It was the intense heat that woke me. Slowly, my unfamiliar surroundings came into clouded view. I blinked trying to clear my vision, but it remained hazy. Pain! Sharp daggers flashed through my head. 'Where was I? How did I get here?' My mind searched for clues, remembrances. Nothing. Fear gripped my throat and quickened my heart.
Profusely sweating now, I reached to wipe my neck. I froze--my breath caught. There were wires attached to my hand. I felt the hand touch, but that wasn't my neck. Chills. Exhaustion. I could feel myself succumbing to oblivion. 'Lord, help me!'
There was a voice - garbled. Through an open eyelid slit, I saw a dark creature in a distant part of the room. It appeared to have black, leathery skin. The bulbous head was covered with strange purple markings. A pale face in the center of the sphere would occasionally turn in my direction. I’d quickly close my eyes. There seemed to be a small communication device into which it spoke. I strained to hear, but it seemed like gibberish to me.
A deep voice from beyond my vision called to the creature. "Angel, you can leave now."
'Was that an angel? It was dark! An angel from where? Did I die? Is this...?'
The screeching sound of draperies being drawn back startled me. I shaded my eyes against the blinding light. A tall figure shrouded in white stood at my side. The light haloed the figure and hid its features. 'Was this another angel? An angel of light?' It spoke, questioning me:
"Do you know where you are?" I shook my head.
"Can you tell me your name?"
"My name is Brennie Olson."
"How old are you?"
Another figure appeared on the other side of me. He looked familiar somehow. My hurting head fought to remember. 'I know...he looks like the father of that cute guy that lived across the street from my parents. Tim––that's it. It's Tim's Dad. What was he doing here? I remember now –– Tim Rolund. Whatever happened to him? I used to call his Dad Mr. Rotund.' Remembering the chubby man with the handsome son made me smile. Mr. Rotund smiled back.
Halo shook his head at Mr. Rotund. "She's remembering, but not what we want her to remember. It may take time."
Halo made notes on his clipboard and left the room followed by Mr. Rotund. They whispered just outside of my hearing. The fever started again--I was burning. How odd! The fevers came expectedly, then left. Suddenly, I was very angry. 'Why wouldn't anyone tell me what was going on? Where was I? Did I have some sort of brain surgery? Whose body is this? Why do I feel like this? This isn't me! And I'm hungry. Isn't anyone going to give me something to eat?' I cried. I slept.
Dark Angel was back. It was quiet except for those irritating mechanical sounds. Every nerve wanted to scream for someone to shut them off. I moved to try to find a more comfortable position. 'Why was it so difficult to turn over? This body is sluggish and tired. It hurts. I want my own body back.'
"You're awake. Good. I'll get them." Dark Angel said.
My eyes closed. When I opened them, Halo stood there with his back to the light. He was speaking to me in conciliatory tones. I battled the mental fog that tried to claim me. 'What was that he was saying? What car accident? Memory loss? This made no sense. What husband? I don't have a daughter! He's making this all up. Was I the victim of some cruel joke...some horrible experiment? Did some maniac put my brain inside this deteriorating shell? I don't belong in this body! Can't anyone see the real me?'
I wanted to scream. I cried out in despair, "How did I get trapped in this body!"
Dark Angel arose from the far corner and approached me. She handed me a pair of glasses.
"She'll be OK, Dad." Dark Angel said to Mr. Rotund as she pulled off the black and purple helmet. Blonde tresses tumbled out. "Mom has always said that ever since she hit menopause."
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