The breeze. Its touch on my skin is warm, the scent sweet and rich with pine and lavender.
The songs of robins, sparrows and blue jays fill my ears as they flutter from tree limb to tree limb.
I feel strange though. As if the world has shifted, unnaturally. There is nothing solid under my feet, but the smell of dirt is so close to my face.
If I really concentrate, I’d swear the earth’s under my back.
My nostrils detect another smell. One that’s metallic–like rusted iron. I’m trying to move my head but it will not budge. My body has become one solid leadening object that refuses my mental orders.
What is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?
The lids of my eyes are heavy as they slowly slide down. Soon, all I see is the blackness which is being accompanied by an iciness that goes straight to the bones.
The chirpings of the birds are fading. I feel a pull in that I want to fly away with them.
Oh please, don’t leave me!
Instead, my head feels like it’s sinking while spinning around and around like some child’s toy top. Like a slithering blanket, a deep chill spreads through my legs, and soon it’s creeping for my hips.
Flashes of images filter through my mind. Of faces and places, I can no longer name.
Just as the icy tendrils slid towards the sternum area, a loud snap rang through my head as my eyes sprang open.
A moaning wheeze escapes my mouth and it is at this moment I finally realize what is truly going on…
Confusion fills my mind.
What happened to me? How did I get here?
Only to be answered with images of shining metal objects as I heard my skin ripping like a zipper followed by fire.
Through the billowing fog, I quickly become aware of the burning pain in my gut as my mouth fills with the thick salty liquid.
“I see you’re still hanging on,” a man’s voice whispers near my left ear.
Choking on my own blood, I’m trying to find this man. He has to be standing right beside me, but my eyes no longer see anything. It is as if I’m in a tiny room and someone has turned off the lights.
Something hits the ground disturbing the dirt just enough that I felt the movement under my left leg. Then I catch a whiff of him.
“No one will be looking for you,” I hear him say, “they all think you’ve gone on your retreat in the mountains!”
He guffawed as sounds of metal and wooden objects clinking together echoing over me, and another rumbling thud to the ground.
“Your boyfriend won’t miss you either!” I can hear the creaking of rubber soles, “he’s fishing with his Army buddies the next state over.” He lets out a sigh that tells me just how sick this man really is, “Yeah, it’s just you and I — soon to be just me. Ha!”
Suddenly, an awful stench washes over my face as I feel him pressing against my shoulder.
“You know the longer you hold on, the more painful it’ll be,” he pauses for a second, “but, I hope you do ‘cause I have special plans just for you!”
*End of Part One*