The Blackout

He held me close, his arms wrapped around me protectively, caging me from the bloodcurdling screams and shrieks of pain and agony. We were huddled close in one corner, almost unbreathing. The lights flickered dangerously overhead. The chaos was muffled as I covered my ears and shut my eyes. Sharp icicles darted into my spine and sent me shiverring with raw anguish. The next second, there came a loud explosion and my eyes snapped open in time for a bright flash of blinding light erupting into the hallway. I found myself being pulled up and away from the corner. My feet carried me faster than it had ever done before. His hand was gripping mine tightly as we dashed swiftly across the hall, neither of us speaking. His eyes were struck with fear and panic but he kept his mouth shut. So I did the same, trying my best to collect myself after the horrendous scenes I had just witnessed shattered me into pieces. My mind was muddled with incoherent thoughts, leaving me unable to make even the slightest bit of sound. Then I tripped on something quite large. I felt it with my hands blindly, a cold pool of liquid drawing recognition to my senses. I was yanked away from it before I even made out what it was. The lights blinked and I saw red. They flickered once again and I caught sight of a burly man sprawled on the floor, one eye missing from its socket and guts strewn across the white-tiled floor. I glanced at my hands through the darkness and smelled a strong scent of blood. Yet I felt nothing. I was mindless as I ran along with him, the lights blinking above us.

We ran at a quick but steady pace, our rapid steps echoing through the abyss of despair. A loud noise blasted somewhere behind us as another burst of light filtered into the hallway. Neither of us looked behind as we took a right turn. Cold sweat trickled down my forehead as I felt my hand constrict. The blood had dried up and wrapped itself around my fingers like vines of a poisonous plant. I let my hand hang limply on my side as the other was still enveloped in his hand. Yes, I felt secure this way. Another flash of light and I felt myself thrown, losing grip of his hand. My back hit a wall as a sickening feeling hit my chest. I struggled to get up, coughing as I did so. But it wasn't a normal cough. I felt hot liquid gush from my mouth as another cough hacked its way up my throat. I was coughing up blood. I looked up, my head spinning dizzily, as I tried to make out what was happening. Every flicker of light played a sequence of meaningless pictures in front of me. But he was fighting something. I could not get a clear picture of what it was exactly he was battling but I knew he had won for another burst of light and he was helping me up. We ran again, my brain clustered. I shiverred violently as I looked straight ahead, my vision slightly blurring. I felt myself slowly slipping away as a cold sensation took over me. My knees finally gave out under me and I fell helplessly on the floor. He stopped, slinging me onto his shoulder. This time he did not resume into a run. He walked calmly into another corner and set me down. He sat beside me and craddled me into his chest. I felt his erratic heartbeat and I looked up to see a sad smile on his face. I wanted to ask him why we were sitting down in a corner at a time like this. I stared into his eyes, searching for the answer. As the lights blinked again, I saw a tear drop run along his cheek. My mouth was dry and I could not speak. He did not say a single word and instead, pulled me into a tight embrace. I blinked my eyes yet not a single tear found its way out. I felt blank. We stayed that way for a few seconds, the silence a blanket over us. As I opened my mouth to finally speak, cold air rushed to me.

And he was gone.

The lights stopped flickering and stayed alight. Cracks and blood stains on the walls began to dissipate. People started rushing in and out of the hallways, wearing their lab coats and scrub suits. A woman dressed in white sighed as she looked down at me. I was cowering in the corner, eyes full of fear.

"C'mon, Kelly, time to go back," she said in a sweet tone, her voice filled with comfort. She took my hand in hers and led me into a room with a single bed on it. I sat down and pulled my knees up to my chest. Where was he?

Then I felt a slight stinging sensation on my arm... And I closed my eyes and drifted to sleep...