Chapter 1 - Flatline:

Cold. I decided that death was cold. It started with my toes going numb, then my fingers, then my feet and hands and my legs and my arms. As the numbness moved closer to my face, my toes and fingers went cold, as though they were something I held rather than a part of myself. My mind told me to move, sit up and shake away the feeling, but I was too tired. My mind was feeling it too, my eyes wanted to close so I let them, my ears wanted to pop so they did; then my mouth opened. The numbing cold was past my chest now, and my head fell backwards into the hospital bed, lower than I thought it could go, and then I breathed. It was feeble yet warm, and as it left me, as did life.

I heard faintly through my popped ears the bustle of doctors and nurses. They moved around frantically and one was dabbing my arm. It felt so far away, even as the needle stabbed and what felt like acid coursed through my veins. Wherever it went clenched tightly in pain, and my arm spasmed on its own to knock the needle away. The pain was null and faded when even sharper pain shocked my chest. A defibrillator was lifted off me, but the pain was already distant; they had no chance of saving me now. Another needle went into my arm but I was too far gone for it to work.

The machine next to me beeped in a low noise, I guess that's why they call it a flatline. Then I realised I still felt conscious, but couldn't open my eyes or close my mouth. My brain was only just thinking now, so I needed to think more. I grasped mentally at stupid nonsense you take for granted. 2+2... I focused my thoughts, 4. Good start. Air. Breathing. What makes air? O- oh- ox- oxygen. Yes, oxygen. Then I breathed.

The noise was gone, and no doctors were close by except one in front of me attending to the booth opposite me. My breathing was surprisingly calm, but I was surprised that I found this surprising. It felt natural and far too easy since I'd just died. So how was I alive?

"Excuse me?" I asked, and the nurse turned around looking as though she might have a heart attack.

"How are you?" She asked, astounded, "But you were? And now you're? How?"

"I don't know," I admitted, "But hasn't this happened before? You know, people coming back to life?"

"Not really," she responded, eyes still wide, "About thirty times in the last fourty years, and usually the victim overdosed or had an age-related illness. All of them could have been misdiagnoses."

"But I died," I realised, "Didn't I? It's what everyone thinks, and it's true," I started to carefully unhook myself from the machines and when I reached the IV drip, I turned to the nurse, "Could you help me please?"

"But there are tests that need to be run," she answered, eyes still unmoving and jaw dropped.

I sighed and checked the time, "13:48, okay? You just tell your superiors that I woke up at 13:47 and checked myself out of the hospital; okay?"

She slowly nodded, then hurried towards me and detached me from it. I thanked her, picked up my coat and hurried through the corridors. I remembered something that had happened to me while I was dead, and I had a feeling it wasn't good. I walked straight out of the hospital and fumbled with my phone for the right number.

"Chris?" I asked into it, hugging myself to ward off the biting cold, "Hey, Chris. I'm outside a hospital," I took a step to read the sign, "Saint Joseph's Infirmary. Can you come and pick me up? Thanks so much, see you soon, bye!"

I ended the call and waited. My memory was coming back slowly, but nothing definitive yet. Hopefully Chris could help me, because I was much calmer than I should have been and even as my mind was breaking down, the rest of my brain was taking over. Soon I'll be panicking about this, I thought to myself, but right now, I'm waiting.