Jackson woke up feeling extremely disoriented. Where was he? Where had he been? He couldn’t remember, exactly, just that it was somewhere horrible. His body felt stiff, and his vision was blurry. Someone was talking, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying. It sounded like it was coming through water.
“What’s going on?” he tried to ask.
He wasn’t sure the words came out as anything more than a whisper. He tried to get up, but his limbs felt like lead weights. Even his head was too heavy to move.
One of the dark blurs came closer. At least he assumed it came closer; it got bigger. It was difficult to think, but he was pretty sure bigger meant closer. Whatever the case, the blur’s incomprehensible sound became louder. Jackson felt a prick in his arm, followed by the sensation of fluid flowing in his veins. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he shouldn’t have been able to feel that. He didn’t have much time to worry about it. In moments, the world vanished.
Jackson woke up feeling less disoriented and more confused. He was strapped to a table in what looked like a hospital room.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
This time, the words came out clear and audible. A face appeared over him. It was a middle aged man wearing scrubs and a doctor’s mask. Jackson couldn’t see much of his face, but what he could see wasn’t familiar.
“It’s good to see you awake, Mr. Jackson,” the man said.
“Who are you?” Jackson asked.
“I’d prefer to keep that to myself,” the man answered. “Can you tell me what your latest memory is?”
Confusion. He remembered being confused. Before that, he remembered riding in an ambulance and hearing the paramedics talking about blood loss and coding.
“You won’t tell me who you are, but you expect me to answer your questions? No. Especially not when you have me tied up. Have I been kidnapped?”
“Pity,” the man said, “It would be useful to have a narrative of the subject’s experience in order to better understand the process.”
“Forget the questions,” said a familiar woman’s voice. “It’s my turn.”
Moments later, the woman’s face came into Jackson’s vision. He was pretty sure he had a catheter in, and it was a good thing. Otherwise, he would have wet his pants.
“Kristen? What is going on? How did I get here?”
“You died, Doug,” she said with a grin. “You died and you were buried. I just brought you back to life.”
“Why?” Jackson asked. “That doesn’t make sense. Why would you want me alive?”
“Alive? No. I don’t want you alive,” she said slowly. “I told you I would kill you, remember? I promised you and I meant it. You went and got yourself killed in a car wreck, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I arranged to have you dug up and paid a fortune for a medical miracle just so I could kill you myself.”
Kristen reached for something out of sight. It turned out to be a large knife. She made a quick jabbing motion, and Jackson felt an incredible pain in his gut.
As his vision was fading, he heard Kristen say, “That was fun, Doctor. Can we do it again?”