A short story by Richard Bleil
Ugh, what time is it? God, I’m so tired, have I ever been this tired? What am I hearing? Did I leave the television on? Sounds like a sermon. Must be some televised service. Somebody is moved. Sounds like someone is crying. Must be a good sermon.
I am so sore. What did I do yesterday? I can’t really remember, but I’m so stiff. Did I exercise? Every muscle is sore. Okay, just, just take it slow, I can do this. Just open your eyes…come on, just…there…I…I can’t focus. Focus…just focus…there, that’s better. Wait, where am I? This doesn’t look like my room. What happened last night? Am I in the hospital? That…that doesn’t look like a hospital ceiling…it’s too…it’s too high.
And why is it so cold? Damn, it’s cold. Am I in the arctic? Somebody turn up the heat.
Okay, just, just lift a hand. If I start moving, I’ll be able to get up. I’m so stiff…just, just raise a hand. There, good, a little further now. What’s happening on the television? Sounds like people are gasping. Better focus, preacher, you’re losing your audience.
God, these sheets are so soft. Are they satin? What kind of hospital uses satin sheets? Maybe I was in a car accident. That would explain why I’m so sore. Okay, if I put my hand down on the bed I can probably prop myself enough to sit up. I’ll…wait, what? My bed has a…raised ledge? Feels like wood. What’s going on here. Yeah, I see it, very polished, reddish wood. But what’s on the other side? Is that a lid? Looks like a…a half lid. The…the other half is covering my legs and waist. What the hell? Is this a coffin??? To hell with this, I’m sitting up.
Aaaahhhh, stop the screaming already…who would be screaming this early in the morning? I…wait…why are all of these people in my room. No, no, not my room…they sure are panicked though. I…wait…I think I know some of them. Umm…most of them. Oh, there’s my mom.
Why can’t I speak? My jaw is sore, I can barely open my mouth, and I can’t quite form words. Mom? Oh, she’s, okay, she’s hugging me. That’s nice. I can put my arms around her…she is so very warm…I like that…is she wearing a new perfume? She smells so good! Why is there hot liquid squirting on my face? Why is she screaming? Wait, no…somebody is…who’s pulling her away? What’s going on here? Okay, I’m getting up.
What the hell? I’m halfway out of this thing and it feels like the lid just slammed shut. It’s heavy. I can…I can reach back and just push it open…damn, won’t budge. What’s going on here? Wait, on my right side…is somebody holding it down? Is that what’s happening here? Stop that! Damn, still can’t get my words out. Maybe, maybe I can reach…yeah, he’s, he’s almost in reach…maybe I can pull him away so I can…oh, here, wait, got his arm…he’s still holding…I can’t…okay, fine. Let’s see how you like it if I bite you. There, that got his attention. That’s it, run away screaming you little wimp. At least now I can get out.
Wow, this place is a mess. So many folding chairs, but they’re all, well, looks like they might have been lined up once but not now. Where is everybody? What is this place? Is this a basketball court? Oh, this is my…the is the gym here in the town school. Were they set up for graduation or something? Oh, there’s the coffin. What kind of sick joke to put me in a coffin? Nice picture of me by the podium, though.
God, I’m not going to be able to move fast today. So sore. Hard to even lift my feet. I’ll head to the doors. Slow and easy does it, one step at a time. I can do this. Why won’t these doors open? Just push, right? They’re not…maybe if I put my body weight into it I can, oh, wait, I think my body pushed the bar. How silly of me, I forgot to push the bar. That’s okay, it’s open now.
What’s going on out here? Why is everybody screaming? And why are so many people pointing their phones at me? God, so stupid. I probably have bad hair or something. What, you think this is funny. Don’t lean into me. Why is she turning her back and leaning, oh, damnit. Is she taking a selfie with me? Well, fine then. I’ll just put my arms around. There, take it now. Ooh, what did I just bite into? This is delicious! There’s that screaming again. What the hell? Fine, pull her away. I don’t…
Damn. What just hit me? Did somebody hit me? I heard a loud bang and it felt like somebody hit me in the chest! I mean, it’s fine I guess, it didn’t hurt but how rude. There it is again! A loud bang and I felt somebody hit me in the shoulder. Strange. Nobody there, though. What keeps hitting me?
Oh, good sirens. Somebody must have called the cops. I don’t know what’s going on here, but there must be a lot of people afraid of the police because they’re all running away now. Well, except for mom. What is she doing? Is she biting people? Oh, and that ass that was holding the coffin lid.
Whoa, that gun has a laser on it. Hey, watch it, bub. You hit my eye with that laser. You’re not supposed to point one of those lasers so close to the eye or you can do permanent dama