By: Mia L. Hazlett
Was I really in my bed? It didn’t seem real, but here I was. My room reflected order, but my memory obeyed a reality I struggled to comprehend. I remember darkness, crashing, and a deep relentless pain. Finally I swung my feet to the side of my bed and stood. The sun beamed through my white window sheers shining brightness on my new day.
Although I stood surrounded by perfection, a putrid odor wafted through the air. Each inhale strengthened the sickening feeling within me. I gagged and coughed. The cough buckled me and a searing pain engulfed my torso. As I held my stomach, I inched my way to the top of my stairwell. My blurry stare outlined a massive human silhouette. Even though I stared down my stairs, the figure loomed over me.
I released my torso and straightened my back. The looming figure seemed to be made of air as I grabbed for it to steady myself. With no contact made, I lost my balance and tumbled head over heels down the stairs. I writhed in excruciating pain, but still the looming figure remained over me.
I couldn’t tell if the touch came from it or me, but this time I could feel something near my feet. The more my eyes struggled to remain open and focus, the darker my surroundings became. It felt as though my feet were being lifted into the air, as the darkness encompassed me. I could see my stairwell, but with the diminished sunlight that had so recently illuminated my upstairs, I couldn’t see past the second step.
I tried to turn away from the stairs and onto my back, but with the reintroduction of the putrid odor, I released my stomach contents with a hurl. Now I was back in the small room. Instead of the floor, I was on a wiry raised cot. My legs were taped together on a slat of plywood, which did not allow me to turn my body. My stomach contents soaked my hair, and I realized the stench was me. I don’t think it was the first time I threw up, nor had I been afforded the opportunity to use a bathroom.
As the blurry figure came into focus, I remembered the sledgehammer. Immediately I tried to move my feet, but I couldn’t feel them. The man came closer to me with some sort of syringe in his hand. As the needle was merely inches from my arm, the door opened. The maniacal laugh sent me back to my sunny bedroom as the contents of the syringe emptied into my arm. I was home again.