[Author’s Note: If you’ve never read Oasis before, go start with the beginning. (a very good place to start)]
Into the Unknown
The room was crowded and loud and the air was thick with the smells of excited people.
Samson was on the street. There was no way out, and no way he could survive that mess. He had been a pillar of strength in a tornado of chaos. Now he was going to die because he had come to save me.
I couldn’t take it anymore.
My knees shook. The blood rushed from my face. My vision blurred. Breathing came hard. The noise of the room drifted away.
And then I crumpled up into a heap on the floor.
The mercy of passing out didn’t come, though. I was still partially conscious as three guys I didn’t recognize helped me up and half carried me to a room a few doors down.
My head pounded.
They put me on the bed and ran off to get help.
I closed my eyes and prayed they wouldn’t let me become… one of those things. I didn’t even know if anyone else had noticed my bite yet. I had to stay awake long enough to make sure someone saw it. And then I could slip away.
There was talking and shouting in the hall. People came into the room, hovered around me, and talked about me.
I recognized a voice or two, but I was too tired open my eyes.
I raised my right hand.
A gloved hand grabbed my wrist. I could only assume the grabber was studying the bite.
That was it. Now they knew. And certainly they knew I needed to go before I became a danger to everybody.
I had done all I could do.
All that was left now was to slip into unconsciousness and hope they made my passing painless.
Unfortunately, my sleep was neither restful nor painless. And it was almost immediately interrupted by a violent nightmare.
I awoke with a start and my brain felt like it was on fire.
A moan filled the air and it took me a minute to realize it was coming from my lips.
I tried to open my eyes but the light shining through my room’s windows felt like knifes in my skull.
Somebody was in the room talking about hydration and rest.
Why are they still in here? Why am I still in here? Don’t they know I’m infected?
I tried to raise my hand again.
Someone put a hand on my arm.
“It’s OK, Corbin. Just sleep now.”
I slipped back under.
Another dream began, but it wasn’t really a dream at all. There were no more pictures. In fact, it was more like a battle.
The virus had a presence in my mind like a void or a pit, swallowing up every thought. Like it wanted everything to be blank.
I consciously fought back against the presence by filling my mind with memories. I thought back to my college days, then high school.
The creeping void grew larger.
I would start to remember something that had happened, lose my place in the story, and then forget altogether which story I was trying to think about.
There was no more point in even trying to sleep.
Pain radiated from my hand and pounded in my head.
Soon, I could no longer focus on any memories at all. There was only the pain, and the void.
Occasionally, someone would come in and give me an injection.
I have no idea how long I lay there in torment. It seemed an eternity.
The void in my mind which had grown so fast was now taking its time.
I knew my jaw was clenched. I knew I was moaning. I knew I was tossing from one side to the other. I knew tears ran off my face. I couldn’t control any of those things. I was powerless, alone, and dying.
The discomfort, stench, heat and loneliness of the storage shed I had hid in days before would be a paradise compared to the agony that tore at my mind and my body now.
The pain was unrelenting.
At long last I gave up my mental struggle and was just desperate to die. I had survived almost everything life could throw at me, from false accusations to falls down stairs to sleep deprivation, dehydration, punches, kicks and everything else. I was a survivor, but I wouldn’t survive this.
A knot tied up my stomach.
I didn’t want to die, but there was nothing I could do.
The knot tightened, causing pain that was almost as great as the pain in my head.
I curled up into the fetal position.
The muscles in my stomach tightened.
It was too much. I opened my mouth and tried to scream, but I couldn’t draw a deep enough breath.
Everything in my core started to convulse.
I fought to take another shallow breath. I just couldn’t do it.
A burning crept up my throat.
I started to vomit.
There was no food in my stomach to come up. Only bile.
The burning yellow liquid erupted from my mouth and nose.
My sinuses, mouth and throat were on fire.
It came up in waves at first.
After that nothing came up, but the waves still crashed.
I gasped for air in between dry heaves.
At last the convulsions subsided, leaving only burning and stench.
I was too weak and tired to do anything about it. Too weak and tired to do anything at all.
Finally, after hours of torment, a bizarre form of relief crept in at the edges of my consciousness. I allowed the blackness to swallow me up.
Is this what it feels like to die?
Oasis isn’t quite over yet, but is this the end for poor Corbin? You never know, I’m sick enough I might just do it. Keep reading and find out!
Thanks for reading, and remember to tell all your friends about Oasis. All of them.