Red Lethargy

We are still on course with the longish story this week. You can find the earlier installments with the links below. They are set in story order.

Outside the Dairy Queen
Along the Forest Path
The Aftermath
A Light Repast
Red Lethargy

Lost in Darkness
Fear and Confrontation
The Next Room
Blackened Mist
Rat in a Cage

Red Lethargy

Eddie pulled and twisted the door handle but it didn’t budge. He had been locked secure in the small cell of a room. And what energy he had awakened with suddenly drifted away. His mind fell into a deep fog that threatened to bring him down, bring him to his knees. He couldn’t think, couldn’t concentrate. His hand fell away from the door knob as he slunk back to the bed. After all that sleep he wanted nothing more than to sleep again.

The desire to close his eyes and let go was the strongest desire he had ever felt. It was burgeoning on a burning need to drift away. The room around him and the light from outside had become fuzzy, indistinct. Shapes melded and swam in his vision as he fell back on the bed. And then darkness consumed him once again.

red lethargy

flickr creative commons via R. Nial Bradshaw

This time his sleep had been different, a fitful sleep at the borders of wakefulness. He was conscious of the world around him but couldn’t open his eyes and he couldn’t move. Fear filled his pores as he struggled, in vain, against the bonds of lethargy that consumed him.

On several occasions he could hear voices, the words of others who joined him within the room. One he knew for certain to be Mira’s. A concerned edge filled her words when she was in the room with him. But the other, he assumed belonged to her mother. The inflections of her tone fit what he could remember, but the words she had used, “sacrifice, changes, breaking the bonds.” He wasn’t sure what she was talking about but knew that her words were not said to give him comfort. They had plans, plans without his consent or approval and he was certain that his body would soon be out of his control.

He woke again, uncertain if it had been several hours or several days. The light outside hadn’t changed from the last he remembered. But then again, he felt like he had been in the bed for ages. His muscles twinged with a dull ache, every muscle of his body. He felt like he had run a marathon and a triathlon right after. He ached in muscles he had not even known he had.

With great effort he managed to pull himself to the edge of the bed. His muscles screamed with the effort the entire time. And then he sat up. The room spun as the blood rushed from his head. Something was wrong.

Well, not wrong as such, but different. The dim light that suffused the room through the curtains felt no different than what he had seen before but something else about it had changed. Something in the air had changed. It was something more than just the pain that coursed through his body.

Even that wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t so much pain as it was a burning sensation, fire that ripped and tore at his muscles through his veins. He felt angry. Without a reason, without a source, anger consumed him. Sure he could be angry about the kids who assaulted him and put him in this position. Or maybe angry about being locked in this room for who knows how long. Or the idea that one of his mother’s friends had taken him prisoner. But none of those fueled his rage. His body screamed with a need to break something.

He took a deep breath, pulled the air deep into his lungs and held it for a count of three. He released it in a slow exhale. As he concentrated on the air leaving his lungs, emptying him of his troubles and pains, for a brief moment felt free of the anger that had threatened to consume him.

It came back in a flash when he brought air into his lungs again.

He jumped when he heard the lock at the door click. Metal scraped against metal as the handle turned and then the door was pushed into the room. Mira stood in the doorway, dressed much like she had been the last time he had seen her.


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