I fell back asleep and woke to the sun streaming into my room. I assumed it was only a couple hours later. Drew sat in a chair near the bedside and gave me a small smile when I looked his way.
“How are you feeling?” He asked me, pulling the chair across the floor and closer to the bed.
“I’m pretty goo-” I started to tell him I was fine as a sudden pain shot across my body. It began in my stomach and shot out in various directions like a spider stretching its legs. My body jolted and I felt myself twitch back and forth. I couldn’t communicate the pain I was feeling. It felt like a bomb had been placed inside of my body and just detonated. Or at least, it felt how I imagined a bomb might feel like going off inside my body. I wanted to scream but it hurt just to open my mouth.
“Talk to me!” Drew was screaming. I wanted to tell him that I couldn’t; that it was too painful. “Give me some sort of sign!”
From the corner of my eye, I saw Timothy rush into the room and I wondered if he’d been in the place the whole time. He saw me and his eyes went wide. Rushing over, he threw himself on top of me and tried to restrain my body.
“Andrew!” He yelled from his place. “Get in here. I need your help again.”
My mind clung to his final word. Again. I realized that he must be indicating that this had happened before. I couldn’t remember ever feeling this much pain before. I tried to convince myself that Timothy must have been wrong, but I was finding it hard to trust myself on anything anymore.
Andrew came dashing into the room, throwing the door off its hinges as he came. Timothy gestured toward my other side and Andrew grabbed a hold of my body. Using his own as leverage, he pushed me flat to the bed and then looked at me. Suddenly, his face went white and his eyes darted over to Andrew.
“She’s awake this time?” He asked. I could hear the panic in his voice.
“That’s not important right now.” Timothy replied and projected his voice in the direction of the door. “Freddie bring the straps in!”
“Ten steps ahead of you as always.” Freddie joked as he glided into the room. Stopping two feet from the bed, I saw his mouth drop momentarily. Within seconds, he was back in action and the three boys strapped me flat onto the bed.
I was thankful for the straps even though they confused me. Because I was forced to lie flat, some of the pain was gone. My body wasn’t lifting up and slamming me back down forcefully any longer. The burning pain within the confines of my body was still intense and severe but I tried to focus on the conversation that the three guys were having instead.
“It’s worse.” Freddie commented; the first one to say anything after they had strapped me down.
“She’s awake.” Andrew said again.
“I can see that.” Timothy replied harshly to both of them.
“What do we do?” Freddie asked no one in particular.
“Nothing.” Drew said quietly from his chair. I couldn’t understand why he hadn’t helped them.
“You expect us to do nothing?” Andrew demanded.
“Doing nothing isn’t going to help her!” Timothy said forcefully and turned to face Drew.
“It’s what we should’ve been doing from the beginning and it’s what we’re going to do from now on.” Drew’s voice was calm and steady, but determined. Andrew, Freddie, and Timothy looked like they wanted to protest, but hung their heads in defeat instead. “We do nothing.”
“Is everything okay?’ Sandra asked from the doorway. “Katie asked and I told her it was fine, but she won’t believe me unless I check.”
“Everything’s going to be fine. I promise.” Drew said glancing at each one of them.
“Okay.” Sandra replied.
“After this attack is over, you each spend a little time with her and then we close this door.” Drew said pointing at the bedroom door which connected the room to the rest of the building. “And we don’t open it. We leave it closed, understood? If it’s easier for you, you can leave, but this door does not open again until it’s over. Sandra, tell the rest of them too. I’ll come out and talk to Katie in about five minutes.”
Andrew, Freddie, and Sandra nodded. From my place, I could see Timothy’s jaw clenching and I thought he might say something; instead, he bit his tongue and left, slamming the door behind him. When the door was closed, Drew sighed and glanced over in my direction. I didn’t understand what had just happened. I had figured out that something was going on with me that they wouldn’t tell me, but I didn’t know what it was or what would make it end.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.