Rack and Ruin
Donnie’s memories came back to him in stages and backwards. He remembered first being wheeled through a corridor with blinding white lights, people yelling unintelligible orders over him. Then there was a tube being shoved down his throat and fingers prodding all over his body. And then Bert’s sleeping face. Frank’s terrified eyes. Red’s impish grin. Driving to the desert. Screaming at Bert. God’s voice.
Everything had seemed so loud before, like a cacophony of raging, screaming voices. But now it was quiet. The silence was eery and uncomfortable– like something in the air had died. His body hurt– his stomach especially. It felt like it had been torn open and put back together, torn open and put back together. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
He opened his eyes and finally registered the sound of the heart monitor beeping next to him. He was alive. He was alive? How. How how how. He was so sure he’d died– He should have died a thousand times over from the start of the battle to the finish. He was dead, wasn’t he? He remembered the smooth, warm air and his brother’s uncharacteristically calm voice and the weight of the world lifting off his shoulders.
Now he was in a cold, sterile room. Maybe he had died and this was Hell. The light seared his eyes until they were watering and it throbbed hard in his head. He looked at the IV next to him, wishing he had the strength to give himself more morphine. He just wanted to go back to sleep. Maybe forever. He wanted Bert. He wanted Frank. He wanted to make sure they were okay. His leg shifted, like he might force himself out of bed, but something caught with a clank at his ankle.
He tried to sit up, but the pain and something cushiony around his wrists stopped him. He turned his head with difficulty, trying to find the source of his struggle. He yanked at the restraints around his wrists, then thrashed a little. One around each ankle and one around each wrist. He was trapped, and the thought made him panic a little more. Ultimately though, he knew there was nothing he could do about it.
Frustrated tears welled in his eyes and slipped down his temples, a small whimper escaping his throat. What was going to happen to him now? He was so convinced he wasn’t going to escape the encounter alive and now everything was ruined.