Karen screamed when he suddenly started attacking the (relatively) new arrival. She scrambled up to her feet, eyes whipping around. A sudden idea struck her, and she pulled the fitted sheet off her bed.
She hurried behind Hector, holding one end of the sheet in each hand, and threw the sheet over him. She was okay with it covering his face - maybe that would calm him down? it worked on some animals, right? - but once it was down over his upper arms, she started trying to tie the ends of the sheet together, to get him bound and unable to hurt anyone else.
Karen screamed and fell away, letting go of him entirely. Her hand flew to her neck and she just stared at Hector in horror. It'd be up to the other two to deal with him for a minute, as her mind scrambled between pain and panic. She looked around the room, trying to find a... well, she didn't know what, she just wanted to see what was around. A first aid kit? A... rope to tie him up with? Something helpful in some way?
Karen grabbed the folder and flipped it open. "There's nothing in here but his name and picture!" She tossed the file aside and ran over to him. "Hector? Hector, STOP!" She ran around to his other side, tried to grab his other arm and pull it away from his face but he was too strong. She was being jerked back and forth by his attempts to claw at his skin and her attempts to keep him from doing it. "HECTOR!!! STOPPPPP!!!"
And then everything happened at once. The curtain was shoved aside and a young woman was unstrapping her. As soon as she had a hand free, Karen was scrabbling to free her other hand. She sat up and looked around now that she could see as she rifled through her mind.
"I... I know CPR, but that's not going to help with a seizure!" Her eyes fell to the file folder at her feet. "Did he have a file? Does it say anything about him having seizures and what to do about them?" She didn't even know what was in her file, but she'd worry about that when someone wasn't having a medical emergency in a hospital that was apparently run by a crazy person.
"What's going on? What's that sound?"
She couldn't see what was going on, surrounded by the blue curtains as she was. She couldn't get up or really even move all that much. She was feeling very vulnerable and helpless and confused. What do I tell my clients when they feel like this?
Well... what she usually told her clients was, "Don't worry, I'm here to help." And... that wasn't all that helpful right now.
"I'm not married!" she retorted. "And if I were, I wouldn't marry Jeremy. He's my client and he's just not my type anyway."
Because she could focus on what the disembodied voice had said or she could respond to the things that at least made some sort of sense and didn't send unnerving chills down her spine.
"I'm Karen Newcomb," she said to all the voices. "I'm a very successful lifestyle coach." Well, that was probably stretching things a little. A lot. But it was important to project success at all times. And much better to project success than think about what the voice had said.
What did they do to me - to all of us - while I was unconscious? Oh god, oh god, what sort of side effects? What if it's like that study I read about where some of the people went blind? I don't want to be blind!
Karen squeaked in shock at the sudden feedback screech and looked to the ceiling. "Where are we? What's going on?!" she yelled.
Karen continued to yell variations on "HELLO!", "WE'RE IN HERE!", and "HELP!" until she realized that wasn't getting a response. She stopped and caught her breath and tried to focus, but her brain was a jumble of places and people and how badly she just Didn't Want To Be Here. And then something occurred to her.
"Jeremy! Jeremy will call the police." Her current client was anxious and high-strung. It wasn't outside the realm of possibility. "...unless he thinks I abandoned him the way everyone else in his life does." She groaned in annoyance. She was mostly talking to herself (though in a perfectly-audible volume). "Okay, so maybe Jeremy won't call the police, but... someone will. Right? Someone had to have seen something or... or..."
It was starting to dawn on Karen just how alone she was in her life. Who was there who would miss her? She only talked to her parents when it was the holidays or someone's birthday. "Does anyone know what day it is?" she asked weakly.
Karen, in fact, did not notice the man's comment. She'd heard something else: the click of heels in the hallway outside. "Wait... Wait, do you hear that?"
It never occurred to her that this might not be a good idea. She wanted OUT, she wanted AWAY. She made sure her voice was nice and loud, to be heard over whatever it was that other person was doing that was causing such a ruckus.
"HEY, HELLO! CAN YOU HELP US?! WE NEED HELP IN HERE, PLEASE!!!!" Her normally-pleasant voice (she'd been in choir in church in her youth, she could carry a tune quite nicely, thank you) broke with her desperation as she yelled that last word.
"I mean, how long have we been here and there's no nurse, no doctor, no nothing? And what's with the straps? I mean that's just rude!"
There was a small part of Karen that was terrified. She had no idea what was going on or where she was or who she was with or who had decided to strap her down or how they'd even gotten her here in the first place and the ideas her brain could conjure if she let it were too horrible to think about. So she didn't think.
"I don't think there even is a call button, and there's a file folder here just left on the foot of the bed and that's just unprofessional, like, what am I? A table? I don't think so! I am a human being and I deserve some common decency and I'M SORRY BUT YOU COULD STOP WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU'RE DOING THAT'S MAKING THAT NOISE?!"
((directed @kit and the rocking))
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