The Horrorphiles, Part 22
By Stephanie Thompson, 1,558 words
Read the previous parts:
|Spooky inspiration from my Horrorphiles Board|
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
- Part 5
- Part 6
- Part 7
- Part 8
- Part 9
- Part 10
- Part 11
- Part 12
- Part 13
- Part 14
- Part 15
- Part 16
- Part 17
- Part 18
- Part 19
- Part 20
- Part 21
Chapter 21 ( I ran out of stuff to say)
Or at least that was the only way she could explain it. Out of existence. Or out of her current existence and into another one. A stranger one. And given what her existence had been like lately, stranger was a pretty difficult place to understand.
She didn’t blink her eyes or wake up or anything like that. One second she was driving in her car, surrounded by a huge blinding white light, like a tunnel with no end and she was here in this new place.
The new place had no substance. She had no substance as far as she could tell. She couldn’t feel a body and when she looked down she couldn’t see a body just the bright white fog or maybe light, she couldn’t tell the difference anymore. Maybe she was the fog/light, in which case she was everywhere.
There was something or someone else there though. She couldn’t see them at first but the more she concentrated the clearer she could see. Like she was clearing the fog, or herself, just by thinking hard enough or squinting. She wasn’t sure she had eyes still but it felt like she did or at least the thinking hard enough felt like squinting. Either way the figures in the fog or herself was becoming clearer. What wasn’t becoming clearer was what they were saying. Which was fine enough because she was having trouble with just the basic understanding of what she was looking at.
The . . . Creature? . . . Being? Closest to her, for all intents and purposes looked like a skeleton wearing a black bowler hat, green bowtie and a black brocade vest. His skull and mandible moved up and down like he or she was talking, talking quite animately in fact, but the only noise that came out was a clattering sound, like dice being shaken in a Yahtzee cup.
He was clattering at another skeleton like creature. The second was also wearing a bowler hat but that was all. He clattered something back at the first one, then the first one clattered back at him again. As herself or the fog became clearer and clearer she saw more and more bowler hat wearing skeletons but only the first two were were doing the talking/clattering thing for the most part. The others sort of muttered/clattered every once in awhile like in agreement or disagreement, she couldn’t tell which. Every once in awhile the skeleton in the vest and bowler hat pointed a bony hand at her, or where at least the main part of her, the squinting part was. Sometimes the naked bowler hat skeleton would point at her too but it had a different feeling when he did it.
She didn’t know how long it went on like that clatter, clatter, clattering. And she couldn’t relax because as soon as she relaxed everything would get foggy again so she had to pay strict attention even though she hadn’t the first clue what was going on and the longer and longer it went on the more she wanted to just let it slip away, fog it up, drift off, and go to sleep.
She wanted to but she didn’t because she didn’t want to at the same time. And she sort of knew, could just sort of tell, that this was part of what was being debated, her desire to live. Or even whether she deserved to live or die. Or, if she assumed she was dead already maybe it was even more than that, maybe they were arguing for her mortal soul. Then again for all she knew they were arguing about a lunch order or whether or not she should become lunch.
Then it was over. Naked clattering bowler hat skeleton threw his hands up and walked to his corner until he faded into her fog. And vested clattering bowler hat skeleton approached her and handed her a little card. That’s when she noticed she had a little bit of form again. Or at least hands enough to take the card.
The card was about the size of a prescription slip. At first it was difficult to read. She had to let go of everything around her, gone was the bowler hat audience, gone was the vested one, gone was the light and the fog. There was only her hands and the card. Across the top was written five categories: Lacking, Subpar (ugh do better things with words), Average, Prime, FullFilled. Down the side was a list of attributes.
Now the card was like an endless scroll she couldn’t read them all but she got the general gist. Happiness, Will, Ambition, Desire Temptation, Sacrifice, so on and so forth. She kept scrolling down basically, her eyes moving quickly over the list, over her scores. As she scrolled down the top of the score card disappeared in to the darkness, even what she could see of the bottom was disappearing. She kept scrolling through ignoring the attributes now and just looking at the little x’s that indicated her score, reading in disbelief until she too was swallowed by the darkness.
Chapter 22 (Seriously, no more asides)
The next thing that happened was, she woke up. Sort of, mostly, kind of. She opened her eyes to a grey drop ceiling and knew immediately that she was in a hospital. What hospital, where, or why, she had no idea. But given what she’d experienced the past couple days, waking up in a hospital was no big deal. Given that the last thing she saw, that wasn’t clattering skeletons in bowler hats, was headlights, waking up in a hospital bed actually made tons of sense.
And she couldn’t move, which also made perfect sense. She couldn’t fully feel her body, she was numb throughout what she could feel, whatever made it through the haze of whatever medication she was on, throbbed with pain. She might have moved her arm but then unintentionally she moaned in pain.
That got someone’s attention, she could hear someone move nearby. For all she new it could be a roommate turning over in bed but she tried to speak anyway. She pushed her voice out dry and creaky from a sore throat. She could move her chapped lips but not her tongue. She coughed but the most sound she could make was like that of a zombie.
“Nurse, nurse, I think she’s awake again.”
She still couldn’t see her but she recognized Becky’s voice immediately. She could see the nurse when she came in though with an expression of exasperation as though it was the fiftieth time Becky had called her in that night . . . Or day. She assumed it was night time because the hospital was so quiet and dark but it could just as easily be day for all she knew.
Ronny tried moving and speaking more, this time moving a leg or her foot maybe, possibly, and managing a louder zombie rar. Then the nurse’s face change from exasperated to tired but business-like. She leaned over her and shined a light into both her eyes. She winced but kept following the the penlight in case that’s what she was suppose to do.
“Do you know you’re name?” The nurse asked.
She tried to answer but still couldn’t quite move her tongue right, she sounded like she was answering questions at the dentist’s office which was at least a step above zombie, she supposed.
The nurse laughed. “I’m sorry, I forgot.” She reached a gloved finger into Veronica’s mouth and pulled out a small, bent plastic tube. “Ok let’s try again Do you know your name?”
“Veronica Granger,” she croaked.
“Your full name?”
“Veronica Jillian Granger,” she said, still croaking, followed by a coughing fit that made her chest feel like she’d broken every single one of ribs and maybe her lungs and essentially like she was dying.
“Well, give her some water or something, for fuck’s sake,” Becky said.
“If you’re going to start trouble again young lady I’ll have security escort you out again. You’re here past visiting hours only so long as you’re in my good graces,” the nurse turned her back to Ronny to scold Becky.
When she faced her again she had a small cup with a straw. In a softer voice she encouraged her to drink like was kindergartner. “Let’s try some of this now.”
Ronny took a small sip, coughed a little more, and then took another sip.
“Ok, that’s better. Do you know your birthdate?”
“March 3rd ,1980.”
“And do you know where you live?”
She sort of wanted to protest now. She was a grown lady not a lost toddler. But she was too tired. Too tired to ask what happened, too tired to ask to actually see Becky and not just hear her, too tired to ask the nurses name. Barely awake enough to answer the question.
“Washington, D. C.”
She closed her eyes, it was too difficult to keep them open.
“And do you know where you are now?”
“I don’t know. A hospital in North Carolina, I think.” (If that’s where she is) “Maybe Virginia, if I drove far enough.”
The nurse asked whatever question was next on her checklist but Ronny couldn’t hear well enough to make it out or answer. She drifted off again in to a dreamless, possibly morphine induced, sleep.
Keep Reading with Part 23
Keep Reading with Part 23
Thanks for Reading!