This story’s challenge: to write a story in which the first word of each sentence rhymes with the last word of each sentence, and to not begin any two sentences with the same word.
When you first regain consciousness after the operation, they don’t speak to you—they just hand you a form attached to a clipboard, and a pen. They make you write out your name, the last thing you remember, and how much TV you usually watch in a day. You are asked to draw a picture of a tree, a pie chart of your three favorite foods, and the first item that comes to mind when you think of the color blue.
If you ask them when you can go home, they’ll give you excuses: your skin is too dry, your legs are too stiff. None of it makes sense but you don’t question a doctor who carries a gun. Your fiancé visits you and he starts crying but he won’t tell you what for. He’s only allowed to stay for 20 minutes before they claim he’s a threat for letting out a sneeze. “It’s your immune system,” they tell you, “it won’t take much to make it fall to bits.”
At first you don’t feel any different, but as the medication wears off your limbs begin to feel as if they have been smashed flat. Nurse Rhonda takes your vitals because you start screaming you’re going to die, and she tells you your heart rate is high but it could still be worse. This makes you panic even more and you try to kick Nurse Rhonda but you miss. By the time she gets you calmed down, you’re so afraid and so worn out that you don’t care if they ever let you go and if this is where you’ll die.
Sleep sneaks up on you and when you wake, you’re lying at the bottom of a hole about ten feet wide and twenty feet deep. No, it wasn’t a dream like you’d hoped, and you can tell because your wrist still bears the plastic band with the orange glow. Sitting upright, you remember talking to a doctor who said you were going to die and you hoped to god he was kidding. Now you’re struggling to find a way out of this hole…but how?
Five hours go by and you’re still stuck in the hole and the air above you is so silent you wonder if you’ve survived an apocalypse and you’re the only human alive.
Two months will go by before you finally come out of your coma and find yourself in a hospital bed, a real hospital this time, and your fiancé is still there waiting for you.