By Jennifer Cannon
Friday 8:30 PM
Amanda’s head hurt-more than hurt, actually-it felt as though someone had driven sharp knives through her skull. Cautiously she tried to open her eyes; only to close them again as the light caused the pain to sharpen in intensity.
What had happened? Amanda tried to think back. She had been ready to leave Station One and then-a jumble of memories and images rushed through her mind:
–”I love you, Lee-tell mother and the boys I’ll be home soon and give Emily a kiss from me.” -
–driving down a darkened road-
–the glow of headlights behind her-so bright that Amanda almost had to close her eyes to shield herself from the glare -the squeal of brakes-
–”I’ve been looking forward to this, Amanda.” -the man’s voice had been deep in tone; she recalled-the accent vaguely familiar-
Why had she left Station One alone? Amanda wondered. She and Lee had come there separately-but they could have left together-why would they have left separately? There must have been a reason, but for the moment, it eluded her.
Who had the voice belonged to?
What had happened on the road? Some sort of accident? Was she in the hospital?
But hospitals had hospital noises-a certain antiseptic smell in the air-somehow this didn’t feel like a hospital. Amanda tensed as she heard a slight creak, followed by the soft padding of footsteps.
“Lee?” she croaked, barely recognizing her own voice. The inside of her mouth felt like a piece of sandpaper. Amanda swallowed, tasting a strange, almost sickly sweetness as she did.
No one answered her, but some sixth sense told her that someone was there, watching. The boys used to do that when they were little, Amanda recalled-they would stand by her bed some mornings, not saying anything, just waiting for her to open her eyes.
‘Open your eyes, Amanda.’
And she did. The pain was still intense but more bearable this time-the light less of a piercing dagger and more of a soft golden glow. A figure stood silently over her, the features obscured and blurry.
“Lee?” Amanda repeated.
“Take it easy.” Not Lee at all, the voice was female. A hand gently smoothed Amanda’s hair. “It’s best if you just rest now-you’ve had a rough time.”
“But I don’t-I don’t remember what happened. Where am I?”
“You had an accident, Mrs. Stetson,” the woman replied. “We brought you here.”
“Where?” Amanda tried to sit up but something seemed to be holding her down. “Am I in a hospital? My husband and family-are they-”
“Shhh…” the woman’s voice soothed. “Rest first-everything will be explained in due time.”
“But I can’t rest now, I can’t-” Amanda cried out as she felt the sharp sting of a needle in her arm. Her last clear memory was of another figure joining the first-the two of them standing over her.
“You did an excellent job, my dear,” another voice said. A man’s voice this time. The figures almost seemed to blur together as the darkness took Amanda Stetson completely.