Untitled by Aubrey Lackey

I heard the dog whine. I could see his shadow pacing back and forth through the crack under the door. I chuckled to myself. If only he had thumbs he could open the door and save my life. But he didn’t have thumbs. He was a dog. I felt a puddle of wetness spreading out all around me. The viscous liquid was hot and sticky. Somewhere in my mind, I knew what it was, but I couldn’t recall the word. I tried desperately to remember how I ended up on the floor here, in this room, my clothes soaked. I didn’t feel any pain apart from a profound frustration that I knew it was beyond my power to leave this place. I resented the dog for having the power to move freely. I tried to shout to the dog, but all that came out was a hoarse croak. 

Suddenly there was a commotion all around me. The dog quickly skittered away from the other side of the door. The world flooded with a bright, white light, and then my mind struggled to comprehend what I saw….

I suddenly woke up with a gasp of air filling my lungs and beads of sweat dripping down my face. Everything was blurry as I called for Rover and tried to find his fluffy body to snuggle up to when I realized I wasn’t in my comfy bed at home, but instead I was in a hospital room, with my body covered in wires. I whipped my head around trying to find a nurse or a doctor somewhere around me. I screamed for them to come help me, but instead of a doctor that came in to check on me, it was a vampire looking man with a pitch black cloak covering from his neck all the way to the floor so it had a little train as he walked toward me. 

I scooted back on my bed as fear filled my soul and the hair on my arms stood straight up. The Vampire vanished and reappeared directly by my face, breathing his disgusting breath down my neck and showing a preview of his blade like fangs. He refused to say a word, and although I was terrified, all I could think about was my dog, Rover. I couldn’t stop thinking about if he was okay and how I got here and if I would ever be able to leave this wretched place. As my mind was going a mile a minute, I glanced back over to the demon crowding my room as he vanished and reappeared again, except this time he was holding Rover by his neck. 

I jumped from my hospital bed and leaped over to try and rescue my beloved dog as the vampire slowly slits his throat, cutting his growl short. I let out a blood curdling scream as I dropped to my knees in agony. I was drowning in the blood of my very best friend, unable to move or speak. The vampire knelt down and handed Rover to me as if he was some sort of amazon package with the fragile sticker ripped off of it. He let out a bone chilling laugh and vanished into the walls, leaving me to clean up the mess he left behind. I held Rover in my arms and refused to let go as I felt a set of hands wrap around my arm and lift me to a standing position. Sobbing and screaming for him to come back, I hear a faint voice beside me, “ Ma’am you need to relax and take your medicine, it will make you feel better soon. I promise.” 

I felt a needle prick my left arm, directly in the vein in my inner elbow and slowly but surely I witnessed Rover’s limp body disappear and a doctor’s face appear. I was utterly confused as to what was happening, so I asked where Rover was. To my surprise and amusement, the doctor tried to explain that Rover wasn’t real and neither was the vampire. I stopped being amused as soon as I figured out that they were spies. It was the only way they would have known about my experience with the vampire. 

I ripped myself away from them time and time again as they tried to stick another needle in my arm. Eventually they got to me, and the needle entered my skin and yet again, slowly but surely, the doctor’s voice became clear and the confusion set in. I asked where Rover was and if he was okay only to be reminded of the horrific truth that I suffered from Schizophrenia and I forgot to take my medicine again. I sobbed and sobbed and apologized profusely for all the drama that I had caused as I saw my husband come into the view with tears in his eyes. He hugged me and we both decided that it was better for me to go home so I could be watched and get my medicine while he visited. I got transferred the next morning to a home close to where my husband now lives alone with our new dog, named Rover.

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