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I was vaguely aware of the commotion around me, people shouting and monitors beeping and rain pelting the windows. Background noise. The tingling that shot through my body felt so good I didn’t think to care.
Focused on the tingling, nerves and synapses crackling to life. Like birth through electricity.
Come on, Janelle! Don’t leave me…
Struggled to open my eyes, but my eyelids were little weights that I couldn’t move. My arms stayed limp at my sides, useless. I felt pressure on my shoulders. Then nothing.
No tingling, no chaos. Just beeping and a light scratching sound. Muscles relaxed. Breathing shallow. I was swimming, nothing but grace cutting through infinite black. Only the constant beeping kept me anchored.
I tried to stretch, but something restrained me. I lay trapped, unable to breathe. Struggling, trying to wave my arms and legs through the emptiness. But nothing happened. I gasped, air intake hampered by the lump in my dry throat.
Pressure forced me back into the emptiness.
“Janelle, hold still!”
My eyes shot open, blinded by a white that dripped like paint into blurred shapes.
A million thoughts invaded my head. A million ways to choke and die, even in the light. Gurgling, spewing, hissing, I refused to give in. The voice telling “Janelle” to calm down only made things worse.