It has been quite a while since I have done any writing, so I thought I would post a teaser on a little Christmas gift for you guys. I'll post the full story by Christmas or before. It is a little rough right now and will be cleaned up in the full version.
Richard D. Clark
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” William Shakespeare
He opened his eyes to darkness. He blinked just to make sure his eyes were open. Where am I? The darkness blacker than black. It was the darkness of a cavern, or a crypt.
I am in a coffin. They thought I was dead. He reached out to touch the coffin walls and met only the air. He snatched his hand back to his side as if something in the darkness might bite it off. He closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead trying to push the confusion out of his mind. Why did I think that?
Something odd is going on here. What happened to me? He felt as if his mind was wrapped in cotton. He pushed against the fuzzy edges of his mind, feeling strangely dislocated as if his mind was working without his volition, as if something were working his mind like an instrument that was out of calibration. For a long moment this strange force working in his mind held him paralyzed, then suddenly his mind snapped into focus. The paralysis left him.
He suddenly realized he couldn't remember anything before opening his eyes. Panic began to slide into his mind, as he quested about in his memory for any inkling as to why he was here. Nothing. It was if he never existed before opening his eyes. The panic gained ground as he suddenly realized he didn't even know who he was, let alone why he was in this dark place. The slate of his mind had been wiped clean.
Or had it? There was something there, in a cranny of his mind, a fragment of a memory maybe. He clutched at it like a drowning man clutching a life preserver, trying to bring the fragment into focus--
He was on a gurney and he was being wheeled down a corridor. He remembered looking at the overhead lights, counting backward as if he was being administered anesthesia. I should be more concerned, he had thought, but he wasn't concerned. It was very odd.
“Johnathon, can you hear me?” He remembered a voice asking him.
"Yes I can hear you," he remembered thinking, but he couldn't answer.
”What the hell happened to him?”
“Some sort of viscous liquid attacked him,” another voice answered.
“What do you mean 'attacked him'?”
“Just that. This liquid came out of this machine, moved along the floor like some black amoeba, wrapped around him and then flowed into him through his nose, mouth and ears. It happened so fast we couldn't do a damn thing.”
“All right get him into quarantine. I want full body scans, blood work, tissue samples--the full set. Did anyone else get infected?”
“No, we hauled ass out of there when this happened.”
“I am going to put the team in quarantine anyway, just in case. I knew something like this was going to happen sooner or later.”
“Is he going to be OK, Doc?”
“You know as much as I do right now. Get to quarantine and get checked out. Let's hope the tests turn up something we can deal with...”
The memory faded. My name is Johnathon and I am in quarantine. he thought. It didn't explain much, but at least he wasn't a blank slate as he had feared. The panic was slowly ebbing as he reviewed the information. Something had infected him from some machine, but he had no memory of the incident. The memory loss must be a result of the infection. Whatever had infected him hadn't killed him at least. They, whoever they were, must had cured him. Ok, it was a start at least.
If he was in quarantine then he must be in a hospital. He felt around with his hands and discovered he was on a bed with rails on each side. A hospital bed. He felt around for a call button, but didn't find anything. “Damn, I wish there was some light!” He said into the darkness.
Lights in the ceiling suddenly flickered, glowed brightly, blinding him. He shut his eyes and then slowly opened them. The light was a dull yellow glow, flickering occasionally in a random pattern. He sat up. He was in what looked like a small private hospital room, except one wall was glass. The dull yellow light from his room illuminated what looked like a medical station on the other side of the glass. Black screens lined the wall behind a U-shaped desk. The room appeared to be empty.
“Hello?” He shouted. “Can anyone hear me?” No answer.
It was obvious something was wrong, and not just with him. If this was a hospital, there should nurses on duty in that station. It shouldn't be dark and...
The dim glow revealed that the medical station was not only abandoned, it looked as if someone had shot up the place. Several of the displays on the walls were shattered and bullet holes were scattered in the walls. The glass wall even had a few bullet holes—directly across from his bed. Instinctively, he looked down at his body. He was wearing a light blue hospital gown and in the middle of a patch of dried blood, two bullet holes. He pulled up the gown, and felt his side. Blood had dried on his side, but there were not any holes. He dropped the gown.
“What the hell?” He said. “What is going on?” His mind was full of questions, but there were no answers in this room, and what he wanted most were answers. The answers were on the other side of that glass wall—he hoped.