It started with the voice. Things like “You’re not hurt, wake up.” Still, I felt nothing. I only heard the voice. “I’m not through with you, now get up.” I couldn’t feel my body. Where was I? “Get up, coward!” and I coughed.
The pool of blood I lay in was splashed by the sudden burst of life emerging from me. The voice was still there, coaxing me to get up. My finger tightened around a trigger. Somehow, my body pulled itself up. I don’t remember much.
I do remember the drops of blood dripping from the open wounds into the pools at my feet. I remember staggering toward the doors, surrounded by an empty, dirty warehouse. The voice, her voice, urged me on.
When I came out, I covered my eyes at the sight of the sun. But there were other lights. The lights of the squad cars out front, waiting for me. I didn’t know what was happening. I felt the gun slip from my hand and it all went black.
I wake up now, the wounds still stinging. I remember it all now. The girl, the friend, the enemy. A tale told a thousand times. Now I just lay in bed, my wife next to me. She doesn’t know where the wounds really came from. She doesn’t want to know.
I go to work, I come home, I have a beer and enjoy my wife’s company. It’s the most I ever should have expected. No great things come from a life that starts the way mine did...