Herring: Chapter Two – The Voice

Herring.” The Voice had a reprimanding tone as if he knew what she had planned. “Let me tell you something: I am not the one to be toyed with. As if you think I am dumb? I am so offended and I do not take offense well. She is your responsibility!” He paused and laughed to himself. “ Well, she was.”

The line went dead and the phone dropped out of her hand. Her eyes went glassy as hot tears formed over them. Her mouth hung open and her body stiffened and sunk her deeper into the seat. She didn’t realize what she had done or who she had dragged into her mess of a life. Chloe didn’t ask for this; she wanted a little bit of excitement, mystery, and now she was probably lying in some nameless first hole in a place her family would never find, alone.

She had to at least find her, maybe she was still in the house, maybe she was still fighting for her li- Suddenly she felt the wind being knocked out of her and millions of sharp stings across her face. She could feel her body become weightless as if she was suspended in water. She could hear a long horn and two thick yellow lines in the street. Then everything went dark.

“Excuse Me. Ma’am. Excuse Me.” Herring blinked twice and she saw a pale faced woman leaning over her. She looked impatient as if she had been waiting for Herring to wake up for hours.

“Um, yes? Where am I?” She tried to sit up but her body felt like as if she was a shattered glass vase and someone tried to glue her back together. “What happened?”

“You’re dead ma’am.” The lady, which now looked like a nurse pulled back the covered and started removing the bandages around Herring’s legs.

“I’m what?”

“Dead. You are not alive. You are dead. You were speeding down the road and got into a vicious accident and you were dead on arrival. We came, we picked you up, and now you are here because you are dead.”

Every word pinched her sides as she tried to make sense of how she was so alive if she was dead? This didn’t make sense, nothing made sense. She could feel every pain in her body; she could touch the soreness pulsing between her shoulder blades and the stiffness in her neck. She was not dead.

“Yes, you are.” The nurse sighed. “Listen honey, it’s hard to explain and even harder to understand, but it is okay. Your life was over and hopefully you will be more careful in the next one.”

The next one?

“Yes. You didn’t think you would stay here? There are too many people in the world dying and way too many people to be born in order for you to just stay here. You die. We Fix. And then we put you back.”

Nothing made sense as the nurse went behind her bed and started fiddling with these small latches on the side of her bed. Next thing you know she was being whisked down a pink hall, turned right onto a navy blue hall and then pushed through these double doors. Inside was a dome shaped room with a huge pool of clear water. The water was so still it almost looked like it was glass and she felt her covers being pulled back again, but this time by three other nurses along with the main nurse.

“What’s going on?”

“It’s time to go my dear.”

“Wha- go where? There’s nothing but water in here?”

“Exactly, that is ‘The Link’ it brings you back between this place and the world a lot of people depart so soon.” Her tone saddened ever so slightly before she perked up. “On three ladies.” Each of them positioned themselves at the corner of Herring’s bed and lifted her sheets cradling her broken body. Herring was in no position to fight back and she didn’t really know what else to say.

“I’m hurting and I won’t be able to survive on my own. There are people after me.”

The main nurse ignored her pleas while she began to blurt out instructions. “We will release you into the water and you will begin to sink. Do not fight it as you will not be able to move. Your immediate reaction will be to hold your breath and it is your choice to do so, however the water will not harm you or your lungs. It will feel like the same air you breathe; once you pass out from holding your breath or breathe in ‘The Link’ you will wake up in another body, another world, another life I do not have time for questions. Any questions?” The nurse’s smile did not match her sarcastic tone as she lowered Herring into the pool.

“I just got here,” Herring squeaked.

The nurse stared deep into her the eyes as if she was looking at a toddler. “Oh darling, it’s been seventeen weeks.” With that, all of the nurses let go and Herring began to sink and fast. She began to protest when the water rushed into her mouth and immediately turned into air. It felt cold and pure and then it went dark.

“Angela, honey.”

Now is your chance to tell us what happens next! Choose the next chapter or if you have something better, comment below, I might use it in my next chapter!