Let’s all admit it: this time change is kicking our butts. (Okay, Hawaiians and Arizonans excluded. And anyone who doesn’t live in the US. You know what? Just forget it. I’m probably just being a wuss anyhow.) Although this is my third day as a complete zombie, I am quite enjoying the extra sunshine. So is Winston, who was basking in the sun this evening as I was cooking dinner. That’s right…cooking dinner while the sun is still shining outside. AWWW YEAH.
Standing over Ted’s bed, Anita says, “What do you remember?” The window is half open, blowing in the refreshing breath of summer. Ted wishes it would blow everything away—the chaos dancing in his skull, the fire in his gut, the nauseating vividness of his memories.
The night he was abducted, Ted had been at his brother’s wedding reception, drinking white wine and dancing the mamba. He’d stepped outside to have a cigarette when a surge of pain coated his head, like he’d been hit with a hammer. In just the second it took Ted to blink, he found he’d been transported to what appeared to be a museum. Lying flat on his back, he was surrounded by sculptures of bodies, plastic skeletons, and thousands of body parts that had been embalmed.
Ted rolled to one side to see a group of creatures wrapped in leathery green strips of fabric, as if they’d been mummified. They hovered around Ted and began taking his measurements. The creatures worked in silence and ignored his efforts to try and communicate. He yelled, he shrieked, he wriggled and kicked, but the creatures pinned Ted down and suppressed his movement.
Ted tried to ignore that he was surrounded by jars of brains, fingers, and tongues—tried to push away his fears of the horrible acts these creatures were about to commit. The creatures covered his head with a foil sack and the silent air filled with buzzes, beeps, and clangs, leaving Ted to faint over the commotion.
Now, in his parents’ house, Ted sips at a cup of liqueur-laced coffee with his mom. He stares at the stub where his left leg used to be, considering the prosthetic the doctors recommended. He wants to feel lucky that he woke up in the hospital to the sight of his little sister, Emma. Lucky that the doctors describe his recovery as immaculate. Ted knows he will feel lucky, one day, but for now he’s still haunted, unable to live in the moment. Even though he survived, Ted wonders if the creatures will ever return and let the research commence.
And the challenge for this story was: The last word of every sentence contains at least two M‘s, but the letter M does not appear anywhere else in the story.