Joie de vivre

Light, ceiling, light, ceiling, light, ceiling, light…

The lights of the hospital appeared and disappeared above me as I was wheeled along the corridor on the stretcher. Blinded by the overhead lithium lighting, I couldn’t see shit. My retinas felt scorched, although it was just the effect of being exposed to extremely bright light from having been outside in the dark. As if this place couldn’t get any worse.

There was pain.

Someone called for medics, and a needle jabbed into my arm. They wanted my bloodtype.

How the fuck should I know?

I had lost my tags during the war. It didn’t matter, anyhow. I was turned back then. Human transfusion wouldn’t save me. These mortals didn’t really have the mechanisms in place to cope with the pains and ailments of us preternaturals. At least, not the last time – back when mademoiselle Florence was doing the night rounds.

I growled and flashed my teeth at them.

Besides, I was still alive. Valerie had made sure of that.  She wanted me to feel every single ounce of pain she induced. I could sense her watching, waiting, lingering above me, as I lay there, blood oozing out of me in a hospital bed.

Valerie herself was a petite woman,  almost delicate in form, but extremely astute and powerful in action. In spite of her smile, there was no joie de vivre about her. Of course, that’s not particularly surprising since Valerie is a vampire. Joie de vivre would be quite a paradoxical achievement for one of them.

I closed my eyes and heard them rushing about frantically. Amid all the clicking, clanging and banging, there was talk of surgery.

I opened one bleary eye to look around, and before I knew it, they had a mask on my face, pumping anaesthetic into me. I was told to count backwards from five.

Five.

I fucking hate hospitals.

Four.

I hate vampires too.

Three.

I hate vampires and hospitals.

Not sure which I hate more.

Two.

FUCKING VAMPIRES.

One.

Shit.

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I hear…

I hear the tip-tapping of the keyboard. In the distance, a plane engine growls.

I hear the jingle-jangle of dog tags as I shift my weight.

I hear the music of your laughter.

I hear the pen scratching on paper, as you elegantly move through time and space in an alternate universe. You’re a writer, so you’re here but not here, drifting into a different world crafted by each swish of your pen.

I hear the low buzz of the computer as it waits on you.

I hear the crinkling of paper. I see the ball of white crumpled beside you before it moves through the air and hits me squarely on the nose.

“It’s not right,” you say with a  frustrated growl.

I hear you shuffle towards the desk, hands searching for more paper, more fuel to appease the fire of your fury and unravel your fantasy.

I hear you settle back into your seat on the bed, paper rustling in hand, while I dangle upside down on the edge.

I hear silence followed swiftly by a giggle – you’re looking over and wondering out loud what the fuck I am doing in this absurd position.

Before I can move or react, a kiss lands roughly on my neck.

I hear my heart skip a beat.