Chapter 1

My throat burned. My stomach ached. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I tried to remember how good I had felt. The sensation of floating, of being complete, wanting for nothing. For a moment I was back there and felt my lips twitch into the tiniest bit of a smile. But if I were there I wouldn’t even remember I had a mouth, and the realization brought the pain crashing back. 

My eyelids heavy, I fought to open them. The light was too bright; I squeezed my eyes against its harsh intrusion. 

“She’s awake! Nurse—she’s awake!” 

My mother sprang toward me and clutched my hand, her eyes wild with worry. 

“Ember, honey, you’re OK. You’re in the hospital. You had an accident and...” 

I stopped hearing her. I didn’t want to process the relief on my mother’s face when I was so disappointed. I receded back, if not into the comfort of oblivion, then at least to an inky blackness. 

The End

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