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(Continued from HERE)

 

I dreamt.

And in my dreams? I was aware of words unformed, whispered through gauzy nothingness- not so much as heard,  but felt, willing me along, propelling me further, further, down, down. I was primordial, unicellular, evolving into something of a slug or anemone. I slithered in the mud- following the words- through vast primordial seas and into the muck, and down, down, down through murkiness, through long tunnels of waste and nothingness, and into a clearing of dim, vague pulsing light. My eyes began to focus on a focal point of … something; something strange and dark and born of night. Something to focus on, that would transform me- if I only knew how to formulate words… I swam/paddled/oozed towards it, hoping to reach it, make contact, apprehend it. If only I had a voice, it would hear me! Other organisms evolved past me and I followed. I was pursuing a beast or being or godhead that was willing to talk to me, to instruct me, to explain where from I came, what I was, where Iwas going. What was wanted of me…. If only, if only… 

I awoke.

I was under the the klieg light. And sitting next to me and waiting for me to hearken forth,  to come to- to emerge- sat a strange little man of indistinguishable age. He was wearing a somber, well-cut suit, somewhat antiquated, but natty and very dapper. He leaned closer to me, resting one hand upon my forehead. With the other he probed me, lifting my face towards him. Then he let go and sat back.

“Hello, then,” he said. “You are somewhat awake. And maybe you can speak?”

I tried to mutter something but in my perplexity- my utter dumbfoundedness- I merely opened and closed my mouth, vaguely trying to communicate, but not having any luck whatsoever.

“Well, we appear to be making great progress with you.” He consulted notes on a clipboard for a minute before setting them aside. Then he stood, staring down at me, crossing his arms in front of him.

“You have been under deep sedation- as profound as we could have you be- but…we had to be careful. (This explained the pain, the intense, all-consuming agony. Jesus!) For about thirty hours, actually. But, (he clapped his hands together) you are well on your way to metamorphosing into something very unique. And marvelous. Certainly, we found it necessary to replace a few organs, damaged tissues, a bone graft or two. (He glanced again at my Prognostic Report, and raised his eyebrows) Well, seven bone grafts, actually. But… we even repaired your heart! Now?  It’s up to you to begin healing.”

He bent down close to look at me.

“Do you understand?”

I thought for minute, then I got it.

“You… you are…” My voice was a raspy, unsure thing. I swallowed (I could swallow!) and tried again. But was still having trouble saying it. But he understood.

“Yes. I am He. I am the Re-Animator. And this is my clinic. My facility.”

I stared at him, although it caused me intense pain to move my head to where I could look at him.  There was something I needed desperately to tell him, but the words just wouldn’t come.

He was at the sink washing his hands. He turned to face me.

“It’s time now. Time for you to get with the program. To learn what is expected of you. Time for you to deliver.”

He came up close again, drying his hands.

“If you do not understand? Well then… we will have just have to explain in depth. But, a little later, I think. For now, you must recover.”

And with that he smiled, switched off the monstrous surgical light turned, and left, dimming the overheads as he exited.

 

The Re-Animator. Himself.

The Re-Animator. Himself.

 

Oy vey.

I lay in the surreal glow of the ambient lighting, thinking.

What did they possibly want from me?

And how far down the scale would I have to go? What would they have me doing? Murder?  Smuggling drugs? Arms dealing?

Jesus.

I could move my head from side to side now. I could flex my legs. I could… breathe! And…?

My. Heart. Was. Beating.

Tentatively, to be sure, but still; my heart was beating and I could breathe. My God.

I lay there pondering in the gloom when I became aware of somebody, with a surgical mask on, stealing silently into the room. He/she was wearing scrubs.

He/she paused to study me, then walked over and casually covered up a camera with a pair of scrubs, then went across the room to cover up a second camera. He/she held up a finger in front of his/her mouth; a gesture that meant,

“Shut up- Don’t say anything.”

I was a little too mystified to respond.

He/she bent over me, shaking his/her head. Then she- definitely a she- pulled down her mask.

And smiled at me.

It was Steph!

Stephanie “Steph” Roberts! My savior! My reason for wanting to live, to recover! Joyousness!

“Oh… My…. God…,” I murmured. Then, with as much clarity as I could summon, “You. You came… back! For… for me?”

I couldn’t fucking believe it. I felt like crying and laughing simultaneously.

She lay her hand on my chest, feeling my sluggish and tentative heartbeat, and smiled.

“Yes. I did. Anywhere. Anytime. Really. And (placing her hand on my thorax), you’ve got a heartbeat! Wow!”

She stared at me for a moment longer then began looking around the room; she saw a wheelchair in the corner, went and grabbed it.

“Now, then, sailor! Let’s get you the fuck out of here.”

She struggled for a moment getting me off the table- I almost ended up on the floor in a tumble of limbs- and into the waiting wheelchair. She then covered me with a sheet found on a shelf. She also selected a few salves and tinctures- a few hormones-, and pills (and suppositories) that she studied for a minute before slipping them into the pockets of her lab coat

She pulled the mask over her face, and…

We left.

Wow.

 

NEXT…

Max Meets Jacek Under Somewhat Dire Circumstances

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