See Jack Die

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Chapter 42

AMC Theater, Earth plane.

8:19 pm . . .

Climbing back into my body is like climbing into a freezer and covering yourself with semi-cubed ice. Like swimming from the icy waters of the North Atlantic and into the center of a glacier. It’s so cold I can’t take full breaths. So chilling that my back aches from the pain of constantly shivering. Intense, pulsating pain.

I don’t know if Ricky had to zap me again, but I assume from the stinging on my chest and stomach that he did. That means he probably had to kill me with the hydrogen sulfide, again. We’re way past experimental, now.

My throat is dry, and with each difficult inhale and exhale of my lungs this gritty stinging sensation cuts at the inside of my windpipe as if I’m being forced to aspirate shards of glass and sandpaper. This really, really sucks.

I need to stop dying so often. This death-twice-a-day thing, it’s killing me. Everything around me is dark and blurred, and I feel two distinct sensations. There’s a sharp, jabbing pain in my left wrist, where Ricky—or some thin image that I assume to be him—is kneading a bag full of saline water, forcing the liquid into my body.

On my right side, I feel two hands carefully massaging my right hand and wrist. The good on one side . . . the bad on the other. And they are both kind of canceling each other out. Everything in my life right now seems to be a combination of ups and downs, light and dark, good and evil.

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget dead and alive.

And I’m not really sure, at this moment, which one of the two is worse.

I start to lift my head, but the pain is so intense that I feel crippled. Paralyzed, almost. And then, like the warm blanket somebody is placing across my chest . . . the darkness begins to take me in, choking away my consciousness.

The last thing I hear is Ricky saying, “. . . it’s better if you just pass out, Jack. This movie sucks anyway. And I have to take your core temperature one more time.”

Lights out, before I get violated, again.

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