Paper Dolls: Book Two: Chapter One – Part Two

Previous: Chapter One – Part One

I woke up the next morning, or what felt like the next morning in a bright, white room.

My memories were slowly forming in the back of my head when I realized I was no longer in the cave on the beach.

Had they found us?  Was my immediate thought. The room I was now in reminded me far too much of the Darose, Zendo facility – only less upscale. There was an odd flicker from the light overhead that buzzed for far too long.

I glanced down. I still had my clothing on so that seemed like a good sign – maybe.

I blinked and scanned the space around me.

There was a large window to my left. The curtains were closed but a small stream of white light encased with slowly moving dust had managed to free itself from the drapery.

Two thin white blankets were nestled over my lap that I slowly peeled back. I pushed my legs off the side to the floor. As I attempted to move a wave of dizziness came upon me. The world tilted to the left and I followed it.

I heard my mouth release a sharp yelp as I threw my body weight into the side of the bed frame.

The walls were probably built thin incase something like this happened. It was only a second after that the doors to the room burst open and two men descended upon me, taking me by both sides.

“No, wait,” I heard myself say and I gently placed back into the bed.

“Easy, Ms. Liu,” said the dark-haired man on the left, “We got you.”

“No, you don’t understand…”

Their shadows had closed in around me. I tried to pull away but found the attempt useless.

“Sara,” A low voice rose into the air.

For a moment I thought my brain was playing tricks on me.

Sara,” The voice spoke again, this time it appeared irritated.

I turned in the direction of the door, where the voice was coming from.

Risa’s arms were folded at her chest, her shoulder leaning into the frame of the door.

“Calm down, Sara,” Risa said softly, “You’re fine. Let the nice men take care of you.”

It was as though Risa had spoken an incantation that forced my body to revert into a liquid-like state. My limbs relaxed and my the muscles supporting my neck upright softened. The men continued their task of returning me to my bed. After they had firmly tucked and folded the top of the sheet back they exited without a word.

My slowly turned my head towards Risa and breathed, “Where are we?”

“San Francisco General Hospital,” she replied, as she moved towards the side of my bed, “We waited until nightfall to leave the beach, but Ivy kept falling down. The doctors said there’s a hairline fracture but should heal in a few months.

“A vehicle, I think it was called: Patrol, stopped us.  When they saw you out cold and Ivy unable to walk they called  the medics and took us here.”

I tried to sit up but a wave of dizziness held me down.

“The doctors said your body is depleted of… I don’t remember the name… but you need rest.”

My teeth chewed on my lower lip, “Risa?”

She grabbed a nearby chair and rolled it to the side of the bed, “Hm?”

“How are we gonna get back home?”

The question washed over her face like cold water. The eerie calm she had exhibited since she stepped into my room fell from her perfect complexion.

The corners of her lips lowered into a small frown and her eyes unlatched from mine.

“I don’t know,” she said softly before the confidence returned to her face and she reached out for the shape of my hand under the blankets, “But we’re gonna find out, okay?”

She waited for me to nod before getting up, “I’m gonna go check on Ivy, okay? I’ll be back.”

Alone, in the hospital room, I closed my eyes. The one attempt to rise had drained me. I could fight it, but sleep was pulling me down into the pillows as the world around me slipped further and further into darkness.

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