I didn’t kill him. He was already dead.
The room was pitch black when I awoke. I fell asleep leaning against the back of the door. My shoulders tingled with pins and needles as my circulation returned. It didn’t help much. With my arms restrained like they were, it was nearly impossible to take a full breath. My head swam as my eyes adjusted to the dark. The sparks and flashes of dust motes and retinal artifacts disoriented me. I felt awash in a sea of teaming life where there was only darkness.
The power had been out for a couple of days, from what I could tell by the dim glow that ebbed and flowed through the wire mesh glass pane in the door. There was no real way to be sure though. Time was elastic for me at the best of times. These days? Well, let’s just say things are different.
The room was hot, stale and reeked with my own sweat and stink. And his as well, I suppose. I shot my foot out to kick him. It landed with a wet thud. In some ways, I was thankful for the dark. The air exchangers were out, but there must have been some venting somewhere. I heard my breathing grow frantic again, so I closed my eyes against the murk and did the breathing exercises that Doctor Goodwin taught me. She was my favourite. She always smiled at me. At least she did when she had a face. Bastards.
We were in group session when the arse fell out of the world. Doctors Goodwin and Meier were running the show with a stuffed bear as a talking stick. Barry, Emma and Hughie had all gone first. It was only me and Haley left. I was getting bored and antsy with Hughie’s crying and whimpering. I could tell Barry was too. He started rocking back and forth. Haley got up and walked around her chair clockwise, then counter-clockwise humming a nursery rhyme. Meier had to get up and guide her back to her seat. Man, these people were nuts.
Goodwin got a buzz on her cell. She glanced at the number and excused herself to take it. I watched her shapely legs swish away with approval. “I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave,” I mused. Then that damnable bear was stuffed in my face, blocking my view. Hughie shook it like a rattle. I wanted to punch him. That was probably why I was in restraints.
“It’s your turn, Eddie, ” said Meier. “Do you have anything to share this morning?”
Meier shook his head and bent forward to scribble in his chart. The bald spot on his head looked like a tantalizing target. Goodwin came back and put her hand on her colleague’s shoulder. She then handed him a note. His glasses fell from his face and dangled around his neck on the chain that would later facilitate his untimely demise.
The double doors at the back of the ward burst open. I watched a small crowd of dishevelled people break in to the room. They were all bloody and tore up, but moved with a swiftness I wouldn’t have thought possible. Immediate pandemonium erupted as a melee of gore and violence swept across the room. I was frozen in shock as I witnessed the escalation. Goodwin was tackled by three assailants who started eating her pretty face. Barry vomited all over his pyjamas, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t make it out of the circle. I don’t think any of them did.
Meier and I clambered over and around each other trying to get out the south door. I threw my body against the press bar and fell through. I started to panic and yell as I couldn’t get up. I was still bound in the jacket. Meier, wide-eyed and bleeding, helped me stand and we bolted to the cell block to hide.
I didn’t realize until later that he had been bitten.