The Beast, Pt. 78 (Chapter 19a)

Conscious comes back like I’m waking up into a bad dream. In the beginning, there was nothing, void without form, and then a voice said, “Let there be light!” and holy shit, does it suck. Every second brings with it some new note of discord, echoing and building in harmony until there’s a choir of agony singing in my head. I am cold. I am on the floor. My body hurts. My head aches. I smell vomit. I smell spilled beer, mouldering cheese, rotting meat. I try to push myself up off of the ground, and everything goes wrong at once.

My knuckles flare with pain as soon as I put pressure on them and I collapse. My face hits the floor (carpet, thankfully) and I bite my tongue, but that doesn’t feel right either. A little bit of probing and the culprit is revealed. I’m missing my left top incisor. “Motherfucker,” I mumble, and I try to push myself up off of my forearms this time, but my legs aren’t cooperating at all. It feels like someone’s pressing daggers into my lower back.

Then the nausea sets in. I have never been this hung over in my life.

“Guys?” I mewl. “Hey, guys? Is anyone around?”

There’s no response. My vantage point is decidedly lacking, but I listen and hear nothing, and I don’t see any signs of human inhabitation. No clothes, no shoes, no passed out people sprawled on the floor. I think that it’s mid-morning from the light that filters in through the villa’s windows, but of course that’s meaningless in a place like the Meadows.

I am all alone, in sensory (but presumably ultimately harmless) agony, and the auto-doc is up a flight of stairs that I’m going to have to climb with my elbows and nothing else.

I grumble and start pulling myself along the floor. It could be worse, I suppose. At least I didn’t wake up in a puddle of vomit.

So, I’m out of town for the holiday weekend. Expect the next post on 7/7. The story’s going to pick up from here, I think, and I might actually be done by the end of the month…


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