Episode 2 “Awake” (beta shred #3)

Circling True North

White, pinprick light rushes at me, expanding to full illumination, just beyond the shield of my eyelids. I keep them sealed shut. Every nerve in my aching body stands alert to a sensation of imminent danger. I stay immobile, listening to rhythmic beeps behind my head. I long to stretch. Instead, my muscles tighten at the rustle of fabric – betrayal of another’s presence. Sink fingers into the pad nestling my body, graze tips over course fibers. Twinge at the back of my hand – tape and an I.V. connection. Stringent fumes of disinfectant burn through sinuses, confirm I am in a medical facility. The realization that I do not know why closes over me. I fight the urge to breathe through my mouth.

I am blank, devoid of presence – identity. Who am I? Who? I cannot remember, worse – I fear the answer.

My chest is heavy and tight at the same time, a cage constraining the frantic bird. Instinct’s demand for caution that holds me. Desperate to know…anything, I race through the halls of my mind seeking clues, memories, my identity. Faces, places, and bits of conversation refuse to connect to comprehension. It feels like death.

Swish of a door draws me back into the room. Cushioned footsteps, slight squeaking of rubber meeting linoleum and a soft scent of flowers. Not real ones. Perfume.

A young woman’s voice speaks in gentle tones. “Can I get you anything?”

I first wonder how she knows I am awake and almost open my eyes, when a deep voice responds.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from “Circling True North”. Leave me a helpful comment if you like.



Copyright 2021 Joan Wiley

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