There is no greater agony than bearing
an untold story inside you.
Annalee Gilbert lay on the hospital bed, barely breathing, as consciousness fluctuated in varying shades of light and darkness. Gravity weighed down her weary body, pressing her deep into the mattress. Her hand ached from the IV needle piercing the vein in her hand. In her less lucid moments, the life-nourishing fluid dripping through the tube seemed to freeze her blood.
She sighed, the sound coming from deep within her chest, expelling foul air from her mouth. She recognized the stench of impending death. It wouldn’t be long now.
Anguished words echoed through the years, a father’s agonizing cry after the death of his soldier-son: Did I send him to oblivion?
Was that what waited for her after death? Did oblivion take her beloved husband? Her beautiful daughter?
Annalee pressed her forearm against her eyes, blocking out all light.
She longed for oblivion. It was hell she feared.
Giving into the overwhelming drowsiness, she slipped into darkness.
When Annalee woke again, an angled bar of sunlight pierced the slender gap between the thick curtains that covered the windows. Drawn to its bright warmth as she had once yearned for the theater’s glow, a rare exuberance seized her. She longed to twirl in the sun’s spotlight.
Just one more time.
She pushed herself to overcome the imprisoning gravity. With slow but deliberate movements, she freed her legs from their linen traps and scooted forward until her feet found the floor. Using the railing to steady herself, she gradually stood on the hard tile. Her eyes focused on the sunlit bar. In that bright beckoning, she found the effort and strength to rise.
With one hand gripping the IV pole, she shuffled toward the window, her energy waning with each step. Pulling the thick curtains further apart, she expanded the gap so that the sun lit her face and warmed her body.
Across an open courtyard, rows of windows lined another wing of the hospital. Peepholes into similar rooms where other patients either healed or died. Exiting, one way or another, the cold and crushing sterility.
A knock sounded, and her door opened slightly. The young woman from the cemetery slowly entered.
“Hello, Ms. Gilbert. Remember me?”
Annalee’s expression softened, and her lips curved into a faint smile.
Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current works in progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. Click here for a full list of rules and suggestions.