I wove in and out of consciousness.
Every so often, my eyes would flicker open, and I’d see blinding fluorescent light. It made me want to turn away, but something, a voice, a faint, faint voice in the back of my head told me to stay awake.
Stay awake, it said. Keep your eyes open, because you don’t know if they’ll ever be open again.
So I tried. I widened my eyes until it hurt, until I saw white spots wherever I looked.
I couldn’t move, and I hadn’t expected to move the first time I opened my eyes.
There was a beeping sound, from a monitor, I suspected, but there were also voices. They didn’t sound familiar.
I kept the list running in my head. It played in the background like movie credits, and when listening to the unfamiliar voices became too much, I switched my attention to the list of people I wanted to see, and desired to hear.
Someone murmured a short sentence, and I tried turning my head to see who the voice belonged to. I’d heard that particular voice ever since I became conscious. Whoever it was had been there from the start, and I figured, well, if he’d been there from the beginning, he would know what was going on, and maybe what had happened.
That’s what I want to know. What happened to the Bolt Hole? What happened to everyone in it?
I tried to wet my lips to speak, but found that my tongue was as dry as my lips. Clearing my throat only resulted in a rasping noise, and it felt and sounded like sandpaper.
“Is she awake?” said another voice, one I hadn’t heard as often as the other. He sounded panicked.
“I suppose she is,” the other answered, speaking with the air of a person daydreaming.
Come into view. I willed the person to lean forward, even the slightest bit, just so I could see who it was.
“No. It’s fine. She’s supposed to wake up around this time, anyway. The only reason she was given an extra dosage was because of her head trauma, and that should feel tolerable by now.”
The other person must have nodded, because the two fell silent.
I didn’t feel anything. And if I didn’t feel anything, it must mean they weren’t operating on me. Which led me to wonder, what were they doing?
I made a rasping noise again.
“Yes, she’s definitely coming around.”
“H…H-Who?” I managed to spit out.
“Don’t be afraid,” said the first voice, quite eagerly. “We won’t hurt you. You’re safe. Nothing’s going to hurt you. You received a blow to the head, but there’s—”
“Hank, please.” It was the familiar voice, the calm voice. “She won’t be able to process this much information when she’s just woken up.”
“Yes,” I rasped. Realizing that with just that one word, I was agreeing, when I meant the opposite. “Yes I can.” The sound was too hoarse and husky for me to understand, but Hank and whoever else it was seemed to catch what I was saying.
“Well, I stand corrected, then.” Then the face did come into view, and it was only then that I realized my vision was extremely blurred. I blinked several times, which caused an itching to start, irritating because I couldn’t lift my arm to scratch at it.
“Do you think you can sit up, Miss Brookside?”
I tried bending, like doing a sit-up, but found I couldn’t move at all. When I shook my head, I found my neck unable to move.
“All right, just rest for a little longer.”
“Wait,” I said. With each passing word, I was regaining my voice, even though it felt like a cheese grater against the inside of my throat. “Why can’t I move?”
Did they strap me down?
The thought caused my heart to speed up, which in turn, caused the beeping to increase.
“You just received several shots. They have a numbing side effect to them. You can move. You just can’t feel it.”
I settled for his explanation, suddenly too tired to test my limbs out or even speak. My eyelids grew heavy, and keeping them open was beginning to get difficult.
“We’ll leave you to rest,” the voice continued.
“Wait,” I said again.
“Yes, Miss Brookside?”
“Who are you?”
“I’m Hank,” said, well, Hank, eagerly.
“I am Doctor Myndel.”
I made a shown to show them I’d heard, and was finally about to rest when a sequence of images flashed before my eyes.
The screaming. The sobbing children. The Guiders. And…
I tried to sit up again, but it felt like all muscle had left my torso. I raised my arm and saw an IV sticking out of a blue-black vein and lost it.
(**A/N: Instead of speaking to Mrs. Campbell, I originally had Jasslyn talking to a doctor.
If you haven't yet, please check out my other novel-in-progress! Could really use some feedback on The Whipping Tree :3)
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Jasslyn Brookside has always harboured a curiosity for her childhood friend. She can't be blamed: Jacoby Harold is constantly trailed by flowers and plants, the occasional balloon or firework. He isn't the only one. From the day Jasslyn could form t...