Here’s the thing…
Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.
I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.
But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.
Once again there’s a new installment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
I heard the voices, long before I realized where I was or what happened.
Well, that was not exactly true, I knew what had happened, I just couldn’t remember what occurred after that.
And how I came to be where I was, now.
My mother, calm and collected in a crisis, sounded just a little flustered.
“Just what happened, without all the medical double talk, in simple words one can understand.”
My sentiment exactly.
“Another day would have been fatal. As it is, neither of them will be in any fit state for at least a week, perhaps more, it’s hard to say. People can survive without food, but not water, like I said, they were lucky we found them when we did.”
Yes, I remember the cavern, Vince and Alex, being tied up and left for dead. I had told Nadia that rescue would be imminent, once Charlene realized we were missing.
But, how long had that been?
And, was he referring to all three of us, or had Boggs got to safety and raised the alarm. If we were near death, it raised questions I don’t think I wanted answers to.
I felt a warm hand on my arm and opened my eyes. The room was in semi-darkness, perhaps so my eyes would not be shocked by bright light. A nurse, looking down.
“Welcome back, Sam.”
I wanted to speak, but something told me that wasn’t going to be possible, not right then.
The nurse’s soothing voice continued, “You are safe now, in hospital, and you don’t need to speak or anything else. You have been through a rather traumatic week or so, but the worst is over and the doctor says you will make a full recovery.”
I wanted to ask about Nadia, but the words didn’t come. I was beginning to think I was not there, and this was only my imagination, creating a virtual world rather than accepting reality.
“The girl you were with is here too, and she will also recover, Nadia I think her name is.”
An inward sigh of relief. Now, Boggs?
She didn’t say anything more, except to say, “Rest now.”
I closed my eyes and it didn’t take long to slide back into the inky darkness.
In the dark, time lost any meaning. I couldn’t tell what time it was, or how much time had passed. I tried counting the seconds in my head, but it was a futile exercise.
Nadia wasn’t panicking, but she was scared, particularly after we had tried every and all means we could think of to get free, till Untie the knots that Alex had tied us with, but they were too tight.
I suspected, in the end, they were sailors’ knots designed not to slip or come undone, not easily anyway.
That was when I said I had told Charlene what we intended to do and roughly where we would be, and if we went missing that would be the cue.
It seemed to brighten her outlook, but as time passed, slowly but inevitably, that cheer turned to dismay.
We were hungry, but worse still, thirsty, and the fact there was no water anywhere nearby made that thirst all the more important.
That time passed ever so slowly, and it took an almost inhuman effort to not think about that next drink if there was ever to be one.
I managed to convince her that talking would only make it worse and that we should concentrate on anything else, perhaps what we were going to once we got out of the cave, other than killing Vince and Alex. Perhaps, in the end, I thought that might be the one thing that would keep her alive.
As for me, given my situation, and that really of the whole town, there wasn’t much to hope for. Yes, Nadia might still want to be friends, but who was it that got her into this mess?
Then, too weak to think, or count, or move, that was where I knew the end was near. It felt like we’d been in the cave forever, and I had to finally accept the fact no in was coming for us.
And my last thought, what had happened to Boggs?
© Charles Heath 2020-2022