Anneliese Kimberly Ryan wasn’t sure if she was awake or asleep.   A vague sense of her brain suctioning in reality, distorting stark white walls, scuffed checked floors, a white, checkered ceiling.  It was coming at her.  Everyone’s eyes were too circled.  The circles stood out, and if she closed her eyes, they were burned into her minds eye.  So many circles in everything!  Her pale blue eyes sought out, and found, circles in lights, lines and curves and circles.  Everything had them!

Echoing, harsh thoughts that came shouted obscenities, after images of people around her, eyeless.  Some of the nurses wore animal print scrubs, others had cats.

“Anneliese.  Anneliese.”  a hand on her shoulder.

Had to resist the thoughts, but will was trampled, lifeless.  So cold in her belly.

“Take this,”  the faint voice, and she saw a pill.  She plopped it in her mouth.  Now, she could sleep.  Water would be nice.  Another storm of obscenities toppled anything upright in her mind.  “Keep your tongue in your mouth.  Stop.  Now, lay down. ”

Yes, she would lay down.  Needed to sleep, to get away from the thoughts.  Needed to exert some of her own voice, and mouth it, so she would know it was hers.  4,8,12,16, 20, 24, 28….

4’s weren’t round, the-

Darkness.

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