NOTE: This is part of the new novel I am writing. I am posting it here as a diversion for readers who may be living under shelter-in-place policies while the world waits for the coronavirus pandemic to pass. For an explanation of this project, please click here. To read the chapters I’ve posted in order, click here.

Coldwater High School ~ Coldwater, N.M.

Pain consumed Holly’s thought as she regained consciousness.

Pain, followed closely by another sensation, hazy at first, coming into crisp focus only after she opened her eyes to a blur of white light. She was dying. She had died. No, wait. She was feeling pain. Pain and another sensation. She struggled for an instant to find a name for it.

Oh, right: nausea.

Holly tried to sit up. The pain intensified. Not dead, then. People didn’t hurt like this when they were dead. 

Pain and nausea wrestled briefly for control of Holly’s senses. The foul stench of spoiled milk and uneaten broccoli coming from the dumpster gave nausea a momentary edge, and she started to retch.  

A woman’s voice spoke somewhere above her.

“Get her onto her side so she doesn’t choke.” Continue reading Safety