Monday May 7th, 2018

The exercise:

Before it slips out the backdoor of my mind again, let us return to Empires.


Greg said...

I'm very much enjoying the tales of prompt inspiration still -- especially the Goat Skull Ranch one! You did finally stymie me though, with the Dinosaur festival -- that one I just couldn't work into the Red/Emma story with any conviction :)

Ben hissed with pain. His vision was blurred like he'd been crying and there was a metallic taste in his mouth which he hoped wasn't blood. His fingers and toes tingled as though he had pins and needles, and every time he breathed in he felt like he was trying to fill two pairs of lungs. It was hard to concentrate -- he remembered the pain starting but when he tried to think about why, the pain blocked the memories out. He reached out and his hand touched something warm and soft, and suddenly his vision doubled.
He lifted his head, staring, wondering what was happening. He could see David lying on the floor, and the strange woman who acted like she knew the hospital, but he could also see the floor, and himself at an angle, superimposed like photographic film reused before being developed. There was a smell like whiskey -- was it connected to the metallic taste? He pulled his arms under him, trying to ignore the tingling, and his vision cleared.
Ah -- he'd been touching David's hand. He'd been seeing through both their eyes. It still felt like -- oh damnit. He was breathing for both of them again.
"David...," he groaned. Why was this happening, what had gone wrong this time? He'd told David to wait... yes, he remembered that. It was so hard to think. But David hadn't, David had come in... and then... then... then the doors closed.
He crawled across the floor; trying to lift his head up above his shoulders made him retch and threatened to leave him unconcious again. The doors were heavy, metal, so he just leaned against them, pushing as much as he could until there was a soft snick and they opened.
And suddenly he was the only one inside his head again.

Stacey's eyes flicked open. She was on the floor and her head and elbow hurt. Concrete floor. Why...?
"Help David," said a voice nearby. "He's not breathing."

Ana's eyes flicked open. She was slumped over the desk and there was an annoying whine in her ears. She sat up, and the whine stopped, but it took her a moment to realise that it had been the computer -- she'd been pressing on the keyboard and the key repeat alarm had been blaring at her. Jesus, that felt like losing the connection to Stacey -- wait, she had lost the connection to Stacey. But it was back now, wasn't it? She probed, like a woman with a loose tooth pushing it with her tongue to see how loose it was, and... yes, there was the comforting link with Stacey.
She sat back in the chair and pulled her phone out of her bag. Better to check what had happened

Greg said...

[Double-posting, sorry, but it seems like there's a lot to move on here :)]

As she selected Stacey's number from the Favourites list, her gaze fell back on the computer screen and another thought crossed her mind.

Stacey's fingers pulled David's tongue from his throat and she resisted the urge to wipe them on her jacket. She rolled him onto his side, putting him into the recovery position. Her elbow flared with pain with almost every movement, but that offset the headache a little -- she couldn't decide if this was good or bad really. Over by the door Ben was slumped, looking like he was feeling better.
"You not going to help?" she asked, trying to keep the irritation out of her voice.
"I am helping," said Ben. "If I let the door close our connection will overwhelm us again."
Before he could say anything, her phone rang. She checked it, and saw that it was Ana. That counted as important, so she waved Ben to silence.
"Ana, you felt it too?"
"Yes," said Ana, her voice tinny but reassuring. The signal was clearly weak down here. "What did you do?"
"Nothing. But there are two men here who I think might be like us, if you know what I mean. We were all in the morgue when the door closed and then... it happened."
"They can hear you?"
"One of them definitely."
"OK. Find out what you can from them, I think. I'll come on over, I think it's safer. Oh, and Stacey?"
"What?" She didn't want to admit that she felt better knowing that Ana was coming over now.
"Anna Miller -- why were you thinking about her?"
"She seems to have been here in this morgue."
"She died three weeks ago," said Ana. "How did she end up in a hospital that was closed down years ago?"