A former soldier wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of years past.

I can’t remember who he is.

He knows my name, but I don’t know his.

He’s waving his arms. I can’t feel mine.

“Ellie!” he calls, singing like a bird. A bright, white light burns my pupils. “Can you hear me?”

“Honey,” someone else says, from my left side. “Squeeze my hand. Come on, baby. You can do this.” I force all of my strength into my five fingers. A twitch in my index finger is all I can manage. Everything else is numb.

A small, weak croak escapes my lips. It’s not even a croak. It’s more of a choking noise; a result of the plastic tube shoved down my throat. I try to move my hand again. Maybe if I can mange it, they’ll make my pain lessen. My hand, the right one this time, painfully squeezes the fingers intertwined with it.

A gasp of surprise. “Mags!” the first voice exclaims, a male. “Mags! Mrs. Beaumont! She did it!”

His voice is beautiful. It’s soft and sweet, like cotton candy, and I drink it in gratefully, for I need something good. I crave it. “C-c-c-” I try to speak around the plastic tube, but it’s too hard. He shushes me, rubbing his thumb over my knuckles, and motions to someone else, in the corner of the room.

It’s a woman in a white lab coat. Her face is blurring. “Glad you’re feeling better,” she tells me, pushing a needle into my skin, smiling, smiling, smiling… “We were waiting for y…” The new chemicals run ice-cold through my veins, trapping me in a nightmare-filled sleep.

The End

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