I never found out what woke me up.
That was the first problem, or maybe the last I’m not sure. All I know is that something woke me up past the middle of the night. I wouldn’t say it was dawn, or close but that odd reverse twilight that those who are used to staying up all night all know.
I couldn’t hear anything over the heater/blower going. No clue how long that had been on but long enough that I was sweating even without the covers on me. I didn’t hear her, nor the cat either.
That’s when it hit me, I couldn’t see her. Normally bunched up in a ball next to me, all knees and elbows in my direction. She wasn’t there. No, that wasn’t right. She might have been but I couldn’t turn my head to look at her.
It was like something was holding me in a brace, only I couldn’t really feel it.
I couldn’t move my legs or my arms either. I think I was wiggling my fingers, but my toes didn’t even stir up the blanket enough to get the cat interested… wherever the cat was.
I have no clue how long it was since I had awoken due to some mysterious noise, but it was long enough that I nearly screamed with the frustration of not being able to wipe the sweat off my forehead. I suppose the one good thing of being forced to look straight ahead like that was the sweat was only trickling down the sides of it and not into my eyes.
I also felt how hot I was. Just to kick the rest of the blankets off would have been a great thing. Why was the heater still going?
It was then I noticed the shadow. My roaming eyes had finally found something that didn’t belong. A long darker than the current night shadow on my exposed thigh. Just the one closest to the edge. Focussing on my leg like that made me realize that not all of me was sweaty.
Somehow, now that I was aware of the leg, the realization that it was ice cold was hitting me hard. Harder still was that I still couldn’t move. My eyes roamed all over the room but I strained now to see what caused the blackness on my leg. A shadow that was as still as I was.
Agonizingly slowly the room started to grow lighter as the sun came up. Slowly, like a thief that light came in. Like smoke from a fire it edged it’s way around corners and from the gaps between window and the curtains. Still I could feel how on fire most of me was, but for that jagged spike of black ice that was on my thigh.
I could finally see that it wasn’t a shadow. Rather a large black spot that was seeming to grow now in the light. A few inches longer down my thigh than the scar, and it seemed to be a good half way around my thing with the scar it’s center.