This is a short story that just popped into my head. If you know of a slightly better title that might fit the story better, then feel free to let me know. As always, this story may be taken down at any time.
"Jane! Jane!" The voices resounded in my head, bouncing around like a brilliant idea waiting to be accepted. I could hear screaming, yelling. I wanted to go toward the voices, I realized. I wanted to move toward them.
"Jane! Come quickly!" There were other people, too, not just the feminine voice that I had vaguely recognized at first. It was followed by a masculine voice, screaming. Their shouts made me scared, not because they seemed threatening but because the voices themselves were fearful. I wanted to move, to run. To flee from whatever seemed to be threatening these voices.
"Jane! Come on!" This masculine voice seemed of a much higher pitch than the call before it, seeming much smaller compared to the other two voices. Somehow, though, I could tell they were all far away from me. I tried to move towards them, but I felt like my feet were glued to the ground. Wait, the ground? I seemed to notice the darkness that surrounded me for the first time. There was nothing to my right, nothing to my left, nor anything underneath or above me.
"I've got her!" This voice was so much closer, that I spun around, looking for the owner of the voice. Yet I still only found darkness, wherever I looked. It surrounded me. The world had never before seemed so unwelcoming.
But even when I thought it couldn't get any darker, I felt like I was getting absorbed into the darkness. The voices started to come from farther and farther away, becoming almost all but silent. Some words I can make out, though, and they scare me. Phrases like "Smoke inhalation" and "unconscious" haunt me, falling through the cracks of the silent boundary that has blocked off all other sound.
"Jane? Oh, Jane." Muffled sobs startle me, the first sound that has permeated my consciousness in a long period of time.
I groan, the darkness receding into the corners of my vision as my eyes slowly open. The ceiling light above me glows vibrantly, etching a neon image into my retinas.
"Jane?" I roll over slowly, the tear-streaked face of a woman I recognize slowly coming into view. My mother.
"Mom!" My voice sounds gravelly, as if I haven't spoken for a while.
"Jane, you're awake!" She stood up, relief showing on her face. "You've been asleep for so long, we were all so worried."
"Mom, what happened?" Already, my voice seems to be growing softer, moving back to its normal tone.
"Jane, Jane. It doesn't matter." She engulfed me in a hug, shaking the unfamiliar bed that I lay on. But it seemed to go along with the unfamiliar white-walled room, its white sheets seeming to blend in to the backround.
"Jane!" The voice of someone else I recognized joined the small conversation, as my little brother bounded into the room. "You're okay! Yay!" He was followed closely by my father, a smile breaking out on his face.
"Jane, it's wonderful that you're awake. We were so worried."
"Dad, what happened?" I shook my mom off, confusion and curiosity getting the better of me.
"Jane, Jane. You suffered smoke inhalation when the house burned down two days ago. The firefighter was barely in time." My father looked at me solemnly, and I could see a sadness and trouble in his eyes that I had never seen before.
"The house... Burned down?" I started to breath slowly, hoping this was all a cruel joke.
"Jane," my mother spoke softly, her lips barely moving. "That doesn't matter. What matters is that you're safe. And that our family is reunited." And then she bent down and gave me a bear hug, pulling me out of the bed. The rest of my family crowded around, joining her. As I returned the hugs, I felt a peace inside that had always been there, but I had never noticed.
We were a family. We were united.