I just watch him struggle with every step towards me, holding the scissors I’d left on the bedside table. 


In an attempt to defend myself, I catch the arm which wields the scissors. Immediately his weight bore down on me and I am forced back to the wall. His other arm is limp against his side; blood is leaking from the open flesh like water from a leaky tap. 


His eyes are focused for the first time in days and they centre on mine.

 

“Kill me!” His voice is so clear, so blunt that it chills me. “Lisa I am begging you to kill me!” A mixture of relief and anger build up inside me; the scissors weren't pointed at me.

 

“Lisa please!” Tears welled up in his eyes, finally his request hit home. ‘Kill him,’ my mind shouted in horror. 


His legs start to give way, and I pull him into my chest to support his tired body, his head slumping onto my shoulder, his weak breathing brushing against my ear.

 
He spoke in only a whisper. “Lisa, don’t make me go back into them, I can’t face an eternity of them; please end it before I fall.” 

 

I hadn’t realized I was crying until I saw the tears dropping into his hair; the nightmas had flooded his mind so much that his final moments will be ones of insanity. 


“I wont kill you, Leavon,” I choked out through my emotions.


He pulled away from me to look again into my eyes.

 

“You have to.” He was quaking with fear now. “It can only be you, please!” Shock flooded my muscles, dragging me to my knees, his weak legs crumbled with mine, the scissor pressed flat against my chest shaking under his grip. “Please,” he begged.

“What are you all standing around for!” I had heard Leavon’s voice from a patient's room down the corridor. I had left without any words to them but by the time I reached the room all was too late. “Both of you get in there and help her. Kylie, get Lisa out of here. You, call for Dr.Singleton.” I turned from the crowd of people outside the door, and looked at the scene before me. 


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