Into the WhiteMature

White thought Rayan incoherently. Bright. Too bright. I don't like it.

He shut his eyes and went back to the comforting blackness. It was a much better place here, in nothingness.

Far away, he heard someone calling his name. He tried to ignore it, hoping they'd shut up, but the voice only got louder and more insistent.

"Fnumpf," he mumbled under his breath at the voice. It didn't have the desired effect - it increased in volume until it felt like someone had pressed a megaphone to his ear.

His head pounded and gradually his body started screaming at him with stabbing and aching pains. He thought about trying to move his arms or legs but decided against it - he knew it would be a massive effort and would probably hurt like a bitch.

"Rayan stay with us if you can," the same voice said again. This time he could identify it as a youngish male voice, the owner probably being about the same age as him. It was confident, impatient and a little cocky.

He squinted his eyes open out of curiosity. Slowly memories swam back to him - the power cut, the darkness, the dancing Shadows...

He jolted awake and opened his eyes fully, blinding himself but not caring. His arms flailed around, springing into life, powered by a sudden rush of panicked adrenaline. Unintelligible words flew out of his mouth uncontrollably and he grabbed onto the nearest thing to him - a dark blurry blob that was bent over him.

The owner of the voice cried out and hands pressed down firmly on him, hindering his movements but not quite stopping them. He could've escaped their grasp if he wanted to, but he submitted. Slowly things came into focus. In front of him stood a middle aged man with dark brown hair. He was standing just out of arms reach with his hands folded in front of him, watching Rayan warily but without real fear. He had bright blue eyes that gleamed in the harsh lighting of the room.

Rayan turned his head away from the man, taking an instant dislike to him. He'd been bullied a lot as a child and it was always the same type of person that did it - arrogant, extroverted and assured. These traits radiated from him like light from the sun. It made Rayan feel a little sick.

He studied the room he was in. The walls were a dirty cream, littered with scuff marks, plug sockets, trays and bits of machinery. He saw he was attached to a couple of these machines, monitoring his vitals which all looked okay (though he wasn't much of a doctor himself). There were some dark green curtains that divided off his bed from the rest of the... ward... (yes, that was where he was - in the hospital) but he could see one or two other patients through the gaps.

Two nurses and the doctor stood around his bed. One of the nurses was an older woman, the type of nurse that knew her hospital inside out and who would work there until they forced her out the door. She clearly took no nonsense, and wasn't brilliant on the sympathy front - but she was good at her job and was the first person people turned to in a crisis.

The other nurse was younger; a slim male with short black hair and pale unshaven skin. The opposite to the female nurse, he was fresh out of University with no experience and absolutely no common sense. But he was a nice enough guy, Rayan could see that in his eyes. You could tell a lot about a person from their eyes.

Rayan knew these things about the people around him with certainty. He was also almost sure of a lot of other details. He was good at reading people - it was a talent that few people expected of him but was extremely useful. He relaxed on his bed. He'd be safe here.

(Safe from the Shadows)

He pushed the thought from his head but couldn't stop himself reliving the events from the power cut at hyper-speed in his head, finishing up in the street with Amara in his arms-

"Where's Amara?" he said suddenly, his voice croaky and much weaker than he'd expected. He sat bolt upright, tugging on the wires that were taped to his arms.

"She's fine," said the older nurse, "Lay back, Mr. Carter."

Rayan breathed out shakily, his head pulsating and throbbing.

"Take it easy," said the doctor, "You're going to feel a little wobbly. Do you remember what happened?"

"Yes," said Rayan, "What day is it? How long have I been out?"

"Tuesday," said the younger nurse, obviously wanting to contribute something.

"Couple of days then, must've been bad," muttered Rayan, "Anything wrong with me now then? Or is it a case of rest and recuperation?"

The doctor frowned, "Well not as such, but clearly you're in no fit state to leave hospital. Are you... okay?"

Rayan nodded, "Guess so. Not the first time something like this has happened. In fact, take a look at my medical records, you'll be in for a right treat. Got a whole novel's worth of material in that."

"Yes, I'm aware you're something of a risk taker," sniffed the doctor, his tone singing with disapproval. It was one of the things that irked Rayan the most about medical staff - they went on and on at you about not smoking, not drinking, eating your vegetables and getting your flu jab, but then they went home, shut their front door and lit up in front of the fire, a glass of whiskey in one hand and a bar of chocolate in the other.

The doctor and the nurses gave Rayan a brief check over to make sure he was stable before leaving him in peace. He felt a wave of tiredness wash over him and his eyes closed. A few seconds later, he was asleep again. He dreamt of the Sun; its heat, its warmth, its light, and it put a smile on his unconscious face.

In the sunlight you can avoid the Shadows. In the sunlight you are safe.

The End

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