The previous episode of William’s story can be found here: I see…
To start at the beginning go here: Hello
William’s eyes still smarted from the bright flashes of light and he was almost too scared to open them, although he had felt some kind of change in where he was lying. Half of him wanted to know what had happened, or what had been caused by the bright flashes and half of him wanted to lie there and know no more of his situation. He was sure the darkness had gone but had been replaced by a bright unnatural light. After the flashes even the feel of the cot under him felt different. The air felt lighter and the musty smell that had pervaded the air had gone. The air actually felt sterile now. The pillow on which his head rested was softer he was sure of that and his headache had lessened from a ten-plus to a one or two.
Finally he decided that whatever his situation, however it had changed, it was probably better to face it. He counted down in his mind. ‘Three, two, one,’ and then opened his eyes without further thought.
“Again?” he said to the empty space. “Where am I now?”
His situation had well and truly changed. He was no longer on some shapeless cot suspended in mid-air. Now he was in what looked like a hospital ward, a private hospital ward. He guessed that the bright flashes had been the turning on and off of the sterile fluorescent lights which ran the length and breadth of the room. He checked out his new surroundings by moving his head gently from side to side. He didn’t want to start up the nauseating headache he had had in the other place.
The room was brightly lit with stainless steel surfaces throughout. There were no windows although with the piercing lighting there was no need for any other light source. In his right arm he noted something that looked like a hypodermic pen and wondered how that had got there. He tried to lift his arm to get a better look when he realised that both his arms were restrained, although not by any visible means.
He was suddenly overwhelmed by a thought that perhaps he was paralysed, and that either fall from that impossible cot, or the needle in his arm were the cause of the paralysis. He lifted his head a little more, at least he could do that, and looked at his legs and feet. To check out how bad this paralysis was he wiggled his toes and was relieved to see that they all moved perfectly. Next he tried the same with his fingers and again was relieved to see everything appeared to be in working order.
“Lie still,” a mechanical voice echoed out.
“Where am I?” William asked in the strongest voice he could muster.
“It is not the where that is important but the why and how you are that is important,” the voice replied. “You’re a bright one, you should know that.”
William was grateful that at last one of the voices responded. “Is this a dream. Did I fall asleep under the old oak?” he asked.
“Full of questions, young sir. Do you think it is a dream. Have you pinched yourself?”
“I would if I could,” William replied. “But I can’t. Anyway it doesn’t feel like a dream, or even a nightmare. It’s all too real.”
“Reality is of your making,” the voice enigmatically suggested.
“Enough of the philosophy,” William wanted answers. “Can’t you tell me where I am, why and how?”
“No.” the voice replied succinctly. “Lie still and wait.”
“But what for? what have I to wait for?” William asked of the voice, but it was clear the conversation had been terminated. The silence confirmed that. He laid his head back down and decided that at least he was comfortable for the time being so wait is just wait he would do.
The next episode of William’s story is here: NEW