You could almost cut the tension in the room with a butter knife. The last hour and a half had been the most intense, soul-crushing, mind-numbing one of my life. Once I had arrived, I had found myself surrounded by nurses and more than a few doctors. The doctors and nurses wasted no time in rushing me back to the exam rooms. And they wasted no time in drawing blood, X-Ray's were ordered and they finally poked an IV tube in my arm. And they started me on drips. I don't really know, once the IV was put in, everything became quite sluggish.

I just know I was along, save for that damn shadow that was still hanging around the corner of the ward. Every few seconds it would peer toward me, hiss at me, menace me and just generally peer at me. I wanted to close my eyes and maybe snatch some forty winks, but that damn, bloody shadow always seemed to move a half inch closer every time I closed my eyes. And I was quite afraid of what the thing would do once it reached me.

Finally, I could take it no longer, being along, with only that shadow to keep me company and the smell of blood, roasted flesh, and screams and coming over from the other wards, we'll all those started to wither down the last few remaining ounces of my sanity. It seemed there was a huge, three car pile-up out on the highway. And as a result, the tiny rural clinic had been flooded with a rush of new bodies. Some of those had been reported D.O.R, I don't know the details, but what I could gather from the whispered, hurried snippets of conversation the nurses, doctors and other medical staff exchanged as the hurried by the thin curtain that separated me from that gore fest outside.

Finally, after an hour and a quarter the doctor returned and taking a deep breath he looked down at me and in a tired, defeated tone of voice said.

"So, Jamie, I got some news for you. For one, we've found out what wrong with you. Your appendix are inflamed and we'll where be going to remove them. Now, I've called your folks, there on there way. As you can guess, there was a pretty big pileup on the highway. And traffic was blocked for miles coming and going. Normally, I'll say let's wait till they're here. But, right now we can't wait. So, I'm going to go ahead and send you to Jackson, I've called ahead and MMC is getting ready for you."

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes and slowly started to nod my head. So say I was scared was an understatement. I was scared out of my mind, but the doctor seemed sure of himself. Using the last remains of strength I reached up and made the sign of the cross over myself. As I crossed myself, I whispered a prayer under my breath. The doctor blinked and tilted his head to the side.

"By chance, are you Catholic?" He asked once I had finished crossing myself.

"Episcopal.." I said closing my eyes.

"Okay, I guess I could call Rev. Brown over here.." He said shrugging his shoulders. Just then the door to my room was pushed open and in the doorway stood Jack and Marie, the two from before. They quickly moved passed the doctor moved to my side. Once they where by my side they hoisted me up and placed me back down on the rolling stretcher.

Once I was laying down, they strapped me down and lifted me up and rolled me out of the door and into the hallway. The hallway was filled with the smell of blood, vomit, and body fluids. The smells played havoc with my mind and caused me to groan louder and caused the vile at the back of my throat to grow more intense with each passing second.

"Wait!" A sudden voice called out. The voice belonged to a boy, a boy who seemed quite out of breath. "PLEASE WAIT! I NEED TO SEE HER. PLEASE HOLD ON A MINUTE."

Everybody paused and from down the hallway came Ben, he was rushing toward us. His face was redder than an apple and his chest was rising and falling with each step he took. Sweat was dripping off his forehead and down his nose. His shirt was out, and unbutton all the way down.

"Ben.," I said blinking as I peered toward him. "Ben.," I said reaching out to take hold of his hand.

"Jamie!" He said rushing to my side as he reached over and took me by the hand and leaned over and kissed me on the mouth. I blinked and allowed the waves of pleasure to wash over me as I felt his tongue entering into my mouth. I felt a sudden spark of excitement flood my body as are two tongues connected.

"Jamie, please don't die, please you can't die." He said as he broke the kiss and peered down at me, he reached up and started to stroke my hair. The nurses and doctors paused and peered toward us, somewhere blushing, others where gushing. Finally, a man in a blue uniform walked over and tapped Ben on the shoulder. He nodded his head and released my hand and broke away.

"Jamie, I love you. Please, please don't you die on me.."

"Ben…" I said reached up to stroke his chin. And then fitting enough, snow started to fall. As the first few flakes of snow fell down on me, I felt a small sense of peace growing at the back of my mind. Maybe it was the drugs, or maybe it was God, I don't know. I just smiled as they loaded me up in the back and closed the doors. Just as the doors where closing, mom, dad, and Lily finally showed up. After a few minutes of debating among themselves, mom decided to ride with me to the place of doom and gloom. Dad decided to stay with Lily who was looking white as a ghost. Once I was loaded up, I offered them a little wave through the back viewing window and we pulled away.

As we pulled away, I watched them huddle around each other. I closed my eyes, I intended to get some sleep at last, but I felt something touch my arm. My eyes shot open and there standing at the foot of the stretcher was the shadow. The shadow was larger now and slowly it leaned over me and in a harsh tone of voice, it whispered to me.

"They're going to kill you." It said in a cackling tone of voice. "They're going to cut you up, that all it takes," The shadow grinned as it reached down and started to trace my belly with its long fingernails. "One slip of the knife, or one thrust." He pushed his fingers down into my belly, a sharp pain flooded through my body and caused me to groan and shutter and cough as I rolled over. Much to the alarm of Mari.

"And you'll be gone, and then you will join me in HELL!" The shadow cackled as it started to fade away. Salty tears started to run down my cheeks as I watched the shadow vanish into the darkness. "You go to hell!" I yelled. Mari at this point was reaching into her medical kit. She pulled out something, a shot of some kind. She then gently placed the needle into my arm and pressed down on the pump. I don't remember what happened then. Only I felt my eyes becoming heavy and soon I fell into a dreamless sleep.