Not Alone


Rhythmic Arabic bounced off the walls of my brain. Everything hurt, my chest worst of all. The last thing I truly remembered was the monster dragging me down, but somewhere in my mind, I knew I’d been hearing rushed, frantic Arabic for some time.

I opened my eyes. Bright, white light poured in, and I shut them again with a groan. Someone said something with a cadence that sounded like I should be able to understand it. I peeked one eye open, barely made out the face of someone with long hair, and realized I still couldn’t make sense of anything. The monster opened its arms for me, welcoming me down, and I dipped into darkness once more.

The next thing I heard was beeping. Infrequent, but constant. Remembering the blare of light last time, I eased one eye the slightest bit open. Brilliant white, but I could just make out a few details. Angular lines on the white, like ceiling tiles.

“Thank you,” a woman said next to me. “I can keep an eye on him.”

Not a woman. Paige. My heart l
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