SHADOW

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CHAPTER 9

ALAN PRINCE CAME TO.

Slowly.

He stirred slightly, feeling jolts of debilitating pain all over his body. His fingers twitched, eyelids fluttered but yet remained closed.

He could hear voices around him, speaking faintly. They sounded indistinct and hollow. There was a vehement pang in his head, and he felt paralyzed. It was not his body anymore; it must belong to someone else.

Maybe an alien.

Oh, the pain!

Alan grunted weakly, felt something thick and bitter in his throat, like blood, or a dry lump hard to swallow.

He stirred weakly again, intense pains shooting up his spine with every slight movement he made like electrical current zapping his brain. He blinked and tried to speak, but his bruised and swollen lips barely parted; no words came out.

Alan couldn’t immediately figure out where he was. It felt like a deep, dark limbo, a desolate and unworldly place.

He was floating in space.

Drifting away.

His head ached as the pain hit him again forcibly. Alan grunted in agony, clenched his lips tightly.

Oh, Lord! Oh, the pain...!

The accident.

It began to come back to him, scattered scenes that quickly pieced themselves together into a frightening whole in his mind.

There’d been an accident, and he’d survived.

Barely.

Alan had suffered extensive physical trauma, fractures and broken bones; it was a miracle he was even alive in the first place.

But he was still in ICU, about 70 per cent of his body covered in plasters and bandages, and his condition tagged ‘very critical’. His body had been stitched pretty badly in a dozen places. The few other places that had no bandages were caked in cast, like his entire left hand, both his legs, and three fingers and wrist of his other hand. He was a mess. His nose was broken, skull virtually held together by adhesive, jaws busted and he’d suffered a great amount of internal bleeding.

The doctors did a tremendous job patching him up after the tragic accident, bringing him back from the dead, as it were. If he did live through this ordeal, he would never remain the same again.

Both mentally and physically.

Alan Prince lay still for a moment, moaning quietly and trying to keep his thoughts steady, with difficulty, of course. He tried to recall the events leading to how he wound up in this condition.

Considering the way he looked, Alan would most likely require a few corrective cosmetic procedures after recovery, although he might not come back to how he looked before. There was the pain again. It was an incredibly tortuous bout, and he groaned softly.

Then his eyes opened a slit. Everywhere was blurry, cloudy.

There was no one there. At least not that he could see presently.

But he knew someone was around.

A nurse?

His parents?

But he soon fell asleep again. He slept for a long time, losing consciousness of time and place again.

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