“Want to hear a story?” She asked, sliding under the covers.
“I don’t know Katie, I’m pretty tired.” I informed her. My body still felt like it had been put into a blender, frapped, glued back together and then dropped off the top of Mount Everest. The biggest problem was that I felt like no one put me back together after the Everest fall.
“Are you sure?” Katie pleaded. “It’s about one of my three heroes. And it’s a really good story. I promise.”
“Do you pinky promise?” I asked her, clenching my hand but letting the pinky finger stick straight out.
“I haven’t pinky promised in years.” Katie said, sitting up with her knees folded under and immediately wrapping her own finger around mine.
“Well, now you have. Let’s hear your story.” I said as my eyelids drooped.
“Ok. It was a dark and stormy night.” She began and then stopped, cocking her head to the left. “Actually, that’s not true. Let me start over.”
“Go for it.” I said sleepily.
“It was a cloudy, overshadowed day and the troops were all gathering. The hero of the story didn’t know it, but there was a plan and everyone was ready to carry out their duties. Even if it meant dying a horrible death where your bones crush together smashing your organs until your skin stretches so tightly that it rips and splits and your guts some squirting out and making a mess all over –”
I held up my pointer finger and indicated for Katie to be quiet for a moment. My stomach was already queasy and she was making it worse. Jumping up from the bed, I attempted to make my way to the bathroom. As soon as I was standing vertical, my head became fuzzy, my vision blurred and I felt like the room was swaying back and forth in front of me. I could feel that I was about to pass out, but I couldn’t form words to try and get help. I felt a weird since of déjà vu from the battle when I was wounded. Remembering the battle left me feeling panicked which, luckily, prevented me from fainting, but also, unluckily, left me trying to catch my breath.
Holding on to various furniture items as I made my way into the bathroom, I slid down onto the cool tile floor and leaned back against the wall. I didn’t think I was going to vomit anymore but I couldn’t just stand in the room. I probably should have just sat back down on the bed, but my mind wasn’t functioning right at the time. From my place in the bathroom, I heard Drew talking to Katie.
“What happened?” He asked her. Drew sounded worried and stressed. This whole endeavor was really starting to tire him.
“Nothing.” I could barely make Katies voice out through the plastered wall.
“Katie!” Drew snapped at her. “Tell me what happened right now or I’ll…”
“Drew!” I managed to speak up as loud as I could.
The bathroom door was open within two seconds and Drew was on the ground beside me. He put his hand to my forehead and shook his head. “Are you okay? You should be in bed.” He advised me.
“I felt like I was going to be sick.” I explained quietly.
“Do you still feel like that?” He asked me.
“No. But it’s cooler here, if it’s okay, I’m just going to sit here for a few minutes.”
“Okay.” He said standing back up and looking down at me. There was a sadness in his eyes that frightened me. “Just knock on the wall if you need me.”
I nodded and rotated so that I was positioned in a corner between the bathtub and the wall, leaning against both for support. I closed my eyes and heard Drew and Katie talking again.
“Katie,” Drew started the conversation and I could tell that he was trying to be quiet and calm but there was still an edge in his voice. “What happened?”
“I was just talking to her.” Katie said and it sounded like she was on the verge of tears.
“About the battle?” Drew asked her; his voice quivered on the final word.
“No.” Katie told him and I heard feet shuffling on the ground. From what I could gather Katie had left the room in tears. In the distance I could hear a muffled cry. I heard Drew sigh loudly and then curse quietly. I felt like there was something that I wasn’t being told. If I could get Katie to tell me the rest of the story, then maybe I’d be able to figure out what everyone else seemed to know and then maybe I’d know why they were keeping it from me. I knocked on the bathroom wall and waited for Drew to return.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.