The doctor removed the metal band around his head. He opened his eyes. Bright lights shone down on him. He glanced around the room. White walls, white sheets, white coats. On his body, there was nothing.
The doctor placed a pair of white pants and a white shirt down on the bed. She said, “Good morning, Mr. Linwood. Please, dress yourself.”
He blinked and opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. His mind existed in a state of fog, and his body was too weak to respond to his commands. He managed to twitch his fingers slightly, and nothing more.
The doctor unfolded the clothes. “Still can’t do it yet? Well, I’ll have someone dress you when I’m done with my report. It’s time for your medicine.”
“Who? Who are you?” He pushed the words out with what little strength remained in him. His throat ached from those simple words.
“I’m Dr. Peony. I’ll be caring for you while you transition into the facility. You should adjust soon enough.” Dr. Peony helped him sit up. She forced him to swallow two pills. “Every day, you have to take this. Your daily dose is two of these for now. I’ll give you more if you need it.”
His voice fled from him again. He mouthed the word “why”. The doctor lay him back down on the bed. She left him there to attend to something out of sight. He searched around the room for clues to where he was. There were no signs outside of ones reading “warning” and “caution hazardous” on the door. Dr. Peony disappeared somewhere past the big machine to his right side. To his left, another bed sat. That bed was occupied by a young man who appeared to be around his age.
When he looked at that man, his chest tightened. He didn’t know why. The young man’s face carried a familiarity to it. Pieces of a great puzzle lies scattered about his thoughts. He couldn’t put them back into place. There was only fog.
He concentrated hard on moving his left hand. The best he could do was lifting it two inches in the air. It wasn’t enough to reach the familiar stranger.
The longer he stared at the man in the other bed, the more color seeped into the walls around them. A warm yellow hue painted the background. Soft, worn sheets brushed against his body. Someone’s scent lingered on his skin.
He wanted to capture that scent inside himself. It slipped away from him as quickly as it came.
Once more, he tried reaching for the man across from him. “Who are you?”
The man slept quietly, a metal band around his head. Bruised and cuts decorated the man’s bare skin in the same way they did on his own body.
His body shook against his will, his vision blurred, and the room filled with the sound of somebody screaming.
Dr. Peony rushed over. She forced him to take two more pills. The pain swelling in his chest subsided. In place of pain, there was only fog.