It’ll be dark soon.
There isn’t so much activity after the night shift comes on, an occasional nurse will pop in to make sure all the gizmos are working, jot something on my chart and leave. They never make any attempt to talk to me, I’m just another regular chore before they sign off in the morning. Some of them aren’t even sure what’s going on inside my head, most believe I‘m dead already to all intents and purposes.
He might not be on duty tonight, please God…
I’m not sure how I came to be here to be honest, at first when the darkness began to lift I didn’t know who or what I was, just that I was, if you get my meaning. I get flashes, pictures that come into my head without warning, pieces of conversations that sometimes hardly make any sense at all. Remembering comes slowly, faces: names: places: all start to align themselves into some kind of order, but I don’t understand yet why I am here, why I can’t move or speak, I don’t understand why they seem to think I can’t see or hear them… these strangers, who appear to be looking after me.
I drop off and dream I‘m walking down a tow path, the sun warm on my face, a herby antiseptic fragrance of Meadow Sweet lolling untidily among Ragged Robin growing up out of the reed beds fill me with a sense of well being; sounds of splashing from a family of water fowl delights me almost as much as the realisation that I am moving freely without thought or effort. Swiftly the scene changes and anguish replaces the contentment as the dream fades to be replaced by the horror of raw reality. I see his dark outline moving in closer feel his hot rancid breath on my cheek, his fingers poking and prodding, I lie here unable to move or make a sound but inside I’m screaming.
“ Get your putrid hands off me you fucking pervert!!”
I will myself to move, to try and push him away but the vessel I’m trapped in remains unresponsive to my brains commands, I look inwards, try to remember my special place, forget the violation that is happening to my all but dead body.
Unexpectedly I am no longer trapped inside that useless carcass. I find myself floating above ‘it’ and my tormentor.
I watch as my poor broken form is abused, listening to his disgusting animal noises .
Rage rises in me like a great tsunami. I want to heave him away and throw him as far from me as I can. No sooner than the thought is formed than his filthy bulk flies across the room and he lands with a great thud against the cabinet where the medical supplies are kept. His head smashes through the glass and there is a loud shattering of instruments and Petri dishes flying in all directions.
Abruptly the door flies open and a small pleasant faced woman stands looking at the scene before her. One look at me, one look at him and she knows.
She shouts down the corridor for assistance and they come running, the clatter of hurrying feet on the marble tiles, a collective gasp followed by outraged voices.
Gentle hands reach for me, sweet crooning voices try to soothe my unresponsive form, yet inside I smile with joy and am wondrous at the thing that has just occurred.
Rough hands reach for him, scathing voices spit vitriol at him as he is dragged forcefully and unceremoniously from my room.
No attempt is made to clean me up, I hear them whispering among themselves, the police are mentioned, I hear the words:
Forensic evidence must not be destroyed.
Time passes and once more I feel like a thing of curiosity, people popping in and out to take a look at this poor creature. Snatches of indignant conversation caught from time to time. Always the same horrified tones…
"That such an atrocity could take place here! Right under our noses. Unbelievable!"
Eventually two sombre faced young women arrive with brief cases and a pile of equipment, they walk slowly around my bed their eyes missing nothing. At last they begin their task in almost silence, just a monosyllabic observation here and there.
The older of the two women turns back the sheet and starts to gently work her way down my body taking note of any bruising as she goes, then she gently but firmly pulls my legs apart, takes out some cotton buds from her case and a plastic vial.
This is when I decide to take my leave and go in search of my special place.
My heart is sick, my soul weary of all this humiliation.
Once more to my delight I find myself hovering over my body and the women who are labouring so silently yet diligently around it.
Gradually I realise I don’t want to return to that useless cadaver, its purpose long since redundant.
I can float, free from pain, It rapidly and blissfully occurs to me that for the first time in an age I am happy…
Why… I bet I can go anywhere I choose…
Yes, I’ll follow that star.