Five

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Five

Mike lay in the blackness, not sure if he was awake or asleep. He opened his eyes but saw nothing. He heard nothing. He neither smelt nor tasted anything. He could feel… nothing.

He moved his hands along what must be the bed beneath him but there was no sensation under his fingertips. He could no longer feel the mattress along his back or the pillows behind his head. It was like he was floating.

Is this a dream? He thought.

There was no sign to show him that it wasn’t. It was as if all his nerve endings had died and left him in an empty, black void. He tried to say Evie’s name but he couldn’t feel in his throat if he actually said it. He twitched his arms but he no longer knew if she was there or not. He couldn’t feel the warmth of her hand.

He tried to sit up but he was too disorientated and his body was too heavy. He only succeeded in jerking his shoulders. He turned his head but that confused him more. With no sensation he really could have been floating. Which way was up or down? Forward or back? Maybe he hadn’t been trying to sit up at all, he’d been pushing his body down.

Was this a coma? Did they have him on some strong medication like morphine that was making him hallucinate? He couldn’t even tell if he was still breathing.

This was a living nightmare – he was locked inside his own body. Was this permanent? His senses had all gone for now but maybe they would come back. If so, when?

He gasped for air in the void. It was like a vacuum and he was suffocating. Yet he carried on floating and his body carried on breathing. He was still alive.

This is worse than death, he thought. This is hell and I’m stuck here forever. Trapped.

Somewhere out there his beautiful fiancée was carrying his baby and he couldn’t get back to them. Suddenly he was like lead and he was sinking rather than floating. A medicated sleep took hold of his body.


Mike awoke. He didn’t know how much time had passed. If it was minutes later, or hours, days, even weeks. How do you measure time in an eternity of nothing?

He was still deep in the black void, miles from his family. He kept waiting for something from his life to creep in. A faint sound. A fleck of light. A prickle in one fingertip. Anything.

He raged inside with anger stronger than anything he’d ever felt before. Why had this happened to him? What had he done to deserve this? Why could no one help him?

He wanted to scream and shout and hit things. Perhaps he did do all of those things, it was hard to tell. Perception was altered in the void. He shut down again.


This time he woke up to a feeling of great sadness. His life was over and there was nothing left for him now. He would never see the face of his baby. Never know if it was a boy or girl. Evie would be a single mother and he’d be nothing to his child but a character in stories she told him or her. Maybe he’d still be here, like this, and the child would come to visit him. Maybe it was months later now and the child had already been born and was here to see him.

He didn’t want that. For his family and friends to spend years hoping that he’d get better. Sitting by his bed. Praying that he could one day get back to how he was. No. It would be better for everyone if he were dead. If they could all move on with their lives.

He didn’t know where his body was. A hospital ward? A private room? Or if anyone was there at that exact moment but he had to try. He had to tell them what he wanted. What he needed.

‘My name is Michael Faraday.’ He said soundlessly to ears he wasn’t sure would even be there. ‘Please… kill me.’

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