Karen had never been so mesmerized by such a bright light. She remembered something about a summer’s day as she rolled toward that bright light, gathering momentum as if rolling down a grassy hillside.
A summer’s day…
Flowers starting to bloom as she remembered a Shakespearean actor’s elegant voice speaking of “the darling buds of May.”
Tumbling toward the light now, head over heels. The light became so bright, and Karen longed for it so. She strained to reach it, to reach the sun, her feet seeming to leave the earth behind her. So much more comfortable. All pain, all anguish gone. For a moment a chill spread over her. There was something strange about that light: it wasn’t warm. But it was peaceful. She would never, ever have to feel any pain about anything again.
A jolt like electricity intruded, jittering through her body. Not just warm but hot.
“Phew. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for adrenaline.”
Who was speaking? Karen felt shooting pains from everywhere. The light she’d been tumbling toward was gone.
“That was close.”
Again, who was speaking? Karen’s eyes fluttered open as her head pounded so badly she feared it would fall off. Her hands fluttered up toward her head, but only one made it. The other was stopped by something around her wrist that sent more pain shooting through her. Metal clanged, pounding through her head with an agony so unbearable Karen started to scream.
“You’ll have a teeny little headache. Nothing to scream about. Lord Jesus Christ, don’t make me have to inject you again!”
Each word throbbed through Karen’s head like a locomotive. Next, like thunderclaps, were the footsteps. Karen’s eyes snapped open to see the middle-aged nurse walking across the room to the door. Something seemingly gargantuan thundered down the hall and through the door, turning out to be only a gurney with a new roommate on it who was unconscious, but seemed to be missing a leg.
Karen screamed from the pain.
The nurse raised an eyebrow at her and started preparing an injection.
Karen screeched in the face of an agony she simply couldn’t endure.
The nurse headed toward her with the injection.
But just then the seemingly impossible happened:
Her new roommate screamed even louder.
The nurse, still holding the injection, changed direction.