Chapter 1: ♖ Life ♖
♖ Life ♖
The next few days went in a blur. Or, at least I think days have passed.
This place has no windows, and from what I can tell, when I’m asleep, the lights remain on. Everything is cold, but that isn’t enough to keep me awake. I can’t stop sleeping. It’s as if it’s the only thing that exists as of now. Only unlike the white from before, I’m dreaming, but instead of a lullaby, I hear screaming.
I have to stay awake. It’s like I’m sinking into someplace I won’t come back from. I do at least have some sense of consciousness. I’ve noticed that I’m wearing a strange helmet, have a weird tattoo, and that there’s an IV in my arm, likely the culprit dripping me down to sleep.
I want to reach up and touch the helmet, I couldn’t be more curious about it. Why would they put this on me? What is it?
My tattoo is a number and a dash, 2-13, located high up my right arm, almost to my shoulder. It’s clearly visible from my side. I wonder what it means. How many others are here that I need an identification number?
It doesn’t matter. I can’t move. I can’t stay awake either. And my sleep pattern isn’t natural.
A few brief moments of wakefulness is all I get when someone goes to get a refill for the IV, and it’s barely started to wear off. I try thrashing and struggling to rip it out, but I’m too weak.
That isn’t the only thing that’s strange. For some reason, I just can’t seem to figure out where my caretakers come from. This room has no doors. I must be hallucinating.
I should start using the short moments I’m awake to see if anything in the room has changed.
Occasionally, something does happen. My IV stand shifts positions, one of the few clues that I’m still alive and that time continues on.
I try not to spend too much of my precious wakeful minutes thinking about what’s happening to me. Speculation isn’t progress.
Besides, if a year went by, I’d have no way of knowing, and thinking about it just wastes more time. Then again, this is for the best. If it goes by quickly, it’ll end soon.
My IV stand isn’t the only thing that changes. The easiest one to notice is me. Every time I wake I’ve shifted positions, telling me that it’s been long enough since the last IV refill that I’ve been bathed or moved for some reason. They must bathe me, I seem clean enough, unless of course it’s closer to an hour between each refill. There’s no way of telling. If that isn’t the case, why are they moving me? I don’t want to imagine.
Time goes on with or without me, and I’m starting to gain a sense of consciousness in my dreams. They happen often enough that I know when I’m dreaming. My brain can’t function to the same capacity, but I can manage simple thoughts or rather, simple emotions. It served to remind me how trapped I am, starved for any kind of interaction, any type of change.
A thought occurred to me. What if they have no intention of killing me? What if they have no intention of letting me wake up either? What if they want to keep me in this state? That thought settled it. I don’t know how long a lifespan would be if I experienced it like this. Falling asleep was becoming less of a pause in time, and more of a confinement maintained by my mind. The time between each small wake was getting longer and longer. I have to do something, anything before that time is so long that it never comes.
But I’m trapped, restrained, sedated. What can I do? If I’m lucky, whatever blurred face is responsible for me will leave something to look at. I need something, anything to change. Any new feeling, anything that’s different. Even if it’s only the IV stand moving, It’s what I look forward to every day.
Then it hit me. The IV.
I might be able to calculate the time. How long does it take for an IV bag to empty? It’s a small drop, and it takes less than one second. How many drops worth is a bag? A hundred? Two hundred? I’m sure the IV bag read “1000ml.” That’s a lot, isn’t it? Don’t Blood bags come in 500ml? That’s slightly more than a pint. They should be a large size as far as IV bags go because it’s to replenish something that is heavily lost in surgery.
If I’m right, they’re using a huge bag, so they don’t have to change it often, and considering the proficiency of this place, I don’t think it’s because they’re feeling lazy. They must want to make my conscious moments as few as possible. Then again, why would they let me be awake for a second? Surely they could sedate me with something heavy enough where it doesn’t need to be constant for two minutes while they replace a bag.
Either I’m resistant to major sedatives, or they’re using something lighter on purpose. It must be some sort of preservation procedure. Will heavy drugs damage my body?
But that doesn’t explain why they aren’t using some other device that doesn’t require them to replace any bags. Maybe they need me to wake up once in a while to make sure I’m alive.
If I could figure out the milliliter drip per minute, I could calculate how much time passes between each of my wakes. But even if I count the number of drops per a rough minute, there’s no way I would know how many drops are in a milliliter. The needle is tiny enough to pierce my skin so I’d wager it’d take longer than a second for a millimeter’s worth to pass through. It’s impossible to get an accurate measurement. I might as well start counting time in bags.
Why? All I want is to know how much time is passing. They couldn’t be so merciful as to put a clock, or a calendar is my room? How could they do this to a person? It’s despicable. It’s inhuman.
I wonder if they refer to themselves as human.