precisely three fifty-eight in the morning

   Echoing up the hall. Again. Bouncing from plank to plank. The old stained wooden boards absorbing the metallic Birrranng, then catapulting the sonic distress further down the hall.  Birranng,…rolling over, Birrranng…..Birrraanng.  “What in gods’ name” I thought in my sleep, BIRRAANNG! “Ah shit!  The phone.?”  BIRRAANNG!  “Jesus, what the fuck?! Who is” BIRRAANNG! Springing to my feet entangled in sheets and a fisherman’s madness of linens I slammed into the edge of the already open door. BAMM!… Thwomp.

    “The floor? What? Why am I on the floor, the cold hard…….slippery?….Wait…..Sticky, Floor……?”  BIRRAANNG!  “Yeah, the phone.  Who was it now?” BIRRAANNG! “Oh, I need to get the” BIRRAANNG!  Stumbling back and forth down the hall, sliding against the walls, knocking over everything in my path trying to grab hold of anything I could.  I fell to my knees and started to craw through the darkness.

     There, in the kitchen, I made it.  Birrinng… The phone. Birring…. It seemed to be getting further and further away. “Is this a dream? No, no, I’ve got to get the phone.” Birring.. I make my way to the wall and tug on the cord.  Wrapping my fingers in the twisted spirals I whip at it. Birring….Again, Whip! “Bring one foot up…Stand..Reach…up,up,up, WHIP!” The phone handle jumps off the wall and I yank my hand to catch it. Forgetting my fingers are still entangled in the cord it smashes into my face. Right on my forehead.

     I close my eyes and wince at the sharp stabbing sensation on my head. There’s a voice, “hello….hello..” The phone, yes the phone.  I pick it up as it tries to spit out from my hands that are still caught in the cord. “Hello” I reply, putting my hand to my forehead, realizing the blood on my wrist and dripping down my sleeve. “Huh? Yes, that’s me.” Pulling my hand away from my head and realizing I was bleeding profusely from somewhere and my brain hurt inside my head so loudly I couldn’t tell where I was actually bleeding from.

     The person was talking again, “Yes, yes, I’m me, I mean, ugh.. What do you want?” Almost falling asleep from the pain, it was so overwhelming. Swirling around it was no longer pain.  Just, like this recording of sound pushing out slowly in all directions, hurting, telling me to sleep, but not in words. Not throbb-ing-, just one constant never ending THHHHRRRROOOOOOB….pushing and pushing “WHAT? Huh? It has my name?…Who is this?.. I don’t understand. A note? A piece of paper…you’re not making any sense”

    There’s someone on the other end of the phone, talking.”Yes! That’s me” Pulling myself up in a chair. “No….They’re where?” I drop the phone, my jaw gaping. I bend over trying to pickup the phone and stand up at the same time.  I can’t reach the phone. I’m  trying to run back to my room and yelling at the phone.  My body twisting towards the phone, my legs carrying me away towards the door.

     “I’LL BE RIGHT THERE, LET ME GET MY…I’M COMING!!!! DON’T DO.I’M ON MY WAY” Shouting as I run for the.  Where am I going? What do I need?  Pants! The door! Plotting my actions, trying to put them in order, to get out the door before I can finish thinking what I need. Counting the seconds, ONE..running back up the hall slipping though my blood on the floor, almost flying.

      Two….Thinking, “foot down, don’t slip, hand on wall, next hand out.” Jamming my right foot into the first doorframe as to not slip, I feel and hear the three little toes snap and break backwards tearing the flesh in between the two/three split ripping them out of their sockets. I push off with all the might I can muster with the two toes curling around the outside of the doorframe.  Left foot down again, off the wall, through my bedroom door I slam my left shoulder, all of it, into the frame spinning me around I go flying to the bed and bounce up.

     Three…. Grabbing my jeans I tear down the hall feeling and ignoring the pain in my right foot now.  I slide across the kitchen ’til the blood’s no more, my foot sticking to the floor vaulting me in the air. I reach out with my jeans in my hand and crash into the backdoor,  bouncing my head back violently. I flail at the handle trying to get my feet under my body to no avail.  Reeling backwards I swing my arms like a windmill to catch my fall.  I land on my ass bouncing a few times.

     Four…..Back in the middle of the kitchen I spring forward grabbing the handle and explode through the snow wildly.  The door hanging crooked and swaying as the December air gushes into the house…………

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